Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate (SLES)
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Sodium Laureth Sulfate (sodium lauryl ether sulfate/SLeS) is an anionic surfactant made from coconuts. It should not be confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)—SLeS is much milder.
The product has a low cloud point combined with rich stable foam. Detergency, wetting and emulsifying properties are excellent.
|INCI||Sodium Laureth Sulfate|
|Appearance||Clear, viscous liquid or a smooth, thick paste—it is available at different concentrations and more concentrated versions are thicker.|
|Usage rate||Can be added to formulas as is. Recommended use level 3 - 30% depending on desired foaming and cleansing effects. Can be used at higher concentrations for bubble baths.|
|Applications||Shampoos, body wash, bubble bath and household cleaning products|
|pH||7.5 (10% solution)|
|Why do we use it in formulations?||Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLeS) is an excellent lathering surfactant and is a great choice for a primary surfactant in any kind of foaming/cleansing product. It is also a fairly decent solubilizer.|
|Refined or unrefined?||Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLeS) only exists as a refined product.|
|Strengths||Fantastic lather, great cleansing|
|Weaknesses||It is still a sulfate, which some people prefer to avoid due to possible irritation or colour-treated hair. It also tends to get confused with SLS, which isn’t really a weakness of the product itself.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||There is quite a lot of misinformation about the safety of SLeS. I recommend giving this a read. Neither SLS or SLeS are carcinogens.|
|Note||This can be thickened using salt (Sodium Chloride) and works over a range of pH from 5-10.|