Edwina Ings-Chambers: Here’s something to smile about

These teeth-brushing heroes will make a real difference.

‘Toothpaste is something that we put in our mouths twice a day, yet few of us are aware of what is actually in it and its impact on the environment,’ says Faye Wilson, founder of Happier Beauty, a company dedicated to redrawing the toothpaste and dental care arena. She didn’t like the sound of the complicated chemicals found in standard toothpastes and wanted options that were ‘kinder to your mouth’, so she found alternatives ‘such as enzymes from papaya for whitening, and hydroxyapatite – the same mineral your teeth are made from – for strengthening tooth enamel’. The resulting vegan Happier Toothpaste (£12, happierbeauty.com) launched last year.

But it wasn’t just about what was inside the tube: Faye discovered that globally 1.5 billion single-use plastic toothpaste tubes are thrown away each year. So she decided to ‘create as natural a product as possible that reduces the huge carbon footprint of this everyday essential’. She uses aluminium tubes so that they can be recycled and even offers a reusable Squeeze Key (£3) to wind down the tube – a bit like an old sardine tin – to help empty out as much of the product as possible and aid the recycling process.

eco friendly dental products
Image: Pixeleyes. Dolci Triangle Mosaic tiles in Peppermint Gem, £79.07 per sq m, firedearth.com

Colgate has also produced a vegan Smile For Good Whitening Toothpaste (£5, boots.com), which is more eco-conscious than the standard. The tube is made from the same plastic used for milk bottles, so is fully recyclable.

Amid this focus on updating the dental offering, environmental concern seems to be one of the main drivers. It was when Cat Beech, a fashion buyer, stayed in a luxury eco hotel and, having forgotten her toothbrush, was offered a plastic replacement, that she realised there was a big disconnect – and a gap in the market. Add that to the potential 264 million toothbrushes discarded in the UK annually and ‘we realised that there was scope to make a toothbrush that was beautiful as well as eco-friendly,’ explains her co-founder Catherine Western. The Devon-based working mums took two years to design and develop their alternative, the Truthbrush (£4.50, thetruthbrush.com), which comes in four colours and is made from sustainably sourced and biodegradable bamboo with castor oil-based bristles.

Meanwhile, Georganics is merging eco-awareness with natural ingredients. Not only are its formulas fluoride- and peroxide-free, but its packaging is also plastic-free, biodegradable and recyclable. The brand’s Spearmint Natural Toothpowder (£6.90, georganics.com) comes in a glass jar, while its Natural Floss (£4.90), made from wax-coated silk or charcoal fibres, comes in a refillable glass tube. Georganics also offers a sustainable Beech Toothbrush (from £4.40) with recyclable bristles.

Mouthwash has also benefited from a green makeover. Aesop Mouthwash (£17 for 500ml, spacenk.com) has long been the natural-lover’s choice with its alcohol-free spearmint, anise and clove formula, and last year Jermyn Street perfumier Floris added Violet Concentrated Mouthwash (£40 for 100ml, florislondon.com) to its alcohol-free mouthwash range. Simply add a few drops to water. 

Another alcohol-free option comes from new vegan brand Waken, which uses botanical extracts to flavour its mouthwashes – including Aniseed Mint (£8 for 500ml, wakencare.com) – and houses them in recyclable aluminium bottles available in chic pastel colours.

Give dry lips the kiss-off…

Dr Sam Bunting flawless lipIf, like me, you suffer from dry lips, then the launch from skin expert Dr Sam Bunting may be of interest. Our lips, she points out, ‘go through a lot in the day’. Plus they can suffer if you use active ingredients in your skincare – ‘there’s a good chance that they’re going to get irritated’. And because lips have few sebaceous glands, ‘it’s almost as if they were designed to dry out’. 

So she’s created her own treatment, Flawless Lip (£12, drsambunting.com), a blend of lanolin and ceramides, which are good for retaining moisture. ‘It’s a great emollient,’ says Sam, ‘so it seals water in and smooths the surface beautifully. What’s more, it provides cholesterol, which actually promotes barrier repair, hence lips become healthier as you use it.’ 

The treatment has a balmy sort of consistency – in cold weather the tube needs a bit of a squeeze. But using it I have found that it doesn’t have to be constantly reapplied. It looks like a clear gloss when it’s on, and it does leave lips in great condition. 

…and a hydrating colour pop

Dior Addict Lip Glow OilDior Addict Lip Glow Oil, £28, debenhams.com. This is part super-gloss and part treatment (thanks to cherry oil for hydrating dry skin), but is also tinted and comes in six shades. I like Rosewood (shade number 012), which gives a very natural-looking hue. Wear it alone or use it as a shiny topcoat. 

NYX Lingerie Push-Up Long-Lasting LipstickNYX Lingerie Push-Up Long-Lasting Lipstick, £9, nyxcosmetics.co.uk. This lasts well, and because it has a creamy texture it doesn’t feel dehydrating at all. The retractable pencil-style bullet also makes it easier to apply around the lip outline. There are 12 shades but my favourite is Embellishment, a deep berry nude. 

Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson