Alain answers some of the most commonly asked questions about natural products and how to switch to greener and safer personal care products.
Why should I switch to a natural toothpaste?
Fluoride can be toxic at high doses. That's why conventional toothpastes contain a warning on their packaging advising you to contact a poison control centre if a child younger than six swallows their toothpaste. Some conventional toothpastes also contain plastic microbeads that are made from petrol and are polluting our environment. Conventional toothpastes also contain a synthetic soap called sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, dyes, colours, etc...
Why don’t you have any fluoride in your toothpaste?
There's growing concern about the health effects related to the over-consumption of fluoride, especially among children1. Instead, we utilize a natural xylitol which studies have shown that it can help prevent the development of cavities. Unlike fluoride, xylitol is safe to swallow. Our bodies recognize xylitol because it is commonly found in many vegetables and fruits.
Is your toothpaste safe for kids and pregnant women?
Our toothpaste is 100% natural and is safe to eat. They are great for the whole family including toddlers, kids and pregnant women. Unlike many conventional toothpastes, ours does not contain fluoride, synthetic soap, artificial flavours, dyes or plastic microbeads.
Can organic sunscreens protect us from UV rays?
Yes, very much so. All sunscreens (natural or chemical) must be tested in the same manner, according to a protocol set by Health Canada. Only specialized, pre-approved laboratories can perform these tests on humans. They apply sunscreen to people with different skin tones and expose them to UV rays. Then they measure the amount of time it takes for their skin to get a little reddish. That's how they determine the SPF number.
What was missing from the personal care market that made you decide to start a whole company?
Products that don't contain harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, there are still way too many nasty chemicals in conventional products today. On top of my nightmare list are artificial fragrances, formaldehyde preservatives (e.g., hydantoin, quaterniums) and antibacterial triclosans.
If castile soap is so versatile, why would anyone use something else?
The real question is: Why would you spend all that money on separate soaps and cleaning supplies when one will do the job just as well? Castile soap is also highly concentrated so a small amount goes a long way. There's no need to pour all your money down the drain.
However, not everyone is aware of castile soap and how it can be used. Castile soap is a very versatile and multi-functional natural soap. It can be used to clean everything from your body to your laundry to your home. It's also biodegradable and safe for our environment. Unfortunately, many conventional soaps contain synthetic foaming agents and artificial fragrances that can not only be harsh on your skin, but also don't biodegrade easily and can end up in our rivers and lakes.
“The real question is: Why would you spend all that money on separate soaps and cleaning supplies when one will do the job just as well?”
Do babies and kids need different skincare products from us?
For the most part, no. A wholesome natural product should be safe enough for the whole family.
A lot of it has to do with marketing. Sunscreen is a classic example. We have been brainwashed into thinking we need a different sunscreen for babies, kids and adults. They're all the same. In fact, Health Canada and the FDA doesn't distinguish or approve sunscreens labelled “babies”, “kids” or “adults” as separate products. They approve sunscreens – period. It's up to the companies that make them to determine how to market their sunscreens.
The only difference between our kids and adult sunscreens is the packaging. The sunscreen lotion inside both products is exactly the same. We're not trying to trick people into buying more sunscreen. So why do we do this? Conventional sunscreen makers have been very successful at brainwashing consumers with their advertising. Unfortunately, many parents simply won't buy a sunscreen for their children if the product doesn't explicitly say “kids” on the packaging.
There are, however, exceptions where a product is suitable for adults but not for kids. For example, I wouldn't ask a four-year-old to try our frosty mint toothpaste because they would most likely find it too strong.