The Results Are In…Are My Teeth Whiter?

And if so, are they good, great…or the same?

I’ve always had a penchant for teeth whitening products.  I’ve tried strips but they always make my teeth too sensitive (however, I never used them in conjunction with a sensitive teeth toothpaste.  Hmm…).  I also tried this paste-like stuff that you squeeze out of a packet and then paint on your teeth (this was at least 6 years ago) and all I remember are sensitivity issues.  Finally, throughout the years I’ve tried different toothpaste products that claim to whiten your teeth, but I never really saw a difference.  Then again, I wasnt snapping pics either so who knows.

Which is why, when I saw commercials for Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste I just had to try it.  But this time I was determined to see if it really worked.

PRODUCT CLAIMS: 80% reduction in tooth surface stains over 14 days (website link at end of post).

NOTE: although I am NOT a smoker (yuck), I drink 2-3 cups of coffee today, 1 – 2 cans of diet coke, and occasionally a glass of wine (usually red, sometimes white).  I brush my teeth twice a day – once in the morning, once at night.  Throughout the duration of the 2 weeks I brushed my teeth twice a day and consumed my usual diet.  I say this because I don’t feel this should affect the final result, seeing as how in the commercial all the girl seems to do is drink wine, coffee, and eat blueberry pie. 

I took the first picture on Tuesday 7/13/10 before using the product and started that evening as my first brushing.  The second picture was taken 6 days later on Monday 7/19/10.  The final picture was taken Tuesday 7/27/10.

REVIEW: overall, as a toothpaste, I enjoyed this product.  The taste was minty but not overpowering take your breath away, and my teeth felt amazing after each cleaning.  You can see the little scrubbing granules in the foam you spit (gross but had to say it) so you know your teeth are getting scrubbed.  But did I see a difference in the color of my teeth.  A little. 

I can’t say if the surface stains were reduced by 80%, but they do seem a bit brighter.

CLOSE-UP OF TEETH

Before - 7/13/10   7/13/2010 – Before 1st use.

Halfway 7/19/10   7/21/2010 – 6 days into test, roughly half-way.

End of 2 weeks 7/29/10     7/27/10 – after 2 weeks of using twice per day.

FULL-FACE SHOTS

Before    After

Do you see a difference?  Other than looking sickly in the first picture, I think they are a little bit brighter.  You tell me what you think!

So – will I be re-purchasing this?  I’d say so, but only for the whitening effect.  When I purchased mine at Rite-Aid it was on sale and came out to $.99…how could I resist!  Usual retail I believe is in the $3-$4 range.  So slightly higher than the $2-$3 toothpaste but I’m curious to see if it keeps working or if the effect tapers off after 2 weeks.  I guess maybe I’ll have to see what my teeth look like next Tuesday!

Product details and where to buy:

http://www.3dwhite.com/crest-products/3D-white-vivid-toothpaste.aspx

The Many Masks of Jen…

Moisturizer, serum, makeup, sweat, and yes, baby food.  What do all these things have in common?

Most days they all land on my face at some point and every now and then my skin needs a refresher.  I exfoliate every day in the shower, I use witch hazel as an astringent, but it’s just not enough – eventually my skin looks dull, my makeup doesn’t apply as smoothly, and little blemishes start popping up.  This is how I know its time for….

A MASK!  I love face masks.  My favorite is the Arcona Tea Tree Mask.  However, at $30 for a 2 oz jar it’s not so practical anymore.  When I was working full-time as a group exercise instructor/personal trainer I pretty much lived in sweat, and using this mask twice a week kept breakouts away and kept my skin looking flawless.  Another favorite is the discontinued Vitamin C Re-Texturizing Peel from The Body Shop (loaded with fruit acids and vitamin C) which left me looking as if I just had the best sleep of my life.

Since I’ve been scaling back my beauty expenses I wanted an affordable yet effective mask.  I read great reviews for Freeman Pineapple Enzyme Mask and just had to try it.  Of course, because it’s just my luck, no Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS in my area had it so I ordered it off the Freeman site…which always brings the dilemma of ‘the product costs $4, the shipping is $8’.  Whats a girl to do?  So I took the plunge and ordered a few more products to at least justify the shipping.  What did I end up with?  A bunch!

I ended up with the Pineapple Enzyme Mask, Chocolate Strawberry Detoxifying Mask, Cucumber Peel, and Avocado & Oatmeal Mask (so that you don’t think I’m too crazy – at the time the Pineapple, Cucumber, and Avocado masks were on sale in a 3-pack for $4 and the Chocolate Strawberry was another $4). 

First up – the Pineapple Enzyme Mask I was dying to try.  The big appeal here is the pineapple enzymes and AHA (alpha hydroxy acid).  For $1.33 what did I get?

I did just as the instructions said – I washed my face, applied a decent amount but not too much – don’t need chemical burn, and waited the 10 minutes.  The first drawback was this made my eyes burn (and it was nowhere near my eyes).  It wasnt unbearable, I’ve felt worse while chopping onions, but it was a bit uncomfortable.  Otherwise, when I rinsed it off my skin was lighter (yes, the color was lighter) and brighter, and my blemishes were minimized (if only it erased them).  I also noticed my skin-tone was a lot more even, especially where I have some darker spots from my horrible habit of blemish picking.  The only other drawback was that my face didn’t feel very moisturized – it actually felt a bit dry.  I didn’t apply any night moisturizer or serum, washed my face as usual in my morning shower, and applied my everyday moisturizer.  And you know what?  My makeup applied smoothly and my skin looks fresh.  Even my blemishes looked better this morning.

Overall, I think this is a great mask and I look forward to using it again (despite the eye stinging) and will  follow-up with my night moisturizer to ward off the dryness (I’ve read you should moisturizer after a mask anyway so that the ingredients can really sink in).  My skin isn’t super sensitive, so I will probably use this once or twice a week, depending on how many times I’m at the gym, but if you have sensitive skin you may not want to use this more than once a week. 

Want some pics?  Here is my skin before:

Before

You can see my face is a bit lighter than my neck, I have redness on my cheeks, a few blemishes on the forehead, and a read mark on my chin (picked a little too much at a blemish there a few months back). 

The after:

After

If you do a face/neck comparison between the two pictures you can see how much lighter my facial skin looks after the mask.  The redness in my cheeks is faded, my blemishes are minimized, and that red mark on my chin I’ve been bothered by is faded as well.  I’m hoping that with continued use I can get rid of that red mark on my chin altogether.  I guess I’ll have to keep you updated!

Stay tuned…I plan on testing the other 3 masks as well as part of my ‘Does It Really Work’ collection.

Links:

http://www.arcona.com/

http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/

http://www.freemanbeauty.com/Default.asp?