No nasties - the ingredients we don't use in our natural products

No nasties - the ingredients we don't use in our natural products

What ingredients does Wen'ells leave out?

It's a question we're asked regularly.

So many products claim to be natural or use organic ingredients. At Wen'ells Essentials, we choose 100% natural ingredients so whether you are at the start of your low tox journey or on a path well-travelled, you are in a safe space here.

Know your synthetics

SLS and SLES are amongst several chemicals featured regularly in household and personal care ingredient lists.

Unfortunately, they can irritate eyes, skin and lungs with long-term use which is why we don't use SLS or SLES in our products.

Topical use can ulso be a major cause of acne.

Contamination may even occur during the manufacturing process that could potentially pose a serious health risk.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant, which basically means it has an effect on the surfaces it touches. It's used in a variety of products such as body wash, cleansers, shampoos and hand washes.

Our skin’s outermost layer is specially designed to keep harmful stuff out, and this is where a surfactant can cause problems. Using a chemical that weakens this defence mechanism can potentially cause our skin harm.

And some surfactants are more irritating to our skin than others. For something to be harmful, irritant or allergenic, it has to fulfil two criteria.

It has to have been found in studies to irritate human skin, and it has to have the ability to penetrate the skin. SLS ticks both of these boxes.

Researchers from Germany tested 1,600 patients for SLS irritancy and found 42% of the patients tested had an irritant reaction.

Another study, on seven volunteers over a three and a half month period, found regular contact caused irritation, and the irritation subsided once the skin was no longer exposed to SLS.

Another study found the warmer the water used with SLS, the more irritating it will be.

In fact, SLS is so known to cause irritation, it’s used as a positive control in dermatological testing. That is, new products being tested to see how irritating they might be to human skin are compared to SLS - something we know definitely to be irritating.

If a person is sensitive to SLS, they might find the area that has been in contact is red, dry, scaly, itchy or sore.

Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), also called sodium alkylethersulfate, is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many soaps, shampoos, toothpaste and other personal care products.

It's known to have the potential for skin irritation and carries some contamination concerns.

We suggest it's another ingredient to avoid if you're seeking a low tox life.

What is the difference between SLS and SLES?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is actually the parent chemical that is modified to make Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).

Say no to:



Palm oil

Artificial colours

Artificial fragrance

Animal cruelty

Environmental harm


Wen'ells Essentials

Good for you and good for the environment!

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