05-20-2014

Drugstore Teeth Whitening

Last month, I decided to try out teeth whitening strips. I was going to get the Crest strips, but the drug store brand was half the price, so I figured why not.

I tried Googling reviews and couldn’t find much, so I figured I’d write a post about it!

I purchased the Rite Aid Whitening Wraps:

rite-aid-teeth-whitening

 

I looked at the ingredients list as well, and for the most part, it was the exact same list as the Crest whitening strips. I was a little nervous, but kept telling myself that brand name is always more expensive, and that generic usually has the same ingredients/works just as well.

So what was my experience? Well, I only used the strips for 5 days, but got pretty good results. I didn’t want to put a picture full on zoomed-in to my mouth and teeth, so this will have to do :-P The lighting is a bit different, but my teeth are definitely whiter.

teeth

 

I was actually really impressed with the results. The first picture is the “after” picture. My teeth were a bit stained since I drink a lot of coffee, which was my primary reason for doing this. Here are two normal pictures so you can get a better sense. The first one is “before” and the second one is “after.”

942784_10151448825331443_1977835594_n

10401395_10103826590458929_933121718682583159_n

Okay, so I mentioned that I only used it for 5 days. Why? Because towards the end of those 5 days, whenever I put the strips on my gums were getting really irritated and inflamed. I could feel them pulsing as I waited to take the strips off. You keep the strips on for 30 minutes, once per day. I didn’t want to continue this for 14 days if my gums were getting inflamed, plus I had gotten results, so I am going to save the rest for touch ups every 6 months like the box suggests.

I don’t know if my gum irritation was due to the product or I simply have sensitive gums. I don’t know if had I gotten Crest I would not have this issue…it’s very possible that I would have. Besides that, I’m happy with how the strips worked. I don’t plan on using them a lot since I’m nervous about tooth sensitivity and it stripping the enamel. But all in all, if you want to try a drugstore brand, I say go for it! I’ve heard good things about the Walgreens brand of strips as well.

Have you used whitening strips? What kind?

Do you sometimes feel “better” buying brand name versus generic?

*****************************

Follow Reach Your Peak:

03-31-2014

How To Make Your Own Natural Beauty Products

My mom is all about natural remedies and options for every day things we use. For example, she always has herbs and teas ready for any ailment we may have. Though I’ll admit sometimes I do prefer straight up medicine ;) But natural remedies for being sick aren’t the only thing you can create. Recently, my mom made a face mask for my brother, who has dry and sensitive skin. This is just one example of what you can do for yourself right at home. And save yourself some money as well! How To Make Your Own Beauty Products

HAIR

Dry Shampoo

My mom told me about this one because she saw it on Dr. Oz. That episode focused on baking soda solutions, so a few of the things I cover here will talk about that.

baking soda for hair

If you have oily hair like I do, then this may be something you try. I use dry shampoo a lot because my hair gets oily even if I washed it a few hours ago. Ugh.

Here’s what you do:

Sprinkle baking soda on your hair along the part. Tousle it with your fingers and fluff it with a hair dryer, which also helps to shake off any excess.

I’ve tried baby powder but haven’t been a huge fan. For me, I’d still have white patches and I don’t want to look like I have dandruff. I haven’t tried baking soda, but think I will! You might say, well I still have to buy baking soda, so how will this save me money/be any different than buying dry shampoo? Well, there are a ton of other uses for baking soda which I will outline below. Definitely more bang for your buck than buying 1 product for 1 use!

Hair Volume

Dr. Oz also suggests using baking soda to give your hair more volume. Mix a quarter-sized amount of baking soda with your shampoo, and it’ll help get rid of oil and build-up. Furthermore, it will give your hair body once you blow-dry it. Who doesn’t want a little bit more volume?

Hair Mask

Want shinier hair? You can pay for some expensive hair masks or deep conditioners, or you can try to make your own first to see if it helps.

I just had to use this picture.

I just had to use this picture.

 Photo Source: jmatthew3 via Compfight cc

I have heard of using honey and oil as a hair mask a few times, but couldn’t remember a specific source. I found a great source by a Yahoo! Contributor. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil (optional – it’s to give the mask a refreshing aroma and slight cooling sensation on the head so it’s relaxing).

Here are the instructions:

Pour the organic honey, olive oil and peppermint oil into a small mixing bowl. Then combine the ingredients together until you have a slightly thick golden hair mask. When applying the honey olive oil hair mask it is best to tip your head over the bathtub or large sink so the hair is in front of your face. Then you want to take small handfuls of the hair mask at a time and massage and lather it into the hair and scalp as best you can making sure every strain of hair is covered from root to ends. Next tuck your hair away into a shower cap so it doesn’t drip all over the place. Once the mask is in your hair, it is best to leave it in for about 1 hour. It you do not have much time 30 minutes is okay as well.

FACE

Do you have acne, or are you breaking out? Then a baking soda face mask may help. This is the mask my mom made for my brother and it seems to have helped him. This is also from Dr. Oz’s baking soda series. A mask of baking soda and honey can help absorb oil and smooth and clear the skin. Here are the instructions:

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey. Apply this mixture to your face for 10-15 minutes. Add water if you need to help it liquify, but don’t make it too thin. Don’t try this treatment more than about once per week.

Only 2 ingredients needed!

TEETH

I’m sure you have all heard of how baking soda can help whiten teeth. I actually plan on starting to try using baking soda on my teeth this week, so I’ll keep you all posted on the results! I’d rather try this at-home version first before paying $40 for Crest Whitening Strips (even though I’ve heard good things about it).

I want this cat's pearly whites :-P

I want this cat’s pearly whites :-P

Photo Source: *¦·sindorella·¦* via Compfight cc

 Here’s how to make your own baking soda natural toothpaste:

Add three parts baking soda to one part smashed strawberries and one part lemon juice. This combination will remove stains and plaque while providing flavor. Store the extra in the fridge in a sealed container and use it as your toothpaste twice a day.

Here’s another option I found that uses hydrogen peroxide and baking soda:

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide 2 tablespoons baking soda   In a small jar or other airtight container, combine the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Mix them together to form a smooth, thick paste. (You can keep this paste stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks).   After brushing and flossing your teeth as you normally would, wet your toothbrush and apply a small amount of this paste (cover the bristles). Then brush your teeth for two minutes, avoiding the gums, as this can lighten them as well. Now rinse the toothbrush and brush your teeth with clean water for two more minutes. Rinse your mouth with warm water.   Do this one to two times per week, until you reach your desired shade. Then reduce usage, and do this only one to three times per month.      

Not sure how I feel about using hydrogen peroxide but might be worth a shot. I really need to whiten my teeth…my coffee habit has not been good to them!

RANDOM

A little side topic here going along with the teeth thing…has anyone tried oil pulling?? I have seen this being talked about all over the internet recently and am kind of curious to try it. But at the same time, I can’t imagine having coconut oil in my mouth for 20 minutes? If you’ve tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts and results! Anyway, I hope you took away something from this post! I love hearing about natural remedies and options, and I’m excited to try using baking soda for various things. Like I said, I prefer to try something out first that is natural and inexpensive, and if it doesn’t work then I will try the next option.

Have you tried any of these at-home beauty products? Or tried making anything on your own? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

********************************

Follow Reach Your Peak: