Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: The 27 best deals our editors bought

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview image of woman smiling and holding a yellow card
  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is running now through August 8. On August 9, prices go up.
  • The sale includes women’s style, men’s style, beauty and grooming, home goods, and more.
  • We rounded up the top picks from our personal wishlists to help you shop the sale.

As one of the biggest department stores in the world, Nordstrom is always an incredibly popular place to shop, but the best time of the year to shop is right now. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has deals on everything from fashion and footwear to beauty and grooming products and home decor – and the prices are even better than Black Friday.

The sale officially kicked off on July 28 and runs up until August 8. On August 9, you can expect prices to go back up.

As a team of professional product reviewers, we’ve been scouring through the sale since the deals were available to preview at the beginning of the month, but we’ve also been doing some shopping of our own.

To help you get an idea of what to browse first, we’ve rounded up some of the items from the Insider Reviews team’s personal wishlists. See what we’re most excited to shop from this year’s sale, below.

What the Insider Reviews team is shopping from the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

Faux Leather Jogging Pants (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Travel Size Scent Candles Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Poppy Sneaker (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Riki Skinny 10X Lighted Mirror (medium)Cozette Genuine Shearling Slipper (medium, Preferred: nordstrom)Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer (Refill) (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)501 High Waist Straight Leg Jeans (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Set of 7 Washable Cosmetic Cloths (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Ui Mug & Warmer Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Jumbo Perfect Hair Day Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Anywhere 7-Inch Shorts (medium)Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (medium)City Knee High Boot (medium)Ultra Boost (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Stretch Pique Polo (medium)Feathers Bra (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (medium)Trinity Facial Toning Kit (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)City Buckle Bootie (medium)Breast of Both Worlds Reversible Wireless Bra (medium)Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Moonlight Short Pajamas (medium)40-Ounce Wide Mouth Cap Bottle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Prime, Wave Duo & Revive Stick Massage Bundle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Maison Blanc Mini Tin Candle Trio (medium)Carbonator III (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Sunfaded Slub Scallop Crew T-Shirt (medium)CozyChic Throw (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: The 25 deals our editors have added to their carts during

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale preview image of woman smiling and holding a yellow card
  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale runs from today, July 28, until August 8. On August 9, prices go up.
  • The sale includes women’s style, men’s style, beauty and grooming, home goods, and more.
  • We rounded up the top picks from our personal wishlists to help you shop the sale.

As one of the biggest department stores in the world, Nordstrom is an incredibly popular place to shop year-round, but the best time of the year to shop is right now. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has deals on everything from fashion and footwear to beauty and grooming products and home decor – and the prices are even better than Black Friday.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale officially kicks off today, July 28, and will run until August 8. On August 9, you can expect prices to go back up.

As a team of professional product reviewers, we’ve been scouring through the sale since the deals were available to preview at the beginning of the month, but we’ve also been doing some shopping of our own.

To help you get an idea of what to browse first, we’ve rounded up some of the items from the Insider Reviews team’s personal wishlists. See what we’re most excited to shop from this year’s sale, below.

What the Insider Reviews team is shopping from the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

Riki Skinny 10X Lighted Mirror (medium)501 High Waist Straight Leg Jeans (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Set of 7 Washable Cosmetic Cloths (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Ui Mug & Warmer Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Jumbo Perfect Hair Day Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Anywhere 7-Inch Shorts (medium)Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (medium)City Knee High Boot (medium)Ultra Boost (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Stretch Pique Polo (medium)Feathers Bra (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (medium)Trinity Facial Toning Kit (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)City Buckle Bootie (medium)Jumbo Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (medium)Breast of Both Worlds Reversible Wireless Bra (medium)Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Moonlight Short Pajamas (medium)40-Ounce Wide Mouth Cap Bottle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Prime, Wave Duo & Revive Stick Massage Bundle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)8-Inch & 10-Inch Hard Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Fry Pan Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Maison Blanc Mini Tin Candle Trio (medium)Carbonator III (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Sunfaded Slub Scallop Crew T-Shirt (medium)CozyChic Throw (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)

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The 20 best Nordstrom Anniversary Sale deals under $100 – from Spanx, Diptyque, Sperry, and more

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale runs now through August 8.
  • It’s a great time to score deep discounts on top brands, including many that rarely go on sale.
  • We rounded up the best deals under $100 from this year’s sale.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the most highly anticipated shopping events of the year – and it’s happening right now. Until August 8, you can score deep discounts on top brands across men’s, women’s, kids, beauty, grooming, and home. On August 9, everything will go back to full price.

