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We’re always thinking about natural ingredients, where they come from and what they can do for a healthy world. That’s because ingredients derived from nature and handled responsibly tell you something important about a product. Something that feels good. And feeling good is what our ingredients list is all about. You can plainly see every ingredient we use including its purpose and source. Thanks for digging deeper to discover what’s inside every Tom’s of Maine product.
Naturally Sourced and Derived
All of our ingredients originate from nature. But your toothpaste isn’t filled with leaves or sand, so you are probably aware that all of our ingredients also go through some processing before making their way into the final product. We use the terms “sourced” and “derived” as classifications for how much the ingredient has changed from how it is found in the source plant or mineral.
We classify an ingredient as naturally sourced when the ingredient is not significantly changed from how it occurs in the identified source material. An example of this is peppermint oil. The peppermint oil we use in our products has been removed and concentrated but it is otherwise much the same as it would be found in the peppermint leaves.
Naturally derived ingredients have gone through additional processing which modifies how they are found in their natural state. This is generally done to improve the ingredient’s safety or efficacy. An example of this is silica. In its natural state silica would not be safe for use in our products as it would be too abrasive. Another example is xanthan gum, which we use as a gelling agent in some of our products. The original source of xanthan gum is vegetable matter (such as corn). This vegetable matter goes through a fermentation process to prepare xanthan gum. Since this processing step is involved and the ingredient isn’t extracted directly from the corn, we would classify this ingredient as “naturally derived”.
Acceptable preparation processes
In reviewing ingredients for our products – whether naturally sourced or derived – we do consider the preparation processes involved. And it is our practice to only allow preparation processes which support our philosophy of human and environmental health. Some of the guidelines we follow include: