STOP cleaning your skin with high concentrations of detergent

Did you know that in nearly all commercial brands of liquid shower gel, bath gel and hand soap, the main ingredient (besides water) is Sodium Laureth Sulfate, a detergent and known skin-drying irritant?

This includes most brands promoted as “herbal”, “natural”, “nourishing” and “moisturising”, while brands boasting of “natural fruit extracts”, “milk and honey”, “coconut”, “shea butter” and so on, often actually contain less than 1% of the ingredient advertised?

SLS is a cheap and abundant detergent, so for manufacturers, it’s the easiest way of producing a nice foamy lather. It’s also been approved as non-toxic in the quantities used in cosmetic products, so contrary to unfounded popular hype, using it will NOT give you cancer or other diseases.

It is also very effective in stripping grease and oil from the skin and hair – so it DOES help to clean your body. But in large amounts, it is a little TOO effective, as it strips the natural moisture and oil from your skin, leaving it dry and prone to irritation. It’s also impossible to use it on your face as it will cause excruciating pain to your eyes!

Therefore, it is not the best thing to be using as the main ingredient in your skin washing routine every day. And if you are looking for moisturising, nourishing herbal ingredients you need to look elsewhere.

Here are some ingredient labels from common and popular commercial brands of liquid soap found in the local Coles supermarket. When taking these pictures I basically covered nearly all the brands that were available on the shelf. The lack of variety in their ingredients was astounding. Labelling laws require the ingredients to be listed in descending order of weight, so to find out what your product is mainly made up of, you really only need to look at the top two or three ingredients. As you can see, despite the HUGE range of products pictured here, every single one of them, the main ingredient is water (often listed as Eau or Aqua), and the second main ingredient is SLS.

Saying that a product contains Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Aloe, Citrus or other fancy ingredients helps these brands to sell products, by claiming that they are “nourishing” and “moisturising”. But in reality, if those ingredients are far down on the ingredients lists, they probably only exist in quantities less than 1% and therefore, have little or no effect on skin wellbeing.

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Despite this product boasting the “softening” benefits of aloe vera and chamomile, those ingredients are at the bottom of the list and probably constitute less than 1% of the formula. This product is mainly SLS detergent.
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Despite boasting the “nourishing” benefits of milk and honey, dry milk and honey extract are at the bottom of the ingredients list and probably exist in less than 1% quantities. Basically just another bottle of detergent.
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Despite boasting of “real fruit goodness”, “Fruit extracts” and “natural vitamins for your skin”, this is still mainly a bottle of SLS detergent with a lot of fancy extracts added.
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Despite boasting of the exfoliating benefits of jojoba butter extracts, this is still mainly SLS, and coconut and jojoba are the last ingredients listed so probably exist in quantities less than 1%.
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Despite boasting of “ultra moisture” from milk and shea butter, this product is mainly SLS with milk and shea butter appearing at the bottom of the ingredients list.
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It has fruit in it… but SLS is still the main ingredient.
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Citric Acid and Pomegranate Seed powder seem to be the only fruits/herbs used in this “Tahitian Escape”, but they are 12th and 13th on the list respectively. Still mainly SLS. I’m amused to say I purchased this brand for years because I was drawn to the exotic fragrance, the colour and the picture on the bottle. It’s also quite expensive given the size of the bottle.

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Many major soap brands including Dove and Palmolive, still allow animal testing of their products

Although Australian laws make it very difficult to test products on animals within Australia, many overseas-based companies like Colgate/Palmolive, Procter & Gamble (who own Gillette, Pantene, Oral-B, Covergirl, and others) and Unilever (who own Dove, Rexona, Lynx, SunSilk, and others) still allow animal testing of their products. Click the link below to read more.

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Finally… an effective, cleansing, antibacterial, moisturising liquid soap that is NOT mainly detergent

Unlike the commercial brands investigated above, Forever Living’s Aloe Liquid Soap is NOT mainly made of detergent. Its main ingredient is that soothing, moisturising, invigorating miracle plant: aloe vera.

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The benefits of aloe vera

Aloe Vera contains saponin, a natural foaming ingredient which behaves like soap to clean and sanitise your skin. In fact the word saponin and the word for soap come from the same Latin root. Gladly, it occurs naturally in Aloe Vera, which makes it perfect for cleaning any part of your body without requiring artificial chemical cleansers. Aloe vera is also highly moisturising and contains something called proteolytic enzymes, which repair dead skin cells.

Many other products CLAIM to contain the benefits of aloe vera, but in reality these products are mainly detergent and include aloe only in tiny amounts.

Non-irritating, non-drying

In this product, Aloe Vera is the main ingredient. This product does contain a little SLS, because as I have discussed earlier, in small amounts, SLS is a great way to provide a nice foamy lather and remove dirt and grime. This is essential if you want to promote hygiene and prevent the spread of disease. (If you want to give up soap altogether and live in the wilderness as a hermit, be our guest, but if not, then this product is safe for you.)

In Forever Aloe Liquid Soap the SLS is in much smaller amounts and is not the main ingredient, therefore it is able to effectively clean and sanitise your body, without overpowering the hydrating, moisturising, nourishing effects of the aloe vera.

This makes it much safer for anyone with sensitive skin, or skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.

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Personally, I used mainly SLS-based body wash my entire life and never really thought about it. But recently I started to develop dry, itchy skin on my legs. Despite slathering my legs with moisturiser, I would still wake up in the middle of the night scratching them because they were so unbearably itchy. Initially puzzled, I eventually decided to do what the labels on most commercial liquid soaps say: “If irritation occurs, discontinue use.” Since I switched to Forever Aloe Liquid Soap, the itching has ceased completely. Thank you Forever!

Tanya Murphy, Forever Living Business Owner, Cairns

Safe for face and eyes

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As you’ll notice, most of the other products investigated above are referred to strictly as “body wash” and feature strict instructions to avoid contact with eyes, and wash out immediately if it comes into contact with the eyes.

Because Forever Aloe Liquid Soap has a very low detergent content, it can safely be used to wash your face and won’t sting your eyes!

Due to its gentle, non-irritating, no-tears formula, Forever’s Aloe Liquid Soap is not just a “body wash” but can be used all over, eliminating the need to purchase separate products for washing the face and hands. It can even be used to wash the hair. So for those who like life (and their shower caddy) to be uncomplicated, it’s the perfect all-in-one cleanser for your whole body, and for the whole family! With a mild scent, it can be used by both male and females without leaving a strong perfume noticeable after washing. And it’s perfect for bathing the baby without tears!

The purest brand of aloe vera

Forever Living’s patented aloe stabilisation process allows us to put the pure aloe vera pulp into our liquid soap without reducing its purity, denaturing it or damaging its natural properties. Imagine squeezing the pulp directly from the plant itself, then adding a few more ingredients and putting it on your skin. Our products are the closest you can get! And because our stabilisation process is patented, we can guarantee that you won’t find the same purity in any other aloe vera product!

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Value for money

This product is great value for money in that it ACTUALLY WORKS. By paying a little more for the quality of the product, you are guaranteeing that it has been produced in a way which is environmentally sustainable and also, the fresher and purer your product, the more effective for your skin and hygiene.

What’s more, unlike cheap competitors, our product is grown without pesticides, Genetic Modification, or animal testing so you are helping not only your skin but also the earth. Click here to learn more about our quality guarantee:

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More about Sodium Laureth Sulphate / Sodium Lauryl Sulphate.

SLS is not dangerous in small amounts. Contrary to information that has been widely circulated on the Internet and elsewhere recently, there is absolutely no scientific evidence that SLS causes cancer or any long term damage from normal everyday use.

One of the researchers to whom erroneous statements have been attributed concerning Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is Dr Keith Green of the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Green has recently stated the following in a magazine article: “The interpretations that are being propagated in advertisements and electronically are blatantly incorrect and ascribe citations to me that have never been uttered or written by me. I request that the misuse of my data ceases immediately”.

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