Colgate is combating Smile Shame in Australia where only 85 per cent of Australians feel like they have the freedom to smile whenever they like – the lowest proportion in Asia-Pacific

On World Smile Day®, Colgate launches its #FreeYourSmile campaign by adapting its logo to celebrate all smiles

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Media OutReach - 6 October 2023 - This World Smile Day®, global personal and home care brand Colgate-Palmolive ("Colgate") is taking a stand against Smile Shaming, underscoring the beauty and importance of all smiles through its #FreeYourSmile campaign. This is especially significant given the proven benefits smiles bring to society's health, mental wellbeing and social bonding. The region-wide campaign kickstarts Colgate's efforts to tackle this complex topic for society and drive real positive change.


Colgate first commissioned an independent study across Asia-Pacific to gain insights and inform initiatives to propel this movement to eradicate Smile Shame for society to fully gain the benefits of smiling.

The Colgate Smile Study 2023 found that only 85 per cent of Australians feel like they have the freedom to smile whenever they like - the lowest proportion across the entire region which is at an average of 95 per cent. Top reasons why Australians feel they don't have the freedom to smile whenever they like is that they worry about what others think about their smile, and that they are afraid of being judged.

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The inaugural study, conducted by research company Pureprofile in August – September 2023, surveyed more than 4,000 individuals aged 16 to 55 years old across eight Asia-Pacific markets namely Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand and India. More than 500 individuals were surveyed in Australia.

This World Smile Day®, Colgate is celebrating all smiles by adapting its iconic logo to represent the many different and beautiful smiles that surround us daily. Colgate is also collaborating with influencers across the region to further champion this cause including Australia's fashionista Sam Todd and chef Genio Ng, who have both experienced Smile Shame but are now embracing the smiles that perfectly reflect their unique self.

Additionally, as part of #FreeYourSmile, Colgate is introducing a Smile Generator AI tool at, encouraging everyone to create their personalised Colgate smile on TikTok and Instagram, and spread the message to celebrate all smiles.

Yves Briantais, Executive Vice President, Marketing Asia-Pacific, Colgate-Palmolive said, "Smile Shame is especially prevalent in Asia-Pacific and this must change. At Colgate, we are on a mission to free people from the constraints of Smile Shame to truly embrace their own unique smiles. We believe brands have the power to challenge unrealistic beauty standards and promote authenticity. This World Smile Day®, Colgate is leading the charge by celebrating all smiles."

Approximately three in four Australians (74 per cent) believe that brands should have a role to play in tackling the issue of Smile Shame, according to the Colgate Smile Study 2023.

Advocating for the Benefits of Smiling

When able to smile freely, Australians chiefly indicate that they feel more relaxed. In fact, scientific research supports the idea that smiling positively impacts mental health, acting as natural anti-depressants and pain relievers[1]. Smiling is also good for the heart, aiding in lowering blood pressure and expediting recovery after stressful events[2].

A key health benefit of smiling includes strengthening the immune system by increasing white blood cell counts, providing protection against infections[3]. Socially, smiling is a powerful tool to foster bonds and building trust by making a lasting positive impression on others[4].

Standing against Smile Shame

Smile Shame may not be a familiar term to many. It encapsulates the feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, or insecurity regarding one's smile. The Colgate Smile Study 2023 revealed that approximately one in two Australians (46 per cent) can relate to the concept of Smile Shame.

79 per cent of Australians feel that it is safe to talk about Smile Shame, a sentiment primarily driven by the belief that society is becoming more open and accepting of transparent dialogue discussing personal insecurities.

Celebrating the Diversity of Smiles

Smile Shame is associated with different attributes across markets, reflecting diverse perceptions of what makes a beautiful smile. In Australia, Smile Shame is typically associated with the colour of teeth, teeth structure, and whether their smile looks fake.

The Colgate Smile Study 2023 also revealed that the key factor that makes Australians worry about their smile is their own feeling of self-doubt, followed by concerns about comments from others including family, friends, and even strangers.

#FreeYourSmile is the first step in Colgate's mission to celebrate all smiles and combat Smile Shame, with more initiatives planned. This movement represents Colgate's goal to inspire individuals to express themselves freely and proudly, regardless of perceived imperfections.

For more information, please visit

1 'Good reasons to Smile' (2023) John Hopkins Medicine. John Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Available at:

2 Smile! It's Good for Your Heart' (Sep 2012) Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Available at:

3 '11 Benefits of Smlling' (Oct 2021) Delaware Psychological Services. Available at: '11 Benefits of Smlling' (Oct 2021) Delaware Psychological Services. Available at:

4 'What's the science behind a smile' (2014) British Council. Available at:,blood%20pressure%20and%20heart%20rate.

Hashtag: #Colgate

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About Colgate-Palmolive Company
About Colgate-Palmolive Company
Colgate-Palmolive Company is a caring, innovative growth company reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. Focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition, they sell their products in more than 200 countries and territories under brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, elmex, hello, meridol, Sorriso, Tom's of Maine, EltaMD, Filorga, Irish Spring, PCA SKIN, Protex, Sanex, Softsoap, Speed Stick, Ajax, Axion, Fabuloso, Soupline and Suavitel, as well as Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet. We are recognized for our leadership and innovation in promoting sustainability and community well-being, including our achievements in decreasing plastic waste and promoting recyclability, saving water, conserving natural resources and improving children's oral health through the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program, which has reached more than 1.4 billion children since 1991. Our range of products are for everyone to find a way to get the smile they want.

For more information about Colgate's global business and how we are building a future to smile about, visit .

Colgate-Palmolive Company




06 Oct 2023

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