Thursday, July 21, 2011

SLS / SLES in Lush {Ingredient}

If you are a brand conscious and ingredient conscious consumer, you would have noticed that the solid shampoos of Lush have SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) as one of their ingredients. I was a little disappointed with this revelation as I had put hopes on Lush for being a SLS-savior on the shampoo front for me. Then, later on, in one of the sites I had read a comment by the reader. She said that she was told by the Lush sales girl that the SLS used in Lush products is natural. Now, I was boggled by that statement and did some research on that.
SLS and SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulphate) are chemical products and not vegan or organic ingredients. Though both SLS and SLES are derived from coconut or palm oils, they have to be reacted with sulphuric acid and ethylene oxide respectively. So, comparatively SLES is a gentler ingredient of the two but when ever SLES is used, you would generally find another ingredient in the list called 'Cocamidopropyl Betaine' which is used to make the SLES even more milder so as to reduce irritation due to the ingredient. (source
I have checked two or three products which list SLES as their ingredients and have found Betaine to be another of their ingredients. And, regarding the usage of SLS / SLES in Lush, I had sent a mail to the US office regarding my concern and this is their response:
Thank you for writing to us.  We use sodium lauryl sulfate in our solid shampoos, and we do not consider this ingredient to be a natural one. Although it does originate from coconut materials, it does undergo some changes which deem it a synthetic material by our view.
We do list our full ingredients on our website, in our stores, and in our catalogue, and we aim to be as transparent as possible so that our customers can select products they feel comfortable with. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns and I’d be glad to help!
So, next time you go to a Lush store and find these ingredients, please note that there is nothing natural about SLS / SLES and not all products in Lush are vegan coz they have parabens and other chemicals too. And this is not a bad thing at all.

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