Hi and welcome to Talking Toxins with Rachel…
Toxin of the week: Sodium Laureth Sulfate (aka SLES), not to be confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
So what are they?
SLES is a surfactant and cleansing detergent that is used as a foaming agent in products.
What do I find them in?
Shampoos, personal care products such as body wash, face wash, toothpaste and bubble bath to name a few, it is also used in cleaning products.
Why should I be concerned?
Can be a skin irritant or trigger allergies (through sensitization). SLES goes through a process called ethoxylation. A side reaction that sometimes occurs during ethoxylation is that a small amount of 1,4 dioxane is produced. 1,4 dioxane is a known carcinogen. Some companies take extra precautions and make a 1,4 dioxane free SLES.
So what can I do?
Read labels, educate yourself about the ingredients in your personal care products.
The FDA does not require to list trace amounts of 1,4 dioxane on the ingredient list.
Beauty Counter: http://www.beautycounter.com/the-never-list/