A lot of ingredients are being demonised at the moment – sulphates or SLS (commonly found in shampoo) being one of them. While at MONPURE we don’t believe sulphates are ‘bad’ per se, we have consciously chosen to leave them out of our formulas – particularly our Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo – so we thought we’d explain further as to why.
What are sulphates?
Sulphates are a type of detergent often used in cleansing products such as face wash, toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo. They get their name because they are derived from sulphur, (which is usually synthesised from petrolatum) and lauryl alcohol (one of the ‘good’ alcohols we spoke about earlier). The combination of the two results in hundreds of different sulphates, the most common ones include sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate and ammonium lauryl sulphate (SLS, SLES and ALS).
What do they do?
Sulphates are the reason you often get a rich lather when the product is mixed with water. What this lather does is break up and sweep away excess oil and product build-up, making them very effective cleansers.
This is where the issue with sulphates comes up for debate. While most research scientists have concluded that sulphates are totally safe to use in beauty products, and effective at ‘deep cleansing’, there is evidence to suggest that they clean a little ‘too well’. What does that mean? Basically while they take away excess grease and dirt from your scalp and skin, they can also strip it of its natural oils. Because they are thought to be quite drying, they have been linked to skin and scalp irritation (especially if you have sensitivity), as well as causing curly or textured hair to become frizzy, dry and brittle.
Are sulphates bad for the environment?
Because sulphates are derived from non-renewable petrolatum – a petrochemical derived from crude oil, they are not the most sustainable option – fossil fuels like crude oil are running out after all. Plus petrolatum runs the risk of being contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are possible human carcinogens found in crude oil and its by-products.
We think that there are much less-harsh and more sustainable alternatives to sulphates out there, which is why our products are completely sulphate-free.
Our Strengthening Silk Protein Shampoo for instance, instead contains coconut-derived cleansing agents that are of 100% natural origin, together with hydrating aloe vera and strengthening vegan silk peptides to ensure the scalp and hair are effectively cleansed without being left dry and parched (and vulnerable to damage/irritation) in the process.
And if your hair and scalp need some serious detoxing, we suggest first applying our Clarifying Scalp Scrub pre-shampooing, to manually sweep away any dirt and debris with biodegradable jojoba beads and nourishing shea butter.Click here to learn more about the fantastic ingredients we use.