The more we become aware of products that introduce unnecessary and potentially harmful toxins into our body, the more equipped we become to make the smartest and healthiest choices for us. In this review you will learn about a toothpaste from the naturally-oriented company, Desert Essence, including its ingredients, pros and cons, availability and pricing, and my experience with it.
What we put onto our body, especially on or around the mouth and other thin, mucous-membrane body openings, is just as important as what we put into our body via our food and drink. One of the most important everyday products to consider in this regard is our toothpaste. The average consumer today is using toothpaste 2 to 4 times a day. Conventional, commercial toothpastes contain several proven harmful ingredients like fluoride, triclosan and SLS.
My journey with natural and toxin-free toothpastes began back in 2008, when I first became aware of the importance of using fluoride free toothpaste. This led me to consider other ingredients in toothpaste and find a high quality natural option from a local company, which for me ended up being Green Beaver’s Frosty Mint. I have been very happy with this toothpaste and my teeth are doing great too. However, I am always on the lookout for products that can be even better and more natural, or simply ones to tell you about that can offer you optimally healthy choices.
On a recent trip, I decided to buy a toothpaste at my destination instead of carrying a tube with me. I’ve been familiar with the Desert Essence company for a while and decided to try their natural toothpaste: Tea Tree Oil & Neem Wintergreen. I have been reading lots of great information about the valuable health benefits of neem and so decided to get this toothpaste and give it a try.
About Desert Essence
Desert Essence is a company which was founded in 1978 and who prides themselves on providing natural and organic personal care products. They state that their products are based on “nutrient-rich desert botanicals revered in native cultures for their healing properties” and that their “naturally effective products work in harmony with your body to soothe, nurture, and restore.” They also claim that they “use natural and organic ingredients from around the world” and that they do no animal testing on their raw ingredients or finished products.
They provide a wide selection of personal care products from lotions, body washes, shampoos, sunscreens, lip and dental care. They have 4 varieties of toothpastes: Tea Tree Oil & Neem Wintergreen, Tea Tree Oil Fennel, Tea Tree Oil Ginger and Tea Tree Oil Mint.
My Experience with Desert Essence Toothpaste
I bought my tube of the Tea Tree Oil & Neem Wintergreen toothpaste from Vitacost.com, who offered the best online price on the product at the time. The flavor was pleasant and it left a clean feeling on the teeth and in the mouth, as would be expected. It has a pleasant mint flavor (wintergreen to be exact) and had the typical smooth paste-like texture.
The toothpaste shares that it does not contain artificial preservatives, sweeteners, coloring or harsh abrasives. It states that it is fluoride free, SLS free, and gluten free and has a new and improved flavor. The old formula of this product, unfortunately included the chemical foaming agent SLS – sodium lauryl sulfate.
When it comes to the ingredients of this toothpaste they are near perfect with what one would be looking for in a high quality, natural toothpaste. According to the EWG’s Skindeep Cosmetic Database, all of the ingredients score very low, meaning the best, for lowest risks for any health harm. The toothpaste does contain the controversial carrageenan, but this is generally speaking not a problem unless one is actually ingesting it via their food as it seems to aggravate some people’s digestive tract/intestines. Inconclusive data exist as to its safety in food, where the FDA (which I do not necessarily consider a trustworthy source of what is truly safe) considers it generally safe, but shares several concerns about carrageenan if ingested. So while I would caution about eating carrageenan, at this time I don’t have anything against using it in the toothpaste, as long as it is not swallowed by sensitive individuals.
Ultimately, I love the idea of tea tree oil and neem together as both have excellent health and antiseptic properties. Given this and the quality of ingredients, I can definitely recommend this toothpaste as a good option for the natural-oriented and health-conscious consumer. For myself, I’ll be sticking with my local company choice: Green Beaver’s Frosty Mint toothpaste.
Be sure to check your toothpaste ingredients to make sure that you are using the best product possible for your and your family’s health. If you are using a traditional, commercial toothpaste (with fluoride, SLS, triclosan, etc.), then I highly recommend switching to a toothpaste like Desert Essence’s Tea Tree Oil & Neem.
- Calcium carbonate
- Glycerin (vegetable derived)
- Water (Aqua)
- Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree Leaf Distillate)
- Sodium Coco-Sulfate
- Carrageenan (Plant Derived)
- Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen Leaf Oil)
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree Leaf Oil)
- Melia azadirachta (Neem extract)
- Sea Salt
The toothpaste comes in a common squeeze tube that is packaged in a cardboard box. The box and tube are recyclable when product is fully finished.
Price (as of latest update)
- Around $3-$7 per 6.4oz/130ml tube at local health food stores
- $5.21US (on sale) / $6.95US (regular) per 6.4oz/130ml tube from Desert Essence
- $7.19US per 6.4oz/130ml tube from Amazon.com
- $6.79CAD per 6.4oz/130ml tube from Well.ca
- Widely available at major health food stores across US and Canada
- Widely available at various online stores (US, Canada & International)
- Fluoride free
- Triclosan free
- SLS free
- Paraben free
- Alcohol free
- Pleasant, refreshing flavor
- Cleans teeth well
- Leaves mouth feeling fresh
- High quality natural ingredients
- No artificial preservatives
- No sweeteners
- No coloring or harsh abrasives
- No animal ingredients
- Vegan & Vegetarian friendly
- No animal testing
- Fair price
- None that I am aware of at this time