Table of Contents
- The Good
- The Bad
- SLS Free Toothpaste Brands
- SLS Free Toothpaste Suggestions
- SLS Free Toothpaste with Fluoride
- Natural Toothpaste
- Kid’s Toothpaste
- Vegan Toothpaste
- SLS Free Toothpaste Wrap Up
There’s been a lot of buzz around chemicals involved in toothpaste lately. We’ve seen tons of natural and organic toothpastes pop up that focus on keeping teeth healthy without the use of specific chemicals. Some of those toothpastes have focused on removing fluoride but you’ll find many that are dedicated to removing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
So the question is, what is SLS and is sodium lauryl sulfate bad? Why would I want an SLS free toothpaste? We were wondering the same thing, so we decided to do a bit of digging and figure out what all the hate is about. We’ve got our results as well as our suggestive alternatives in our SLS free toothpaste review. Check it out!
So what is SLS even used for? What’s the purpose?
SLS is a detergent that’s found in a number of products aside from toothpaste. You’ll mainly find it used in soaps and shampoos.
SLS is used in these products for a few specific reasons:
- Foaming Action: The biggest reason you’ll see SLS used in hygiene products is its foaming action. It helps make bubbly products bubblier without jacking the price up.
- Lower Surface Tension: SLS also helps to lower the surface tension between fluids. This helps the soap get in there and actually do the cleaning
- Bad Breath: Toothpaste specifically, there’s some link between SLS and reduced bad breath. There’s nothing official to report this but there are sources saying this is true.
So that’s the good stuff, but what about the issues? There’s been a lot of flak around SLS and its involvement with hygiene products lately – not just toothpaste.
So what’s the problem with SLS? Well, there’s three main areas that you’ll find people having problems with. We’ve listed these below along with what we’ve found out about those claims.
Cancer. That’s a scary word. Even scarier is the fact that SLS has been suspected of causing it.
The good news is that this has been proven to be false. SLS has some issues, but causing cancer isn’t one of them.
You can check out an official study here along with the Wikipedia page here showing several studies. These prove with a high degree of certainty that cancer isn’t one of the problems that SLS causes. Even in instances where SLS was significantly higher than the standard concentration used in products, no links to cancer were found.
Don’t get too excited about the cancer part, because there are still a few problems with SLS. Irritation is one of them.
SLS is a detergent – there’s no getting around that. And detergents cause irritation. The higher the concentration of detergent the greater irritation it’ll cause.
The good news (for toothpaste at least) is the biggest areas you’ll find irritation cause is in the eyes and the skin. With a long enough exposure to the skin you’ll likely find some degree skin inflammation. The sensitivity of your skin also plays a big role. Those of you with more sensitive skin will have a more difficult time with this than others.
All that said, you’d still need to leave an SLS product on your skin for a pretty long time before any you’ll see any inflammation, but still, it happens. The nice part is that will pretty much never happen with a toothpaste.
It’s one thing to worry about an SLS shampoo causing skin irritation, but that’s a concern that’s mostly unfounded in an SLS toothpaste.
We’re not out of the woods yet. The third and most relevant issue on the subject of toothpaste without SLS is the link to canker sores.
There have been several studies that have linked SLS to canker sores to some degree, but the scientific community still isn’t convinced that there’s an actual link. As a result, there hasn’t been any change in dental practice regarding SLS and canker sores. Dentists by and large still recommend SLS toothpaste and won’t go through any specific measures to keep you from buying it.
The reality is that SLS won’t affect many people in the canker sore department. There’s a decent chance that you aren’t affected by SLS in any major way, but still, who wants canker sores? Any step towards keeping those incredible nuisances out of our lives, the better – right?
Furthermore if you’ve had issues with canker sores in the past and you’re using an SLS toothpaste, you might want to look towards an SLS free toothpaste option. You may find that this results in significantly fewer canker sores outbreaks.
SLS Free Toothpaste Brands
If you’re wondering which brands focus on SLS free toothpaste options, we’ve gathered a list below for your browsing:
- JASON: Meaning “healer” in greek, the JASON brand focuses on creating “body loving products”. These products are creating by selecting safe, gentle and effective ingredients.
- Auromere: Auromere products are based on the Ayurveda medicinal system in India. The company (which is non-profit by the way) focuses on creating products with herbal and holistic ingredients.
- Tom’s Of Maine: Tom’s of Maine focuses in serving its customers’ personal care needs with imaginative science from plants and minerals. They serve a “mission of responsibility and goodness”.
- Kiss My Face: Kiss My Face has been striving to provide naturally effective body products using natural ingredients for 35 years. They are obsessive about staying true to their core values.
- Hello: Hello is a company that’s focused on one specific and bold ideal: “things shouldn’t suck”. The company is focused on being naturally friends and the CEO even has is Skype ID posted on their website if you’re ever interested in chatting him up!
- Earthpaste: Earthpaste is focused on providing products with a set of very simple and naturally sourced ingredients. The relish in simplicity and honesty.
