Unfortunately, most of the market-leading toothpastes sold in the UK are not cruelty free. At the time of writing, this includes Arm & Hammer, Aquafresh, Colgate and Sensodyne. According to PETA, all of these brands are tested on animals.
If you want to make a more animal-friendly choice, then take a peek at our list of the best cruelty-free toothpastes in the UK reviewed below.
Please note, the toothpastes in this list are cruelty-free to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing, but make sure to double-check before buying.
Best Cruelty-Free Toothpastes in the UK
1. Green People Mint Toothpaste
This vegan toothpaste from Green People is flavoured with peppermint and aloe vera, which create a lovely refreshing feeling after brushing. Aloe vera also works as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, so it can help with sensitive and even bleeding gums.
Active organic plant ingredient myrrh acts as an antiseptic and astringent to help soothe and heal any broken or inflamed gum tissue.
Green People create products with no nasties and include organic ingredients wherever possible – this specific mint toothpaste has been certified with more than 89% organic plant ingredients by EcoCert.
These organic plant ingredients are also sustainably sourced, so not only are they cruelty-free and kind to animals, they are kind to the environment too!
- 100% natural
- Over 89% organic
- Good for sensitive teeth
- Relatively pricey
- Consistency may be a little runny
- Taste may not suit all
- Grey colour of paste may put some off
2. Kingfisher Mint Fluoride Free Toothpaste
Kingfisher have created a minty, fluoride-free toothpaste which doesn’t contain any artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
There are also no sweeteners or whiteners in the formula, so everything is kept nice and natural as well as being suitable for vegans.
Approved by the British Dental Health Foundation, this cruelty-free toothpaste has been recommended as an effective way to clean your teeth and for oral health.
Although the majority of ingredients in this toothpaste are natural, it still contains SLS (sodium laureth sulphate).
Some people may have bad reactions to this ingredient, so it may not be the best choice if you suffer from sensitivity (see some of the best SLS-free toothpastes here).
- Refreshing mint flavour
- Approved by the BDHF
- Quite pricey
- Does not froth much
- Contains SLS
- Taste may not suit all
3. JĀSÖN Natural Cosmetics Powersmile Toothpaste
This toothpaste from JĀSÖN is made using an exclusive blend of natural ingredients which help to reduce stains, protect enamel and keep teeth looking and feeling clean.
The natural peppermint oil flavours the paste and helps to freshen breath, grapefruit seed and perilla seed extracts help to fight sugar acids which damage your teeth and calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and silica help prevent tartar build-up (as well as helping to whiten your smile).
There are other cruelty-free oral care products in the JĀSÖN range which are recommended, such as mouthwash, to help boost your oral hygiene and keep your mouth healthy.
- Mint flavoured
- A little goes a long way (more cost effective)
- Pretty expensive
- Users may not see whitening effect straight away
- Consistency of product might not suit all
4. Activated Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste
Activated charcoal is proving pretty popular as of late (see some of the best charcoal toothpastes here), so you may want to try this toothpaste from Pro Teeth Whitening Co for a change to your dental routine.
Charcoal toothpaste is black, which might take some getting used to. Despite its dark colour, activated charcoal is thought to actually help whiten teeth and reduce plaque naturally. While charcoal might sound abrasive, this toothpaste is actually a good choice for sensitive gums.
This paste can be used by the whole family and should last a decent amount of time, as only a small pea-sized amount is needed each time.
The charcoal toothpaste uses 100% naturally derived ingredients including aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, which comes from the aloe vera plant and could help with gum disease.
This toothpaste is fluoride free and as well as being cruelty-free. It’s also vegan.
- Good for sensitive gums
- Many people get good whitening results with consistent use
- Leaves your mouth feeling clean
- Teeth whitening isn’t always effective
- Quite expensive
5. Dr. Bronner’s All-One Peppermint Toothpaste
Dr Bronner’s are best known for their organic soaps, but the company also make this vegan and cruelty-free peppermint toothpaste.
It’s fluoride free and is made with 70% organic ingredients, including organic oils (coconut oil and peppermint oil to be specific).
It also comes in a recyclable box and tube, making it a more eco-friendly choice. Combine it with a bamboo toothbrush to make your dental care routine even more planet friendly.
This product has a nice fresh taste, unlike some fluoride-free options which don’t have such a traditional toothpaste taste.
- Fresh minty taste
- Recyclable tube and box
- No synthetic ingredients
- Doesn’t lather very well (like most sulphate-free toothpastes)
Cruelty Free vs. Vegan Toothpaste
Cruelty free and vegan aren’t the same thing. Cruelty free means that animals haven’t been harmed or used while producing a product or testing it. Vegan means that a product doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or uses animals at any point of the production line.
The most commonly used animal-derived ingredient in toothpaste is glycerine, which helps give their paste-like texture. It can be derived from plant sources or from animal bone marrow.
Is Ecodenta Toothpaste Cruelty Free?
According to the Ecodenta website, the majority of the brand’s products are cruelty free.
