It’s so hard to find healthy personal care products these days- at least not ones that don’t cost an arm and a leg- now that we are more aware of the harmful effects of many common ingredients.
Examples of these common ingredients are:
- Fluoride- shown not to be significantly effective for protecting teeth, and included in amounts high enough to be toxic, especially to children
- Plastic microbeads- these absorb toxins from water then get eaten by fish, which are eaten by us- yum, toxic plastic
- Triclosan- a hormone-disrupting antibacterial
- Sodium lauryl sulphate- a surfactant which causes environmental damage
- Dyes- neurotoxic
- Aluminum- can build up in body tissues and cause neurotoxicity and hormonal disruption
Toothpaste is one of those tricky products that can often have sneaky ingredients in it, while marketing itself as healthy. That’s why I started looking for a safe, effective, easy DIY toothpaste recipe. DIY projects also make for great Christmas presents!
During my search, I came across a recipe by David Suzuki’s Queen of Green that contains ingredients that one would commonly find in their kitchen.
Here’s the recipe, and my review below:
Queen of Green toothpaste recipe
Time needed: five minutes
Shelf life: approximately six months
45 ml (3 Tbsp) certified organic coconut oil
45 ml (3 Tbsp) baking soda
5 drops essential oil (optional) e.g., peppermint, tea tree
2.5 ml (½ tsp) xylitol, stevia or bentonite clay (optional)
Add all ingredients to an air-tight container and mix to form a paste. You may want to melt the coconut oil first for easier mixing. Make this recipe your own by altering ingredient ratios and optional additives to get your desired consistency, flavour and results.
Note: Xylitol is a sweetener but also inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes cavities (it's not safe for pets). Bentonite clay is helpful because it's alkaline and can assist with remineralization. You can also substitute vegetable glycerin (found at health food stores) for coconut oil. (And because coconut oil buildup might clog drains, spit into the compost instead of the sink after you brush!)
I added a couple drops each of wintergreen, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus essential oils and included xylitol. I found this recipe to be extremely easy to make, and very pretty. I love how you can smell/taste the essential oils after brushing.
It does have a slight baking soda aftertaste so next time I might replace some with another abrasive, maybe bentonite clay.
I hope you try this recipe and I would love to hear how it goes! I would also love to see other recipe ideas!