Toothpaste is probably the most regularly used body care product around which is why it was one of the first products we scrutinized for sustainable, cruelty free toothpaste alternatives.
To learn how we picked away the plaque and came up with these brands (and why traditional toothpastes are worse than root canals), brush on down to the bottom of the article.
This list prioritizes cruelty free toothpaste. If you want to lower your impact even more, especially on the packaging front, head on over to our other article on zero waste toothpaste.
If a zero waste option is not for you, please remember that the brands on this list mostly use plastic packaging, which needs to be recycled properly. You can do this through Terracycle.
CRUELTY FREE TOOTHPASTE BRANDS WITHOUT FLUORIDE
1. DR BRONNER’S
**Note: Dr Bronner’s have gone the extra mile to ensure their palm oil is truly ethically and sustainably harvested. Read more below.
Dr. Bronner’s All-One Cruelty Free Toothpastes:
We’ve tried a couple of different Dr. Bronner’s cruelty-free toothpastes – both the cinnamon and peppermint flavor! We seem to be divided on which is better, but the cinnamon sure is unique! They also offer Spearmint and Anise flavors.
They’re all 70% certified organic and the packaging is 100% recycled, which is far better than virgin plastic! They don’t contain any detergent foaming agents, fluoride, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners.
About Dr. Bronner’s:
Dr. Bronner’s are one of the most sustainable brands around with one of the best cruelty free toothpastes on offer.
Their large range of skincare, haircare and dental products are organic, cruelty free, vegan and contain palm oil that is genuinely sustainable and ethically sourced.
Dr Bronner’s is a B Corp company and they have an innovative approach to fair-trade. Their packaging is made of post consumer recycled materials and is also recyclable. They also support a range of charities.
In regards to palm oil:
Though their palm oil is not RSPO sourced or certified (which is no guarantee that the palm oil is in fact sustainable), it is sustainably harvested from farmlands in Ghana. There they work with small growers to help them convert to organic practices and palm oil processing plants based on the traditional system commonly used by women entrepreneurs.
Watch this short animation about this truly Fair-Trade palm oil
2. GREEN BEAVER
*Note while all Green Beaver’s toothpastes are vegan, a few of their other products contain honey or beeswax (read more below)
Green Beaver Ethical Cruelty Free Toothpaste
Green Beaver’s toothpaste was one of the first products they developed. they have been cruelty free from the beginning and are Peta certified!
They have a range of flavors like cilantro mint, cinnamon, frosty mint, green apple, spearmint, star anise and zesty orange. We can vouch for the frosty mint, which is very similar to regular minty toothpastes.
According to a number of reviews this is a really effective vegan and cruelty free toothpaste, just make sure you get the flavor best suited to your taste buds (not everyone likes star anise!).
They’re made from natural ingredients such as lemon / mint / tea tree extracts, silica, calcium carbonate (natural mineral whiteners) and glycerin (note this is derived from coconut oil).
As for the environment, their toothpastes are entirely organic and palm oil free and their plastic packaging includes post-consumer recycled plastics.
Since we first wrote about Green Beaver, they have become much more widely available! Their toothpaste is now available at Walmart!
About Green Beaver
Green Beaver is a family owned business and have been manufacturing hand-made certified organic personal care products since 2001.
All their products are 100% cruelty-free, palm oil free, organic / natural and vegan friendly (except for their lip balms and sunscreen lotions which contain organic beeswax and honey from the Hockley Farm).
Their products are certified by EcoCert and they’re committed to sustainability. They try to source as many local organic ingredients as they can to reduce their carbon footprint.
They’re also involved in a number of initiatives and charitable partnerships, for example, they recently started working with ‘The Fur-Bearer Defenders’.
Green Beaver was also the first Canadian company to be microbead-free since day one.
3. MY MAGIC MUD
My Magic Mud Vegan Activated Charcoal Toothpastes
My Magic Mud specializes in active charcoal oral care (dental floss, toothpastes and tooth powder) and cruelty free whitening toothpaste.
Made in the USA, these vegan toothpastes are free of synthetic chemicals, Leaping Bunny cruelty free certified, non-GMO and fluoride free. Many of their ingredients are organic.
Their toothpaste range includes include Mint Hemp Oil, Peppermint/Spearment Silver Charcoal Whitening, Cinnamon/Peppermint/Spearmint/Wintergreen Charcoal Whitening.
Overall, Magic Mud’s vegan toothpaste’s have gained some great reviews and have a bit of a cult following in the USA.
About My Magic Mud
My Magic Mud are a family owned business hailing from Texas.
They’ve taken A LOT of care in manufacturing oral care products (including eco friendly toothpastes and toothbrushes).
They’re certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny and their products do not contain any palm oil, SLS, flouride or glycerin. They are also certified by the Natural Cosmetics Standard and are vegan-friendly.
The essential oils used in their products are sourced from organic growers and they’re non-GMO certified. You can watch My Magic Mud’s short video here for more of their story.
Radius Cruelty-Free Toothpaste
Radius make a very unique cruelty free toothpaste – it’s the first USDA certified organic alternative. This toothpaste comes in two flavors: mint aloe neem and ginger citrus whitening.
It contains delicious ingredients like coconut and rosemary oil, chamomile flower, aloe vera and a couple of other novel ingredients like blue agave syrup (low GI and totally natural sweetener) and soapberry (natural foaming agent with antibacterial properties).
It does however, contain glycerin which is derived from palm oil. Radius have confirmed that this is RSPO certitified.
Radius packaging is predominantly plastic, which is recyclable (but be sure to recycle properly) and BPA free.
What started out as Kevin Foley and James O’Halloran toothbrush-design brainchild back in 1980 is now a fully fledged and internationally known dental care specialist brand.
Radius is a Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free toothpaste brand and they are vegan-friendly, except for their Natural Biodegradable Silk Floss which comes from silk worms.
Radius take a holistic and sustainable approach to their business, from the design to the manufacture and finally the disposal of their products.
Their toothbrushes, for example, are not only designed to last three times longer than conventional toothbrushes but only the used head has to be replaced which eliminates throwing away the entire toothbrush.
They primarily use renewable bioplastics like timber, agricultural byproducts and plastic bottles. All their packaging is recyclable and in the case of their floss sachets, compostable and biodegradable.
They are also very careful in how they source their ingredients from all over the world.
In 2011 they installed a huge amount of solar panels that now generate more than half of their energy needs.
RADIUS also supports the Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Kids Foundation, and Vitamin Angels
5. GREEN PEOPLE
*Note : These toothpastes are 100% Vegan however not all Green People products are vegan. We have attempted to confirm policies with this brand and have never received a reponse
Green People Natural Cruelty Free Toothpaste
Green People’s cruelty free toothpastes are vegan and non-toxic. They do not contain any SLSs, parabens, colourents, foaming agents, synthetic fragrances or irritating emulsifiers.
They come in a number of flavors including citrus & aloe vera, peppermint and spearmint. There are also a couple of kids options too in the same flavors.
As for the taste, it’s a bit more like your standard ordinary toothpastes which will suit those of us who are a little less adventurous or are adjusting to the al natural side of things.
Their packaging is made of PP or HDPE plastics which contain no phthalates and are 100% recyclable, but not made from recycled materials. Please ensure you recycle these tubes properly!
Green People is based in the UK so this is is a great option for those looking for cruelty free toothpaste in the UK.
About Green People
Green People specialize in organic, chemical free beauty products. They have an impressive range that includes hair care, skincare and makeup.
All their products are all cruelty free and many are also vegan friendly (see here for their vegan catalogue). They are PETA and Soil Association (organic) certified and they source fairtrade ingredients wherever possible. they are also EcoCert certified.
Their products do contain palm oil, however, they say on their website that they source the palm oil from countries where there are no native orangutans where no new deforestation is occurring.
We reached out to them on this point to get more information but have never received a response.
Green People’s packaging is recyclable and they support a variety of charities from children’s hospice to marine conservation
Schmidt’s stocks a nice range of vegan and cruelty free toothpastes with unique flavors like Vanilla Chai and Jasmine & Spearmint. They also offer a range of cruelty free mouthwash and kid’s toothpaste with yum flavors like coconut and pineapple.
Schmidt’s packaging is plastic which is not zero waste and does not contain any post consumer waste but is recyclable: “Schmidt’s toothpaste tubes are recycling #7, and the caps are #5”.
Their products are free from harmful ingredients like SLS and parabens.
Portland based deodorant specialists, Schmidt’s make a range of natural products including their famous deodorant.
All their products are certified cruelty-free and vegan. They are certificatied with Leaping Bunny. They have also been honored by the Humane Society for their efforts towards ending animal testing in America
Schmidt’s previously confirmed with us that their soaps contain sustainably harvested palm oil. Given their toothpastes contain palm oil derivatives (like glycerin), we are assuming that the toothpastes also contain palm oil.
As far as their ethical practices go, Schmidt’s state: “All manufacturing, processing, and production of our ingredients are responsibly stewarded and minimize unnecessary steps, never sacrificing product quality.”
7. DAVID’S TOOTHPASTE
*Note: We will be confirming policies directly with this brand
David’s Natural and Cruelty Free Toothpaste
David’s Toothpaste came rocketing onto the natural and cruelty free toothpaste scene in 2015. They have 4 flavors to choose from and a super elegant design (not something you normally see in the toothpaste world!)
Their toothpaste is vegan friendly and cruelty free (certified by Leaping Bunny) and the ingredients are sourced and derived from nature, predominantlty in the USA.
Their formulas are free of artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners.
They are unique in particular because their packaging is made from aluminium with a Food Grade Non-BPA liner.
Aluminium is easier to recycle than plastic however, as a conscious consumer, there are a few things that you’d need to do to recycle properly. Per the website:
1. Take some scissors or shears and cut off both ends of the tube.
2. Cut a slit the full length of the tube to fold open the tube to access the inside of the tube for cleaning….the edges of metal are sharp, so please be careful.
3. Wash off the excess paste with running water….toothbrush can be helpful here for removing all the paste.
4. Discard metal in recycle bin. It will be up to your local waste management provider to properly sort/recycle as we do not currently take back used tubes for recycling.
About David’s Natural Toothpaste
David’s Natural Toothpaste was founded by Eric David Buss in 2015 after 4 years of research and development to create a better alternative to what was available.
Per the website: “Davids was founded with one vision….create the highest quality premium natural toothpaste with a commitment to sustainability…the sustainability of nature, the sustainability of American jobs, and the sustainability of your health…the sustainability of nature+america+you”
David’s is a great option for those based in the USA who want to support local jobs. 98% are of USA origin, “supporting the sustainability of the USA economy and American jobs”
Their paperboard packaging only comes from forests protected and managed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
*Note the toothpastes are vegan however not all products are vegan. We have attempted to confirm these policies directly with the brand but have never received a response.
Ecostore offer a range of toothpaste options including Complete Care, Propolis, Whitening and also cruelty free toothpaste for kids.
Their toothpaste are all made without Methylparaben Propylparaben Butylparaben, Synthetic Dyes, Triclosan, Aspartame and Sodium Saccharin. They check all the ingredients they do use against international safety standards.
Many of their toothpastes are suitable for vegans, however their Propolis Flavour is not. Ecostore is however a 100% cruelty free brand, certified by PETA
Much like the other toothpaste brands on this list, the packaging is not easily recycled in your normal curbside recycling. If you’re in New Zealand, you can send back to Ecostore to recycle or if elsewhere, you can do it through Terracycle.
Based in New Zealand, Ecostore is a multi-award winning brand that was launched in 1993 in an eco-village. They have a huge range of home and body products including haircare, skincare, and even kosher-certified dish soap options.
All their products are natural, cruelty free and vegan (with the exception of a small few that are not vegan) and contain sustainable palm oil.
In effort to fully manage the palm oil supply chain, they work directly with suppliers. These suppliers are requires to meet RSPO and GreenPalm requirements (which if followed correctly would ensure a sustainable palm oil industry). They are also contractually required to not harvest from high, medium or low carbon stock forest areas.
This organization is constantly looking to innovate, as seen in their sugarcane plastic bottles, renewable energy powered factory, ethical ingredient sourcing, and FSC-certified packaging.
We have attempted to confirm these policies directly with the brand but have never received a response.
Miessence Vegan, Cruelty-Free Toothpaste
Miessence’s toothpastes are vegan, cruelty-free, mostly organic and free of palm oil, artificial colors, flavorings, fluoride, aluminium and detergents.
They contain a couple of interesting ingredients like aloe vera and cinnamon leaf essential oil.
They come in three flavors: lemon, mint and anise. We’ve tried the mint flavor and the taste is quite different to your usual toothpastes and will take a little getting used to.
There’s also no foaming agent which may make the toothpaste feel sort of ineffective, however, we think this is more to do with what we’re used to and not about whether the product works or not. This is another good option for sensitive teeth.
Based in Queensland Australia, Miessence was the world’s first certified organic cosmetic and skincare range. All their products are organic, cruelty-free and vegan (except for some beeswax used in some products).
When we originally wrote this article, Miessence said on their website that they were moving away from palm oil, however we cannot find any further information on their new website and they never responded to our request for information.
Miessence is 110% carbon negative, they use renewable wind energy and they only source ingredients from fair trade protected growers.
Their products are all available in plastic containers and while we assume these are recyclable, there appears to be no public guidance from Miessence on this.
10. DESERT ESSENCE
*Note not all products are vegan however there are vegan options. We have attempted to confirm these policies directly with the brand but have never received a response.
Desert Essence Toothpaste
Desert Essence offer a large range of fluoride free cruelty free toothpaste, many with some very unique flavours like Pink Himalayan salt. They also have a whitening option.
Desert Essence are certified Cruelty free by Leaping Bunny. They use many USDA Organic and non-GMO ingredients and don’t include any artificual dyes or fragrances.
Their toothpastes contain ingredients commonly sourced from palm oil. Their website states that they use palm oil from RSPO certitied suppliers in their bar soaps but there is no mention of the palm oil derivatives in their other products.
Some products contain Beeswax, Honey or Keratin so check the labels if you are after a vegan toothpaste.
Desert Essence don’t explicitly talk about their toothpaste tube packaging (only to refer to the label) however, like most toothpaste brands, the plastic tubes are unlikely to be easily recycled in your normal curbside recycling. You will likely need to recycle through Terracycle.
About Desert Essence
There is not much publicly available about Desert Essence’s background. Their range of products include skincare, bodycare, haircare, personal care and oral care. They are made in the USA with ingredients from all over the world. They are also a B Corp
They say that they support sustainable farming practices, use wind power and try to reduce their carbon emissions. On their sourcing, they say “ingredients are gathered around the globe from suppliers who share our love and respect for the planet and all who inhabit it.”
They also give “1% of your purchase of select oil blends goes to give girls in impoverished areas access to education”
CRUELTY FREE TOOTHPASTE BRANDS WITH FLUORIDE OPTIONS
*We are reaching out to confirm policies with this brand
hello® offer one of the widest range we’ve seen. They have a few options for cruelty free fluoride toothpaste, including an option for sensitive teeth and one for whitening.
Something we haven’t seen before, they also offer an am/pm bundle with whitening in the morning and charcoal in the evening. They also offer toothpaste tablets which is great for anyone wanting to use zero waste toothpaste although these don’t currently contain fluoride.
hello® Toothpastes are certified Cruelty free by Leaping Bunny They are also certified cruelty free and vegan by PETA.
