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Does it seem to you that almost every other day, the news headlines discover a "new" chemical that’s been shown to be harmful to our health? And then the article goes on to list that the chemical is in products we use every day.

Over the years, many companies have added promising ingredients to their products. The companies are excited that these ingredients may increase usability or decrease costs. But many companies don't really pay too much attention to what these ingredients actually do to people. 

In the time since many of these chemicals were discovered, we’ve found out a lot more about what they are, and what they can do. However, in most cases, the ingredients are still out there in most of the products you use.

If you're at all like me, you're sick and tired of wondering if you're secretly poisoning your family. My solution was to create my own skincare products and grow most of my own food. I know that not everyone can do that which is why we work really hard at Goat Milk Stuff to make products that you can trust.

Let's talk about two ingredients that are never used at Goat Milk Stuff - SLS and SLES. I want to share more about what they are and why you should try to avoid them.

Purity Goat Milk Soap
Purity Goat Milk Soap Ingredients: Raw goat milk; Saponified natural fats, coconut oil, sunflower oil

What are SLS and SLES? 

You may have never heard of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) or SLES (sodium laureth sulfate). But that doesn’t mean you haven’t encountered them. In fact, if you use most commercial soaps and toothpastes, you will have come into contact with these substances many times.

Both of these chemicals are made by mixing lauryl alcohol with sulphuric acid and adding sodium carbonate. That sounds like something you'd like to slather all over your body and inside your month, right? (Sorry for the sarcasm!)

SLES then has ethylene oxide added, which softens the existing compound, making it a little less astringent and a little less harmful to the skin.

What are SLS and SLES used for?

There are several uses for these two chemicals. Some of which are quite surprising (at least to me!)

Cleaning Products

SLS and SLES are both surfactants. A surfactant (“surface acting agent”) is anything that lowers the surface tension of water. This allows the water to clean better because it doesn’t stick to itself - like a drop of water staying bubbled up on a table. Instead, the water spreads out so it can more easily interact with the oil and grease and ultimately wash it away.

Both SLS and SLES are easy and inexpensive to make. This makes them attractive ingredients to companies looking to increase their profits.

Foaming Agents

SLS and SLES are both foaming agents. This means that they make it easier for foam to form when a product is used. Extra foaming in products like body wash, shampoo, and toothpaste can falsely lead people to believe they are getting a better clean. 


Yes, you read that correctly. According to this WebMD article, "You may see SLS used in certain foods you eat, within limits approved by the FDA. As a food additive, SLS can make marshmallows fluffier and dried egg products lighter. It helps mix citrus and other acidic liquids with water to make fruit drinks."

Ummm... yuck!

Where are SLS and SLES commonly found?

If you're shopping at Goat Milk Stuff, you will never find SLS or SLES in any of our products. But if you're still buying any commercially available soap, beauty products, or toothpaste then you are probably purchasing items with SLS or SLES in them. 

The list of products is long, and it’s not restricted to cheap products only. These chemicals can be found in products across the whole spectrum, including:

  • Shampoos and conditioners
  • Hair dyes
  • Styling gels
  • Bath bombs
  • Bath oils or salts
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Exfoliants
  • Shaving creams
  • Lip balms
  • Toothpaste
  • Teeth whitening products
  • Mouthwash
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Nail treatments
  • Foundation
  • Makeup removers
  • Creams and lotions

If that sounds like most of your medicine cabinet or bathroom, you’re not mistaken. Most commercial products have one or both of these chemicals in it.

Why You Should Avoid SLS and SLES in Your Skincare and Toothpaste

SLS and SLES are very effective compounds that do their jobs very well. However, that does not mean they are good for you. In fact, because they are so astringent and dry things out so well, they can undo much of the good other ingredients in your products offer your skin, hair, and teeth.

SLS has a drying effect on the skin, which is why it often causes irritation. Many people don’t know that drying out your skin can actually make some skin conditions like whiteheads and blackheads worse. This is because it can trigger an overproduction of sebum, which is the skin’s natural oil. This overproduction can clog up pores even more.

Some people use toothpaste to dry out pimples. This often works because of the drying effect of SLS. But this often only helps in the short-term. The SLS in the toothpaste can dry the affected skin out too much, thereby triggering another cycle of overproduction.

Goat Milk Shampoo Bar
"I like how much lather I get & that I don't need conditioner with this shampoo. I wash my hair twice a week & it stays soft & shiny." - Beth C.

What are Possible Health Effects of Using Products with SLS and SLES?

