Get a Squeaky Clean, Organic Smile!

A Little Back Story:  Every winter, I get this annoying dry, red skin around my mouth and nose.  It started in college, when I first discovered tinted moisturizers (bad move!), and has resurfaced literally every winter since.  I saw a dermatologist, who told me it was perioral dermatitis, and promptly prescribed oral antibiotics (what else is new??) and an antibiotic cream.  Not only did this whole plan screw up my belly (antibiotics wreak havoc on your intestinal flora), but it also only helped for a hot second before the whole unsightly mess reared it’s ugly head again.  So this year, I started researching natural remedies for this issue… And what did I discover as one of the primary causes/irritants of the problem??  Fluoridated toothpastes full of sodium lauryl sulfates (check out Step 1: Read Your Ingredients if you’ve forgotten why they’re evil)!!  And thus began my quest for the perfect toothpaste.

Toothpastes are a great example of where reading ingredients is so crucial.  For as long as I can remember, Tom’s of Maine was always the go-to for healthy, natural toothpaste made from sustainable resources… right?  Apparently, wrong.  I had been using it for so long, that I hadn’t even looked at the ingredients in years.  But after my getting schooled on the above connection, I took a peek.. and what did I find?  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, right there, clear as day.  Imagine my surprise!  I had been so busy eradicating parabens and SLSs from my moisturizers, hair products, and makeup, that I didn’t even realize I was exposing myself to the culprit twice a day, 7 days a week.  Now, to Tom’s credit, they have since released an SLS free toothpaste, but it still contains fluoride (which has been shown to suppress the immune system, inhibit the production of essential enzymes, and break down collagen, among other things), so I’m afraid they are out of the runnings…

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