Finally, Bomb Oral Care That's Great For Your Teeth (And The Planet)
If you love to look after the environment and are conscious about what you put in your body, you might have struggled to find oral care that promised both. When it comes to oral care, it’s hard to get as excited as we might about a new serum, but if there’s any brand that’s doing it for us, it’s Spotlight Oral Care. This new brand isn’t like any other on the market, for one, it’s the first brand to formulate products with both clinically effective, active ingredients and cruelty-free, clean labels.
We’re also excited about it as it’s a female-founded brand. Founded by dentist sisters from Ireland, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Vanessa Creaven have been working in the industry for a combined 15 years, and they’re passionate about creating a new standard of bespoke, safe and effective oral care – so far, we are majorly impressed. Having tried their efficient – and affordable – Teeth Whitening Strips a couple of years ago, they’ve now extended their range. The collection now includes all kinds of toothpastes (the tubes are made from sugar cane, making them the world’s first-ever 100% recyclable tubes), toothbrushes, teeth whitening dental floss (made from recycled ocean plastic), and a handy Teeth Whitening Pen, $20.
We’ll be honest, before we came across this brand, we didn’t think too much about what was in our toothpaste. However, we’ve since discovered that the mouth is 3000 times more absorbent than our skin, which means the ingredients in toothpaste are being actively absorbed into our bloodstream, and therefore, impacting our overall health. Another major bonus of the brand, all their products are cruelty-free (unlike most of the offering on the current market that’s often tested on animals) and vegan-friendly.
We spoke to Dr. Vanessa Creaven, CEO and Co-Founder at Spotlight Oral Care to find out more about the effect ingredients used in oral care can have on our bodies, and what clean oral care really means.
What health benefits can switching to clean oral care have?
Vanessa: Unlike skincare, people aren’t as switched-on when it comes to ingredients contained in oral care products – and these are things we’re putting in our mouths every day, and it’s getting absorbed by our bodies.
Toxic additives and ingredients used in some standard toothpastes have been linked with negative effects on our bodies. These harmful ingredients have been linked in research studies with thyroid and hormone disruption, liver and kidney dysfunction, and increased autoinflammatory reactions in our bodies.
For example, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a common foaming agent in toothpaste. As you may know, it is a derivative of palm oil. This ingredient has no benefit on the health of your teeth or gums and is found in 95% of toothpastes that have been linked with an increased incidence of mouth ulcers and autoinflammatory reactions in our oral tissues, and our bodies.
In our bespoke toothpastes, we have substituted this ingredient with a derivative from coconut oil which still allows a foaming action but is much more gentle on the oral tissues.
Another harmful ingredient is Triclosan. It was incorporated into toothpastes for over 100 years but banned in hand soap by the FDA due to the questionable systemic side effects. That doesn’t make sense to us.
Can clean oral care be just as effective as regular toothpaste brands?
Vanessa: Absolutely! Our ethos as dentists is: you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your oral care for good systemic health. Our basic belief is that all oral care products and ingredients should be beneficial; not just for your teeth but also our bodies.
All of our products have active ingredients that target specific common ailments that our patients and customers say, are their biggest issues. We use the most up-to-date dental clinical research on what active ingredients are – showing the best results to reduce: sensitivity, whitening, cavities, decay, and helping with gum disease; which are all formulated into our bespoke tubes of toothpaste to prevent long-term oral health issues.
On top of this, our toothpaste tubes are made from sugarcane and 100% recyclable. This was, and is, important to us. Almost 1 billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfills each year from the US alone. This creates a huge burden on our environmental footprint, and to do our part to do better, Lisa and I pushed to find a sustainable and environmentally-focused option for our patients and customers to buy and use.
When we asked Dr. Vanessa Craven why going down the clean route was so important, she explained that she and her sister have both been passionate about supporting the environment on a personal level for years, and that they simply couldn’t find effective oral care on the market that was both good for your teeth and sustainable. “We were forced to choose between two cohorts of toothpaste: one, mass-market brands that contain the clinically proven active ingredients we recommend as dentists but with questionable additives in non-recyclable packaging or two, “good for you” toothpastes, which are free of any questionable additives but also do not contain the clinically proven active ingredients; which we recommend as dentists to promote and maintain good oral health. We wanted to create the ideal toothpaste solution for us that contained clinically proven active ingredients; free of any questionable additives and comes in sustainable packaging.”
We are seriously impressed with the collection, which manages to combine sleek and eco-friendly packaging with formulas that actually make a difference, without compromising your oral-systemic health. Even more of a bonus, the Spotlight Oral Care collection is now available at Ulta.com and in over 900 Ulta Beauty stores nationwide. Our top picks are the Toothpaste for Whitening Teeth, $10, we love how it tastes and the fact that it’s not sensitizing for teeth, and the Dental Teeth Whitening Strips, $50, which are a full two-week course that really does brighten your smile.
Have you guys tried to switch to clean oral care before? Let us know in the comments below.