Today's Chemical:

Sodium lauroyl isethionate

EWG Risk Score:

0 (Should be higher!)

What is it?

Sodium lauroyl isethionate is a surfactant/detergent used as a cleansing agent and to impart lather in shampoos, body washes, facial care, and toothpastes.

What are its risks?

  • Sodium lauroyl isethionate can pose skin irritation depending on the individual's suseptibility and concentration used.  However, it is considered to be, generally, a milder option. (Source
  • Sodium lauroyl isethionate is created by combining fatty acids with isethionic acid. Isethionic acid is created by combining sodium bisulfite in an aqueous solution and ethylene oxide.  Ethylene oxide is a known carcinogen. Traces of ethylene oxide can remain in the product, along with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane. (Source

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Reader Comments (8)

I'm confused. You say, "Sodium lauroyl isethionate can pose skin irritation depending on the individual's suseptibility and concentration used. However, it is considered to be, generally, a milder option." Then you sight your source.

Upon going to this source I found it only addressed the following, "These detergents were sodium cocoyl isethionate (ISE), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), soap and disodium lauryl 3-ethoxysulfosuccinate (SUC)."

Where did they address Sodium lauroyl isethionate?

Thu, October 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStacey

@Stacey--thanks for your question! Because sodium lauroyl isethionate is contained within sodium cocoyl isethionate.

Thu, February 12, 2015 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

Is sodium lauroyl sulfate the same thing as sodium lauryl isethionate?

Tue, December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

@Lisa--no, sodium lauroyl sulfate is different from sodium lauryl isethionate.

Tue, April 5, 2016 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

Is Sodium lauroyl isethionate the same as COCOYL isethionate. there is a brand name & a generic that say they're the same but the brand has the lauroyl and the generic cocoyl. Thank you

Tue, October 18, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCc Greem

What is the difference between sodium laurel isethionate and sodium lauroyl sulfate?

Wed, October 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterEli

Is this a synthetic ingredient?

Sat, December 17, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnomynous

@Anomynous--yes, it is a synthetic ingredient.

Tue, December 20, 2016 | Registered Commenter[Stephanie Greenwood]

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