Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

What kind of chemical is "sodium laureth sulfate?"

Heymatt:

What kind of chemical is "sodium laureth sulfate"? It seems to be the main ingredient in almost every shampoo or body wash.

-- Joe E. Simpson, the net

What kind? The cheap, popular, widely used kind, Joe. So popular, in fact, that it has its own urban legend that was all the rage with people who love forwarding those scary e-mail messages, like about how Panama hats cause brain damage. Sodium laureth sulfate and its macho sibling, sodium lauryl sulfate, create bubbles, cut grease, and provide a thick, rich (read "expensive") feel to a product. They began life as coconut oil, but that was many, many chemical processes ago. Urban legendheads declared them carcinogens for reasons too boring to go into here. Sodium lauryl sulfate, in high concentrations and left on the skin for long periods, will cause irritation. Sodium laureth sulfate is much milder. Both are used in low concentrations in toothpastes and bath products and are highly soluble, so they rinse away easily. Even the American Cancer Society says they're not carcinogens. So that's what they are and what they're not.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

No delay for deletion of parking on 30th Street

City cycling manager swears the mayor’s order doesn’t make it official
Next Article

No delay for deletion of parking on 30th Street

City cycling manager swears the mayor’s order doesn’t make it official

Heymatt:

What kind of chemical is "sodium laureth sulfate"? It seems to be the main ingredient in almost every shampoo or body wash.

-- Joe E. Simpson, the net

What kind? The cheap, popular, widely used kind, Joe. So popular, in fact, that it has its own urban legend that was all the rage with people who love forwarding those scary e-mail messages, like about how Panama hats cause brain damage. Sodium laureth sulfate and its macho sibling, sodium lauryl sulfate, create bubbles, cut grease, and provide a thick, rich (read "expensive") feel to a product. They began life as coconut oil, but that was many, many chemical processes ago. Urban legendheads declared them carcinogens for reasons too boring to go into here. Sodium lauryl sulfate, in high concentrations and left on the skin for long periods, will cause irritation. Sodium laureth sulfate is much milder. Both are used in low concentrations in toothpastes and bath products and are highly soluble, so they rinse away easily. Even the American Cancer Society says they're not carcinogens. So that's what they are and what they're not.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Santa Ana winds bring San Diego's driest days; where to cool off; best view of Mars till 2033

Natural San Diego, September 28-October 4
Next Article

Interview fashionista finds comfort in Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M

Claire still believes in wearing pants while working remotely
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close