What we avoid
We steer away from man-made synthetic ingredients as we feel that they are unnecessary as well as having been proven to be harmful to both us and to our ecosystems. Find out more about those ingredients that we purposely avoid and why you should be aware of them.
These were created as a synthetic low or no calorie alternative to sugar to help combat obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. They include sodium saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, sucralose and sorbitol. They are used widely to sweeten toothpaste and other oral care products, as unlike sugar they don't promote tooth decay. Spartame is primarily made of aspartic acid and phenylalanine which have been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group. Humans are not equipped to break down methanol so methyl alcohol travels through your blood vessels into sensitive areas, which can cause damage in your tissues.
Uses: widely in mainstream oral care to give products a sweet taste.
Issues: saccharin has been linked to bladder cancer, brain tumours, and lymphoma in rodents.
A sulfated polysaccharide that is extracted from red edible seaweed and processed through an alkaline procedure. It is used in the oral care industry as a 'natural' thickening and stabilizing agent to help bind ingredients in toothpaste and create the paste-like consistency.
Uses: a great example of how natural can be toxic. Used to thicken the composition of the intended product.
Issues: food grade Carrageenan holds 'high molecular weight' implying it is safe to consume. However, when exposed to stomach acids, saliva, or stomach enzymes, a reaction occurs producing Poligeenan, which contains notable toxicity. Dr Mercola, (2016) 'Is your toothpaste loaded with Toxins?' https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/31/toxic-toothpaste-chemicals.aspx.
Health concerns arise due to Poligeenan being a well documented intestinal inflammatory, acting as a precursor to diabetes and cancer. With inflammatory responses occurring after exposure to food-grade carrageenan in doses less than the anticipated average daily intake. Cornucopia Institute (2016), 'behind the Dazzling Smile', toxic Ingredients in your toothpaste? pg.9-10 https://www.cornucopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/toothpaste-report-web.pdf.
Within a study held to test the worthiness of ginger essential oil, food grade Carrageenan was used to prohibit inflammation, for the ginger to test against! Due to Carrageenan Inflammatory qualities being so certain. K. Jeenam VB. Liju, R. Kuttan, (2013) ‘Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of essential oil from ginger’ Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Volume 57, Issue 1, pg 51-62 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24020099
Microbeads are tiny plastic particles, usually smaller than 2mm in size. For years they have been included in various industrial and consumer products, including cosmetic products like toothpaste, face scrubs and body scrubs. The UK government has passed legislation in October 2017 to ban the use of microbeads in cosmetic products. Such products have been banned from sale from July 2018.
Uses: micro-beads are minuscule pieces of plastic that are found in face washes, toothpaste, body scrubs, abrasive cleaners and other everyday beauty products.
Issues: after you wash your face or clean your teeth, the micro-beads go down the plughole and pass through water filtration systems because they are so tiny. These micro-beads then end up in the sea where they are ingested by fish and harm marine life. Plastic particles have been found in fish, shellfish and even the stomachs of birds. Greenpeace says: “Microbeads end up in humans through toothpaste and through eating seafood that has ingested microplastics and the toxins that come with them.” Toothbrushes push micro-beads into the gums and between the teeth. This creates an ideal breeding ground for germs and bacteria, leading to gingivitis and tooth decay.
Otherwise known as 1,2-propanediol, propylene glycol is a synthetic organic alcohol produced from propylene oxide that attracts or absorbs water. It has commonly been used as a wetting or decreasing agent, and humectant in dental products such as toothpaste.
Uses: to preserve moisture within its intended product, as well as enhancing absorption rate.
Issues: according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) 2018,136 studies have shown that Propylene Glycol is a sensitizer and an irritant that can induce skin rashes and mucous membrane irritation when ingested.
This chemical-derived glycerin is an alcohol that forms a thick liquid but is soluble in other alcohols and water. It is commonly used in mainstream oral care products to give toothpaste a creamy, paste-like texture.
Uses: in conventional toothpaste, it's used to achieve the desired viscosity, a smooth texture and to prevent the formula from drying out.
Issues: synthetic glycerine coats your teeth like a plastic wrap which blocks them from re-mineralising or maintaining the proper balance of nutrients.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
SLS is made from petroleum oil or from coconut or palm oil, in a process that converts fatty acids into fatty alcohols. It is an anionic detergent and surfactant found in many commercial personal care and cleaning products. It's used widely amongst oral care products as a foaming agent.
Uses: it's a synthetic agent that separates molecules for better widespread contact between toothpaste and mouth, creating that lather effect we have grown to accustom to. Also used as an emulsifier as it keeps ingredients together and stops them from separating.
Issues: the largest known side effect of SLS is increased inflammation and irritation of the mouth and lips. It also worsen mouth ulcers: duration and pain score of ulcers significantly decreased with SLS free participants in a controlled study with 90 tested subjects. The irritant properties of SLS are so certain, it is actually used as a marker in scientific studies when testing the safety of other ingredients to help reduce irritation.
Sodium Fluoride is an inorganic salt of the natural chemical compound fluoride which has been widely used in toothpastes since 1914. It can also be found in oral care products such as mouthwash and has been introduced into water systems in many areas throughout the world. It is thought to prevent dental caries and tooth decay.
Uses: equal to its natural counterpart fluoride, synthetic sodium fluoride is used to prevents dental decay, only when consumed in very low concentrations. Fluoride concentrations found in water and plants, consumed daily.
Issues: infants ingest 3-4 times more fluoride than adults on a per body weight basis. Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition affecting the health of teeth, through overexposure to sodium fluoride within the first 8 years of life, the time when most permanent teeth are being formed. 27 studies curated by Harvard School of public health and China Medical University Shenyang identified a strong correlation between the adverse effect on children's cognitive development and consistently high sodium fluoride exposure.
An oxide of titanium commonly used as a white pigment. Titanium Dioxide has been widely used in a range of consumer products since 1916 when it first started to be mass produced. As it has a high refractive index, it has been adopted by many commercial oral care companies as a synthetic teeth whitener.
Uses: Titanium Dioxide is a synthetic whitener due to its intensely white pigmentation, which gives toothpaste that ‘seducingly pure white’ colour.
Issues: it has been classified as a group 2B carcinogen, which is 'Possible Carcinogenic to humans' and shouldn't be ingested regularly.
Developed in the 1960s, Triclosan is a chlorinated aromatic compound. Its usage originated in hospitals but it is now commonly found in consumer products like toothpaste, soaps, and detergents.
Uses: created as a pesticide is often used to kill germs and microorganisms.
Issues: in 2010 A petition filed by 82 public health and environmental groups, filed to ban Triclosan from all non-medical use products, due to its violations against health and environmental statutes, such as Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act. Negative opinion from the European Chemicals Agency, due to unacceptable risks to the environment, entitled the EU commission to adopt decision 2016/110/EU(3) to disapprove Triclosan use, from all hand soaps within the EU market as of 2017.
SIngle Use Plastic
We don't use of single-use plastic containers for any of our products. Instead we supply all of our products in recyclable glass or paper.