View Full Version : Sulfates?

March 30th, 2016, 08:21 PM
Hey all, I've been doing some searching, but I can't seem to find much on these particular ingredients in my shampoo:

Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

Are they sulfates? I'm not sure. The bottle says sulfate-free but they look awfully close to it. :confused: (Not to mention they are within the first six ingredients)

I don't know a whole lot about ingredients, so I apologize if this is something simple.

March 30th, 2016, 09:11 PM
Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate, Disodium 2-Sulfolaurate, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate are lumped in with sulfates but they are really not the same beast. The sulfates are Sodium lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Ether Sulfate. That said, some people will say that the sulfolaurates, sulfonoates, and sulfoacetates are just as bad but the research behind this is... Not so scientific. At the correct usage rates, all of the above are perfectly good surfactants.

I want to point out that these surfactants are not made in the same manner as sulfates and the leading cause of irritate with sulfates is the sulfate residue left behind as the sulfate surfactant is sulfated. The other sulfate cousins do not go through this process so do not share the same level of risk for irritation. Also the sulfate particle size is small enough to pass through the skin, this is not the case for these other surfactants.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate is not a sulfate and is really not related to these other surfactants and any profound way. It is my personal favourite surfactant, and one of the best for oily hair. None of these surfactants on their own are good on their own because they are meant to be used at certain usage rate to reduce irritation risks. Any single surfactant is irritating on its own but combined with others you get a safe product.

March 30th, 2016, 10:04 PM
Thank you so much! What I was finding was very confusing. :flower:

March 30th, 2016, 11:43 PM
Thank you so much! What I was finding was very confusing. :flower:

No problem! It is confusing because sulfonate, sulfoacetate, they sound like they would BE sulfates but they are a different beast. When choosing a shampoo, just make sure there are at least three surfactants, that way you can know, fairly reliably, that the formula is balanced and the surfactants are well below irritant levels. :D