Even if you didn’t spend your summer wistfully watching the stunning Love Island cast flash their pearly whites at the screen, chances are you’ve heard all about teeth whitening kits and teeth strips, but we’re here to break down the real results of those peroxide solutions. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at one of those stick-on, speedy strip treatments but want to know if they REALLY work, we’ve put them to the test for you.
With startlingly fair skin – no, really, make that translucent skin – I have always struggled with ensuring my teeth look the right side of ivory. Short of layering on coat after coat of fake tan, I thought there must be a more permanent way to make my teeth as blindingly show-stopping as my ex-boyfriend’s frosted tips "highlights". Enter Crest Teeth Whitening Strips.
Peel off, apply and sit back sipping no liquids while the peroxides and bleaches do their magic. Simple, right? One of the best brands in the biz is Crest 3D, and while they're widely sold in the U.S., in the UK they're available online from sites like .
How to apply teeth whitening strips
The shorter one is for your bottom teeth (nobody’s going to see those lower molars that often), and the longer one is for your top teeth. Apply the bottom first, followed by the top. Line each part up so it isn’t resting on your gums wherever possible to avoid any unnecessary pain.
Still struggling? Here’s Crest’s video tutorial for getting them on properly:
Crest 3D Professional Effects Whitestrips Review
Perhaps the most-wanted teeth whitening strips on the scene, Crest 3D Professional Effects Whitestrips (£49.73, ), are an upgrade of the original Crest whitestrips, and offer a professional level of whitening from a simple course of 30-minute treatments.
I used a set of 40 strips – that makes 20 separate treatments – to make sure I got the full effect, but you can buy in smaller sets of strips if you want to test that they work for you or get a top-up on existing whitening.
With Crest’s Advanced Seal™ Technology, the strips certainly don’t slip. At 30 minutes, they’re ideal for shoving on in the morning as you get ready, or before you get ready for bed. The feeling takes a little getting used to, but is more than passable as far as beauty treatments go.
Unless you’re experiencing sensitivity, you can do a treatment a day. If juggling these on top of your busy lifestyle isn’t possible, there’s no problem, and you can space out the treatments as you see fit.
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The strips promise visible effects in just three days, and I wasn’t disappointed. After five strips, I was extremely pleased with the effects. By the end of the course, I could get away with a whole coat less of fake tan (a big deal) and for the first time ever, people were complimenting my pearly whites.
The verdict? I’m entirely sold, and slightly sad that it’s over. At just under £50, these are a bargain at-home alternative to expensive dental treatments that will set you back a lot more.
Crest 3D Whitestrips 1 Hour Express Treatment
The Crest 3D Whitestrips 1 Hour Express Treatment strips (£32.99+, were the next on my bucket list to try. Perfect for an intense top-up for a big event; think that trip to Ibiza with the girls or your wedding day.
The 1 Hour Express treatment strips are just as handy and useful as the longstanding champion Professional Effects, except you can keep them on for double the time - meaning double the whitening effects.
The slightly uncomfortable, thirsty, dry-mouth feeling of having a strip on your teeth for thirty minutes is slightly amplified when doubled, so I suggest you throw yourself into an activity, or watch a solid episode of your favourite TV series so you're suitably distracted and time moves more speedily.
After just two strips, I could see a noticeable brightening to my smile, so these definitely do what they say on the tin. If you've got the one-hour block of time to spare, these will give you the results in half the days, and mean you can give yourself a harder hit of whitening safely.
With a one-hour use, applying strips day after day left me with slight sensitivity, so I ended up holding off on the second half of the pack to give my teeth a break.
I'm saving the rest of my pack up for another boost pre-holiday, but I've already noticed my flatmates eyeing them up. If you're self-conscious about your smile, these are a fail-safe at-home whitening gift from the gods.
Not sold? Here's the full roundup of our favourite teeth whitening kits: