Sulfates are used in shampoos and body wash products to make them foam and dissolve oil, sulfate can sometimes be spelt with a "ph" as in sulphate but the chemical is exactly the same. There's a lot of confusion surrounding sulfates particularly around those which are considered safe to use on the skin and those which are not. The four common sulfates are: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate.
Of these only one is permitted for use in certified organic products. Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) is the only sulfate certified by the European organic regulator (Eco-Cert) as OK to use in organic toiletries and cosmetics.
Many people with allergies to sulfates are not actually allergic to the sulfate itself. The problem is that some sulfates excessively breakdown the skin's natural oils and this means the skin is more permeable to other ingredients in the product. It is usually deeper penetration by other ingredients which causes the allergic reaction.
There are two reasons why some sulfates are avoided in organic products. The first is irritancy and the second is possible contamination with 1,4 dioxane. Whilst some sulfates are affected by both problems there is one sulfate which is affected by neither. The table below shows the differences between the 4 common sulfates.
|Sulfate Name||Short Name||High Irritancy||Possible Dioxane Contamination||EcoCert Accreditation|
|Sodium Lauryl Sulfate||SLS||YES||NO|
|Sodium Laureth Sulfate||SLES||YES||YES|
|Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate||ALS||NO||NO|
|Ammonium Laureth Sulfate||ALES||NO||YES|
At mypure we do not stock any products which contain SLS, SLES or ALES.
For more information on sulfates and dioxanes try:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,4-Dioxane (Scroll to the cosmetics section)
The MYPURE promise
At mypure.co.uk we have a very thorough vetting process called the MYPURE Purity Promise that we apply to everything we sell. We check to make sure there are no nasty chemicals or any ingredients that are likely to cause skin irritation or allergies. As a result we have very few complaints but if you do buy something from us that you don't like just return it to us within 14 days for a full refund.