At Bondi Wash we do a lot of research into ingredients. We choose the most natural and high quality ingredients for our products – even if they are more expensive. Understanding what ingredients are, where they come from and what are the possible effects on us and the environment from their use is not at all simple. Names are long, regulations are very limited and companies often make marketing claims that are misleading.

We thought it would be helpful to focus on one ingredient at a time – to explain why we don’t use it – or why we do. We hope this might help you work out which ingredients you’d prefer to avoid and which you think are ok.

The first ingredient we are covering is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (or the very similar Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS & SLES)). These ingredients are used as foaming agents in many shampoos, body washes, hand washes, laundry detergents and also as an ingredient in toothpaste.

While it can be derived from coconuts, it is usually derived from petroleum and then exposed to harsh chemicals when processed – which causes the problems.

The main reason to avoid these sulphates is that they can cause irritation, skin rashes and allergic reactions.  Also concerning is the by product from production of SLS and SLES is 1,2-dioxane, a known carcinogen.

A second reason to avoid sulphates is the effect they have on our environment as they are suspected to be an environmental toxin.

Studies linking SLS to cancer have not been credibly proven but studies are ongoing with suspected links to organ toxicity and hormone disruption.

More information on SLS and SLES can be found on any of these links (which we think are credible sources).



We don’t use SLS, SLES or any sulphates (sodium coco sulphate is another one out there that sounds better but in reality is almost as bad). Instead we use natural, completely plant-based surfactants (foaming agents) like decyl glucoside and coco glucoside. They don’t foam quite as well but they are much safer for you and the planet.

We are always very happy to answer any questions you may have on different ingredients – or on anything else.