Unveiling the Truth: Mouthwash Product Test Reveals Toxic or Polluting Ingredients and Safe Alternatives

 

« Unveiling the Truth: Mouthwash Product Test Reveals Toxic or Polluting Ingredients and Safe Alternatives »

Which products should you choose for healthy, environmentally-friendly oral hygiene?

In our constant quest for well-being, we often pay attention to what we put in our bodies or which beauty products we apply to our skin, but what about the products or ingredients that come into contact with our mouths?

As a key part of our oral hygiene routine, mouthwash products (just like toothpaste or dental floss, for example) deserve special attention. The need to maintain a healthy mouth and fresh breath, while avoiding controversial substances, makes them an important choice for discerning consumers.

And given these kind of products are always partially ingested, even if in small quantities, checking the list of ingredients remains particularly important. This also applies to toothpaste, lipstick, lip gloss, etc., all products that we use every day and that are partially ingested.

The specific category  of «borderline products » in cosmetics:

In terms of regulations, mouthwashes are part of what are known as « borderline products », as are, for example, anti-lice products, dental floss, etc… These products can sometimes fall between several regulatory definitions (biocidal products, medical devices, even medicines). The European Commission  therefore defines these products as « borderline products ».

To get an idea of the formulation of different types of mouthwash available on the market, let’s take a closer look at a small selection of mouthwashes.

PARODONTAX

COMPLETE PROTECTION –

Complete Protection Fresh Mint Mouthwash 500ml

500ml,

$12.27

 

Product benefits – as presented on a reseller’s site

DESCRIPTION

« Parodontax Complete Protection Fresh Mint Mouthwash 500ml is a daily mouthwash for those seeking healthy gums and strong teeth, especially when used alongside fluoride toothpaste. This mouthwash offers eight benefits that cater to the overall health of the mouth. It is known that gum problems often arise from the accumulation of plaque in hard-to-reach areas, which regular tooth brushing might miss. This is where this mouthwash steps in, efficiently removing plaque from the gum line and between teeth.The formula incorporates the CPC Technology (cetylpyridinium chloride). This offers complete protection for the gums and teeth. It works by reaching the vulnerable areas in the mouth that are susceptible to bacterial accumulation and plaque build-up. « 

 

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of PARODONTAX’s Fresh Mint Daily Mouthwash

Ingedients/ INCI:

Aqua, Glycerin, PEG-60, hydrogenated castor oil, sodium citrate, aroma, zinc chloride, sodium fluoride, Cetylpyrdinium Chloride, methylparaben, propylaparaben, sodium saccharin, I 42051.

 

 

Ingredient’s list analyzed with the website’s INCI Search tool 

Ingredient analysis :

Mouthwashes are all formulated on more or less the same basis: a large chunk of water, mixed with antiseptic agents or other anti-inflammatory ingredients. We can also list ingredients such as essential oils or plant extracts for fresh breath, good dental hygiene, balancing the bacteria present and avoiding all kinds of oral discomfort. As well as preservatives and other active ingredients, additives, flavourings, or any other ingredients necessary for stabilizing the formula etc.

In this product, for instance, a list of controversial substances have also slipped into the formula :

  • Cetylpyrdinium Chloride, an antimicrobial agent, quats (petrochemicals), substances that are not very biodegradable and are slightly irritating.
  • PEG-60, PEGs are ethoxylated substances. Obtained from extremely reactive and toxic gases, they are the result of a chemical process that imposes the strictest safety measures. PEGs are also likely to make the skin’s barrier more permeable to other substances and are not very biodegradable, so they are polluting.
  • Methylparaben, synthetic preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)
  • Propylparaben, synthetic preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)

Verdict:

A formulation based on a significant quantity of controversial ingredients, which we could easily do without. To be more specific:  suspected endocrine disruptors, coupled with irritating and polluting ingredients. To be reviewed.

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GUM Mouthwash GINGIDEX

Chlorhexidine 0,12 %

300ml

2,49 €

Product benefits – as presented on the brand’s site

DESCRIPTION

« Around 70% of us will experience gum problems at some point in our lives. It’s important to spot the signs as early as possible, to prevent gum disease progressing to a more severe stage. The good news is that our experts have developed a specific solution. The GUM PAROEX® / GINGIDEX range has been designed to help your gums regain or maintain good health. It doesn’t just tackle existing plaque: it also prevents the formation of new plaque. It is ideal for plaque control before and after oral surgery, tooth extraction and implant placement. »

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of GUM GINGIDEX’s Chlorhexidine Mouthwash

Ingredients/ INCI:

Aqua, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Aroma, Potassium Acesulfame, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Methylparaben, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Propylparaben.

 

Ingredient’s list analyzed with the website’s INCI Search tool

Ingredient analysis :

Again, a  list of controversial substances have also slipped into the formula :

 

  • Chlorhexidine Digluconate, antimicrobial agent, preservative, risk of allergic reactions*
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEGs are ethoxylated materials. Obtained from highly reactive and toxic gases, they are the result of a chemical process that imposes the strictest safety measures. PEGs are also likely to make the skin’s barrier more permeable to other substances, and are poorly biodegradable, hence polluting.
  • Methylparaben, synthetic preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)
  • Propylaparaben, synthetic preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)
  • Cetylpyridinium Chloride, antimicrobial agent, preservative, belongs to the quats category (petrochemicals), substances that are not very biodegradable and slightly irritating.

* On November 30, 2023, the ANSM (Agence nationale de sécurité et des produits de santé/ France) issued a press release warning consumers of the risk of allergic reactions on contact with Chlorhexidine, a substance listed in Annex V (authorized preservatives) of Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009.

Conclusion :

The same can be said of this specific formulation that contains a significant number of controversial ingredients that could easily be dispensed with. Including suspected endocrine disruptors, coupled with irritating and polluting ingredients. To be reviewed.

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Bexident® Anti-Cavity Mouthwash with CPC

500ml,

11,57 €

 

Product benefits – as presented on a reseller site

DESCRIPTION

« For the whole family*. Triple anti-cavity and anti-plaque action. Recommended for daily oral hygiene for the whole family* to protect and care for teeth and gums. Provides triple anti-cavity and anti-plaque action. »

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of Bexident®’s Anti-Cavity Mouthwash with CPC

Ingredients/ INCI:

Aqua (Water), Sorbitol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycerin, Xylitol, Poloxamer 407, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Methylparaben, Aroma (Flavor), Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Fluoride, Cetylpyridinium Chloride, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Sodium Saccharin, Eugenol, Limonene, CI 16185, Sodium Sulfate, BHT.

 

Ingredient’s list analyzed with the website’s INCI Search tool

Ingredient analysis

And once more, a list of controversial substances have also slipped into the formula :

  • Cetylpyridinium Chloride, antimicrobial agent, preservative, quats (petrochemicals), not very biodegradable and slightly irritating substances.
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEGs are ethoxylated substances. Obtained from highly reactive and toxic gases, they are the result of a chemical process that imposes the strictest safety measures. PEGs are also likely to make the skin’s barrier more permeable to other substances, and are poorly biodegradable, hence polluting.
  • Sodium Methylparaben, synthetic preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)
  • BHT, preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)

Verdict:

Same conclusion, again : a formulation with a considerable quantity of controversial ingredients, which we could easily do without. In particular, suspected endocrine disruptors, and other irritating and polluting ingredients. In short, also worth reviewing. Especially as this product is advertised as «for the whole family », absolutely not suitable for children, for example.

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SELAHATIN

Mouthwash Escapist

200 ml

26,22€

 

Product benefits – as presented on a reseller site

DESCRIPTION

Cinnamon, Orange & Peppermint

« This innovative oral care product complements and optimizes the benefits of Selahatin toothpaste. As the mouthwash combines conventional skin care with innovative natural ingredients, it provides the entire oral area with a regenerative routine.An unconventional blend that solidifies the brand’s vision of integrating fantasy and reality. Selahatin’s leading aroma Escapist takes on a new form when translated into a mouthwash. Orange continues to bloom, becoming pulpier and fruitier, while lush cinnamon fluctuates between warm and cool atop icy and refreshing peppermint. »

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of Selahatin’s mouthwash

Ingredients/ INCI:

Aqua/[water], glycerin, pvp, polysorbate 20, propylene glycol, poloxamer 407, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, sodium citrate, aroma/[flavor], potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium phosphate, tocopheryl acetate, disodium phosphate, panthenol, limonene, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, bisabolol, cetylpyridinium chloride, sodium fluoride, sodium saccharin, bht

Ingredient’s list analyzed with the website’s INCI Search tool

Ingredient analysis

Last, but not least, a list of controversial substances have also slipped into this formula :

  • Cetylpyridinium Chloride, antimicrobial agent, preservative, quats (petrochemicals), not very biodegradable and slightly irritating substances.
  • PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEGs are ethoxylated substances. Obtained from highly reactive and toxic gases, they are the result of a chemical process that imposes the strictest safety measures. PEGs are also likely to make the skin’s barrier more permeable to other substances, and are poorly biodegradable, hence polluting.
  • Polysorbate 20, emulsifier (see PEG)
  • Poloxamer 407, emulsifier
  • BHT, preservative (suspected endocrine disruptor)

Verdict:

Same topic :  a formulation with a considerable quantity of controversial ingredients, which we could easily do without. In particular, suspected endocrine disruptors, and other irritating and polluting ingredients. In short, also worth reviewing.

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Lavera

Mouthwash Complete Care Fluoride-Free

400ml, 7,06 €*

Product benefits – as presented on the brand’s site

 

Description

Alcohol- & fluoride-free for daily tooth and gum care.

Experience the lavera sensation of naturally clean teeth and healthy gums: Our highly effective alcohol- and fluoride-free formula offers your teeth a 5-fold effect* for daily oral hygiene:

– Protects against tooth decay

– Reliably removes plaque, even in hard-to-reach areas

– Protects against tartar build-up

– Protects against gum disease

– leaves the mouth extra minty fresh.

Organic mint gives fresh breath due to its high menthol content. Organic echinacea reduces bacterial growth and is known for its beneficial effects on the gums.

Alcohol-free & fluoride-free
Biodegradable formula free from liquid or solid microplastics and from artificial fragrances, colours and preservatives (according to the EU Cosmetics Regulation)
Certified according to the strict and independent NATRUE quality standard for natural cosmetics products
Bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic
Tested by dentists »

 

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of Lavera’s Complete Care Mouthwash

Ingredients/ INCI:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Xylitol, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf/Stem Water, Sorbitol, Pentylene Glycol, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract*, Echinacea Purpurea Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Water, Levulinic Acid, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Hydroxide, Menthol, Flavor (Aroma)**

 

Ingredient’s list analyzed with the website’s INCI Search tool

Ingredient analysis

In this formulation, any potentially controversial antimicrobial agents have been replaced by a blend of soothing plant extracts and essential oils with multiple soothing, anti-inflammatory or refreshing properties.

Verdict: A very well balanced formulation, with no problematic, controversial ingredients that are potentially toxic to humans, or harmful to animals or the environment.

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BUCCOTHERM

Mouthwash Mint

300ml

6,60€

 

Product benefits – as presented on the brand’s site

« BUCCOTHERM® Mouthwash Alcohol-Free is a daily care for sensitive mouths. Thanks to its unique composition combining the Castéra-Verduzan Thermal Spring water and a plant concentrated, it fights against dental plaque and helps to cool the breath down. It will be a perfect additional care to your oral routine. Made with the Castéra-Verduzan Thermal water, an exceptional water with soothing and remineralizing properties, and formulated with 97% of natural ingredients, this soft and effective mouthwash respects the oral ecosystem.  »

 

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients of Buccotherm’s Complete Care Mouthwash

Ingredients/ INCI:

Aqua (Castéra-Verduzan thermal water*), Glycerin, Xylitol, Polysorbate 20, Camellia sinensis leaf water, Vaccinium macrocarpon fruit water, Aroma, Sodium benzoate, Sodium monofluorophosphate, Citric acid, Potassium sorbate, CI 42090.

 

Ingredient analysis

In this formulation, any controversial antimicrobial agents have been replaced by soothing plant extracts and essential oils with multiple soothing, anti-inflammatory or refreshing properties, enriched with remineralizing thermal spring water.

Verdict: Again, this is another a balanced formulation, with no controversial ingredients that are potentially toxic to humans, or harmful to animals or the environment.

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How to maintain good oral hygiene practises

If you’re looking for a mouthwash to maintain good oral hygiene, it’s important to choose products that avoid harmful ingredients that are controversial for humans and the environment. But keep in mind that all dental care products should always be complemented by « good oral hygiene practices », which consist of regular brushing of the teeth, using a suitable toothbrush and toothpaste. However, brushing alone is not enough to remove all the food and plaque residues that can accumulate in the oral cavity. That’s where mouthwash comes in.

Other practices, particularly those derived from Ayurveda, such as oil pulling with sesame oil or coconut oil are also very interesting and inexpensive options to incorporate into your daily oral routine.

Additional recommendations

  • A good mouthwash helps to eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent oral problems such as cavities, gingivitis and tartar formation. There are different types of mouthwash available on the market, each with its own benefits.
  • And some mouthwashes are formulated with more ‘natural antibacterial agents’ such as plant-based alcohol (denatured with essential oils, instead of phtalates), propolis or essential oils such as peppermint, which can help to reduce plaque, contribute to fresh breath and prevent gum problems. These ingredients have antibacterial properties that can help reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth, which can contribute to better oral health.
  • When choosing a mouthwash, it’s also important to note any harmful ingredients present in the product. Some mouthwashes may contain irritants that can cause burning sensations, dry mouth or gum irritation.  It’s best to avoid mouthwashes containing harsh chemicals, and instead choose those made with natural ingredients. In short, to avoid harmful ingredients, choose a mouthwash specially formulated for oral hygiene.
  • Finally, it is essential to visit your dentist regularly to maintain good oral hygiene. Regular scaling and dental check-ups can also help prevent oral problems and maintain healthy teeth.
  • But remember also that few dentists are aware of the controversial ingredients in dental hygiene products (toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss).

 

Conclusion

To sum up, choosing a healthy, environmentally-friendly mouthwash means checking the ingredients OR giving preference to organic labels and certifications. Given that the various specifications and labels for natural and organic cosmetics have already ruled out substances that are, toxic, polluting or  controversial on any other level. Taking care of your mouth by choosing sustainable products, without toxic ingredients, contributes to your well-being and that of the planet.