Best SLS-Free Toothpastes (2021 UK)

Toothpaste

When you’re brushing your teeth, you might not think about the ingredients that you’re actually putting in your mouth.

If you’re buying toothpaste in the UK, all of the ingredients used will have been tested and deemed safe by the relevant authorities.

However, some ingredients can cause irritation and discomfort for some people.

One of these ingredients is sodium lauryl sulphate, or SLS, which is linked to mouth ulcers.

Since you’re probably looking for high-quality SLS-free toothpaste, we’ve listed some of the top products below.

If you want to understand more about what SLS is and whether you actually need SLS-free toothpaste, we’ve discussed these topics later in the article.

Best SLS-Free Toothpastes in the UK

1. SPLAT Biomed Propoline Natural Toothpaste

Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

This is a very popular toothpaste in the UK which is rated #1 on Amazon at the time of writing.

The propolis extract added has anti‑bacterial and anti‑inflammatory effects. The plantain and birch leaves extracts in the paste prevent gum disease and tooth decay.

The manuka and thyme natural essential oils added in this toothpaste prevent gum inflammation and the lemon oil helps to keep your gums healthy.

This toothpaste is made from 98% natural ingredients and is free from chlorhexidine, other strong antiseptics, SLS/SLES, parabens, aggressive whitening and abrasive components.

Pros

  • Good for sensitive teeth
  • One of the most popular toothpastes
  • Prevents gum inflation
  • Good for children
  • Inexpensive compared to other products
  • Leaves you feeling fresh

Cons

  • The taste can take getting used to

Biomed also has a couple of other variants such as citrus fresh and calcimax.

This toothpaste is also good for adults, children over 6 years and also for people with sensitive teeth. 

 

2. Hello Fluoride-Free Whitening Toothpaste


Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

Hello’s whitening toothpaste has activated charcoal which polishes and cleans teeth and removes surface stains.

This toothpaste also removes plaque, detoxifies bad breath odors and does not contain artificial sweeteners/flavors, parabens, microbeads, and gluten.

Hello also has a sensitivity relief toothpaste and a special unicorn children’s toothpaste.

Pros

  • Recognised by PETA
  • Fresh taste
  • Whitens teeth

Cons

  • Made in USA
  • Can be messy

Charcoal pastes can get a little messy if you’re not mindful, so remember to spit properly and clean your sink afterwards.

 

3. Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste

Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

As well as being free from sodium lauryl sulphate, this whitening toothpaste from Jason is also free from preservatives, artificial colours, sweeteners, fluoride, and propylene glycol.

Pros

  • Leaves your mouth feeling clean
  • Gentle ingredients—good for ulcers

Cons

  • Too minty for some
  • Quite expensive

If you suffer from mouth ulcers, this toothpaste could be a good choice a lot of people have found it helps reduce the frequency and severity of ulcers.

This toothpaste has a very strong mint taste, which leaves your mouth feeling clean but is too strong for some people’s tastes. If you don’t like mint, it’s not for you!

 

4. Green People Fennel & Propolis Toothpaste

Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

This fennel-flavoured toothpaste from Green People uses 100% natural ingredients, 86% of which are certified organic.

With natural antibacterial action, this toothpaste is suitable for those with sensitive teeth and gums as well as for those who may suffer from bleeding gums.

No fluoride or SLS is used in the making of this toothpaste.

The key plant actives used to make this toothpaste are clove, fennel and myrrh.

It also contains propolis, which is resin-like material produced by bees, which is thought to help mouth ulcers.

Since propolis is produced by bees, this toothpaste isn’t vegan.

Pros

  • 100% natural formula
  • Suitable for sensitive teeth and gums
  • Good cleaning results
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Not mint flavoured (this could be a pro for some)
  • Fennel flavour could take getting used to
  • Not vegan

Green People Fennel & Propolis toothpaste is relatively expensive in comparison to regular toothpastes and is slightly more expensive than some other SLS-free, natural toothpastes.

The natural ingredients and suitability for sensitive mouths mean this toothpaste is great for the whole family – adults and kids alike.

Kids under 3, however, should use children’s toothpaste as strong essential oils are present in this toothpaste.

The fennel flavour may take some getting used to if you are making the transition from a minty toothpaste, but it is still a refreshing flavour that should leave your mouth feeling clean.

 

5. Aloedent Whitening Aloe Vera Toothpaste

Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

Aloedent’s Whitening Aloe Vera Toothpaste is free from both SLS and fluoride.

This toothpaste contains aloe vera and silica (a natural substance found in sand). Aloe vera gel helps to fight the bacteria that can cause tooth decay (source) while silica can help whiten teeth due to its abrasiveness and can counterintuitively also help repair damaged teeth.

This toothpaste also contains tea tree oil, menthol, and peppermint to help freshen the breath.

