TOXIC TUESDAY INGREDIENT FOCUS:  SLS (Sodium Laurel / Laureth Sulfate)

WHAT IS IT?  Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate is used as a surfactant (to break down surface tension in water) and is found in many soaps and detergents – as well as in shampoo, hand cream, cleansers, mouthwash and toothpaste.

HEALTH RISK: SLS is known to cause skin inflammation and may mimic estrogens, cause hair loss and damage teeth. It is a mutagen and while not a direct carcinogen, it can cause epidermal changes that could lead to cancer. One of the worst sources of absorption is from toothpaste and mouthwash, via the mucus membranes in the mouth. SLS can be stored in the liver, heart, lungs and brain. It can also damage the eyes, particularly in children.

ALTERNATIVES TO TRY: We really like  The Natural Dentist Healthy Teeth & Gums Original Toothpaste or Tom’s of Maine Clean & Gentle for an SLS-free toothpaste.

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