5 Reasons there are sulfate free formulas


Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA

A growing trend in the cosmetic industry is the emergence of sulfate-free cleansers. For some reason, consumers seem to have been convinced sulfates are bad and sulfate-free products are good. This does raise some obvious questions. What are sulfates, why are they in cleansing products, and why are companies now offering sulfate free alternatives?


It all comes down to marketing…mostly.


What are sulfates?
When the market mentions sulfates what is really being referred to are some of the most common detergents used in cleansing products including Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and to a lesser extent Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These ingredients have been used in cleansers like shampoos, body washes, and hand cleansers since at least the 1940’s. They have been proven to be effective cleansers, high foamers, and inexpensive. They can be plant derived and are readily biodegradable.


For the most part, except for a problem of irritation, they have been the nearly perfect surfactant.


Interest in sulfate-free
When I first started out ...