Dangers of Sulfates in Skincare and Beauty Products

The Dangers of Sulfates in Skincare and Beauty Products


These days, finding clean beauty products that won’t hurt your health or the environment, and that actually work can feel like quite the challenge. From parabens to fragrances, keeping up with what is toxic and what is cool to put on your skin is no easy feat. But luckily babe, you have us. You already know that we live for organic, good-for-you products, and we love giving you the lowdown on ingredients you should avoid at all costs. In this one, we’re going to fill you in on the dangers of sulfates in skincare and beauty products and how you can replace these nasties with clean ingredients that will make your skin (and heart) happy.

Image of a woman using beauty by earth's foaming face wash

What are sulfates, anyway?

Often referred to as the most commonly used detergents in the beauty industry, sulfates are a class of chemicals that are quite literally everywhere. And that, especially when it comes to personal care products.

Unfortunately, that includes most of your go-to skincare and beauty products too, babe. You can credit the excessive foaming action in products like shampoo, body wash, and even toothpaste, to sulfates. And although they produce that intense lathering sensation that can help us feel *extra* clean, the truth is that there are many downsides to reaching for that sulfate-filled body wash of yours.

If you’re now running to your bathroom to check out ingredient labels, you’ll want to look for these two culprits on the back of your products: sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Found them? It’s cool, don’t stress, sis. Here is why you’ll want to break up with them, as well as how you can curate a sulfate-free beauty routine, in a cinch.

Why you should avoid sulfates in your fave skincare and beauty products.

Woman blending foaming face wash on her face

We get it. Lathering up in the shower can be seriously relaxing. Not to mention, can help you get that so fresh and so clean feeling when you hop out. However, the reality is that there are several negative downsides to using skincare and beauty products that have sulfates high up on their ingredient lists. Let’s break down a few.

  1. You can seriously irritate your skin, eyes, and even your lungs. The most common negative side effect of using sulfates is that they can produce intense itchiness, irritation, and redness in the skin and scalp. They will often dry out your skin and can even cause more acne breakouts for some people. Some babes don’t experience these side effects right away, but sulfates can certainly have long-term repercussions such as significant erythema and dryness. Not so cute, right?
  2. Every time sulfates go down your drain, they are hurting aquatic wildlife. It’s simple. Sulfates aren’t only undesirable in skincare and beauty products. They are also highly toxic for our little cute friends under the sea. This goes for household cleaning products, as well as beauty products that intensely lather up and then get washed down the drain. Suffice it to say, you’re not only putting your own health at risk when you use these nasties in your daily routines.
  3. Most products that contain sulfates are tested on animals (so not cool). Since sulfates can be highly irritating for the skin, companies who use them in their products often have little choice but to test on animals. Totally cruel, we know. And in short, we just can’t get behind that, babe.

What you can do to ditch sulfates, pronto.

If you’re furiously throwing out all of your bathroom items as we speak, we have some good news. All is not lost babe, and revamping your skincare and beauty collection to include products free of sulfates is *way* easy. For real.

You can start with basic everyday items that you always reach for. After that, work your way up to a sulfate-free life in no time, girlfriend. I mean, we’re sure that you’re ready to after reading this blog post on the dangers of sulfates in skincare and beauty products, right?

A woman rubbing in beauty by earth's body wash

Here are a few products we recommend switching up, right now.

Your body wash

If you’re not using this product every day, well – that’s a whole other article, babe. In all seriousness though, one of the easiest switches you can make in your current skincare routine is to opt for a sulfate-free body wash. One that is packed with nourishing natural essential oils and good for you ingredients. And, that will get you feeling just as fresh as that excessive foaming one does.

Beauty by earth's peppermint tea tree body wash

BBE’s lineup of body washes is just what you need and the scents are *to die* for. What’s more, these bad boys leave your skin hydrated and never irritated. From lavender citrus to refreshing peppermint tea tree, you’re sure to find a luscious scent that will have you feeling squeaky clean, and refreshed.

Your face wash

Another staple in every beauty junkie’s product collection is face wash. Unfortunately, though, this is another item where nasty sulfates love to hide. Not only can sulfates dry out your skin and cause breakouts, but they can also lead to more serious skin conditions such as dermatitis. This is especially worrisome for babes who already have sensitive skin, but should of course be avoided by everyone.

Woman pumping beauty by earth's foaming facial wash into her hand

Consider switching out your usual face wash for one of BBE’s healthy and natural options. If you love the lather that typical face wash creates, we’ve got you covered. Our foaming face wash will have your pores feeling as clean and fresh as can be. And all of that, without the guilt of pouring toxic chemicals down your bathroom sink. Oh and, it will never dry out that cute face of yours. We promise.

Your shampoo

When it comes to generating a crazy amount of suds, shampoo is the queen of all sulfate-filled products. And while you might love how clean these products can make your scalp feel, the truth is that they can strip away the natural oils and moisture that your hair needs to be healthy.

Luckily, many clean beauty companies are getting behind the sulfate-free movement, babe. Therefore, finding a new shampoo you’ll still love can be seriously easy. Whether you’re looking for salon-quality options or something more affordable, there are a ton of sulfate-free hair products out there. Do some experimenting! And in no time, you’ll be washing those locks with your new favorite hair care products that are (duh) sulfate-free.

Your bath bombs

We hate to break it to you, babe. But while you’ve been relaxing and getting your zen on in the tub courtesy of a bath bomb or two, you’ve also likely been using a product that is loaded with nasty sulfates. Unless that is, you’re a BBE babe and only use these gems here for your wind-down routine. Not only do these guys turn your bathroom into a total oasis. They are also free of any nasty or harsh ingredients that do you and the planet no favors. So the next time you want to indulge in some at-home spa time, click add to cart on the bath bombs that are guilt-free, honey.

Beauty by earth bath bombs

And if you want to go the extra mile, ditch sulfates in your household products too.

Babe, the dangers of sulfates don’t only exist in skincare and beauty products. From your dish soap to your laundry detergent, these guys also hide out in other places. Luckily, you can nix sulfates from all of your go-to products if you really want to!

As you likely already know, natural household products are definitely a thing. On top of that, they can be just as effective as those other toxic guys out there. We especially love Molly’s Suds, for safe cleaning products that get the job done sans environmental harm. Their line of clean laundry detergents is just what you need to make the shift to being a sulfate-free babe in every way. Plus, it will totally help get all that sweaty gym gear clean. You know, after you’re done riding away on your new Peloton. Wait, did we mention we’re giving away a free Peloton bike? Yeah, you might want to hit pause on this article and click here. Don’t worry, we’ll still be here when you get back.

A woman using a peloton in her living room

There you have it, gorgeous.

You now know all about the dangers of sulfates in skincare and beauty products. And of course, how you can ditch them once and for all. Not only are these nasties not so kind to your skin, babe. They are also detrimental to the environment every time they go down a drain. And let’s be real, with the number of clean options out there – who needs them anyway?

Clean beauty & dirty martinis,

Carey <3

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