The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 151-21-3
Chem/IUPAC Name: Sodium dodecyl sulphate
EINECS/ELINCS No: 205-788-1
COSING REF No: 37946
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a commonly used surfactant in cosmetics. It is utilized for its strong cleansing and foaming properties, effectively removing dirt and oils from the skin and hair. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is found in products like shampoos, body washes, and toothpaste, where its ability to create lather enhances the sensory experience. As a surfactant, it works by reducing the surface tension of liquids, enabling them to mix more easily and aiding in the removal of impurities during cleansing routines. While effective, this ingredient can sometimes be harsh and potentially irritating to sensitive skin. The chemical formula of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is NaC12H25SO4.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is employed across diverse industries for its versatile properties. In personal care, it acts as a potent surfactant in skincare and cosmetics. In skincare products like facial cleansers and body washes, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate effectively removes dirt and oils. Its lathering quality enhances the sensory experience. In cosmetics, it contributes to product texture and foaming, elevating formulations like shampoos and soaps. Despite the effectiveness of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, consideration is given to potential skin sensitivity, leading to the exploration of alternative surfactants for those seeking gentler cleansing options.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is synthesized through the reaction of lauryl alcohol, derived from coconut or palm oil, with sulfuric acid to produce the sulfate ester. The ester is then neutralized with sodium hydroxide to create Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

What does SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE do in a formulation?

  • Cleansing
  • Foaming
  • Surfactant

Safety profile

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is considered safe for use in cosmetics at low concentrations. While some concerns about skin irritation exist, toxicity is limited when this ingredient is used as intended. However, in higher concentrations or prolonged contact, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate might cause dryness or irritation for individuals with sensitive skin.

Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 288.4°C
Melting Point 206°C
pH 7.0-9.0
Solubility Highly soluble in water
Viscosity Low

Commercial Selection : Grades containing solely SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE

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