SLS and SLES – What’s the difference?
Whether you’re a sensitive soul or a conscious beauty lover, you may already be familiar with ingredients SLS and SLES, but despite how similar they sound, there is a big difference between the two.
SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (sometimes known as SDS, Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate). SLES is short for Sodium Laureth Sulfate, sometimes scribed as Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate. SLS and SLES are both surfactants added to many beauty products, used to create the foaming action associated with cleansing products. But what is the difference between them?
SLS is commonly found in many shampoos on the market today. It works as a surfactant, trapping oil-based dirt so that it can be rinsed away with water. It’s also an effective foaming agent, turning liquids into the rich lather that most of us have come to associate with the cleansing process when we’re washing our hair.
Olsson Haircare will NEVER include SLS in our sensitive haircare collection, here’s why
Although SLS is deemed as ‘safe to use’ by many regulatory bodies, SLS has also been identified as a common skin irritant if left on skin for prolonged periods of time. SLS is also known to affect the everyday purpose of skin proteins which causes damage to the outer layer of skin resulting in cracked, dry and tender skin - not ideal for anyone suffering with sensitivity.
If you suffer with a sensitive scalp, then you’ll want to avoid products containing SLS.
Shampoos containing SLS have also been linked to being responsible for weakening hair and causing hair loss. This is because the SLS will often remain in hair follicles long after washing, causing them to weaken over extended periods of time.
You’ll only ever find SLES in our Allergy UK approved haircare
SLES stands for Sodium Laureth Sulfate. It is derived from SLS through a process called ethoxylation (where ethylene oxide is introduced. This process reorganises the compound making it much kinder to the skin and hair. Unlike SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate won’t aggravate your scalp or strip it of any excess moisture.
Including SLES in our sensitive shampoo provides the high-performance cleanse our products promise and our clients love. SLES is just as cleansing, foaming and emulsifying as SLS, but much kinder to your skin and scalp – your hair will feel silky soft, smooth and nourished.
By combining SLES with other kind-to-skin ingredients including Aloe Vera, Pro Vitamin B5 and Glycerine - we’ve developed a unique ‘pure performance’ collection, making clean, shiny hair something everyone can achieve despite suffering from skin sensitivities.
A pure performance treat to make all scalps smile
Olsson Haircare is salon approved, which means that it is suitable for everyone, the removal of SLS means our haircare is extra nourishing, promoting a healthier scalp - achieve greater vitality, shine and hair health with Olsson.
Disclaimer: Due to the complex nature of allergies we cannot guarantee that our products will not trigger an allergic reaction. Over 3 years we developed a formula that has been commended by leading scientists and allergy associations who have gone on to provide their badge of approval. However, if you are a sensitive soul, we would always encourage you to examine the ingredients that are carefully itemised on each product listing, review our free-from table, discover our Help & FAQ or ask our experts - but most importantly, undertake a patch test prior to use.