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Essential guide to SLS-free products

Green People’s organic beauty products have always been SLS-free. We only use gentle, non-irritating foaming agents that are suitable for very sensitive skin and those prone to eczema and skin allergies.

By Alexandra Julian

6 Minute read

Green People UK organic beauty products have always been SLS-free.

We only use gentle, non-irritating foaming agents that are suitable for very sensitive skin and those prone to eczema and skin allergies.

Go straight to SLS-free products with these quick links:

View SLS-free shower gel
View SLS-free shampoo
View SLS-free toothpaste
View SLS-free face wash
View SLS-free hand wash
View SLS-free baby products

What is SLS?

Sodium lauryl sulphate, or SLS, is a detergent that is widely used in the UK to make products foam up and lather.

SLS is very effective at removing dirt and grime from the skin, but it can also strip the skin of its natural protective oils.

Even people without sensitive skin may experience irritation when using beauty products that contain SLS, including shampoo, body wash and toothpaste.

Why should choose SLS-free products?

SLS is known to be irritating to the skin and is recognised as being one of the most irritating of the foaming agents used in shampoos.

SLS is used as a laboratory standard for irritating skin due to its ability to penetrate and damage the skin barrier.

The BBC2 show Trust Me I’m A Doctor investigated the effects of SLS used in popular wash products and found that SLS had a damaging effect on the skin.

When a solution containing SLS at a lower concentration than in most wash products was applied routinely to the skin, it caused water loss to more than triple, “roughly the equivalent of being halfway to completely losing the top layer of skin”.

Ian Taylor, Cosmetic Scientist at Green People adds, “The importance of maintaining the barrier function of the skin cannot be underestimated.

When functioning properly this barrier regulates water levels in the skin, provides protection against external pollutants and pathogens and prevents irritation of the delicate underlying tissues.

Harsh detergents such as SLS can disrupt this barrier function which may lead to long term skin problems."

SLS-free shower gel

Just like shampoos, shower gels that contain SLS can be very irritating on the skin. People with sensitive skin or eczema should choose SLS-free products for their shower and bath to ensure their skin does not lose precious moisture.

Because SLS is so drying, lots of moisturiser or body lotion is needed to offset the damaging effects of this detergent. Using an SLS-free shower gel helps your skin retain more moisture, meaning you don’t need as much body lotion to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

Green People SLS-free shower gels are suitable for even the most sensitive skin and those prone to eczema. They are hydrating, gentle and packed with nourishing plant actives including soothing Marshmallow, healing Aloe Vera and calming natural aromas from pure essential oils.

Shop all SLS-free shower gel

SLS-free shampoo

SLS is one of the most common foaming agents used in shampoos, despite the fact that it is so irritating on the skin. Its irritating effects can create an itchy, flaky scalp and now more and more people are looking for a shampoo without SLS.

Shampoos containing SLS can strip the hair and scalp of the natural, beneficial oils that keep hair shiny, healthy and protected.

Removing these oils puts the scalp out of balance, causing it to overcompensate and produce more oil in an attempt to re-balance.

This overproduction of oil quickly makes the hair look greasy, meaning it starts to need washing more frequently.

Using a shampoo with a gentle, non-stripping foaming agent such as sodium coco-sulphate, gives fantastic cleaning power whilst keeping the scalp in its natural healthy balance.

Green People’s range of natural and organic SLS-free shampoos contain extremely high levels of natural plant actives that nourish, cleanse and balance.

Containing no harsh chemicals or bulking agents, Green People shampoos are super-concentrated, meaning you only need a tiny amount for each wash so a little goes a long way.

Shop all SLS-free shampoo

SLS-free toothpaste

The mouth is a sensitive area of the body so it’s only natural that what can irritate your skin can also irritate your mouth.

SLS is used in toothpaste to make it foam when you brush your teeth, however the foam does not make the toothpaste more effective and can cause severe gum irritation.

SLS is known to dissolve proteins and has been shown to cause damage to oral tissues and is linked to conditions such as gingivitis, receding gums and recurrent mouth ulcers.

A study in Oslo showed that when mouth ulcer sufferers stopped using SLS-free toothpastes, there was a 60% reduction in their symptoms.

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, this may be a sign that the SLS in your toothpaste is causing irritation. Some people may find that switching to an SLS-free toothpaste prevents bleeding gums. 

Green People toothpastes are 100% natural and SLS-free. With natural antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients such as Myrrh oil, Green People natural toothpastes keep teeth and gums healthy without SLS. With a range of flavours including classic Mint, Fennel & Propolis and Mandarin & Aloe Vera, there’s a natural SLS-free toothpaste to suit the whole family.

Shop SLS-free toothpaste

Do you have questions about our SLS-free products? Please get in touch by emailing, or give one of our friendly UK customer care team a call on 01403 740350.

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