What are SLS Surfactant and its Uses

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What are SLS Surfactant and its Uses

Last Updated on March 11, 2023 by

SLS Surfactants are used in a number of ways in consumer products that most people don’t know. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is often used in cleaning products, emulsifiers and foaming agents. It’s also often used in body hygiene products such as shampoos, body soaps and toothpaste. 

Properties of SLS

SLS can be easily identified by its white crystalline powder that is soluble in water. Its chemical structure consists of a hydrophobic tail (a non-polar hydrocarbon chain) and a hydrophilic head (a polar sulfate group). The unique structure of SLS allows it to dissolve in both water and oil which makes it an effective surfactant and cleaning agent. 

How we Use SLS

Most of us don’t pay much attention to the ingredients of the products we use daily but if ever SLS becomes a rarity, you would quickly notice it. SLS is used in a variety of personal care and household cleaning products. YOu can find it in shampoos, toothpaste and soaps. If a product is meant for removing oils and dirt from skin and hair, you will most likely find SLS as one of its ingredients. SLS is particularly useful in dishwashing liquids and detergents that are regularly used to remove oil and grease from surfaces. 

SLS is also used often in heavy industries where an emulsifying agent is needed. The food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries all use SLS regularly on an industrial scale. Both the automotive and metalworks industry uses SLS exclusively as a degreaser. 

Safety Concerns about the Use of SLS

There are some alternatives to the use of SLS which are less irritating to sensitive skin. People have used natural alternatives like castile soap or coconut oil as an organic replacement for SLS. Castile being a vegetable based is gentle on the skin and has natural ingredients like olive oil. Coconut oil has recently become a popular alternative as well and is often used as a gentle moisturiser and cleanser for skin and hair. 

If you have concerns about the use of SLS, they are probably unfounded because unless you have sensitive skin, you are probably not allergic to SLS. That’s because SLS has been in use in personal care products for decades without any significant reports of risk to human health. However, it’s nevertheless important to check the ingredients if you have an allergic reaction for the safety of you and your family. Common reactions include itchy red skin or eye irritation. 

KLK OLEO produces a wide range of chemicals for a wide range of industrial applications. SLS surfactants are just one of the many basic oleochemical products produced by us. We supply a wide range of industries that include home and healthcare, cosmetics, and food industries. 

Apart from this, if you are interested to know more about Best Natural Soaps then visit our lifestyle category