Bless my sweet mother’s heart. She packed me with plenty of extra Dove soap and Crest toothpaste when sending me off for college round 2, saying “I want you to spend less time worrying about these kinds of things so you can have more time to study!”
Disclaimer: I am not a chemist. But I do know how to read No More Dirty Looks and use the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to look up ingredients. Because my memory is finite and I don’t speak chemistry, my most basic way of reading ingredients is: does it sound like science or does it sound like nature? It’s not a flawless system of course, and I know that even “natural” ingredients can be irritating and that science is incredible, but it suffices for a first look-over before checking up things with Skin Deep.
Crest Toothpaste ingredients
Active: Sodium fluoride (0.243%); Inactive: sorbitol, water, hydrated silica, disodium pyrophosphate, flavor, sodium hydroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, alcohol (0.7%), xanthan gum, sodium saccharin, glycerin, carbomer, carnauba wax, poloxamer 407, polysorbate 80, sodium benzoate, cetylpyridinium chloride, benzoic acid, titanium dioxide, blue 1, yellow 5
(source: the back of the toothpaste box)
Note that everything sounds like science except for water. And flavor, which actually can be made of science. Looking over its Skin Deep profile, there are contamination, organ system toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, irritation, and ecotoxicology concerns associated with 13 out of the 22 ingredients.
Fragrance, BHT, cocamidopropyl betaine, titanium dioxide, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium tallowate, sodium stearate, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, stearic acid, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium palm kernelate, trisodium etidronate, sodium isethionate, sodium cocoate, coconut acid, water, sodium chloride
(source: its Skin Deep profile)
“Fragrance!,” you say, “Fragrance is not science!” But no! It is made of science too! (The synthetic kind of fragrance, that is.) And it has allergies, immunotoxicity, irritation, and organ system toxicity concerns. Here, 10 out of 17 ingredients have pretty much the same concerns as the toothpaste.
So green beauty community! Please. Tell me your favorite soaps–bars or liquid–and favorite toothpaste! Comment me, tweet me @ultravoodoo, email me. My body and teeth are counting on you.