What Are Sulfates?

Reviewed: August 06, 2013
By eHealthIQ
What Are Sulfates?

Sulfate-free is a buzzword that is cropping up amongst natural-product lovers. It’s used to describe a product that is free of harmful sulfates that can damages your skin, hair and body. Sulfates are a salt that is derived from sulfuric acid. Sulfates are a common ingredient in everything from shampoo to wine.

Sulfates In Hair Products

Sulfates in hair products have been an issue for years. It’s a cheap ingredient that is used to make products more bubbly and sudsy. People associate this sudsy effect with cleaner hair. It doesn’t actually help with the cleaning process, but it does strip your hair of natural oils. Sulfates strip hair dye quickly, and they can irritate your scalp. Those with sensitive skin may have issues using products contain sulfates.

You can replace your products that contain sulfates with sulfate-free products easily. There are tons of natural options to choose from in every drugstore. More companies are choosing to cut back on the use of this ingredient because of public outcry.

Sulfates In Soaps

The same concept applies to soaps as it does hair products. Soaps contain that magical ingredient to make it bubbly when you take a bath or shower. It’s drying to your skin, and it can cause major irritation. Choose natural soaps instead. You may not get the bubbly effect, but you will still feel clean. Your skin will thank you.

Sulfates In Baby Products

This is one to watch out for if you have infants or young children. Sulfates can actually cause urinary infections and rashes for children. The drying effect will require that you use more hydrating products on your children. Choose soaps and products for your baby that are free of sulfates to protect your child’s health.

Sulfates In Wine

This ingredient is present in an overwhelming majority of wines. It is used as a preservative, and it keeps the wine fresh as it ages. That may seem like a contradiction, but it is necessary in order to prevent bacteria from tainting the wine.

Sulfates in wine are thought to cause hangovers and migraines in wine drinkers. This is particularly true for people who have asthma or allergies to them. It can cause a stuffiness in your sinuses as well, and that can be irritating.

It’s not true that red wine has more sulfates than other types though. Red wine actually contains less of this preservative than other types of wine, but it gets a bad rap. The simple solution to avoiding the negative effects is to choose wines that are sulfate free. They are harder to come by, but someone who can’t tolerate them may find that it’s worth the effort to find those wines.
 

 

http://www.thekitchn.com/sulfites-in-wine-necessary-or-100878
http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Sodium_laureth_sulfate.html

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