Their toothpastes contain glycerin made from palm kernel oil. They also contain other ingredients like lauryl glucoside and sodium cocoyl glutamate which can also be made from palm oil.
hello® state that they source these palm ingredients sustainably from Malaysia and the Philippines. Their glycerin is from an RSPO supplier. Unclear if the other ingredients have any palm oil certifiation.
Their toothpaste are all made without toxic ingredients.
Toothpaste tube packaging is made from plastic and like all tubes is not easily recycled in your normal curbside recycling. You will likely need to recycle through Terracycle.
hello® is based in Montclair, N.J. They started back in 2013 by a “small, passionate crew, using thoughtful, effective ingredients”. The founder is Craig Dubitsky who has quite the brackground in consumer products (worth a read on the website)!
They also sell mouthwash and toothbrushes.
They are all about being friendly (hence the name and the unique option to skype with them) and pride themselves on transparency (you can read about every ingredient on their website).
As they say: “hello is about a lot of things, from how we source our thoughtful ingredients to how we treat each other inside and outside of the office. friendly is an idea and a set of ideals around how we want to be as people, as a company, and as a provider of responsible products we feel lucky enough to interact with every day.”
12. TOM’S OF MAINE
*Note: Some Tom’s of Maine Products contain bee products however there are vegan options available. We are reaching out to confirm policies with this brand
Tom’s of Maine Cruelty Free Toothpaste
Tom’s Of Maine offer a huge range of oral care products and in particular cruelty free toothpase for every need including for anti-cavity, enamel strength, sensitive teeth and whitening.
Tom’s of Maine are certified Cruelty free by PETA. However, they are owned by Colgate-Palmolive, which does test on animals. Ethical Consumer suggests sending Colgate-Palmolive a tweet or an email to let them know how you feel about this.
Their toothpastes contain ingredients commonly sourced from palm oil. Tom’s of Maine sources palm oil from RSPO certitied (or the “equivalent standard”) suppliers.
Some products contain bee products so check the labels if you are after a vegan toothpaste.
Their ingredients are all naturally sourced and derived and they exclude common ingredients considered to be toxic. However they do say that they provide a choice on ingredients like fluoride and SLS byt providing both options so do be sure to check the labelling if you’d like to avoid certain ingredients.
Tom’s of Maine is currently transitioning to a recyclable toothpaste tube. Your tube needs to have the recycle label, in which case it can be recycled with other #2 plastics (read more here). If not, the toothpaste tube is not easily recycled in your normal curbside recycling. You will likely need to recycle through Terracycle with which Tom’s of Maine are partnering.
About Tom’s of Maine
Amazingly Tom’s of Maine was founded in 1970 by Tom and Kate Chappell! Well ahead of it’s time in creating safer personal care products.
Today Tom’s of Maine is based in Kennebunk, Maine and has become a registered B Corp.
They give 10% of their profits to nonprofit organizations, encourage their employees to use 5% of their paid time to volunteer with an organization of their choice.
They were acquired by Colgate-Palmolive in 2006. Some of their customers have been upset by this acquisition given Colgate-Palmolive does not appear to live up to the same ethical standards as Tom’s of Maine.
*Note the toothpastes are vegan however not all products are vegan. We have attempted to confirm these policies directly with the brand but have never received a response.
JASÖN Powersmile Toothpaste
JASÖN manufacture a variety of cruelty free toothpaste with fluoride and without fluoride
They’re formulated with mostly natural and a couple of certified organic ingredients (e.g. tea tree oil and aloe vera juice). They steer clear of the unhealthy suspects like sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, lanolin, petroleum, glycol and nano-particles.
We’ve tried the Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste which feels and tastes very similar to a regular Colgate or Aquafresh. It’s also one of the stronger natural options available.
Overall, a good alternative for those that want a bit more of a traditional taste and feel.
JASÖN has been creating natural body care products for more than 50 years.
Their manufacturing plant in Culver City, California is a Certified Organic Processor – the first personal care manufacturer to be given this status by the Californian Certified Organic Farmers Certification.
