I switched to this sulfate-free toothpaste and now I never break out around my mouth — it’s $12 but worth every dollar
We're taught to think that the bubbles in our personal-care products like shampoo and toothpaste are what's keeping our mouths and hair clean. But that's actually a result of sulfates, which are lathering agents that can irritate skin and hair, and lead to potential breakouts. I have acne-prone skin and would often get breakouts around my mouth, but once I started using a sulfate-free toothpaste from Kopari ($12), the breakouts decreased.
Growing up, we were taught that the suds in our personal-care products like shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, and more were a sign that we were getting clean. There are tons of white bubbles in advertisements for these products, but sulfates can have a hidden side to them — all that cleansing can strip your hair and skin of oils, and even cause your skin to break out. NYC dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells Well + Good that sulfates are "a known irritant, causing skin inflammation. It used to be used commonly in cleansers and toothpaste because it acts as a surfactant to help remove dirt from the skin and gunk from teeth." Meaning that when toothpaste foam inevitably gets onto your face, it could cause irritation and lead to pimples. It might not happen to everyone, but I have combination skin that is prone to acne and would often have painful cystic pimples around my mouth and chin. They were large, hard to pop, and even more difficult to get rid of. But since switching to a sulfate-free toothpaste, I don't get those breakouts anymore. I often have cystic acne around my mouth, but since using this sulfate-free toothpaste, I haven't had any new spots After reading about the effects of sulfates, I decided to try a sulfate-free toothpaste for myself. I went to Urban Outfitters' beauty section because it often has brands that provide natural alternatives to traditional drugstore products, and found Kopari Beauty's Coconut Toothpaste ($12). It's vegan, gluten-free, fluoride-free, sulfate-free, and cruelty-free. The removal of fluoride is a little gray though — according to the American Dental Association, fluoride is safe and effective at helping to remove plaque and strengthen enamel, so consult with your dentist before trying this one. While it leaves out certain ingredients, it does include ones that I'd never heard of but was excited to try. Like hydroxyapatite, which is a naturally occurring mineral in teeth and bones, and helps to strengthen enamel. And coconut oil, which is antimicrobial, soothes gum inflammation, and won't hurt enamel. And peppermint oil, which provides a minty scent for fresh breath. $12 for a tube of toothpaste is a serious investment but I'd pay it because it helps prevent painful acne around my mouth that takes days or weeks to heal The Kopari Coconut Toothpaste tastes and smells like sweet mint, but not in a way that feels artificial. It's thinner than the traditional toothpastes I've tried; the consistency feels more water-y and thin. And I'll admit that on the first brush or two, it was difficult for me to see or feel that it was working because I was so used to the toothpaste bubble up. When I brush my teeth with the Kopari, my breath is fresh, my teeth squeak when I touch them, and I've even seen some increased whiteness over time. My sensitive gums also don't react negatively when I brush with this toothpaste. It's $12 for 3.4 ounces, or around $4 an ounce, so it's definitely a hefty price for toothpaste — drugstore tubes cost around just $3. But now that I've tried Kopari Coconut Toothpaste out for a while, that $12 doesn't look so bad — I've had it for months and am not even halfway through it. I have a history of painful breakouts around my mouth, and $12 toothpaste definitely beats trying an expensive serum or treatment that'd cost way more. Buy Kopari Coconut Toothpaste for $12 at Ulta | Amazon | Urban OutfittersJoin the conversation about this story »
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