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Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate

Today's Chemical:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate

EWG Risk Score:


What is it?

Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is a relatively newer chemical to the market.  It is increasingly becoming a replacement for sodium laureth and sodium lauryl sulfate.  It is a surfactant used to clean, de-grease, and create lather. 

Safety Info:

There is not a wealth of information available on this ingredients, however, the EPA has provided some on this pdf.

  • Considered to be moderately irritating to skin
  • Moderately irritating to eyes
  • No evidence of reproductive toxicity in humans
  • Not considered to be readily biodegradable
  • Moderately toxic to fish and aquatic life

Steph's Opinion:

Although it seems to be a "safer" alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate, it still does pose the risk of skin irritation.  Additionally, it's not an environmentally-friendly option, as it takes a long time to bio-degrade and does pollute aquatic ecosystems.

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Reader Comments (22)

Sad to hear that it's not considered to be biodegradable. I use a lot of Lavera and they have it in many of their products.

Wed, September 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterK

This is the first time i see this Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate . Thanks

Sun, December 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterqchemical

Just found your blog through a google search on estrogenic essential oils. What an excellent service you're providing for both customers and the general public. The more we know about the chemicals in our personal care products, the better off we'll all be. Kudos to you, and keep up the excellent work!

Mon, December 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBritt

I just found this site while looking up information on phenoxyethanol and I'm happy I did. It is great to find a site where I can learn about cosmetic chemicals from an unbiased source. I'll be returning often and look forward to the wealth of information you share. Thank you!

Thu, January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

It has been more than 6 months since this article was written. Has there been any developments on whether this ingredient is good or bad?

Sat, June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTesteroe

Nope, no new developments. It can take years for new information to become available about chemicals, as they become more widely used and tested.

Wed, June 22, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

Last year I had a reaction to my son's toothpaste (I ran out of the toothpaste I have used since I was a child) and then a few weeks later to my face wash. It was only while searching for information on my face wash and possible allergic reactions (to a product that claimed to be hypo-allergenic) that I put 2+2 together and realized that the two products had Sodium Laureth Sulfate as a common ingredient.

Once I stopped using the face wash all the symptoms seemed to disappear. But once in a while I get an itchy head and I have a problem with eczema on my right hand that comes and goes. I ran across an article about how damaging sulfates are to hair, and I realized that my shampoo also contains SLS. ugh.

So I searched for sulfate-free shampoos and found that Loreal has a sulfate-free line but they substitute sulfates with this Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate. I am unable to find information about this stuff myself. I am glad that I am not the only one.

Thanks for this article and for checking on updates.

Thu, September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa M

I just sent this article to Wendy & Kim from Mixed chicks. I just got off the phone with them. They will not offer any refund or reimbursemnt after I purchased there sulfate shampoo from one of there retailers in Anchorage, Alaska Kings beauty supply ( who also does not offer refunds! I used this shampoo and it made my hair feel terrible!! Needless to say I will be sticking with Deva curl products There no-poo shampoo is great! Kathy

Thu, June 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkathy

Sorry can you clarify; I was looking up Sodium Lauryl ether sulphate nothing came up so I suspect its two things but this came up for sodium Lauryl - sodium lauryl Sulfoacetate. I really don't understand whats what.

Fri, September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterwendy Haslam

where is it sourced from? i know sls is from palm oil just wondering if this is the same. thanks

Wed, November 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchristine olle

Usually it's palm or coconut oil derived, but it depends on where you're getting it from. Ask the manufacturer of the product that you're looking at for a more definitive answer.

Mon, November 26, 2012 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

Hello! Awesome site! You don't know how great it is to see you are STILL doing this site. Just found ya off crunchy Betty and she linked to a post in 2010 so I was like hmm. And noticed you're still at it! It's so nice to see, I appreciate it lot. Thank you!

Fri, November 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColie

Hello, I found a study on this chemical here:
To sum it up:
- not biodegradable
- moderately toxic to aquatic organisms
- no sign of genotoxicity, i.e. safe as a cosmetic ingredient
- moderately irritating to skin and eyes
- reproduction and developmental toxicity is not known.

Thu, February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClem

Just wondering....what would you recommend in place of Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate? Thanks.

Mon, April 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

Just wondering how this chemical sneaks its way into shampoos like Alba which claim to be organic. That's a little scary. Makes you wonder who you can and can't trust. Obviously, we all need to begin doing our homework.

Thu, January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDenyce

I'm researching this ingredient and alternatives to it for use in kid's bubble bath, which I hope to make salt-based in a powder form. So far this sounds like a bad idea. The other surfacant that sounds ok is Decyl Glucoside but I only see it available as a gel. Do you know if it comes in a powder form?
Thank you. Great info!

Fri, January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana

Just had a issue with so called Sulfate-Free shampoo. Not very happy that I purchased the same crap I was trying to avoid due to an allergy. Silly Me I thought Sulfate Free in bold print on the packaging meant I could trust the company that put it out. Not the case. Thankfully I read the ingredients before I applied it. Things could have been much worse.

Fri, March 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfoacetate are two completely different things. Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate is derived from coconut and or palm kernel and therefore it is biodegradable. It is also much healthier and safer than sodium lauryl sulfate which is a chemical.

Mon, March 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercurious

I have developed a strong reaction to SLS ( swelling on my face/check or checks/ face will break out in a section to then travel from one section to another as it travels around my face, and will sometimes start the trip around again.) I am concerned to use anything with Sodium Lauroyl... in it. The swelling could rise a good 1/8 to almost 1/4 of an inch and could be warm/hot to the touch with some pain involved. How closely related are the SLS, Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, and Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate?

Mon, September 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

I've learned that the same white powdered SLSA is numbered with different percentage. The highest I've seen is at 99.5% and some lower at 35% and prices vary. What does that mean? Is it "better" to use the higher percentage?

Will greatly appreciate your expertise advice please!

Wed, February 4, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJessica A.

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