Many of the effects of products with SLS and SLES are subtle, and some of us are so used to them that we don’t really have any noticeable effect. That doesn’t mean our skin wouldn’t look better or be healthier if we used different products. But many people are so conditioned to using these products, that they don't realize how dry their skin actually is!

There are several possible reactions you might experience when using products containing SLS.

First, the drying properties of SLS might lead to skin irritation, particularly in people with sensitive skin.

SLS has also been found to have another alarming effect - it may actually make your skin thinner. Your skin will naturally thin as you age. But using skincare products will SLS may exacerbate the aging process. This means you could have thinner, weaker skin sooner than you normally would.

Some of the other possible observed effects of SLS and SLES on the skin may include:

  • Removal of your skin's natural oils
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema due to drying out
  • Hair loss
  • Acne

As for SLES, the list is a little shorter, but no less worrisome. Using SLES can result in redness and dryness. But even more scary is that SLES has also been flagged as a possible carcinogen. 

The goal of skincare, hair care, and tooth care products should never be to just clean at any cost. Please consider the potentially harmful effects these products and ingredients can have on your body as a whole.

Goat Milk Stuff pledges to never use these ingredients in any of our products. There are other natural ingredients that can clean, moisturize, and scent your skin and hair without these potentially damaging effects.

Goat Milk Liquid Soap
"I have to have this in my life now! The scent is so delicious and my skin is so much softer!" - Georgia G.

Give Your Skin the Best

Many people take their skin for granted. But you shouldn't! Your skin is your largest organ and protects you from infections. It also keeps moisture both in and out of your body.

According to this Healthline article, it can take anywhere from 24 - 80 days (the older you are the longer it takes) for the outer layer of your skin to regenerate and replace itself. So, in theory, if you stopped using harmful products today, you could have a whole new, healthier skin within the next one to three months!

Goat milk soap naturally helps keep skin moisturized. It does not contain SLS and SLES, so it doesn’t have the negative impact on your skin. And it has been shown to offer benefits and may even help repair your skin.

Our goat milk soap has been shown to help fight eczema and improve the texture and quality of your skin. It’s mild and less likely to cause or worsen irritation. We don’t stop at skin either. We’ve got a full range of body care products that are free from known harmful chemicals.

These include Tooth Powder (instead of toothpaste), Liquid Goat Milk Soap (instead of body wash), Goat Milk Soap, and specialty soaps like Shampoo bars and Shaving soaps

Our Natural Tooth Powder contains just 6 basic ingredients: Baking Soda, Bentonite Clay, Calcium Carbonate, Spearmint Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Salt. You can clean your teeth safely and naturally. And once you get used to a natural tooth powder, you'll never enjoy the false clean of toothpaste filled with foaming agents again!

Goat Milk Tooth Powder
"I love the GMS Tooth Powder! It always makes my teeth and mouth feel so clean, and it helps whiten teeth, too!" - Susan W.

Goat Milk Stuff Promotes Natural Skincare Health

The truth that chemicals like SLS and SLES are harmful is not news. There have been countless research papers over many years and decades that state and prove the harmful effects of these and other chemicals.

However, in some cases, the effects of these chemicals are not bad enough to trigger product recalls or even widespread health warnings. Whether it’s a lack of political will or effective lobbying, big chemical companies still have the right to put chemicals like these - some of which may cause or contribute to cancer - into their products.

It’s not hard to believe that in a world that ignored the harm of asbestos and lead paint for so long, we’re still living with chemicals like these in our daily lives. But that does not mean you have to use them. And it does not mean that you have to expose your family to them.

More and more companies like Goat Milk Stuff are going back to more natural ingredients. We're stripping out all the cheap, bad stuff that may only be there to increase profits. And we're producing skin care products that not only don’t harm your skin, but can actually help to repair it.

There are SLS free soap and SLS free toothpaste products out there. They just might not be as easy to find on the local grocery store shelf. But if you’re serious about being kind to your skin (and the environment!), it’s worth looking for better options. And you can start by reading about the Goat Milk Stuff soaps and other products. Each product lists all the ingredients used on the individual product pages. You'll find no harmful chemicals and nothing hidden.

If you’re on the fence about whether this really matters, remember, it only takes about a month or two for you to grow a new skin. So, if you start trying our products right now, you’ll be able to see their effects on your skin in as little as a couple of months.

At Goat Milk Stuff, our purpose is to bring you joy through the goodness of goat milk. We know that healthy skin is happy skin and we want to enable you to find the joy that healthy skin can bring.

If you’re like most people who have made the switch, you’ll never go back to the commercial, chemical laden products again!

PJ & Crew

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