Sodium coco sulfate (SCS) is one of the many chemicals that are used in soaps, shower gels, shampoos and other cosmetic products.
You may be aware of sulfate free shampoos and how they have become increasingly popularity.
Chemicals like sodium coco sulfate are used by manufacturers because they are cheap and create the much desired foam when mixed with water.
The sulfates are also effective cleansers. They tend to clean skin and hair more easily than other compounds.
These chemicals are also used in detergents for the same reason.
While sodium coco sulfate and the likes of sodium lauryl sulfate and laureth sulfate are mild chemicals, they do have several side effects.
Look out for these names on labels when you purchase soaps, gels, shampoos and toothpastes:
- Sodium coco sulfate
- Olefin sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Lauryl sodium sulfate
- Sodium dodecyl sulphate
- Dodecyl sodium sulfate
- Lauryl sulfate sodium salt
- Sulfuric acid monododecyl
- Ester sodium salt
- Sodium n-dodecyl sulfate
- Sodium dodecane sulfate
The Prevalent Use of Sodium Coco Sulfate
Even if you don’t see the names of these chemicals on the label, do not presume the products don’t have these ingredients. These chemicals are often mentioned by their alternate names.
The prevalent use of SCS along with other sulfates is primarily because of the foaming, the bubbles and the luxurious suds that are formed when you shampoo, take a bath in the tub and brush your teeth respectively.
Foam is often confusingly and wrongly associated with the cleansing effect of body care and cosmetic products. Foam doesn’t necessarily imply cleaning or cleansing. However, foam does play a role in the washing off of cosmetic products.
Without foam it is difficult to apply a gel or cream or even a soap and toothpaste. There has to be some lather to spread the soap, shampoo, gel or even toothpaste after initial application.
It must be noted that sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium coco-sulfate are the same chemicals. There is a tiny difference between the two. Sodium coco sulfate is usually milder or gentler since the coconut oil or palm kernel oils are not as purified as in sodium lauryl sulfate. Both are surfactants.
That means they reduce the tension of the liquid they are mixed with when the liquid comes in contact with a surface. Liquid or gel or paste can cause friction when applied and massaged against skin, hair or teeth.
This friction must be reduced to nullify any discomfort or sensation one may feel. Also, surfactants like SCS facilitate the mixing of oil and water, with each other and with other ingredients that are used by manufacturers.
The Risks of Using Products that have Sodium Coco Sulfate
A lot has been said, written and discussed about sodium coco sulfate. It is true that sulfate free shampoos, shower gels, soaps and toothpastes are healthier. However, there is no reason to be too alarmed.
There are many reports that claim sodium coco sulfate as one of the possible causes of cancer. Some go to state that it is a carcinogen. There is no truth to this, if you consider clinical findings. There is no scientific evidence connecting sodium coco sulfate with any type of cancer.
There is one fact about SCS that you should be aware of. It does strip the hair and skin of the essential oils that are secreted by the body. Natural body oils nourish the skin and the hair.
These oils are completely cleansed from the skin and hair when you use any product containing SCS. This is not a permanent damage. Replenishing your hair and skin with oil and moisturizer respectively, eating healthy foods or nutritious meals and taking care of your personal hygiene will help you to avert the short term and long term side effects of sodium coco sulfate.
Possible Side Effects
But there is the possibility of skin inflammations, irritation and itchy sensations for most people. Dry skin, dandruff and itchy scalp are often a direct side effect of sodium coco sulfate and other such chemicals.
Those who have very dry skin or hair will have serious problems and they can get worse as one continues to get exposed to these chemicals.
This chemical is bad for the eyes. It must not be ingested in any condition and in any form or product. Prolonged exposure to cosmetic products containing sodium coco sulfate will cause some health problems.
Long baths or keeping the shampoo on the hair for a long time, not cleansing the scalp, hair or body after being exposed to these chemicals and not rinsing properly to get rid of all traces can lead the chemicals to penetrate the skin or to get absorbed by the dermal layers. This is not desirable.