As I slowly but surely switch all of the products in my house over to cruelty-free, there are a few departments I’m finding exceptionally challenging.
Rolls of film and photo paper all contain gelatin, which, for now, is almost completely unavoidable unless I only shoot digital and never print anything out again. Food that appears vegan in restaurants is sometimes cooked in butter or sneakily flavoured with parmesan cheese. My newest challenge though is toothpaste.
With a little bit of research, I very quickly realized that most big-name brand toothpaste companies test on animals, and some even contain gelatin, so buying drugstore tubes no longer going to be an option. In the search for something that would leave me with not only clean teeth but a clean conscience, I started pulling tubes to try at local organic markets.
Kiss My Face, Jason, and Earth Paste all worked pretty well, but I never really felt super-satisfied by the weird taste they left in my mouth. For the most part, if they were all-natural, they tasted all-natural, and since I’m a fancy lady, I was left craving something more.
I’m a pretty big supporter of all things indie, small-batch, and family-owned. I shop local every chance I get, and will always reach a little deeper into my pocket for something handmade. Since many organic brands are actually owned by big corps now (Tom’s is owned by Colgate, for example), I felt better making a switch to something even smaller.
Rikumo Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrushes
Pros: Sustainable and reusable, long lasting and minimal, affordable and nice to look at!
Cons: No minty flavour (or flavour of any sort), handle is made of plastic.
These awesome Japanese toothbrushes are nice-looking enough to leave out on your counter, and they work great too! The Binchotan charcoal in the bristles is said to fight bacteria both on the brush and in your mouth, and the negative ions it gives off reduce plaque and bad breath.
Personally, I find brushing my teeth just with the brush and no other products isn’t quite enough, though the black charcoal bristles alone definitely did help with whiteness and minimizing my morning breath. When paired with a minty cleaning product (toothpaste, tooth powder, etc.) though, they were unbeatable. These brushes have definitely outdone any other toothbrush style I’ve tried!
Marvis Toothpaste in Amarelli Licorice and Eau de Bouche Mouthwash in Strong Mint
Pros: Gorgeous packaging, inventive flavours, strong breath-freshening and cleaning power.
Cons: Pricey! And not totally natural.
I’ve tried Marvis Jasmine Mint toothpaste in the past, and really loved it, but I wanted to test out a new flavour, so I went for Amarelli Licorice.
Even as a big fan of the often-hated black candy, I was a little scared to try this flavour (it was so strong I could smell it through the tube and the box), but I ended up loving it! The flavour is subtle and sweet, but surprisingly refreshing, and it left my breath and teeth feeling clean and delicious. The toothpaste itself is very thick and foamy (made the old-fashioned Italian way, according to the brand), and it really is a delight for the mouth.
I followed up with the strong mint Eau de Bouche (how fancy does that sound?) and was pleasantly surprising by the sweet mint flavour. The pleasant part quickly dropped away, though, as my mouth burned more and more. This is a very strong mouthwash, and though it made my breath smell extremely minty, it was a bit too intense for my liking.
Lush Toothy Tabs
Pros: Environmentally friendly packaging, interesting flavours, vegan, and preservative-free.
Cons: Only one use per tab, so you have to buy a lot, which could get very expensive.
These little tabs have always been extremely interesting to me. With flavours like vanilla, fennel, sandalwood, and wasabi, they really are a far cry from run-of-the-mill toothpaste. I decided to try Sparkle, a lemon grapefruit pepper blend, and Aquatic, a mix of jasmine, Earl Grey and lime.
The baking soda base works to clean teeth and kill bacteria, while the various flavours scent the mouth and offer a unique taste experience. The only thing is, I wasn’t that big a fan of the uniqueness. The baking soda taste was salty and overpowering, and I was surprised by how long it took the tab to crunch up and disintegrate (I gag if I brush for too long!). I really wanted to love this tooth product, but it’s just not my thing.
Fig + Yarrow Tooth Powder and Oral Hygiene Rinse
Pros: All-natural and vegan, tasty, and leaves my breath extremely fresh and clean feeling. The little bottles also go a long way, and they’re glass, so they’re enviro-friendly too.
Cons: The powder is hard to get onto a toothbrush without spilling some, which feels like a waste of product.
I love everything I’ve ever tried from Fig + Yarrow, and this tooth hygiene set is no exception. The lavender cornmint flavour of the tooth powder is sweet and refreshing, and I really feel like it cleans my teeth without an intense baking soda flavour.
While the powder does still leave my mouth with that slight natural taste that I’m so adverse to, the rinse afterward replaces that taste with a fresh, minty bite. Of all the products and pairings I’ve tried, this duo is definitely the winner!
Can you guys recommend any cruelty-free, vegan oral hygiene products?