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You probably aren’t. Let me explain …

After mentioning in prior posts that I developed an allergy to sulfates, I’ve received a few requests from readers to discuss/review sulfate free shampoos and conditioners. Many people are allergic to sodium lauryl sulfate, but because it is in so many products sold in the U.S., including soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and laundry detergent, it can be hard to figure out what is causing your skin issues. This type of ingredient can even be found in toothpaste and face/body creams.  

The thought “How can I be allergic to everything!” comes to mind when you try one product, react, try another, react, and so forth. But since sodium lauryl sulfate is in such a wide variety of products, and in varying amounts, narrowing down the culprit that causes your issues can be frustrating.

First, though, it is important to remember that sodium lauryl sulfate has been approved by the FDA and is added to many different cosmetic products and foods, including fruit juice, marshmallows, and gelatin. (See https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm091048.htm for more information.) Sodium lauryl sulfate is often sprayed on citrus fruits after harvest. It is generally listed simply as “preservatives” on food labels (along with many other types of ingredients/additives) and can be hard to track down without additional research on the part of the consumer.

On a side note: If you have allergies, I suggest immersing yourself in the FDA website. Learn about the chemicals and ingredients that are added to food, water, and the products we use on our bodies. Learn not only what is included, but why it is in the mix. There are important reasons for certain chemicals/ingredients to be added to products. Others are included for the “convenience factor” or to improve “shelf life”. Do the research and decide for yourself what you want to consume or apply to your body.

When I developed a reaction to certain products, I went to an allergist for testing. If you have any questions about sodium lauryl sulfate, or any ingredient, ask your doctor. He/she will have the best advice for determining if you have an allergy. After learning about my allergy, switching products made a tremendous difference in my life and my health.

My New Favorite So Far? Carol’s Daughter

The brand I have been currently using is Carol’s Daughter. I really love this company’s products because they are all sulfate free and yet the shampoo lathers up nicely. Lather can be an issue with soap-like products that do not contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Their products demonstrate the fact that a shampoo does not need sulfates in order to provide a good cleansing lather. I absolutely love the pump design as well.

I bought leave-in conditioner to go along with the shampoo so that the scent of the black vanilla would match. I have natural curls and the leave in conditioner spray really helps to detangle my hair. The scent is light and smells like a vanilla extract rather than a vanilla perfume. It is a refreshing change from the floral scent that most hair products use.

Will I repurchase? Absolutely!

Do you have any recommendations for a good, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner? Or any other type of products? Let us know in the comments below. I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. I am not giving medical advice. This post is not sponsored. I purchased all of the products reviewed.

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