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Observations placeholder

Shampoo, soap and skin problems



Type of Spiritual Experience


This observation is partly for information, but knowing this to be the case may help in healing as products containing it can be avoided.

Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). SLES is an inexpensive and very effective foaming agent. SLES, SLS, ALS and sodium pareth sulfate are surfactants that are used in many cosmetic products for their cleansing and emulsifying properties. They behave similarly to soap.

The problem is that SLES is an irritant like many other detergents, with the irritation increasing with concentration. It has also been shown that SLES causes eye or skin irritation in experiments done on animals and humans.  The paper below shows the detail.   The related surfactant SLS is a known irritant, and research suggests that SLES can also cause irritation after extended exposure in some people.

Thus many cases of dermatitis, psoriasis etc may be being caused by this and the immune response is a reaction to the irritation.

A description of the experience

Int J Cosmet Sci. 1999 Dec;21(6):371-82. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.1999.211920.x.

Evaulation of irritation potential of surfactant mixtures.

Turkoglu M1, Sakr A.

  • 1University of Cincinnati, College of Pharmacy, Cincinnati, USA.


Irritation potential of sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) alone, and in combination with lauryl glucoside (LG), polysorbate 20 (PS) and cocoamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) was tested in 13 human subjects.

Four main and six sub-formulations were prepared and evaluated. Formulations were applied to the forearm as a 24 h close patch study. Irritation was scored by two different methods using an in vivo clinical protocol based on visual scoring and on the stratum corneum capacitance measurement.

Irritation was found to be dose dependent.

At 2 mg/patch level ten subjects did not show any skin reaction. At 20 mg/patch level eleven subjects showed a broad range of skin irritation. The highest irritation was observed with the formula that contained SLES, LG, and cocamide DEA together.

Among the sub-formulations, cocamide DEA showed the highest irritation grade. A statistically significant correlation was observed between visual, clinical and corneometer scores. It was concluded that the irritation potential of surfactants was related to the total surfactant concentration, application mode, and the thermodynamic activity of molecules in the solution as well as the chemical structure of the surfactant molecules.

PMID:  18503452

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Skin diseases