should you avoid tea-lauryl sulfate

Should you avoid TEA-Lauryl Sulfate?

It’s one of the most effective surfactants out there. Translation: it removes even the most stubborn of dirt and grime.

But, it comes at a cost: it can dry out your skin (and scalp). So should you use it or ditch it with something gentler? Let’s find out:

What Is TEA-Lauryl Sulfate?

TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, the triethanolamine salt of Lauryl Sulfate, is a viscous and yellow liquid. It can derived from plants or made synthetically in a lab.

You can find it in all kinds of cleansing products, like shampoos, body washes, face cleansers, and even shaving creams.

Want to know what ingredients you really need to avoid in your skincare products? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheatsheet:

What Does TEA-Lauryl Sulfate Do In Skincare And Haircare Products?

TEA-Lauryl Sulfate is a cleansing agent.

If you’ve ever tried to wash a greasy pan with water alone, you know it doesn’t work. You scrub, scrub, scrub, but the grease stubbornly sticks to the pan. It just won’t budge.

That’s cos oil and water don’t mix. They’re incompatible. You need a third party to help them get along and collaborate. That’s where TEA-Lauryl Sulfate comes in.

This surfactant helps water mix with oil and dirt, so they can easily be rinsed away. No harsh scrubbing. No pain. Just clean skin (and hair).

Does TEA-Lauryl Sulfate Has Any Side Effects?

Here’s the deal: all surfactants have the potential to be drying. If you have to remove dirt and grime, you can’t be too gentle or you won’t do the job.

But some surfactants are harsher than others. TEA-Lauryl Sulfate is one of the harshest and potentially drying especially when it’s the primary cleansing agent in a product.

That’s why TEA-Lauryl Sulfate isn’t that common these days. We have alternatives, and most brands use them. Phew!

If you come across a cleanser with this surfactant, make sure it’s not the only surfactant there. Also, the farther down the ingredient list it is, the better.

Even then, if you have dry or sensitive skin, it may be best to avoid TEA-Lauryl Sulfate completely.

P.S. Don’t get this stuff in your eyes. It’s irritating!

Where Can You Find TEA-Lauryl Sulfate?

  • A’Pieu Nonco Tea Tree Cleansing Foam (£9.90): Available at Yes Style
  • Purito Snail All In One BB Cleanser (£16.93): Available at Yes Style

The Bottom Line

TEA-Lauryl Sulfate is an effective, but harsh surfactant that can cleanse skin and hair, removing all traces of dirt and oil. But it can be drying and irritating. Use it carefully!

What’s your take on TEA-Lauryl Sulfate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.