Personally, I would not have purchased black toothpaste. I was doing just fine with Colgate. But every so often my husband goes full Fancy Man, and one day recently he came home with a tube of the activated charcoal paste from Hello. Inside was an evil-looking concoction that smelled like peppermint and resembled fresh asphalt. It did not seem like something you should put in your mouth.
Reader, I put it in my mouth. I brushed it around for a while, appreciating the tingly minty flavor. And then I spat, and out came a psychedelic cloud of gray-black that marbleized when it hit the porcelain. It looked, if I may be disgusting for a moment, really cool. If it were a tie-dyed shirt, rather than a mess in my sink, I might have bought it.
In theory, the activated charcoal in Hello’s toothpaste is there to make your teeth whiter without peroxide, although I’ve been using it for about a month and haven’t noticed a difference. What I have noticed is that it tastes much less saccharine than drugstore toothpaste, possibly because it’s free of artificial sweeteners. (It’s also vegan.) Being clean is a big selling point for the brand, which is ironic because using this stuff is so notably messy. The charcoal itself comes from sustainable bamboo; other ingredients include fresh mint and coconut oil. It’s basically wellness toothpaste, but for people who only wear black.
I think it’s fair to say that charcoal anything is polarizing. If you don’t like having Satanic spit, you might not like this toothpaste. But I’ve come to love it, because it tastes great, it goes on smooth — not like brushing your teeth with asphalt at all — and it makes me feel like Rick Owens.
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