Pros

  • Good combination of mainly natural ingredients
  • Tastes and smells nice
  • Leaves your mouth feeling clean

Cons

  • Some ingredients are derived from palm oil

Aloedent’s Whitening Aloe Vera Toothpaste tastes great and leaves your mouth feeling very clean. It contains several natural ingredients with proven benefits in reducing bacteria in the mouth.

This toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride, so it might not offer you the same level of protection against tooth decay as fluoride-based alternatives.

 

6. Georganics Natural Toothsoap

Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

If you are bored of the usual toothpastes and would like to try something new, Georganics is the perfect brand for you to try. They have tooth soaps, toothpaste tablets and toothpaste powders too!

This toothsoap has a natural foaming formula powered by organic ingredients (coconut and olive oil) and flavored with peppermint oil.

To brush your teeth, rub the wet bristle in the toothsoap, brush for 2 mins and then rinse thoroughly.

Pros

  • Made in Britain
  • Plastic free
  • Different from usual toothpastes
  • Organic ingredients

Cons

  • Unhygienic for more than 1 person to use the soap block
  • The taste may take some getting used to

The brand is cruelty-free and dedicated to reducing their environmental impact by using compostable packaging. 

If more than 1 person is using the product, it is better to utilise the bamboo spatula that comes with the pack.

 

7. Auromere Ayurvedic Toothpaste


Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

Ayurveda is a system of alternate medicine which is created naturally. It originates from India and literally translates to “knowledge of life”.

Auromere is a US-based non-profit organization which produces this ayurvedic toothpaste. Their classic toothpaste combines 24 special herbal extracts including neem (azadirachta indica) and peelu (salvadora persica) to improve oral hygiene and health. 

The toothpaste is fluoride, paraben, cruelty free and also free from artificial sweeteners or colours.

Pros

  • Natural
  • Proceeds go to a good cause

Cons

  • Made in India

Auromere also has a mint-free toothpaste, and a fresh mint variant.

10% of their proceeds go to Auroville, a universal town based in India. Auroville was created with the aim to realize human unity.

 

8. Himalaya Botanique Toothpaste


Fluoride free? Yes
Triclosan free? Yes

Himalaya Botanique Complete Care toothpaste is free from SLS, fluoride, and carrageenan.

The natural ingredients used include pomegranate extract, an antioxidant that can help to keep gums healthy (source) as well as neem leaf, which can help reduce plaque and prevent tooth decay (source).

This toothpaste comes in a spearmint flavour as well as a peppermint version, so you can choose which suits your needs the best.

Pros

  • Mint flavoured
  • Cruelty free
  • Carrageenan-free
  • 100% natural ingredients

Cons

  • No lathering (effect of being SLS-free)

Himalaya Botanique toothpaste is great for sensitive mouths and can help improve gum health, so it may be a good choice for those who suffer from sore gums.

The refreshing taste of mint means your mouth feels clean as well as smelling great.

If carrageenan is an ingredient that you like to avoid, this toothpaste is proudly made without this thickening agent.

 

9. Sensodyne Sensitive Toothpaste

Fluoride free? No
Triclosan free? Yes

Sensodyne Sensitive Toothpaste is free from SLS but does contain fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.

It could be a good choice if you want something SLS-free but aren’t ready to go 100% natural.

As the product name suggests, this toothpaste is designed for those with sensitive teeth. This toothpaste contains potassium nitrate, which can help reduce sensitivity.

This toothpaste is often recommended by dentists to those with sensitive teeth.

Sensodyne have a variety of other toothpastes available, that are also SLS free. These include Sensodyne True White Extra Fresh, Sensodyne Extra Whitening and Sensodyne True White Mint, amongst others.

Pros

  • Good for sensitive teeth
  • Often recommended by dentists
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Not the most natural product
  • Can taste strange at first

Sensodyne Sensitive Toothpaste is a great choice if you have sensitive teeth and are looking for a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

It can be quite expensive when bought in supermarkets or chemists, so it might be worth buying a multipack online instead.

 

What Is SLS?

Sodium lauryl sulphate (spelt sulfate in American English), is an anionic detergent and surfactant.

SLS is added to toothpastes because it kills bacteria and helps create foam. It alters the surface tension of water to assist in more efficient cleaning.

This chemical will break down in the water and cause frothing or foaming, creating the lather which we all associate with getting something really clean.

 

Does SLS Cause Mouth Ulcers?

One of the most common reasons to choose an SLS-free toothpaste is that SLS is thought to cause or aggravate mouth ulcers.

This 1994 study found that patients with recurring aphthous ulcers (a type of mouth ulcer) experienced a statistically significant reduction in the number of ulcers after switching to an SLS-free toothpaste. These results were supported by a later 1997 study.

This 2012 study found that going SLS-free didn’t reduce the number of ulcers people with aphthous stomatitis (recurring mouth ulcers) got but did improve the healing process and reduce pain.

In summary, switching to an SLS-free toothpaste might not prevent mouth ulcers from occurring, but it could reduce the number of ulcers you get and help them heal quicker with less pain.

 

Is SLS Dangerous?

Sodium lauryl sulphate has been used in hygiene products for many years and has been deemed safe at the levels which are used in products.

There was a rumour circulating online that SLS could cause cancer, but there is no scientific evidence of this. It’s not listed on any lists of known carcinogens.

The main reason SLS has a bad reputation is due to the fact that is can be an irritant, causing skin complaints in some people after prolonged use of products containing a higher percentage of SLS.

In toothpaste, it could irritate the gums or exacerbate mouth ulcers.

 

Is SLS Bad for the Environment?

Interestingly, SLS is biodegradable and can break down under most conditions. It is therefore a little kinder to the environment, but this is dependent on where the SLS has come from.

Sources of SLS can be from petroleum, coconut oil, or palm oil. The use of palm oil has a detrimental effect on the environment, and petroleum-based products can be harmful to the body. See our list of palm oil free products here.

 

What is Triclosan?

Triclosan is an ingredient added to consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. 

Triclosan can be absorbed through one’s skin or the lining of the mouth. Exposure to triclosan has been linked with contact dermatitis, or skin irritation, and an increase in allergic reactions (source).

A few short term studies in animals have indicated that exposure to high doses of triclosan can lead to a decrease in the levels of some thyroid hormones (source) and may be a potential endocrine disruptor.

 

SLS vs. SLES vs. ALS

It can be confusing navigating all the different acronyms used in toothpaste and personal care products.

SLS, SLES, and ALS are all surfactants that help remove grease and get things clean. While they sound similar, they are different things.

Here’s an overview of these three similar-sounding chemicals:

  • SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate/Sulfate) – SLS is a small molecule that can penetrate through the upper layers of skin, causing more irritation than other surfactants.
  • SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulphate/Sulfate) – SLES is derived from SLS and is intended to be a gentler alternative.
  • ALS (Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate/Sulfate) – ALS is a larger and more complex molecule than SLS. It’s too big to penetrate the top layers of skin, so doesn’t cause as much irritation.

More data and research is needed, but it looks like the least irritating of these chemicals is ALS, followed by SLES and then SLS.

This study found that participants had a far milder reaction to SLES than SLS when it was applied to their skin.

 

List of SLS-Free Toothpastes in the UK

Here’s a list of SLS-free toothpastes you can buy in the UK:

  • Aloedent Whitening Aloe Vera Toothpaste
  • Ben & Anna Natural Toothpaste
  • Bilka Homeopathy Chios Mastiha Toothpaste
  • Ecodenta Extra Black Whitening Toothpaste
  • Georganics Natural Tooth Soap, Toothpaste and Toothpowder
  • Green People Toothpaste
  • Himalaya Botanique Complete Care Toothpaste
  • Jack N’ Jill Natural Toothpaste
  • Jason Healthy Mouth Tartar Control Toothgel
  • Jason Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste
  • Lamazuna Solid Toothpaste
  • Lavera Toothpaste
  • Optima Australian Tea Tree Fresh and White Toothpaste
  • Sarakan Toothpaste
  • Sensodyne Sensitive Toothpaste
  • Splat Biomed Propylene Natural Toothpaste
  • UltraDEX Low-Abrasion Toothpaste
  • Weleda Toothpaste
  • Zendium BioGum Toothpaste
  • ClearDOT DENT Ginger & Lime Toothpaste
  • Davids Natural Toothpaste

 

Which Toothpastes Do Contain SLS?

Here’s a list of popular toothpaste brands whose products currently do contain SLS:

  • Aquafresh
  • Arm & Hammer
  • Colgate
  • Euthymol
  • Janina
  • Kingfisher
  • BlanX

 

Conclusion

If you’re hoping to make the transition to an SLS-free toothpaste, then hopefully one of the above products will strike your fancy.

If we had to pick just one to recommend, it would be SPLAT Biomed Propoline Natural Toothpaste since it’s made from 98% natural ingredients an is not only free from SLS, but also parabens and agressive whitening agents.

since it’s made from 100% natural ingredients and is very gentle. However, bear in mind that it contains propolis, so it’s not vegan.

If you’re suffering from strange side effects using “normal” toothpaste, then always consult your doctor or dentist and find out if they have any recommendations.

Changing your toothpaste to an SLS-free version does not mean you have to sacrifice cleaner teeth, although the lack of frothing may take some getting used to.

1 thought on “Best SLS-Free Toothpastes (2021 UK)”

  1. Thank you for this information. My daughter suffers with ulcers and l want to change her toothpaste. I am trying to find more natural products for all our hygiene and it is mind boggling.

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