You know those soft, foamy bubbles you see on commercials for face wash? Turns out the ingredient responsible for that lather—sulfate—could be harming your skin, the ecosystem and animals. At Om, we believe in using only ingredients that are good for us and the earth. What should you know about sulfates and why Om has committed to making only sulfate-free skincare products?
WHAT ARE SULFATES?
We’ve been led to believe, If it lathers, it’s working. And so we associate good cleansing action with a sudsy lather when we’re washing our face at night. Lather can be a sign of cleaning power, but often that lather also means some of your natural oils are being stripped away.
What makes that lather come to life and why is it a chemical of concern that Om has vowed not to use?
Sulfate, also known as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS or SLES) is a surfactant or surface-active agent. It mixes with water to produce that coveted lather effect we’ve come to believe is best for fighting dirt and oil.
WHY ARE SULFATES BAD FOR YOU?
Most sulfates are petroleum-based, though they can be derived from palm oil or coconut oil. Here are some of the ways sulfate has the potential to harm people, animals and the environment.
What does sulfate do to your hair? Sulfates can strip away your hair’s natural oils, causing dryness. Your body responds by over-producing oil, and when the hair looks greasy, you shampoo more, creating a cycle that interrupts your body’s natural way of nourishing the hair and scalp. It can also leave your hair more susceptible to damage.
Once you use natural shampoos and get out of shampooing all the time, your body will begin to regulate its natural oil production again.
TRY: COCONUT + PRACAXI DEEP CONDITIONING HAIR MASK
A deep conditioning treatment that adds shine and softness. A nourishing blend of coconut, pracaxi oil and tucuma butter work together to moisturize and detangle hair.
Even though they may soon be rinsed away as you wash your face, sulfates do not promote skin health. In acting like a detergent that breaks down proteins, sulfates can have a degenerative effect on your cellular membranes.
TRY: WHITE WILLOW PURIFYING CLEANSING GEL
Experience radiance with our silky, sudsy, energizing cleanser that won’t strip your skin’s natural oils. White willow bark, sandalwood water and honeysuckle gently exfoliate while soothing skin.
Sulfates can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, mouth and lungs. With all that stripping away of natural oils, sulfates can be especially irritating and a source of itchiness for those who are prone to eczema and psoriasis.
Animals & the environment
What makes sulfates bad for animals? Once in the water stream, sulfates can be harmful to aquatic animals. Many sulfates in skincare and body care are tested on animals. At Om, we’re fighting back against animal cruelty by working with the Beagle Freedom Project.
When it’s derived from palm oil, sulfates can also be a cause of destruction in rainforests.
WE COMMIT TO SULFATE-FREE SKINCARE
At Om, we are committed to using natural surfactants derived from coconut oil—coco glucoside and decyl glucoside—proven to be only beneficial. All of Om’s skincare is sulfate free.
How can you tell if a product is safe and sulfate free?
Read the label closely for terms like: sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS/SLES.
OM IS A LINE OF PURE, PLANT-BASED, TOTALLY CLEAN SKIN AND BODY CARE DESIGNED TO HELP YOU FEEL MORE CONFIDENT, NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL AND BODY-POSITIVE. SHOP OM PRODUCTS.