What % natural are ecostore oral care products?
ecostore Adults toothpaste is 100% made from plant and mineral based ingredients. ecostore mouthwash is over 96% and ecostore Kids toothpaste is 99% plant and mineral based ingredients. The reason these are lower is due to the safe food-grade nature-identical preservatives we use to preserve the formulation. This means that the preservatives are synthetically produced but are chemically identical to potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate found in nature.
What is magnolia bark extract?
A natural extract shown to support oral health.
What is Kanuka oil?
Harvested from the NZ native plant, Kanuka. Shown to have antibacterial properties. For centuries, the native Maori people of New Zealand have used Manuka and Kanuka as a healing agent in teas, poultices, infusions and inhalations to relieve pain and inflammation, heal wounds and treat everything from fevers and fractures to tummy troubles and skin irritations.
What is Propolis?
Propolis, also known as bee glue, is a natural nontoxic resinous sticky substance produced by honeybees through mixing the secretions of their hypopharyngeal glands with the digested product of resins collected from leaves, flowers of plants, trees, and certain barks, which is used as a sealant and sterilizer in honeybee nests. It is dark green or brown in color. Traditionally this ingredient has been used for its antibacterial and anti inflammatory and healing properties. It also provides a unique taste to our toothpaste.
Why is baking soda used in the whitening toothpaste?
Baking soda is an alkaline substance capable of neutralizing acids. As such, it prevents tooth decay by neutralizing the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. It also neutralizes acidic components of common teeth staining chemicals - such as the colour in tea and red wine, and lessens their staining effect. Baking soda is one of the least abrasive forms of teeth cleaning, and does not harm enamel as much as abrasive substances in some toothpastes such as silica.
What is xylitol?
Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants and used in our toothpaste primarily as a flavour. It also has the benefit of preserving the product. Xylitol inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities. It does this because these bacteria cannot utilize xylitol to grow.
What is aloe vera?
Aloe Vera is a natural plant which is shown to support oral health. It has antibacterial properties. The kids toothpaste contains hydrated Silica to help remove dirt while brushing teeth. Aloe vera is added to support oral health.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is naturally found in some foods and both fresh water and sea water. When processed and included in toothpaste, it is proven effective at preventing tooth decay and cavities.
What does fluoride do?
Fluoride has 2 functions:
1) Protecting the teeth from acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. These acids can erode tooth enamel and damage your teeth.
2) Strengthen and repair enamel through “remineralisation” of weak spots.
Why does ecostore use fluoride?
There is growing consumer demand for naturally-derived toothpastes with fluoride, due to fluoride’s proven effectiveness with preventing cavities. Currently there is no natural fluoride-alternative available, but we will continue to search for and assess any alternative ingredients that we may be able to use in the future.
What type of fluoride does ecostore use?
We use sodium monofluorophosphate. It effectively prevents tooth decay, when formulated correctly and used as directed. It strengthens tooth enamel by preventing demineralisation, and enhancing the remineralisation of potential weak spots.
How is fluoride made?
Though fluoride is found in nature, it needs to be refined through a chemical process to be used in toothpaste.
How much fluoride do you put in? And why?
We use the industry standard sodium monofluorophosphate at 0.76% w/w (1000 parts per million), proven to support cavity protection and strengthen enamel.
How can a fluoride toothpaste support my oral health?
Preventing cavities. Firstly, through enamel remineralisation: when the enamel on your teeth absorbs fluoride, it attracts minerals to help keep them hard. Secondly, by converting some hydroxyapatite to fluoroapatite, which is much more acid resistant and protects against cavities. When used as directed, fluoride in toothpaste is effective at cavity protection and strengthening enamel.
Why does ecostore sell fluoride and fluoride-free toothpastes?
We respect your right to choose what’s right for you and your family, so we wanted to give you the choice of naturally-derived toothpastes that either contain fluoride, or are fluoride-free.
What is triclosan?
Triclosan is an ingredient added to many personal care products including toothpaste, mouthwashes and soaps as an ‘antimicrobial’ to kill off bacteria and other microbes. Triclosan has been shown to be very irritating to the eyes, skin and respiratory system. It is slow to biodegrade and is also toxic to and can bio-accumulate in aquatic organisms. There is concern about many chronic health effects of triclosan, including hormone disruptance, immune system effects, developmental and fertility effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have banned its use in antibacterial soaps in the US. It is still used in many products available for sale across the counter in NZ. We do not use triclosan in any of our products.
What is SLS?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (commonly known as SLS) is a detergent and surfactant widely used in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, toothpastes, mouthwashes, bodywash and soaps - used to make products foam. SLS has been found to be irritating to skin.
What is BPA?
An industrial chemical used to make plastics and resins. Exposure to BPA has been linked to negative health effects on the brain, behaviour and reproductive organs.
What is PVC?
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer. When PVC is burned a toxic chemical, Dioxin, is released.
What are pthalates?
Phthalates are carcinogenic chemicals often used in plastics to make them flexible.
What is sodium saccharin?
An artificial sweetener.
What plants are the toothbrushes 99% made from?
Castor bean, also known as castor oil plants.
What is the remaining 1%?
1% is the colour which contains pigments that are not bio based.
What are the bristles made out of?
60% renewable castor oil and 40% nylon. We are working on developing bristles which are made from 100% renewable content and will make the change as soon as this option is up to our quality standards.
Is the toothbrush recyclable?
No. Most toothbrushes are not recyclable because of the multiple components to the brush - handle, bristles and staples which cannot be easily seperated to go through curbside recycling schemes. ecostore has designed it’s own recycling scheme in order to recycle its oral care products - go to ecostore.com/recycle
for more info.
What is the toothbrush packaging made out of?
The cardboard is made with 83% recycled paper. The plastic is made with 50% recycled plastic.
Is the packaging recyclable?
Yes. Separate the card from the plastic to recycle.
How does the whitening toothpaste whiten teeth?
The toothpaste uses baking soda as gentle abrasive to reduce stains and whiten teeth.
What is the flavour?
All variants are mint - using natural essential oils peppermint, spearmint and clove leaf.
Does the toothpaste have a preservative?
It does not have any specific preservative added. A combination of essential oils and other ingredients (including xylitol) helps to prevent microbial contamination.
Is the toothpaste sugar free?
Yes. There is no added sugar (no added sucrose) in our toothpaste. Stevia is used as a natural sweetener in the Adults range. Xylitol is used as a natural sweetener in the Kids range
What is the shelf life?
The shelf life of the toothpaste is 3 years. The shelf life of the mouthwash is 2 years
Is the toothpaste tube recyclable?
No. The toothpaste tube has a laminated barrier for protection because of the strength of the natural essential oils (flavour) in the product, and the barrier helps to prolong the product’s shelf life. Unfortunately the aluminium and plastic needs to be separated which current recycling programs in NZ cannot collect. You can send it back to us! ecostore is collecting our oral care waste to recycle ourselves. Visit ecostore.com/recycle
for more info.
Have you tested the products' performance?
We conducting the following efficacy testing on our toothpaste and mouthwash to ensure they worked:
1) There are four main bacteria found in the human mouth: Streptococcus sanguis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actynomyces viscosus and Streptococcus mutans. Our product has been shown to be effective in reducing the populations of these bacteria which are associated with plaque and tartar build up. Testing was carried out by an independent lab. (Antimicrobial study 2018, Eurofins Australia)
2) Our toothpaste has been shown to be effective in reducing the build-up of plaque. (In Vitro Plaque Growth Inhibition Study 2018, Intertek UK)
Is the oral care range dairy free?
Is the oral care range Kosher?
No - unfortunately the factory which produces the toothpaste and mouthwash is not Kosher certified.
Is the oral care range vegan?
Yes, except the propolis toothpaste variant which comes from bees.
Can my kids use the Adult toothpaste?
Any age but we recommend from 6 years, due to the mint flavour of our Adults toothpastes which some kids find too strong and spicy. We have a Kids toothpaste specifically designed for Kids teeth from 6 months of age (or when they first get teeth), which is a mild gel formula with a yummy strawberry flavour.
What age are the Kids oral care products suitable for?
We recommend the toothpaste as soon as your child develops teeth (approx. 6 months of age). Our Adults range of toothpastes is recommended from 6 years up.
Strawberry flavour? What does this mean?
The toothpaste uses a naturally derived strawberry flavour. The flavour does not contain real strawberries. The flavour is produced using naturally derived aroma from plant materials.
Is the Kids strawberry flavour safe?
All ingredients used in the manufacture of this flavour are approved for use in the FSANZ Food Standards Code 2002. This flavour is made from Natural ingredients, all of which are also classified as FEMA/GRAS according to USFDA regulations.
Does the mouthwash have a preservative?
Yes. Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. These are both safe food-grade nature-identical preservatives.
Is the mouthwash sugar free?
No - we use sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol and occurs naturally in apples, pears, berries and other fruits.
What is the mouthwash bottle made out of?
The bottle is made from sugarcane (Carbon Capture™) plastic. The cap is made from Standard HDPE (recyclable).
Is the mouthwash bottle kerbside recyclable?
