Jump to content

Photo

How Bad Is Sodium Laureth Sulfate?

sls sodium laureth sulfate head and shoulders zinc oily skin

6 replies to this topic

#1 bjarnecke

bjarnecke

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 31
    Likes: 2
About Me
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northwest Indiana
  • Joined: 09-June 12

Posted 16 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

I'm in a bit of a predicament...I've found something that seems to be keeping my acne under control, but I just don't know if it's worth the possible consequences. 

 

Like many people on this site, I have been around the block with all kinds of products and there are very few out there I haven't tried. Nothing really seemed to help, and Ihcame to the conclusion that my "acne" is caused by an overabundance of fungus. I have very oily skin, and I get cystic like bumps on my forehead that just become big mounds that take forever to heal. I can also scrape my fingernails across my forehead, scalp, and cheeks and get a buildup of oily, grainy "gunk" off of my skin. My face is also very red. My arms also usually have a few spots on them, some come to a head and some don't.

 

A few weeks ago, I started using Head and Shoulders Classic Clean shampoo as a body and face wash (in addition to shampoo). At this point, my arms are 99% clear and looking great. I used the shampoo on my face for a few days, but then purchased Dr. Cynthia Bailey's Calming Zinc bar. It's 2% as opposed to the 1% pyrithione zinc in H&S, but it just doesn't seem to do a great job of cleansing and wasn't very effective. So the last couple days I've gone back to using H&S on my face, and so far nonew ones have come up and I don't feel any under the surface. 

 

My biggest concern with using H&S is the fact that it contains sodium laureth sulfate, as do many of the skin care products out on the market today. SLS is a detergent, and many people talk about how harmful it is to the skin, and a few sites even link certain detergents with cancer in the long run (but what doesn't cause it in today's world?). I know there are a lot of topics out there on people who use H&S, but my main question is about the SLS...what exactly is the risk and danger of using it, and should I continue with it? It's very hard to decide since I seem to have found something to finally keep my face and body under control. Any feedback would be appreciated!



#2 Rorius

Rorius

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 137
    Likes: 13
About Me
  • Joined: 22-January 13

Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

It's really not that bad at all & it's in 95% of shampoos/handwashes. It certainly does not cause cancer. There are however a minority who are absolutely militant against it.

 

Personally I don't use it on my face as I find it's a bit too good at removing grease, and makes my skin dry. It's great in shower gels/shampoos though.

 

How have you concluded your acne is caused by an overabundance of fungus by the way? Fungal infections don't tend to behave like acne.



#3 bjarnecke

bjarnecke

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 31
    Likes: 2
About Me
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northwest Indiana
  • Joined: 09-June 12

Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:29 PM

You're definitely right, it is in so many shampoos...all of the ones in our house contain it. I've noticed it's also in quite a few of the commercial face washes. I really could care either way, I'm neither for it or against it because so far I haven't had any negative reactions to it. I kind of messed up because I started this topic before I did my research, where I found quite a bit of information about pyrithione zinc that says it is relatively safe as long as you "follow the label". I guess I more or less wanted first hand experience from users on here anyway.

 

As far as the dryness goes, it does make the area around my mouth and chin dry, but not near as much as salicylic acid or especially BP. I've never tried zinc soap, just what is found in the H&S. 

 

As for my story...around the time I was 14 or 15 I went to a dermatologist because I had acne. It was "regular" acne, not cystic or anything, about 5 or 6 pimples on my face at a time. That derm put me on antibiotics and all kinds of creams and gels, but nothing ever worked. At that time, the only OTC product I tried was Proactiv, and it didn't do anything either. I went through high school with a fairly normal face...normally colored with that same amount of pimples at any given time. During those four years it really didn't bother me at all. At the end of my freshman year of college, I started seeing a girl, and that's when I became very self-conscious. Like an idiot, I used everything. I started with the Clean and Clear astringent and went on a product binge from there. I never gave myself time to adjust or get used to things before switching to another product. During this time I also developed cystic acne, mostly on my forehead above my eyebrows. In the fall of 2011 I came across this site and decided to try Dan's regimen. That I actually stuck with for a good three months, but the BP was just too harsh on my skin. By that time my face was super red and oily with the same cystic acne. It is really amazing the difference in skin tone between my head/neck and rest of body. It's just so red. Anyway, after Dan's regimen, in January of 2012 I went back to a dermatologist (a different one than before). The first time I saw him I started with Clindamycin in the morning and Retin A at night. I did that for three months with no improvement. The next time I went back to see him, my hands and scalp were absolutely horrible, my hands were terribly scaly and dry and moisturizer would do nothing for them (they were also red). My scalp was also extremely scaly with lots of dandruff, which I still have to this day. And like I said in my OP, you can run your fingernail across my face and scalp and get a gritty buildup underneath your nail. This is where he said I have sebhorrheic dermatitis. He gave me a salicylic acid shampoo for the scalp, and steroid cream for the hands. The shampoo did nothing, and I wouldn't be surprised if it made the flaking worse since I know how it affects my face. I can look at my hands right now and see patches that look like they had fungal infections, but it looks like the H&S had cracked them and dried it up. 

 

I know that's a lot more than you probably wanted to hear, but I guess the conclusion is I definitely have an overabundance of fungus (as told by derm and research done myself), and possibly cystic acne that may or may not be related to it. It's hard to tell because much of what I read says that cystic acne is untreatable, and since nothing I have ever used before has helped, I can kind of agree with that. However, since this H&S shampoo has seemed to help it a little bit, that's why I'm thinking it may be more related to the fungus than actual cystic acne.



#4 Rorius

Rorius

    Member

  • Veteran Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 137
    Likes: 13
About Me
  • Joined: 22-January 13

Posted 18 February 2013 - 07:22 PM

I think it's so widely used as nothing really beats it for foamy-ness. All the cleansers I've used without it just don't foam up.

 

Has your derm not recommended Accutane if you still get cystic acne? It is pretty much the only thing that will work for more severe cases. It definitely isn't untreatable!

 

I think H&S contains a good amount of Zinc oxide (or some Zinc compound) as an active ingredient which is antiseptic & antifungal. If you find it definitely helps, you could try plastering Sudocrem on your skin at night which is like a thick cream, so you can just wear it as a mask & wash off in the morning. I'm just guessing there though, but since it's cheap, it might be worth a shot.

 

It seems like you have a few problems that only a derm can really help you with. If your current one isn't being much help, you can always find another who may have a second opinion.



#5 Kisha

Kisha

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 61
    Likes: 1
About Me
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:NJ
  • Joined: 06-August 06

Achievements

     

Posted 28 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I used to equate foam/suds= cleanliness. I started using products on my face (and hair) that did not contain it, and it felt like I was washing my face with lotion so it took some time to get used to it. But many of the products work well for me and they're not harsh on my skin and hair.

 

I've never heard H + S for your skin before, but if that's what's working for you, maybe you can ask your derm if it's okay for you to use as a facewash. Good luck!



#6 Katyla

Katyla

    New Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 1
About Me
  • Joined: 03-March 13

Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:21 PM

I'd stick with it. Millions of poeple have been washing their hair with sulfate shampoos for decades. Some believe it is carcinogenic. I respect those who don't want to use it because it contains 1,4-dioxane for example. I believe it's scaring people needlessly. Also, lots of sulfate-free shampoos actually contain sulfates disguised as something else or they have other harsh surfactants like L'Oreal's EverPure Sulfate-Free Shampoo. I jumped on the bandwagon and used it exclusively for 2 months. Never have I lost so much hair and never was it so dry after shampooing than after using it. I'm back using sulfate shampoos, barely lose any hair when I detangle and my hair feels clean afterwards.



#7 bjarnecke

bjarnecke

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • Posts & Likes
    Posts: 31
    Likes: 2
About Me
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Northwest Indiana
  • Joined: 09-June 12

Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:29 PM

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to my topic, I've been really busy with school and midterms and whatnot. But I'm on spring break and have a tiny bit of free time now.

 

 

I think it's so widely used as nothing really beats it for foamy-ness. All the cleansers I've used without it just don't foam up.

 

Has your derm not recommended Accutane if you still get cystic acne? It is pretty much the only thing that will work for more severe cases. It definitely isn't untreatable!

 

I think H&S contains a good amount of Zinc oxide (or some Zinc compound) as an active ingredient which is antiseptic & antifungal. If you find it definitely helps, you could try plastering Sudocrem on your skin at night which is like a thick cream, so you can just wear it as a mask & wash off in the morning. I'm just guessing there though, but since it's cheap, it might be worth a shot.

 

It seems like you have a few problems that only a derm can really help you with. If your current one isn't being much help, you can always find another who may have a second opinion.

 

I actually am going to my derm this Thursday, and I'm going to ask him about Accutane. I know that antibiotics won't help me at all. Not just because I don't want to build up a resistance, but I was on them a few years ago and they didn't help, and I've been on moderate courses of antibiotics more recently for chronic sinusitis and those never seem to help my acne. Plus, my skin is just so oily, I really think Accutane would help there. I'm just worried about how expensive it will be.

 

 

I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I used to equate foam/suds= cleanliness. I started using products on my face (and hair) that did not contain it, and it felt like I was washing my face with lotion so it took some time to get used to it. But many of the products work well for me and they're not harsh on my skin and hair.

 

I've never heard H + S for your skin before, but if that's what's working for you, maybe you can ask your derm if it's okay for you to use as a facewash. Good luck!

 

I understand what you and Rorius are saying about foaming/suds equaling cleanliness. I've used some cream cleansers, but afterwards my face doesn't feel nearly as clean as with foaming cleansers.

 

 

I'd stick with it. Millions of poeple have been washing their hair with sulfate shampoos for decades. Some believe it is carcinogenic. I respect those who don't want to use it because it contains 1,4-dioxane for example. I believe it's scaring people needlessly. Also, lots of sulfate-free shampoos actually contain sulfates disguised as something else or they have other harsh surfactants like L'Oreal's EverPure Sulfate-Free Shampoo. I jumped on the bandwagon and used it exclusively for 2 months. Never have I lost so much hair and never was it so dry after shampooing than after using it. I'm back using sulfate shampoos, barely lose any hair when I detangle and my hair feels clean afterwards.

 

The salicylic acid shampoo my derm gave me last year doesn't have any sulfates in it, and I must say that when I used it I noticed I lost a bit of hair. I'm slowly balding anyway, but that sped the process up while I was using it. At the time I figured it was just because it was salicylic acid and I know how much it tears my skin up, so I didn't really think about that, but you make a valid point.

 

 

Basically, I'm at the point of having no avenues left except for Accutane, because that's really the only thing I haven't tried. I guess I should mention that the mild success I had with H&S in the beginning of this post was a false alarm, my facial acne is just as bad as before, and I've stopped using H&S to wash.

I know there is no "one size fits all" acne treatment, but I have used so much (salicylic acid, BP, prescription creams, antibiotics, p. zinc, the OCM, caveman, water-only, fasting, changing diet, vitamins/supplements) and nothing seems to help. I know when I was younger and started using products, I generally wouldn't give them enough time to work. But now that I am older, I give everything a fair chance, and so far nothing helps. I've done so much research on Accutane and am more than ready to deal with the side effects. Plus I'm just tired of putting crap on my face, and I'm sure that it is probably making my situation worse.

If my derm doesn't prescribe Accutane, I really don't know what the next step will be for me. I'm happy with the rest of my body, but that isn't what people see when they look at you...

I am grateful at the same time, because I know my acne could always be worse. But no one wants it at all. So maybe the next time you see me post something on this site it will be the beginning of my Accutane journey!






2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users