Sodium Lauryl Sulfate


Cleansing Agent

No known benefits

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate description

Versatile ingredient composed of several non-volatile alcohols. Functions primarily as a surfactant, but can also be used as a skin-conditioning agent, emulsifier, and solvent. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is one of the most sensitising cleansing agents used in skincare products. In fact, it's considered a standard comparison substance for measuring the skin sensitisation of other ingredients. In fact, in scientific studies, when the researchers want to establish whether or not an ingredient is problematic for skin, they compare its effect to that of SLS.In amounts of 2% to 5%, sodium lauryl sulfate can cause sensitising reactions for many people. Despite the sensitivity issue, it is not the same as the dire and erroneous warnings floating around the web about this ingredient, all of which have been debunked. Sodium lauryl sulfate isn't a great ingredient in terms of its impact on skin, but its effects are not detrimental to one's health.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate references

  • Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research, November 2014, ePublication
  • British Journal of Dermatology, July 2014, pages 115-123
  • International Journal of Toxicology, July 2010, pages S151-S161
  • Contact Dermatitis, January 2003, pages 26-32
  • European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2001, pages 416-419
  • American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, May 2001, pages 28-32

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not Rated