Which products are not recyclable through kerbside collection?
Toothpaste tube and toothbrush.
Want to recycle? Here’s what to do.
1) Collect your empty ecostore toothpaste tubes and used ecostore toothbrushes.
2) Pop them in a standard envelope (make sure they’re clean and dry) and send to our freepost address (visit ecostore.co.nz/recycle).
3) Post the used tubes and toothbrushes back to us. We’ll turn them into something useful like a spanner for our 20L containers.
4) You can also drop them off. Look out for collection stands and brown paper bags nationwide collecting used tubes and toothbrushes. Look out for the ecostore branded boxes at different collection points (visit ecostore.co.nz/recycle).
What do you do with the toothbrushes?
Here is what will happen to the toothbrushes, once they are returned:
1. Bristles are removed and handles are stored until sufficient weight is available for moulding.
2. Toothbrush handles are ground into chips.
3. The chips are moulded into spanners used to open our 20L containers, bringing the plastic from the toothbrushes back into the supply chain and reducing our reliance on virgin materials.
What will you do with the toothpaste tubes?
We will hold the tubes for the time being and if we can’t find a suitable recycling technology to separate the different layers of the tube ourselves in the near future, we will link into existing specialist recycling schemes.
What is sugar plastic?
We’re committed to making products that are safer for people and our world. So it’s natural, that we also look to continually improve our packaging. We wanted a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastic and we found one. It'\s plastic made from sugarcane. It comes from a completely renewable, sustainable source, and it’s 100% recyclable. Plus, the sugarcane we use for our packaging removes carbon from the atmosphere, which helps reduce climate change. We think that’s a pretty sweet start. Find out more.
Are your products tested on animals?
No, none of our products have been (or ever will be) tested on animals.
Are your products suitable for vegetarians?
Yes, all of our products are suitable for vegetarians.
Are your products suitable for vegans?
A lot of our products are vegan-friendly, however some of our products do contain goat's milk, Manuka honey, beeswax or propolis from bees. These ingredients are carefully selected and must meet certain criteria before we use them. They must be sustainably harvested and animal welfare assured.
Are your products GE / GMO free?
None of our plant-based ingredients come from genetically modified crops such as corn or soy. While we’re against GE field trials, we agree with organisations like Greenpeace that there’s a place for the ethical development of GE in laboratories, for producing medicines like insulin, or useful enzymes. The enzymes used in our auto dish powders, dish tabs and laundry products are a result of genetically engineered micro-organisms.
Are you products gluten free?
Our products are not certified as gluten free. While the chance of our products triggering an allergic reaction to gluten are low, it cannot be ruled out. Our Manuka Honey & Kelp Soap, Manuka & Oatmeal Soap and Baby Soap may contain gluten. Some of the surfactants in our products can be derived from corn eg: coco-glucoside but it's the fatty acid component (not the protein which is what triggers an allergy). If a sensitivity is severe to any material derived from corn then please avoid our Dish Liquid, Baby Shampoo, and Bubble Bath. As well as the specific products containing gluten mentioned above, any ingredient that ends with GLUCOSIDE will have come from corn.
Are your products organic?
No, our products are not organic. While we do work with our suppliers to try and trace our raw materials to source and of course work with suppliers that we know have strong ethical sourcing criteria we cannot currently claim organic as some of our ingredients do require chemical processing. We do undertake continuous improvement and as new technologies become available we switch out those chemically processed materials for the most sustainable options.
Can I recycle the packaging?
Yes. Our bottles are made from sugar plastic which is 100% recyclable at kerbside. Our FSC Cardboard packaging is also 100% recyclable. Our bulk containers (5L and 20L) are made from standard HDPE plastic, which may have some restrictions on recycling due to the size. Please check with your local council as to their own restrictions.
Do any of your products contain alcohol?
Yes. Some of our products do contain Benzyl Alcohol which occurs naturally in apricots, snap beans, cocoa, cranberries, mushrooms and honey. It also occurs in some essential oils such as Jasmine and Ylang Ylang. We use it as a preservative to ensure our products are adequately protected from expiring. It's one of the few preservatives allowed in Ecocert certified products. It is a safe, globally approved and effective preservative that we believe is our best option for now and the near future.
Do any of your products contain palm oil?
Palm oil is a complex and emotive topic. We are committed to using certified, sustainable palm oil as it is a healthier and safer alternative to petrochemicals. It requires significantly less land than coconut for an equivalent yield. Our goal is to contribute positively to the overall transformation of the palm oil industry, through support of certified and sustainable sources. While we believe certified, sustainable palm oil is the best option for now, we also regularly assess alternatives. Find out more.