Céline Benaroch, PhD in Pharmacy, pays close attention to the composition of toothpaste, a personal hygiene essential. Two years ago, she chose to work with a dental health professional to create a formula which met her expectations: toothpaste free from controversial ingredients, but powered by fluorine.
“Toothpaste is a product which can be partly ingested. And we use it our whole lives as early as childhood: it is our first hygiene cosmetic product. Most of the products available on the market contain the right quantity of fluorine, but two out of three also contain titanium dioxide, a component suspected of being carcinogenic. In France, it is banned in foodstuffs. In parallel, clean beauty brands choose to ban fluorine which, to me, is nonsense”, she explains.
Although it is generally not used in clean formulas due to the potential risk of fluorosis, an enamel disorder observed in children which results from overdosage, fluorine is essential to good dental health, according to the entrepreneur.
“Dentists report a surge of tooth decay in children, following the use of toothpaste free from fluorine. And yet, fluorosis only affects 2% of children. What is important is to watch children brush their teeth, until they turn 6 or 7, and check they use a very small quantity of toothpaste, so they do not ingest too much product”, says Céline Benaroch.
The C’leene formulas comply with very strict specifications. The fluorine concentration is 1,000 ppm in the toothpaste for children from 0 to 6, and 1,450 ppm in the adult version, in accordance with the levels recommended by health authorities.
“Our products are organic-certified by Ecocert and made in France. But the other criteria are taste, freshness, texture, and foam. We have worked a lot on that”, she adds.
An eco-designed bottle
Not only the C’leene toothpaste revisits standard formulas, but it is also innovative in terms of packaging. Each version comes in a refillable pump bottle based on biodegradable bioplastic, except for the pump, for which Céline Benaroch has not found any alternative. The refills are packed in pouches made of paper derived from apple waste.
“The pump bottle is very convenient, because it contributes to children’s autonomy. There is no cap, it does not break, and it delivers the quantity needed”, says Céline Benaroch.
After an Ulule fundraising campaign launched last June, the C’leene range is now in the production phase. Starting from January, it will be available on the brand’s website for EUR 10.90 per bottle, and EUR 7.90 per 100-ml refill. Then, it should be distributed in pharmacies and specialized stores.
“The campaign on social media had a huge impact. We received a lot of messages from dental surgeons who will not recommend fluorine-free toothpaste. They were looking for a formula like ours, with a healthy composition, and fluorine”, concludes Céline Benaroch.