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What are SLS/SLES free Soap Bases?

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

What are SLS & SLES?

SLS& SLES free

SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl sulfate, this chemical, but is also called other names (sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium monolauryl sulfate etc.) SLS is a chemical surfactant. It is made of a hydrocarbon chain, attached to an acid (sulfuric) bonded to an alkali (Sodium Hydroxide).

SLS was originally developed as a synthetic detergent to be used in washing powder as it has very good degreasing qualities.


SLES is Sodium Laureth Sulfate, a chemical very similar in make up to SLS. SLES is slightly gentler on skin than SLS, but still essentially is very similar to SLS in its cleansing and degreasing properties.

foaming soap


Both SLS and SLES are foaming agents, which means they produce a lot of foam or bubbles. Both are used in bathroom products designed to produce lots of foam, including shaving foam and bubble bath.




What is SLS & SLES free?

SLS & SLES free means that the product doesn’t contain SLS or SLES, but it can still contain a number of other sulfates or other chemicals which are nearly identical in their properties.

There are such a large amount of these chemical surfactants, which are being constantly developed by large chemical companies as alternatives to SLS, which is the poster chemical of dry skin.


Why SLS & SLES are bad for your skin?

dry hands, dry skin

SLS & SLES break down most fats and grease due to their surfactant qualities. That includes the natural grease that your skin produces called sebum.

SLS & SLES are bad for skin because they strip the skin of its natural grease, which fills the gaps between skin cells. This allows water to escape, causing dry skin and eczema.

When you wash or apply products with these surfactants, you allow the natural grease which ties the skin cells together to be washed away, which leaves gaps between skin cells, allowing water to escape.



Why SLS & SLES free soap is better for your skin?

SLS & SLES free soap otherwise known as natural soap is great for the skin because it contains glycerin which is naturally produced in the soap making process.

ultra clear soap base, soap base, vegetable glycerin

Glycerin is one of the key ingredients when keeping skin moisturized and soft. This is because it is a humectant, which basically means it draws moisture towards it.


Natural soap with glycerin in is truly the best for your skin, it keeps it moisturized and is also a lot gentler than soap made with SLS or SLES. It’s also a lot better than any liquid soaps, as they are largely made up of these harsh chemicals.

By replacing your normal sls soap with a natural soap, your skin will feel much softer than it will be losing less moisture. It may even save you some money as you probably won’t need to use moisturizer anymore or drastically less than you used before switching.


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