Image of soapy hands

You may be confused about sulfates, and whether it’s okay to have them in your skin and hair care products. We understand; information surrounding sulfates and their usage has been confusing, to say the least. Most of us just shrug our shoulders and buy the product we’re interested in, regardless of what’s on the label, because honestly, who can tell whether or not a specific ingredient is a sulfate or not?

If you’re feeling lost in a sea of sulfate misinformation, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the scoop on why sulfates have gotten such a bad wrap, why you might want to avoid them in your skincare products, and what you can look for instead. Trust us, there are definitely better options.

The team at QULCBD is always studying the latest and greatest in the world of skin care products, ingredients, what works, what doesn’t, and what should be avoided altogether. We did the research and decided that for our products, sulfates are a no-go.

But first, a little info on sulfates to help clarify.

Because we say no to sulfates, we look for other ingredients that work better and are safer for your skin and the environment. One of those ingredients is sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate. Here’s everything you need to know about why we use it instead of sulfates, and how it can be beneficial to your skin.

What Are Sulfates and Why Should We Avoid Them?

Sulfates are chemical compounds that are classified as “surfactants.” A surfactant is a compound that is able to attract both dirt and water. Essentially, the chemical compound you get when a sulfate is created is a type of salt. Sounds pretty harmless, right?

Sulfates are harsh.

The issue with sulfates is that they’re extremely powerful; too powerful for use in skin and hair care products. In fact, you’ll find sulfates on the ingredients list of some of your favorite cleaning supplies, like laundry detergent and dish soap. It’s not hard to see why; sulfates are great at stripping oil and dirt away.

However, surfactants are so good at stripping away dirt and oil, they can oftentimes leave skin and hair dry, brittle, dehydrated, and unhealthy. The takeaway? Sulfates are great on dishes and laundry; bad on skin.

Sulfates make bubbles.

Sulfates are also what give your favorite cleaning products a nice, rich lather. For whatever reason, we’ve been conditioned to believe that lather equates to cleaning power, even though the two really aren't actually related.

Unfortunately, we’re seriously addicted to bubbles. It’s important to remember that even though a product doesn’t produce as much “fizz” as another product might, it’s definitely still doing its job as long as it has the right ingredients.

Sulfates are irritants.

The most popular sulfates you’ll find in skin care products today are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate. Both are added to your cleaning products and skin and hair care products and are extremely common.

Sulfates are known irritants, which means they can affect your skin and eyes and leave you feeling itchy, irritated, dried out, or otherwise uncomfortable. While they may be okay to use in your household cleaning products, you’ll probably want to avoid them in your skin care products.

That leads to the question of what to look for in your skin cleansers if you are avoiding sulfates. We’ve got the answer, and it won’t leave you dry, stripped of natural moisture, or irritated and red. In fact, it will do just the opposite: cleanse your skin and keep it moisturized.

What is Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate?

Sulfates are one of the main ingredients in facial cleansers, but the fact that they’re a known skin irritant makes them less than desirable for inclusion in skin care products. The fact remains that we do need something in our products that will cleanse our skin, remove dirt and oil, and keep us clean. That ingredient is sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate.

This coconut-derived surfactant is much milder than sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, and won’t irritate your skin and/or eyes when you use it. In fact, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Board classifies sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate as safe to use and labels it a non-irritant. It’s still known for being an effective cleanser and is fully capable of giving you the squeaky clean feel you want.

What Are the Benefits of Cleansers with Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate?

Essentially, the real benefit of using a cleanser that uses sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate instead of a harsh sulfate is that you won’t risk stripping your skin of its own delicate moisture balance. You won’t have to worry about skin and eye irritation, either, although there’s always a risk that you could have a reaction to a new product that hasn’t been reported.

At QULCBD, our signature exfoliating cleanser only uses sulfate-free-cleansers. That means you can trust that using our cleanser daily won’t leave your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. Our exfoliating cleanser is mild, yet powerful, so don’t think you’ll need to follow up our cleanser with soap or something else to remove dirt and oil. This might just be the best cleanser you’ve ever experienced.

Benefits of CBD Exfoliating Cleanser

If you aren’t already using an exfoliating cleanser, you need to add exfoliating to your skincare routine--like, now! Not using an exfoliant means you really aren’t cleansing your skin to the level you could be cleansing it.

An exfoliant can:

Remove dirt and oil from the surface of your skin.

Remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause breakouts.

Prep your skin by deep cleaning pores so they’re ready to soak up your post-cleansing products like serums, and moisturizers.

Give your skin a healthy glow and radiance.

If you’re ready to switch to an exfoliating cleanser with sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, you can look for other ingredients that work synergistically alongside it to bring about maximum cleaning and moisturizing to your skin.

Here are some of our favorite ingredients for cleansers (and incidentally, you’ll find them all in one place, our exfoliating cleanser).

Cannabidiol. Full spectrum, hemp-derived CBD oil is one of the founding ingredients in all our skincare products. We started QULCBD to develop a CBD skin care line that actually delivered, and was comparable to luxury brands. We use high-quality CBD that is farm to factory to formulation, based right here in the U.S.

Our CBD is always full spectrum, so you can experience the entourage effect and really get all the benefits it has to offer. The entourage effect describes the effect of all portions of the hemp plant being extracted and used together for maximum benefit. Only full spectrum CBD delivers the entourage effect.

Apricot Seed Powder. Some exfoliants use harsh ingredients which can be damaging to your skin. While apricot seed is often used as an exfoliant in products, you should check the label to see what you’re actually getting. For instance, many store brand apricot scrubs actually contain crushed walnut shells in place of actual apricot seed, which can create microtears on your skin and leave it irritated and red.

A better option is apricot seed powder, made from ground apricot seeds. This exfoliant is smoother with smaller granules to exfoliate gently yet effectively, without damaging or injuring your skin.

Pyrus Malus (Apple) Extract. The ultimate in antioxidants, this extract helps fight off environmental stressors from attacking your skin and stealing your youthful glow. Apple extract works to nourish and hydrate skin, too. In fact, apple extract in combination with sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate increased skin hydration by 88% in clinical studies.

Green Tea Leaf Extract. Green tea is one of the oldest and most reputable skin care ingredients, known for its rich mixture of B vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. B vitamins work to soothe your skin and protect it from harsh environmental factors which can leave your skin feeling less than lovely.

When you use an exfoliating cleanser, you prepare your skin for the rest of the products you use. You’ll find your serums, moisturizers, and creams work better and penetrate more deeply than they did before you began using your exfoliator.

No Sulfates

Sulfates in our products? No way. We’re committed to keeping our products as safe as possible by using natural ingredients that are proven to deliver. Using a product with sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate instead of harsh sulfates is a great way to make sure you’re getting your skin cleansed without risking skin irritation and dryness.

If you’re looking for other products to use along with our exfoliating cleanser, check out our lineup of luxury CBD skin care products that work together to deliver unbelievable skin benefits. Our skin care line up has all the natural, skin-nourishing ingredients you need so you can be confident about the products you use on your skin.

If you’re looking for a product that contains high-quality geranium oil and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and perfectly moisturized, our facial serum is for you!

For more helpful info on what natural products can work wonders for your skin, check out our other articles here!


Directions for how to use QUL Wellness Tinctures: Shake well before using. Using provided dropper, take desired amount daily. Repeat as needed at home or on the run as a powerful hemp extract facial oil.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.