What Is A Sulphate? Inside The Rise Of Natural Skincare and Haircare

What Even Is A Sulphate? Inside The Rise Of Natural Beauty

Brought to you by Sukin

It’s what we leave out that makes us special.

My mum always used to tell me that if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. She was talking about avoiding overly processed foods full of freaky, 20-letter-long “ingredients”, but I think the same advice can apply to our beauty routines.

Turn over your shampoo bottle and you might see stuff like parabens, phthalates, sulphates, silicones, triclosan, and petrolatum hanging out in the ingredient list. If that gives you pause — and leaves you wondering what the hell any of that even is — you’re not alone. Over the past few years there’s been a seismic shift in the beauty industry, with many women opting to ditch their old products for all-natural alternatives.

So why now — and what are the benefits of a natural beauty routine? Allow us to explain.

Long Story Short: It’s Better For You

The overarching idea behind natural beauty is to eliminate as many toxins from our daily routine as possible — because, unfortunately, there can be a lot of nasty stuff in traditional beauty products.

We don’t eat toxic things, so why would we rub them into our skin every day? Many skin irritations and sensitivities are triggered by the artificial fragrances, parabens, and synthetic foaming agents found in traditional products. Even oily and acne-prone skin can have the natural oils that serve as a protective barrier against bacteria stripped by harsh synthetic ingredients.

Making the switch to a natural skincare routine will cut most of those irritants from your routine, leaving you with calmer skin.

Image: cottonbro / Pexels

It’s Better For Your Hair Too

Non-natural products can also damage your hair and scalp.

Is your hair super dry, frizzy, and full of split ends? If so, that’s probably because you’re lathering it in harsh synthetic ingredients that are stripping it of its natural oils. Sulphates — especially sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS — are notorious for this, and are present in most traditional shampoos.

That’s why haircare movements like the curly girl method instruct adherents to stop using sulphates — they’re so harsh they straight-up obliterate your curls. The curly community on Reddit is full of people who never realised they had curly hair because they’d spent so many years washing it with harsh synthetic ingredients that left them with a big pile of frizz. But after ditching sulphates, they transition to a head full of beautiful, bouncy curls – with the incredible before and after shots to prove it. (And even if it’s not curly, you’ll probably find your hair benefits from a natural shampoo. Dry hair is not happy hair, ladies.)

Image: Elemental5 / Unsplash

And It’s Better For The Planet

Last but by no means least, natural beauty is also about making an ethical choice.

Natural beauty brands like Sukin are vegan, don’t test on animals, and use cruelty-free practices. They’re also environmentally conscious — Sukin is a carbon neutral company, their packaging is recyclable, and their products are all grey water safe, so you know that what goes down the drain is not going to damage our rivers, animals, and plant life.

Again, if we don’t have to cause harm to ourselves or our planet with our beauty products, why would we?

So Why Now?

Largely, the natural beauty movement has been fuelled by growing consumer consciousness.

Today we simply have more information available to us than we used to, meaning we’re able to make more informed choices. In the internet age, synthetic nasties can’t hide away in the ingredient list hoping you don’t spot them. We reckon that’s probably a good thing.

This article originally appeared on Junkee.

Ready to make the switch to natural haircare? Head to Sukin’s website to explore their range, so you can start having good hair days naturally!

(Lead image courtesy of Sukin)