Ecodenta Extra Black Whitening Toothpaste is marketed as a vegan product by Holland and Barrett. Like a lot of vegan products, it can be difficult to know the origins of some of the ingredients.
This toothpate uses CI 77499 which is an iron oxide and used for its black colouring. It can be found in cosmetics and often eye liner. A lot of colourants are tested on animals because of the potential dangers in using them for human use.
Although the iron oxide in this toothpaste may not have been directly tested on animals, the ingredient could only be certified as safe for use via testing on animals. Depending on your exact definition, this could mean that Ecodenta toothpaste is not cruelty free.
Which Toothpaste Brands Do Test on Animals?
Testing cosmetics products on animals and selling cosmetics products tested on animals has been banned in the UK and EU since 2013.
This means that even if toothpastes are tested on animals outside Europe, you won’t be able to buy them in the UK.
According to Ethical Elephant, the following oral care brands do some animal testing:
- Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline)
- Crest (Procter & Gamble)
- Arm & Hammer (Church & Dwight)
- Biotene (GlaxoSmithKline)
- Colgate (Colgate-Palmolive)
- Spry (WebbMason Inc.)
- Sensodyne (GlaxoSmithKline)
If you buy these brands in the UK the particular product you buy won’t have been tested on animals, but you will be supporting a company that does some animal testing.
These brands test on animals in order to sell products in countries such as China, where there is a law requiring cosmetics products made outside China to be tested on animals.
However, on January 1, 2020, there was a change to regulations on animal-testing within China. Although this does not exempt foreign products from being animal-tested, it does suggest a movement towards less animal-testing within China.
Chinese authorities have approved the use of non-animal testing methods for the majority of cosmetics within China. This may only include one stage of tests, but it is a start. This does not include products that require ‘functions’, such as sunscreen and whitening products.
Unfortunately, foreign products will still have to be animal-tested. Once the foreign products enter China, the regulation used to require testing post-market (after introduction upon the market), as well as pre-market. However, the changes to post-market products may change this, even for foreign products. Therefore, animal-testing for foreign products entering China, may further change in the future.
However, according to Weleda, toothpastes don’t fall under the umbrella of ‘cosmetics’ anyway, so they don’t need to be tested on animals before being sold in China. This makes things a bit complicated. Lots of big brands that sell cosmetics products in China will test other products on animals, but not necessarily toothpaste.
Nevertheless, a good way to check if a company uses animal-testing on any of their products, is to check the PETA tracker. PETA promotes animal welfare across the world.
Enter the company/product name and for most companies, the information will be available. Unfortunately, there is no information on ‘Spry’ on PETA. All other companies/brands listed above, do use animal-testing somewhere within the company.
Before, There was always the danger that products sold in China could be subject to “post-market testing”, which means they can be tested on animals by authorities in China (after they enter the market) even if they haven’t been tested on animals by the manufacturers. Since January 1, 2020, this is now no longer the case for domestically manufactured Chinese products.
To be on the safe side, look for products that are specifically labelled as being cruelty-free.
Animal Ingredients in Toothpaste
Here are some animal-derived ingredients to look out for in toothpaste:
- Chitosan – This antibacterial ingredient is made from shrimp shells.
- Glycerin – Glycerin can be derived from plants or animals. If your toothpaste contains ‘glycerin’ on the ingredients, double check that it is plant-sourced or the product features a vegan logo such as the Leaping Bunny icon.
- Propolis – Some natural toothpastes contain propolis, which is a resinous compound produced by bees. It’s added to protect the mouth against ulcers and infections, since propolis has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Is Your Toothpaste Cruelty-Free and Vegan?
Some toothpastes haven’t been tested on animals, but still contain animal-derived ingredients. Here’s an overview of whether or not some popular brands are cruelty free and vegan.
This information is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Please double-check when buying, and let us know if anything is incorrect.
|Aloe Dent||Yes||No (not all products)||Their Triple Action Aloe Vera Toothpaste contains chitosan, which is made from shellfish.|
|Oral-B||No (not 100%)||No||Oral B is owned by Procter & Gamble who test on animals. Oral-B sell toothpaste in China, where animal testing is sometimes required by law, because they are an American company.|
Note: ‘Colgate’ refers to the company: Colgate-Palmolive, who are working towards using less animal-testing in their products. They now have a vegan toothpaste, Colgate Smile for Good, which is also recyclable.
Cruelty-Free Toothpaste in Supermarkets
Most supermarket-own brands of toothpaste aren’t tested on animals, so it’s quite easy to find cheap cruelty-free toothpastes in the supermarket. While they may be cruelty free, these toothpastes usually aren’t vegan as they contain some animal products.
Jasmine from cruelty-free makeup and beauty website cosmetic.co.uk gives an overview on supermarket cruelty-free toothpaste here:
If we had to pick just one product from this list to recommend, it would be Green People Mint Toothpaste. Not only is it vegan and cruelty free, it’s also one of the most natural toothpastes you can buy, and is free from SLS and parabens.
There are lots of great companies making ethical and cruelty-free products, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a cruelty-free toothpaste you love.
For some more cruelty-free products, see these articles: