Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 5 years, you have probably heard of the terrible, terrible ingredient in your daily essentials called SLS. There has been a deluge of hundreds (thousands?) of new brands selling everything from shampoo to face washes claiming that their products are free from SLS. Understandably, this might have left you with more questions than answers. Questions like - so what exactly is SLS? Why is it harmful? What other products contain SLS? In this blog, we will try and answer these questions in a short, easy-to-understand manner. So grab a snack and read along!
What is SLS?
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a widely used chemical ingredient in personal care products such as shampoos and soaps. It is a surfactant, which means that it helps to reduce the surface tension of liquids and allows them to mix more easily. This is why it is often used as a foaming agent. While SLS was originally developed for use in laundry products, it has over time found its way into many other daily essentials including commercial, big-brand toothpaste.
Should I Be Concerned About SLS?
SLS has been criticised for its potential negative effects. One of the primary concerns with SLS is that it can cause skin irritation and dryness. This is because it can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and tight. SLS can also cause itching, redness, and even blistering in some people. This is especially true for those with sensitive skin, as their skin barrier is already compromised and may not be able to withstand the harsh effects of SLS.
Because your toothpaste interacts directly with your oral lining, these effects of SLS can be more pronounced. The oral lining can be very sensitive and is some of the most absorptive tissue in the body. SLS-based toothpaste can, therefore, result in conditions such as tissue sloughing, canker sores, dry mouth, and bad breath.
Some studies have also suggested that SLS may be a potential carcinogen, although more research is needed to confirm this. Other studies have linked SLS to organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption.
What Are the Benefits of a SLS-free Toothpaste?
In light of the above concerns, many personal care companies have started to remove SLS from their products. Indeed in the last few years, you might have been targeted by an Instagram or Youtube ad about skin or hair care products that claim to be free from SLS. However, oral care brands have been slow to adapt. Conventional toothpastes still contain SLS along with a slew of other harsh chemicals.
We at Daybreak are driven by the idea of putting consumer wellness back at the centre of all things oral care. You can check out our thoughtfully formulated Brighten Toothpaste here. We encourage consumers to take steps to avoid SLS by reading the labels on personal care (and especially oral care) products. The benefits one can expect from switching to a SLS-free alternative include:
Reduced risk of tooth sensitivity: One of the main benefits of using an SLS-free toothpaste is that it can help to reduce the risk of tooth sensitivity. SLS is known to be an irritant and can cause inflammation in the mouth, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. This is especially true for those who already have sensitive teeth or gums. By using an SLS-free toothpaste, individuals can help to reduce the risk of further tooth sensitivity and protect their oral health.
Reduced risk of dry mouth and bad breath: Another benefit of using an SLS-free toothpaste is that it can help to prevent dry mouth. SLS is a known drying agent and can reduce the production of saliva in the mouth, leading to dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to a number of oral health problems, such as bad breath, an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. By using an SLS-free toothpaste, individuals can help to keep their mouths moist and healthy.
Reduced risk of canker sores: Canker sores or mouth ulcers are sores inside the mouth. They often occur in the inner linings of the cheeks or at the base of the gums. SLS in oral hygiene products can make these sores worse. SLS-free toothpaste is known to reduce the risk of recurring ulcers. Additionally, SLS-free toothpaste can also be beneficial for people with sensitive skin. SLS can cause skin irritation, dryness, and inflammation, which can worsen eczema symptoms. By using an SLS-free toothpaste, individuals with eczema can help to reduce the risk of further skin irritation and protect their skin health.
Environmentally friendly: Another benefit of using an SLS-free toothpaste is that it can be better for the environment. SLS is a known environmental pollutant and can harm aquatic life when it enters the water supply. By using an SLS-free toothpaste, individuals can help to reduce the amount of SLS that enters the environment and protect the health of aquatic life.
Finally, using an SLS-free toothpaste can also be beneficial for people who are concerned about the long-term effects of SLS on their health. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential risks associated with SLS, some studies have suggested that it may be a potential carcinogen, and linked to organ toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption. By using an SLS-free toothpaste, individuals can help to reduce their exposure to SLS and protect their overall health.
Best SLS Free Toothpaste To Use
SLS-free toothpastes are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people become aware of the potential negative effects of SLS on their oral health. Several leading global toothpaste brands such as Hello, Lumineux, David’s and many others have eliminated SLS from their formulations.
In India, Daybreak Brighten Toothpaste is one of the best SLS-free toothpastes made by blending nature and science. It contains no toxins, no harsh chemicals, no fluoride and certainly no SLS. Daybreak Brighten Toothpaste is a unique toothpaste made with HAp for repairing your enamel and natural extracts of papaya and pineapple plants that gently remove stains from your teeth. Use it twice daily to keep cavities and yellowing at bay.
Ingredients in the Daybreak SLS Free Toothpaste
Daybreak Brighten Toothpaste has a unique blend of potent natural and science-based ingredients like:
- Papaya Extracts – Papain, an enzyme found in papaya is a mild teeth-whitening agent.
- Pineapple Extracts – Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple helps to remove plaque and teeth stains to give you whiter teeth.
- Hydroxyapatite - HA is a naturally occurring calcium phosphate that plays an important role in strengthening the human bone and tooth enamel.
- Calcium Carbonate – It effectively neutralizes plaque acids.
- Xylitol – It is a plant-based sugar substitute that helps to increase salivary flow and fights against bad bacteria.
Daybreak's oral wellness products are vegan, 100% biocompatible, and free of parabens or any other harmful chemicals. Daybreak Brighten Toothpaste and mouthwash can keep your oral health optimum because they are free of SLS, alcohol and fluoride.
Oral care essentials with safe ingredients are better for your oral wellness and overall health. Now that you know what SLS is, we hope you are better-equipped to make the right choice the next time you’re buying toothpaste.