As a household essential that we use every day, toothpaste is one of the most purchased products across the globe. With a variety of brands, formulas and promises making their way across the market, you’d be surprised that many people have never given both its origin and production any thought.
How is toothpaste produced, and more importantly is toothpaste vegan? Read on to find out what your toothpaste is made up of and why it’s time to check the label before your next purchase to step closer to a more sustainable future.
Why Are Some Toothpastes Not Considered Vegan?
Most toothpaste is made up of a formula of abrasives, fluoride and calcium carbonate to create that minty flavoured oral hygiene product that we’re familiar with. The question is, why isn’t toothpaste vegan?
The short answer is that many toothpaste companies use animal-derived ingredients or animal testing within their production process, meaning that the final product is not suitable for vegan users.
What Ingredients Are Not Vegan?
For those of us who don’t possess a chemistry degree, it’s time to find out what to look for on that long ingredient label next time you shop for your favourite minty fresh products.
Many of our favourite toothpaste brands bind their formulas with a clever ingredient called propolis, a substance manufactured by bees and formed as they mix wax with their saliva. While this is a kinder alternative to more abrasive substances, it can not be considered vegan, in the same way, that many vegans consider honey unsuitable too.
This is because bees are exploited and at risk of harm when manufacturers acquire and source the ingredient, contributing to animal cruelty and disturbance.
Often known as glycerol, glycerin is a common offending ingredient in toothpaste, added to the formula to keep our toothpaste silky and moist. While the substance can be derived from either plant-based or animal sources, there is often no way of knowing, making this ingredient a tricky one to place when asking, is toothpaste vegan?
If you’re concerned, we recommend avoiding this ingredient unless the label states otherwise or the hygiene product is vegan and animal cruelty approved.
Colours & Flavourings
When answering the question of why toothpaste isn’t vegan, it’s easy to forget the colours and flavourings that are added to the formula to create the taste we know and love.
However, unless it is labelled as a ‘natural flavouring’ you can assume that these vague flavourings have been derived from unsustainable sources. Colourings are no different. For example, Carmine also known as E120 can be found in a number of high street brands and is derived from the Dactylopius coccus insect.
If you dont feel like sifting through long ingredient lists, it is always best to look out for vegan approved products, that are often labelled with the vegan approved sticker or the white rabbit symbol, suggesting they are animal cruelty-free.
Is Vegan Toothpaste As Effective As Non-Vegan Toothpastes?
If you’re hesitant about purchasing a vegan toothpaste, fear not. There are lots of options on the market. Finding the right toothpaste for you that is also cruelty-free has never been easier thanks to new eco-friendly alternatives to our favourite toothpaste brands.
In fact, vegan toothpaste is considered as effective, if not more effective than regular high street brands, as they are manufactured with fewer abrasives and avoid toxic chemicals that strip the enamel from your teeth.
Most vegan-based brands use a vegetable derived form of glycerin as a primary component, which acts as a powerful antibacterial cleaner, known to improve gum health and keep those teeth clean. Better still, vegan toothpaste avoids artificial flavourings and is often manufactured with either coconut oil or aloe vera for a natural approach to healthy teeth.
Looking For Vegan Toothpaste Alternatives?
If you’re tired of questioning if your toothpaste is vegan, we have some great recommendations for eco-friendly alternatives on the market. Here are some of our favourite vegan toothpaste eco-swaps:
- PÄRLA ORIGINAL Naturally Whitening Toothpaste Tabs: A great on the go alternative to your liquid toothpaste, formulated with plant-derived ingredients and natural sweetener.
- Ben & Anna Natural Black Activated Vegan Charcoal Toothpaste: Not only is this a great vegan alternative to high street brands, but the blend of activated charcoal, cinnamon and calcium are will have your teeth white in no time.
- Georganics Natural Mouthwash Tablets: If you’re looking to add an eco-friendly twist to your mouthwash too, Georganics has a Glycerin and SLS free formula that restores a healthy pH balance to your mouth while keeping your breath minty fresh.
For more vegan-based toothpaste alternatives, browse our dental range for an eco-friendly approach to oral hygiene.