As I was traveling around Seoul, South Korea recently, I came upon an interesting store which specializes in all types of ‘Charcoal Living Goods.’ They have organic cotton clothing that is dyed with natural charcoal coloring and they also have an interesting body product line. Everything in the store is in Korean, including the labels and the marketing material, so it was difficult to know exactly what I was buying, but they were having a 2-for-1 on the charcoal toothpaste so I decided to give it a try. The toothpaste is normally 15,000 KRW for one tube; I bought 2 for that price, so $14 USD total or $7 USD each.
They also had charcoal tooth brushes with black bristle brushes.
The woman explained to me that the charcoal bristles make the tooth brush more naturally anti-bacterial.
This seemed to make good sense to me, and knowing how much bacteria can live on toothbrushes, I was happy to see a new alternative.
I bought 5 brushes for 10,000 KRW or about $9.50 USD so they came to less than $2 each.
Luckily I have a Korean friend who was able to translate the label into English for me.
So here is what we found:
- Silicon dioxide
- Premium active charcoal
- PCC- Precipitated calcium carbonate
- Peppermint scent
- Amino caproic acid
- Calcium hydrogen phosphate
- Chlorohydroxy aluminum
- And more!
Well, the good news from my point of view is that there is no fluoride or sodium laurel ethyl sulfate (SLS) in this particular toothpaste. Fluoride is know to be a toxic material which can affect thyroid function, and the SLS is a foaming agent that is also known to have serious health affects. It is difficult to find a fluoride-free toothpaste in Asia, and this is certainly one that is readily available in Korea.
The question is: what about the other ingredients? Well, I tried to do some research on these and it wasn’t easy to find so much obvious information. It seems like Xylitol is the healthier choice over sugar and saccharine and is commonly found in many other natural toothpastes. Silicon dioxide is used as an abrasive in the toothpaste and seems to be a common ingredient in the Asian toothpaste market. It comes from silica, or dust and quartz. Seems to me that baking soda would be a more natural alternative as an abrasive, but I’m guessing that the silicon dioxide is a cheaper ingredient.
The one ingredient that I am slightly suspicious of is the ‘Chlorohydroxy aluminum,’ mainly because of the ‘aluminum’ part, and I am just not totally sure what this ingredient is and if it has any relation to aluminum dioxide.
Still, we found no fluoride in the list of ingredients and the sales staff also assured me that this toothpaste is fluoride-free, so I leave you to make your own choice whether this is better than your Colgate or not 🙂 For me, I will continue to use it while in Korea.
The store is called ‘Forwell Charcoal Living Goods’ in the Insadong area of Seoul, South Korea. You can find more information on their website at www.forwell.co.kr but be warned that the entire site is in Korean! They have some other interesting products as well, such as Wood Vinegar Lotion, Charcoal Face Pack, Charcoal Shampoo and Conditioner, Charcoal cotton face mask and natural house cleaning products. If you suffer from any allergies, these are great products for you to check out. Also keep in mind, if you are doing a Master Cleanse, you should be reducing or eliminating all chemicals in your body during the cleanse and that includes chemicals in toothpastes, lotions and shampoos.
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