My Teeth Whitening Stash

I mentioned my home teeth whitening set-up back in July, and I’ve been asked about it ever since. At long last, all my rich teeth secrets!

Gonna start with a disclaimer: I’m not a dental health professional, just a historian who will do the equivalent of shoving my body into a light socket in order to learn about beauty stuff. At the end of my jaw and braces journey, my surgeon and orthodontist were happy to send me off for teeth whitening to complete the smile transformation. Then the pandemic hit, and while I’m open to just about any beauty treatment, taking off my mask in NYC at the height of a pandemic to whiten my teeth wasn’t on the menu. So I hunted around and got myself a home teeth whitening set-up.

Before diving in with my whitening routine, I went to my dentist for a checkup and had x-rays done to make sure I didn’t have any cavities. I’ve heard of people having nerve zaps from whitening (!!!), and this might be related to cavities or other weaknesses in the tooth enamel allowing the LED light to overheat the tooth pulp. I got the all clear and off I went to blast through the layers of grime from braces and cold brew.

For roughly the cost of one whitening session at a pro whitening spot, I managed to acquire a whole stash of whitening tools that I’m nowhere near using up. An initially cheaper option would be Crest Whitestrips, which my awesomely low-key dentist suggested, but I wanted the big guns to get my teeth stupendously white very fast. I think my stash ends up being cheaper over time due to the number of treatments in each gel tube. One great thing about home whitening is that if my gums get irritated, I don’t have to plow through with treatments just because they’re already paid and booked (whereas I’d probably suffer through a three-session whitening treatment at a studio just to avoid having to come back or forfeit the fee).

Here’s what I’ve got:

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Hot Take: Inside the Norwegian Bliss Spa Thermal Suite

Edit on 210519: ok, so this hasn’t aged well hahaha. You and I probably won’t be going to the Bliss spa any time soon, and I’m getting an antibody test later this week to try to determine if the weird mystery illness I got after our cruise was COVID, so maybe stick to a sheet mask?

It was announced earlier this month that Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand goop is heading to sea with Celebrity Cruises. I’m not a goop person at all (it seems like a very vagina-focused brand, while I see fanserviced as more pussy-adjacent), but I’m a bit delighted that someone with a lot of Treat Yo’ Self-Care cultural power is recognizing that cruises can offer more than children playing in the adult pool and norovirus-vector buffets.

It turns out that goop at sea isn’t so much a whole chartered cruise (groups ranging from Weight Watchers to furries have chartered private and semi-private cruises before) as a single goop day on the yet-to-launch Celebrity Apex with some goopified accents throughout the sailing. goop at Sea (oh god, that’s the real name) is available only to people who book in the suite category and pay an additional $750 per person for a ticket, so prepare to pay up if you want to take part. When I quickly estimated the cost for two people to sail with goop, the price was just over $10,000 — and that’s not including flights to and from Barcelona or any extras. I seriously wonder if anyone other than journalists looking to blow their legacy publication’s travel budget for the year are going to book this.

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How to wash your hair with acid

Pour some acid on meeeee.

-your tired, sad scalp singing 80s songs due to agony, bail her out
Original: Edgar Degas, Woman Combing Her Hair, ca. 1888–90.

I’ve posted a fair bit about scalp skincare over the years, most notably when I wrote about washing hair with cleansing oil for Racked (the same place I shared my acid deodorant hack). When I bring up scalp skincare, I find that lots of people comment and message me to say that their scalps feel bad: they’re itchy, dry, flaky, painful — despite lots of attempts at soothing that skin with medicated washes that contain stuff like coal tar. I don’t think you have to live like that.

One of my favorite things about kbeauty haircare is that it’s not just focused on treating the strands of hair; hair is understood to begin at the scalp, which means that scalps get treated like skin. Which makes sense since…the scalp is skin.

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