SLS Explained

What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)?

Dentiste’ uses SLS which is purely derived from the vegetable sources of coconut and/or palm kernel oil. Lauric acid from these sources is processed into SLS by adding sulphuric acid and then neutralisation with sodium carbonate.

What is the purpose of SLS?

SLS is used in our toothpaste as a surfactant. On top of being a foaming agent leaving you with the feeling of cleanliness, it has properties that help to disperse plaque deposits and prevent tooth stains from forming.

Is SLS safe?

The internet has fuelled many exaggerated myths regarding the use of SLS in personal care products such as toothpaste. We refer to research done by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in this article which debunked many of these myths.

SLS has a long history of safe use. According to the NCBI, SLS, “if properly formulated and qualified, does not pose danger to human health and safety.”

SLS poses risk of skin irritation in the existence of 2 conditions - if present in high concentrations and left on the skin for an extended period of time. Dentiste’ uses SLS only at the levels needed for its intended purpose, therefore it is unlikely to cause these problems.

Regarding the myth about the carcinogenicity of SLS, there is no scientific evidence supporting that SLS is a carcinogen. SLS is not listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), U.S. National Toxicology Program, California Proposition 65 list of carcinogens, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the European Union. In 1998, the American Cancer Society (ACS) published an article attempting to correct the public’s misconception of SLS.

That being said, individuals who are prone to canker sores or who have a known sensitivity to SLS should seek an SLS-free alternative. Dentiste’ has an SLS-free alternative, which is our Dentiste’ Nighttime Sensitive Toothpaste.


This product uses a much milder surfactant, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, which is a completely different ingredient despite the same initials. A comprehensive safety assessment published in the International Journal of Toxicology deemed that Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate was not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful, and had no mutagenic, irritating, or sensitizing effects.