Sulfates, most often seen on labels as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - are the compound, often derived from synthetic petrolatum (petroleum) that help create bubbles and foam in personal care and cleaning products. There are both huge health reason and aesthetic reasons to avoid them. First - they may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane - both linked to cancer. Second- they are a strong irritant for skin, eyes and hair stripping skin and hair of essential oils and resulting in drier skin, frizzier hair and contact dermatitis. With so many amazing sulfate free alternatives, why bother?