They’re also 100% cruelty-free and carry the Leaping Bunny logo. They’re a certified vegetarian brand and most of their products are also vegan friendly though some of which contain animal derived ingredients (e.g. beeswax).
They do use palm oil in their products. We have never heard back from JASÖN to confirm their palm oil policies.
JASÖN’s boxes are recyclable as are the tubes, however, like most brands on this list, the plastic tubes need to be carefully recycled to avoid going to landfill. They don’t typically get recycled in curbside recycling programs. JASÖN does not appear to use recycled materials in their plastic tubes.
VEGAN TOOTHPASTE THAT’S NOT CRUELTY-FREE
Often the term “vegan” and “cruelty free” are used interchangeably. Which is fine for the most part. At its heart, the principle behind each term is the same. The protection of our furry and not-so-furry animal friends and their rights.
But there is a critical difference and it’s important to know what it is. By doing so, we’ll ensure that there’s no ethical gap in the products we buy.
- Cruelty-free products, are by definition products that are not tested on animals. But they still contain animal ingredients or animal by-products which would have necessitated the death of an animal. Which then surely cannot be cruelty-free?
- Vegan products, are products that don’t contain animal ingredients. But they may still be tested on animals, which is surely not in the spirit of veganism?
So, for example, a vegan toothpaste may not contain any animal ingredients but it has been tested on animals. On the flip side, for example, a cruelty free sunscreen that hasn’t been tested on animals may still include glycerin derived from animal parts and is therefore not vegan friendly.
Glycerin can (confusingly) also be derived from palm oil. If you, like us, prefer to avoid palm oil (have a read here, hereand here for some background on the issue), look for a palm oil free option below.
COLGATE, AQUAFRESH, ORAL-B, SENSODYNE – CRUELTY-FREE TOOTHPASTES?
It’s also worth pointing out that most of the well known conventional toothpastes like Colgate, Oral-B, Sensodyne, Crest and Aquafresh (to name a few), are just about all owned by the same 3 holding companies – Church & Dwight, GlaxoSmithKline, and Procter and Gamble.
Which means they’re tested on animals.
What is surprising though is that they’re likely to be vegan friendly as they don’t contain any animal ingredients or animal byproducts. The usual suspect was glycerin but now they’re manufacturing a cheaper synthetic version of the ingredient which is being used in most of the off-the-shelf vegan toothpastes.
To us, the combination of vegan AND cruelty free in toothpastes is the way to go!
UNHEALTHY ADDITIVES IN CRUELTY FREE TOOTHPASTES
Your run of the mill toothpastes usually contain a cocktail of unhealthy and harmful chemicals. Many of which are absorbed by the cells in your mouth (which is, like our skin, porous), like:
- Triclosan, the antibacterial chemical which has been linked to antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS, the foaming agent which has been known to cause skin irritation, canker sores and various dioxanes which are carcinogenic byproducts.
- Fluoride, the cavity prevention ingredient abundantly found in most water supplies around the world and, of course, our toothpastes. This additive is now coming under fire as unnecessary and unhealthy. Though, the jury still seems to be out on whether or not it is actually detrimental to our health. Given many dentists (including ours) are still insisting on including fluoride in our routine, we’re including some cruelty free toothpaste that have fluoride.
- Microbeads, the tiny plastic pellets that are used in a variety of body care products. Our marine wildlife end up eating these plastic bits and we, as a result of eating fish, also end up ingesting them. Thankfully, most countries these days have banned this ingredient.
FINDING CRUELTY-FREE VEGAN TOOTHPASTES
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST CRUELTY FREE TOOTHPASTE BRANDS
We hope this list has made you smile… in more ways than one!
If there’s anything that makes us grin from ear to ear, it’s learning about so many ethically minded companies that are doing their bit to make a difference in the world.
If you have any suggestions for vegan and cruelty free toothpaste brands we may have missed, let us know in the comments! Also be sure to check out our article on zero waste toothpaste for brands that are also lowering their impact by reducing the waste of their containers.