Over the years, I've tried my fair share of teeth whiteners.
I'm a serious coffee drinker, so in an effort to keep my pearly whites, well, white, it's pretty much always been a priority beauty practice. First there were the pricey custom-fit trays from the dentist, then came good, ol' Crest White Strips and, now, the LED-whitening trays taking Instagram by storm. Specifically, I tried the HiSmile kit (admittedly because it's a brand Kylie Jenner openly backs). No, I wasn't nonchalantly whitening away in my matching undies like a certain reality star. For me, it was usually late in the evening, in bed, watching Netflix with zit cream on—a much less sexy scene. But nonetheless, I followed the same program.
If you've ever used a whitening gel before, there's a very distinct taste: It's not pleasant—like melted plastic with a hint of zest—and you can't wait to spit it out the second you're done. But unlike any other at-home whitening kit this one didn't hurt my typically sensitive teeth. Because this formula contains Sodium Bicarbonate, it gave the whitening gel a high PH level (so no tooth erosion or enamel damage which leads to sensitivity). That was the biggest bonus.
When it comes to teeth whitening products, you want to be weary of Peroxide (it's a big no-no that will make your teeth sensitive and it tastes awful). Though HiSmile's formula doesn't include the bleaching agent, it did however still have that somewhat familiar, off-putting taste (just less intense).
It wasn't pungent by any measure. What made it more bearable was the Instagram-friendly packaging (bright white, pretty font and minimal details). Three bright pink syringes lined the top of the neatly organized kit. I could literally picture the many Snapchat moments ahead.
As for the actual whitening, the box said 10 minutes a day was all it took, which was nothing compared to the 30-plus minutes I used to spend doing Crest White Strips. The process was fairly intuitive: Just line the front sides of the trays with the clear gel, pop the device into your mouth, turn on the LED light (which helps expedite the whitening) and let it sit for 10 minutes until it turned itself off. The hardest part was pressing the trays firmly against my teeth without clenching and getting a headache—not easy. Once the light beeped off, out the trays went. I lightly swished water in my mouth to get rid of any of the remaining gel residue and that was it.
Was there an immediate change in color? Not until after the third use. The kit came with a handy shade guide (above), and after seven straight days of lighting up, I went from a nine to a five. Not a life changing jump (probably skewed by my coffee intake), but noticeable. And I can only infer that with another week or two more my teeth will be even whiter (good news for this coffee drinker).
Is there a certain product trending on your IG that's got you curious? Let us know what in the comments below, so we can try it!