If you’re one of the blessedly unfamiliar, canker sores (also known as aphthuous ulcers) are small sores or lesions in the mouth that can affect the tongue, gums, and inside of the lips. Different from cold sores, once they pop up, canker sores can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month to heal.
Then after years of drudging through painful canker sore encounters, a dentist recommended I use a toothpaste that was free of sodium lauryl sulfate (also called SLS), because in some people it may cause canker sores. I had no idea that I could be suffering because of something so simple as my toothpaste!
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a surfactant that is added to things like toothpaste and soap to make them foam. I know that for many of us, it seems like a cleaning product is working better if there is some foam involved. However, according to a study from Norway it can also cause irritation in people who are sensitive to it.
After I realized that I was sensitive to sodium lauryl sulfate, it made sense to avoid it in other body products as well. I’d noticed that I was prone to breaking out along the hairline where shampoo touched my face, and I wondered if that could be the culprit there as well.
Sure enough, the shampoo I was using at the time also contained SLS. Off to the grocery store! It definitely takes some label reading to find toothpastes, shampoos, and soaps that don’t include it. I’ve discovered that it’s easier to find those products at natural food stores.
After I stopped using toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate about ten years ago, I've never had another canker sore again and those hairline breakouts are a thing of the past as well.
Here are three products I use that are free from sodium lauryl sulfate:
Toothpaste by Mōdere –
- Contains a naturally occurring protein found in teeth—builds you up, buttercup
- Supports healthy teeth and gums without using fluoride or harsh, abrasive agents.
- Essential oil of peppermint freshens breath—you can thank us later
- Sugar-free, but still delicious
Liquid Hand soap by Mōdere –
- Wash away bacteria – pump, lather, and smile knowing your hands are clean
- Cleans and softens hands
- Rich, luxurious lather
- Gentle enough for adults and children - the whole family will love this soap
- Fragrance free – no dyes, parabens, or sulfates either!
- Beautiful, modern bottle – it will look great in your home
- Free of: phosphates, dyes, chlorine, and NPE.