If you’re interested or are already working in the beauty industry, you may wonder if sodium lauryl sulfate is the same as sodium lauryl ether sulfate. These two chemical compounds are both used in various applications in the cosmetic industry. Despite how similar these two compounds sound, they have distinct differences.
What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is an anionic surfactant comprising a long-chain alkyl group and a sulfate group. It is widely used as a surfactant and detergent in various cleaning and personal care products.
Due to its surfactant properties, SLS can reduce the surface tension of liquids and help other ingredients mix more easily. It can also be used as a degreaser to remove grease, oil, and dirt.
What Is Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES)?
Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate is an anionic surfactant consisting of a long-chain alkyl group and an ether functional group. It is a slightly modified version of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and is derived from ethoxylated alcohols. SLES is mainly used as a surfactant or detergent and a common ingredient in soaps, body washes, and other cleaning products.
SLES is an effective foaming agent which also works well as an emulsifier. This compound is commonly found in lauryl alcohol, often obtained from palm kernel or coconut oil, and is considered a less irritating form compared to SLS.
What Is The Difference Between Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate
The most notable difference between SLS and SLES lies in their chemical structure, which gives them different foaming properties. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is known for forming abundant, voluminous foam, whereas Sodium Lauryl Sulfate produces a relatively moderate, creamier lather.
For that matter, SLS is considered an excellent option for applications where a high level of foaming is needed, like toothpaste and some shampoos. On the other hand, SLES may be the most preferable in applications where milder forming is desired, such as facial cleansers and body washes.
SLES is widely used as an emulsifier, wetting, and forming agent in a variety of applications, including metal cleaning, textile manufacturing, and agricultural chemicals. Its lower pH level and milder properties make it less harsh on the skin while still being an effective cleanser.
This means it won’t aggravate the skin and is safe for body care and bathing products. SLES’s ability to reduce surface tension facilitates the penetration and dispensation of cleaning agents, providing an efficient cleaning process.
Generally, cosmetic products featuring Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate are just effective as those containing Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Still, they will provide additional benefits, like leaving the skin feeling nourished, smooth, and silky soft.
Contact Bisley International
If you want to develop new personal care products and are looking for effective raw materials, contact Bisley International can help. We have over six decades of experience distributing quality chemical products that add value to our customers. Contact us now to learn more and place your order.