If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I swear by Crest Whitestrips. I like both the 3D White and super strength Professional Effects variants and tend to buy whichever I can find on eBay. Both products contain peroxide and some experts say it could be damaging to your teeth and others say they’re not. Either way, I don’t care. I’ve used them for over a decade and my teeth look and feel great. I’m not sure why a competitor product isn’t sold in South Africa but suspect it’s something to do with legalities surrounding the peroxide content. What we do have, however, is Smile Science Harley Street teeth whitening strips (R329, exclusive to Clicks).
Smile Science’s strips are peroxide-free but contain sodium chlorite. The brand reckons it can help you lighten up, but without negative side effects like tooth sensitivity. Having just bleached the living shizz out of my teeth the day before they arrived I wasn’t really in a place to test them so I had to wait a while. (Sorry Clicks!) Eventually, when my teeth reverted to a regular human colour as opposed to my preferred blinding white, I applied a Smile Science strip to my top teeth and put a Crest one on the bottom. After 30 minutes, I can confirm that, yes, Smile Science strips do whiten your teeth but only half as much as Crest does. After using the Crest strip, I could leave my bottom teeth for a couple of weeks before wanting to bleach them again. After using one Smile Science strip, I immediately wanted to use another so did, plus another one the next day and only then did I consider my teeth “matchy matchy”.
Because of its gentleness, you’ll probably go through Smile Science’s 28 strips (14 for upper and 14 for lower) quite quickly. Still, if you struggle with sensitive teeth and literally can’t use max strength hydrogen peroxide products as I can, it’s a great option. Also, you don’t have to deal with the utter shit show that is the SA post office. (I no longer buy Whitestrips online for this reason. Only when I travel.)
Moving on, if you’re a Gatineau fan, chances are you’ll know about Floracil, their much-loved gentle eye makeup remover (R495, Woolworths). It wasn’t just one of the brand’s bestsellers – it was their bestselling product OF ALL TIME – and yet, God knows why, they decided to discontinue it in favour of something called Floracil Plus. Naturally, it’s millions of fans completely freaked, Gatineau came to its senses and BOOM, the original Floracil was back. Wouldn’t it be nice if Urban Decay could do that with the original Naked palette? I still can’t believe we live in a world where the kakness that is Naked Heat, a selection of shadows chosen to emulate pink eye, survives and the fabness that came before it is now dead. Like, is this really happening?
Anyway, back to Floracil. It’s not pocket-friendly, but if you’re a high earner, you probably don’t care. It does a great job of blitzing make-up and dirt but won’t cause you to shed a tear. Speaking of which, the oil-free formula actually has the same pH as tears. It also includes soothing chamomile and cornflower extract as well as algae that, Gatineau reckons, can help stimulate micro-circulation in a bid to diminish dark circles. In all, this is a really nice product. I decanted a lot of it to use on my trip and can attest to the fact that, yes, it does a great job of taking off waterproof mascara. It’s the only type I wear now that I live in the sweatbox that is Borneo.
Lastly, I want to tell you about INOAR Sensitine (R560 for 400ml, INOAR and selected salons). INOAR’s was the very last launch I attended before hopping on a plane. The brand’s SA distributors (who are super lovely!) were very excited about Sensitine as an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner for sensitive scalps. As for me, I was sceptical AF. I mean, sure, a product with the texture of conditioner could probably work for someone with a dry, flaky scalp but I’m a complete grease ball. I have to wash my hair every single day. I use conditioners that are reparative yet super light and I sure as hell don’t like to concentrate them on my scalp. How on earth could something designed to hydrate also cleanse? Come now. Let’s not be silly.
Still, the INOAR peeps were insistent. “Just try it,” they said. “If you hate it, that’s fine. But just give it a bash!” Bleh. So I did. With a heart full of “this is sooo going to be a waste of time” on a day when I knew I didn’t have to go anywhere and OH MY GOD IT WORKED! I don’t know how it works, but it just does!
I squeezed it onto my hair and used it as I would a shampoo. It didn’t really foam but I could feel it had a few gentle surfactants in it. Afterwards, I rinsed it out and was expecting hair that felt dirty and lank but nope, nope, nope, it was swishy and clean. I repeated the process the next day, expecting things to be less swishy as a build-up ensued and it never happened. 2-in-1 wonderment aside, Sensitine’s main aim is to care for sensitive scalps so it’s formulated with super soothing allantoin, anti-inflammatory antioxidants like zinc and Asian centella extract plus hydrating niacinamide. I don’t have a dry, sensitive scalp so I can’t talk to that, but if you do and was wondering if a single product could substitute your current sham and con then Sensitine might just be your hair’s new BFF.