Sulfates are an extremely controversial ingredient, as many people hate it, and the others adore it. The truth, in fact, is that it has both PROs and CONs, as it efficient foaming, yet has health-damaging properties.
But it is easy to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks when you know how your own body and skin react to this ingredient.
So in this article, we have prepared a quick test for you, to find out if you are sulfate intolerant! And no matter if ARE OR NOT, you can see the harmless sulfate alternatives and substitutes!
Let`s get started!
How to test if you are sulfate-sensitive?
When you start using a new product, which contains sulfate, monitor your skin and hair texture. In case you start feeling your skin (and your scalp) tight, flaky or itchy, and your hair- frizzy, hard, dry and difficult to style, stop using the product for 10 days. If the symptoms disappear, then you know you are sulfate sensitive. If you do not notice any difference in your skin and hair between using and not using sulfates, you are not sulfate-sensitive. However, it is up to you to decide whether to use SLS and SLES or not.
I, personally, am sulfate sensitive, but I didn’t know that until a few years ago. I thought that I was suffering from chronic dandruff, which I treated with numerous types of shampoos and scalp conditioners. When I started following the curly girl method, I switched to sulfate-free shampoo (even though at that time, I didn’t know why I should do that). From the first time, I washed my hair with SLS and SLES free shampoo my “dandruff” disappeared. Later on, I stopped using liquid soap with sulfates, and I saw that my hands became so much smoother and softer!
It is challenging to find foaming cosmetics free from sulfates, but the good news is that SLS, SLES, and ALS free products are becoming a popular trend. This means that soon enough, the big companies will start producing such products, because of the high demand. Until then, you have some (not many) sulfate alternatives to choose from, which are not entirely harmless but will not cause you any irritations. Always check the ingredients list on the back of every packaging. One of the first ingredients listed should NOT be SLS/SLES/ALS, but one of the following:
- Cocoamidopropyl betaine
- Sodium coco-sulfate (no it is not a regular sulfate)
- Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
- Propylene glycol
- Sodium cocoamphoacetate
In fact, a big percentage of people who use personal care products with sulfates are sulfate-intolerant. But because of the big number of products that we use on a daily basis, it is difficult to identify the source.
However, many people report that after they stop using products with sulfates some of their skin-related issues disappear. You can try it for yourself!