Yes, we’ve featured Washed Out before. However, this isn’t favouritism so much as another really great product from these lovely folks!*
The new Body Butter from Washed Out is a real star product. Great on Lewis’ beard as much as his face, and fantastic for Ellie’s combination skin.
E: With my combination skin, I really struggle to find a single product that can handle the dry patches I get during winter, and the oily bits I have on my face pretty much year-round. I was expecting the Washed Out butter to be primarily used for dry elbows and hands, but when it came I was suffering a really painful dry skin day on my face, so just slathered it on to my freshly cleaned face.
The butter has a really light texture for a product like this, and absorbs into the skin really well. After a minute or two, it makes the perfect base for make-up too, and the Barista coffee-scented butter is great for a wake-up in the morning! If coffee isn’t your thing, there’s an unscented version, and a lovely sounding ‘Six More Weeks of Winter’, which is scented with rosemary, bergamot and pine essential oils.
100g is £12, and our 50g (£7) pot is about halfway through after 6 weeks, with two of us using it. I’d say that’s pretty decent value for such an effective product which feels like a real treat to use.
*for the absolute avoidance of doubt, we bought this product ourselves as we wanted it – Washed Out have never sent us freebies to review or paid us for reviews.
If you’re starting to take a keen interest in the ingredients in your most regular purchases, you might have noticed some cosmetics boldly proclaiming to be ‘SLS free’. But what is SLS? Should we be concerned about it?
SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and may also refer to Sodium Laureth Sulfate (aka SLES) – ‘SLS’ can be used to refer to either; although they aren’t identical chemicals, they’re pretty similar, and their uses and functions are largely the same. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is one of several ingredients found really commonly in all kinds of cosmetics and cleaning products. It can also be used as a powerful pesticide, though producers were denied an application to recognise SLS as an organic pesticide, because of its poor credentials when it comes to pollution and environmental damage.
It has a couple of functions:
It makes loads of foam
It disperses grease
It is a ‘penetration enhancer’, meaning it helps other chemicals find their way onto your skin (and beyond)
Its ability to make foam and disperse grease means you *feel* clean, even if it makes no real difference when compared to a less-foamy cleanser. This is especially appealing to budget or low-quality brands which aren’t especially functional. If SLS is present in your creams, it’s probably to make them spread out better. None of this sounds so bad, except for the fact that SLS is a known skin irritant. If you struggle with psoriasis or eczema, or very bad dry skin, for example, SLS will probably make that worse. If your shampoo is making your scalp itch or blister, you might want to check whether SLS is an ingredient. If you’re as cynical as me, you’ll suspect that cosmetic companies know this, and know that they can upsell an intensive moisturiser to soothe all that irritation from your nice foamy face wash! A few well-known beauty journalistshave started to advise against foaming face washes and SLS, but many of us still reach for well-known brands when we want to feel ‘clean’, without thinking too much about those unpronounceable ingredients listed on the back. There have been rumours that SLS increases cancer-risk, but these are unsubstantiated by any scientific study, and SLS is classified as a non-carcinogen.
If you’re a regular on the blog, you won’t be surprised to hear that the main reason SLS is so widely used is that it is incredibly cheap to produce. SLS can be derived from palm oil (or coconut oil), so if you’re working to buy palm-oil free products, this is worth bearing in mind.
So, SLS is bad news for our skin, but what about the environment?
SLS is toxic to aquatic species including fish, molluscs, and crustaceans and, as a pesticide, finds itself in waterways and groundwater more often than it should – a 2008 review by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) “strongly advised not to let the chemical enter into the environment”. It isn’t always picked up by water filtration processes, meaning it works its way into our drinking water too.
How easy is it to go SLS-free?
I have pretty sensitive skin, and my scalp is prone to irritation (and my hair is prone to frizz), so I phased SLS out of my routine about 2 years ago. Initially, the hardest thing to get used to was the lack of suds. I have pretty thick (and very long, until recently) hair, so I had to find a new way of distributing shampoo all over without the foam to help me. I also had a few false starts with products which were great for Lewis, but just didn’t quite work for my longer, finer hair. I’m now pretty settled, so these are my absolute favourites, and regular fixtures on my bathroom shelves.
Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 – great as a body wash although wasn’t great on my hair, and can also be used as a laundry detergent and even washing-up liquid!
Washed Out Soap – such a lovely brand, I love a delivery from Washed Out! Their Barista soap is the ideal thing for waking up in the morning, and has done wonders for my combination skin, as it gently exfoliates and isn’t too harsh on the dry bits.
One Village Soap – one of our early discoveries, and great for handwashing (though not quite right for hair washing, I found). Gets a pretty good foam up too.
Green People Shampoo & Conditioner – the hair products dreams are made of! I have curly hair that’s prone to frizz, and the Green People range means I now have the shiny manageable hair I always envied on TV adverts. Not cheap, but you only need a tiny amount and it works really well. I tend to go 2 or even 3 days between hair washes, so I haven’t noticed a big difference in cost over time.
Green People have a really big range, and are also my favourite for deodorant. I’ve yet to sample their wares, but Pure Nuff Stuff have a really big range of products which are all SLS free, and free of other nastiestoo. Both worth a look, especially for those in the UK who are keen to find options which don’t come with hefty shipping from the US!
I like finding new independent UK vegan / vegan-friendly businesses. I’m also big into soap and buy a lot of it. When I stumbled upon Washed Out Soap I lost my tiny little mind.
I’ve tried all sorts of soap and ended up buying cold-pressed most of the time. Washed Out Soap is my go to now. All the soap we use is from this cool UK based company. Everything is plant-based and vegan friendly. I’ve messaged the owner a few times who seems legit too. Here’s an interview with him talking about Washed Out.
They only use quality ingredients and nothing synthetic. This was apparent from the first time I used it as my skin wasn’t left feeling dry. It leaves your skin fresh and polished. It’s an addictive feeling which leaves you touching your soap soft skin throughout the day.
Washed Out sell a considered selection of soaps. From The Classic which has coconut oil in it, to my favourite, called The Barista. Unsurprisingly it has a brewed espresso base. This little gem exfoliates like a mofo. I can’t get enough of this. The bars are bombproof and last a long time.
One of the things I like about using bars of soap is the minimal packaging. Washed Out packaging is pleasantly simple too. I can’t rate this soap enough.