- Desert Essence: Founded in 1978, Desert Essence unites around a simple concept: beauty is natural and nature is beautiful. They believe by bringing the best of nature’s offerings to personal care products they’re strengthening our bond between us and our planet.
- Himalaya: Coming from the humblest of beginnings, Himalaya products focus on not only herbal, naturally source ingredients, but also harvesting these ingredients in an environmentally sustainable way.
Of course there are other brands out there, but these are the biggest ones you’ll find that produce toothpaste without SLS.
SLS Free Toothpaste Suggestions
Now that you’ve got some info to back up your decisions, let’s move on to the product suggestions. These are options that we think work well for those looking towards SLS free toothpaste alternatives.
As you may know from some of our other articles, finding a toothpaste that includes the specific ingredients you want can be challenging. For example, we still recommend a fluoride toothpaste. If you’re looking for a toothpaste without SLS but includes fluoride, you may struggle. We got a suggestion for that though – no sweat.
Anyhow, enough rambling. Let’s take a look at the SLS free toothpaste! We’ve broken the products out into several categories, so take a look to the one that applies best to you!
SLS Free Toothpaste with Fluoride
If you’re interested in looking for an SLS free toothpaste with fluoride, we’ve got our list of suggestions below. Take a look!
JASON Healthy Mouth Toothpaste Gel With Fluoride
A big name in natural and chemical free toothpaste, JASON provides a fluoride gel that includes fluoride but doesn’t include SLS. There are also several benefits to going with the JASON Healthy Mouth Toothpaste Gel With Fluoride:
- Cruelty free
- Gluten free
- Kosher certified
- Tea tree oil and cinnamon flavored
You won’t find the flavor/taste too overpowering, but in our book that’s not a bad thing. The texture is relatively soft – very few abrasives – and it foams up just like any regular toothpaste.
Sensodyne has long been the white knight of sensitive teeth. But, as luck would have it, they also disinclude SLS from their toothpaste. If you’ve got sensitive teeth and are looking to pick up an SLS free toothpaste alternative, check this one out.
It’s not the best whitening toothpaste out there (in fact we’d recommend you go with the non-whitening option) but it does well enough keeping new stains from popping up. It also includes fluoride to keep your teeth strong and well protected from cavities and tooth decay. You can find out more about Sensodyne Pronamel in our full review here.
CloSYS Fluoride toothpaste
Rounding out the SLS free toothpaste with fluoride category is CloSYS Fluoride Toothpaste. CloSYS specifically targets bad breath. Those of you with halitosis or bad breath who are looking for a toothpaste without SLS should take a look at CloSYS Fluoride Toothpaste.
You’ll find CloSYS Fluoride Toothpaste to be relatively non-abrasive and a smooth texture. They also take into account pH levels when producing this, making sure to keep your mouth at a balanced pH level to avoid additional bacteria and germ growth. You’ll find the mint taste isn’t too bad (it’s not amazing, it’s not horrible… it’s mint) and the brushing experience akin to any regular toothpaste.
If you’re interested in CloSYS Fluoride Toothpaste, click here.
Those of you who are looking for natural, fluoride free and SLS free toothpaste options will feel at home in this category. This section makes up toothpastes that don’t include SLS along with focusing on naturally sourced ingredients.
Jason Sea Fresh Toothpaste
First in our natural, SLS free toothpaste category is the JASON Sea Fresh Toothpaste. This toothpaste doesn’t include preservatives, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, saccharin, propylene glycol, and of course, sodium lauryl, or laureth sulfates. It’s formulated with blue green algae and is specifically rich in calcium, proteins, and antioxidants to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
The taste isn’t anything crazy (again, mint) but you’ll find it pleasant enough. It foams up pretty strong and you’ll find the texture pretty standard. Despite it not being a marketed toothpaste for sensitivity issues, those of you with sensitive teeth may see an improvement in that area.
Auromere Herbal Toothpaste
Based on the Ayurvedic system of medicine from India, it’s not surprising to see Auromere on this list. They’re whole shtick is naturally sourced ingredients. Auromere Herbal Toothpaste not only removes fluoride and SLS, it also doesn’t have artificial preservatives, saccharin or refined sweeteners. It’s cruelty-free as well.
We figured this toothpaste made more sense in the “natural” section, however it’s also completely animal product/testing free, so if you’re vegan this should fit well within your lifestyle choices.
This particular product is made from two dozen herbs and essential oils, so it really fits well with “natural”. It’s got sort of a licorice taste to it, similar to the mouthwash. This is great for those who have a mint allergy and are frustrated with the myriad of mint based toothpastes.
Himalaya Neem and Pomegranate Toothpaste
A slightly more unique take on natural toothpaste, the Himalaya Neem and Pomegranate Toothpaste focuses on the leaf extract neem. Neem extract has been used to clean teeth for centuries along with other ingredients like pomegranate and triphala. You’ll notice the absence of fluoride and SLS in this product as well. It’s also preservative free, artificial color free, artificial flavor free, and propylene glycol free.
The pomegranate flavor is a nice change from mint and it’s got a pretty refreshing taste. This toothpaste is also vegan, but it’s pretty well known for being “natural” so we posted in here along with Auromere. Also, the box is pretty cool looking, so… style points? Yup.
