Should You Be Scared of Sulfates?
There have been many internet-fueled charges against sulfates, and some natural product lines (including T’zikal) are formulated to be mostly sulfate-free. But what are they, and what danger do they actually pose?
Simply put, ‘sulfates’ is a blanket term for a chemical compound used in many hair and skin products as a surfactant. It or they create that rich lather we all love in a shampoo or a body wash. In 1930, Proctor and Gamble created the first bottle of shampoo to use sulfates as a formula base. Why? Aside from that satisfying lather, sulfates help attract dirt and oil away from your hair or skin and allow them to be rinsed away with water.
Sounds great, right? The flip side of that coin is that sulfates often are too effective, stripping your skin or hair of the natural protective oils it needs to remain healthy.
There has been no clinical evidence that sulfates cause cancer (a common misconception). However, since sulfates emulsify grease and draw oil out, they can often leave skin irritated, hair brittle and scalps dry. It can also fade artificial hair color, making them the enemy of a great dye job. This is why at T’zikal all of our products are sulfate-free, with the exception of our Deep Hydrating Shampoo (SLE/SLS Free).
But! All sulfates are not created equal. ‘Bad’ sulfates are created with petroleum, making them not only yucky for your bod but also unsustainable for the planet. The ‘good’ sulfates are made with fatty alcohols found in coconut oil – a renewable resource, biodegradable and much more yummy for your hair and skin. And for the record, our Deep Hydrating Shampoo contains only ‘good’ sulfates – so you can rest easy.
In general, it’s best to test products on your hair and skin before incorporating them into a routine. Be conscious and aware of any irritation or changes that may occur. And, when possible, do choose beauty products that are made with all-natural ingredients, like T’zikal. As a rule, they will be milder and gentler on hair and skin.
T’zikal makes remarkable products for hair and skin by harnessing the transformative oil of the Ojon Palm Nut and incorporating innovative European skincare science.