The last SLS free toothpaste in our natural category is Earthpaste. It’s certainly not the least though. It’s pretty incredible how natural this particular option is. You can view the full list of ingredients on Earthpaste’s website, but we’ve listed them for you below.
- Redmond clay
- Purified water
- Natural xylitol
- Essential oils
That’s… pretty much it. Simplicity is key at Earthpaste and as you’ve seen above, that really shows through in their products.
If you’ve got little ones running around then you’ll no doubt need a specizliaed toothpaste for them to use. Kids under two should be using fluoride free toothpaste, however that rule also applies to anyone who still has issues with swallowing their toothpaste. Kids who are older can use fluoride toothpaste but are usually interested in sweeter, more powerful flavors. Below we’ve got some kid friendly and kid-interested options for SLS free toothpaste that you can browse through.
Kiss My Face Kids Fluoride Toothpaste
Our first option comes in the form of Kiss My Face Kids Fluoride Toothpaste. This option leaves out triclosan, artificial colors/flavors, parabens and obviously, SLS. It’s naturally effective ingredients like cranberry, aloe, and tea tree extracts help to keep your kids teeth healthy while also providing an interesting flavor. It’s also cruelty free to boot!
It’s important to note that in the case, berry equals cranberry. You won’t be getting any blueberry or strawberry blast out of this toothpaste so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Even still, it’s a pretty entertaining taste for kids even for adults (there’s no shame here… it’s really not bad!). The texture is a bit thicker than most toothpastes but doesn’t hinder the experience whatsoever.
Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste
If you’re looking for a fluoride free, completely swallowable option for your kid, Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste will serve you well. Aside from the fun, exciting packaging and art, Jack N’ Jill Natraul Toothpaste is fluoride free and SLS free. It’s also free of sugar, artificial coloring and preservatives.
This particular toothpaste has a safety cap that will be difficult for children to open. You’ll notice that it doesn’t foam up at all. Don’t be concerened about this – sometimes the lack of SLS causes this. It just depends on the different ingredients in the product.
The blueberry taste is very appealing to kids, but they also have black currant, strawberry, raspberry and banana flavors to choose from.
Baby Bling Fluoride-free Toothpaste
Baby Bling, the toothpaste for “little giggles and grown-up grins”. Tanner’s Tasty Paste has a pretty unique product on their hands. This toothpaste is free from fluoride, saccharin, SLS and is also gluten-free. It’ll work well for just about any purpose. You can also swallow it with absolutely no adverse health effects. In fact, powerful (if sweet) flavor will likely encourage your kids to brush more often.
The ice cream flavor is certainly unique. I can’t say I’m the hugest fan, but it’ll appeal well to the little ones running around.
The Baby Bling toothpaste will work well for the really young members of your family who need to be brushing their teeth. It also works well for the older ones too J
Our final category focuses on those who have chosen the vegan lifestyle. Finding a toothpaste that’s vegan-approved is tough enough in the first place. Finding a toothpaste without SLS that’s vegan approved is even harder. Well fear not – below we’ve got two excellent options along with two more that we covered earlier (Auromere and Himalaya).
Uncle Harry’s Natural Toothpaste
The first of the two vegan toothpastes is Uncle Harry’s Natural Toothpaste. This option is vegan, fluoride free, gluten free, glycerin free and SLS free. Free from everything!
Uncle Harry’s Natural Toothpaste is made from powerful mineral clay, sea salt, and pure plant essences. You’ll notice that the smaller jar (only 3 oz.) is pretty small. We’ve found that it’ll last for around three or so months. You may find yourself running out a tad earlier if you use more toothpaste as opposed to less, but it’ll still hold up for a similar time to competitors.
You’ll find the taste to be pretty strong, if a bit bitter. If you’re used to sugar filled toothpaste then you’ll definitely notice that this toothpaste is a bit stronger. It certainly lacks a ‘sweetness’ to it.
Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste
Our final toothpaste without SLS is the Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste. It’s quite a mouthful. And by that I mean you won’t mind having a mouthful of it because it’s SLS free, vegan, doesn’t have fluoride and is made from all natural ayurvedic ingredients (ooooh, what a segue!)!
Desert Essence is another company that sources their ingredients based on the ayurvedic principles. They include a variety of natural ingredients, including aromatic tea tree oil. It also utilizes Neem which, as we mentioned above, has been used for cleaning teeth for centuries.
The taste is pretty subtle and it doesn’t have any aftertaste either. You’ll find the texture to be a tad bit clumpier and less smooth than other toothpastes, but that’s simply due to the ingredients used to make it. The rest of the brushing experience will feel pretty standard.
SLS Free Toothpaste Wrap Up
Well there we are! Those are the best options we’ve found if you’re looking for a toothpaste without SLS. There are plenty alternatives out there so if you’re looking for an SLS free toothpaste, you’ve got a lot of stuff to choose from! As always, if you’ve got any comments, questions or concerns drop a comment below or contact us! Happy brushing!