One reason for the sale’s popularity is that many of the best deals won’t cost you more than $100. This year, you’ll find bestsellers like the Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra for less than $40 and a set of five Diptyque candles for just $60, among many others. But with prices this good, items don’t stay in stock for long.

To make it easier to sort through the many discounts, we put together a list of the best deals from this year’s sale that are all under $100.

The best under-$100 deals from the 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

CozyChic Lite Circle Cardigan (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Leggings (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Red Carpet Strapless Bra (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Moonlight Short Pajamas (medium)Essential Nylon Running Jacket (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Sunfaded Slub Scallop Crew T-Shirt (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Gold Cup Authentic Original Boat Shoe (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Stretch Pique Polo (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)50mm Wayfarer Sunglasses (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Creme de Corps Body Moisturizer (Refill) (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Renew Pure Radiance Oil Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)ExfoliKate Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Lash Enhancing Serum Duo (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Magic Duo Full Size Gold Lush Dry Shampoo & Dry Texturizing Spray Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Fit Compact Hair Dryer (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Self-Cleaning Water Bottle (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)The Smart Garden 3 (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Travel Size Scent Candles Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)CozyChic Throw (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)

Read the original article on Business Insider

What our team of style, beauty, and grooming experts are buying from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
  • The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale officially begins today and runs through August 8.
  • The sale includes deals on women’s style, men’s style, beauty and grooming, home goods, and more.
  • We rounded up our favorite picks from our personal wishlists to help you shop the sale.

As one of the biggest department stores in the world, Nordstrom is an incredibly popular place to shop year-round, but the best time of the year to shop is right now. During the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, you’ll find deals on everything from fashion and footwear to beauty and grooming products and home decor – and the prices are even better than Black Friday.

The 2021 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale officially kicks off today, July 28, and will run until August 8. On August 9, you can expect prices to go back up.

As a team of professional product reviewers, we’ve been scouring through the sale since the deals were available to preview at the beginning of the month, but we’ve also been doing some shopping of our own.

To help you get an idea of what to browse first, we’ve rounded up some of the items from the Insider Reviews team’s personal wishlists. See what we’re most excited to shop from this year’s sale, below.

What the Insider Reviews team is buying from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale:

City Knee High Boot (medium)Feathers Bra (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Faux Leather Bomber Jacket (medium)Trinity Facial Toning Kit (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)City Buckle Bootie (medium)Jumbo Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (medium)Breast of Both Worlds Reversible Wireless Bra (medium)Moonlight Short Pajamas (medium)Oversize Quilted Cotton Coat (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)Black Rose Skin Infusion Set (medium, Preferred: Nordstrom)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best at-home teeth whitening kits in 2021, according to dentists

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • At-home teeth whitening kits help lift surface stains, but many are expensive and hurt your teeth.
  • We asked six professional dentists to recommend their go-to at-home teeth-whitening products.
  • Our top pick, Crest 3D White Professional Effects, is effective, simple, and fairly affordable.

Wanting whiter teeth in a world of first impressions and social media needs no explanation. But which at-home teeth whitening kits won’t make your pearlies sensitive after one round – that’s much harder.

In actuality, the most effective way to whiten your teeth is at the dentist’s office; however, that’s expensive and inaccessible for many people. Whitening toothpastes can help with daily maintenance, but they won’t create that ‘wow’ factor. At-home teeth whitening kits can save you money, time, and allow you to regularly re-whiten as needed (aka, as your coffee and red wine habit sees fit). The problem: A lot of whitening kits are too strong, causing your gums to become sensitive to pressure and your teeth sensitive to cold after just one use.

To find the most effective at-home teeth whitening products, including options for sensitive teeth, we asked a handful of dentists what the best teeth whiteners are for a brighter smile ASAP. We took into consideration options for sensitive teeth and gums, folks on a budget, and other buying factors. We tested many of their suggestions, as well as leading brands on the market, and combed through research and ratings. Each of the teeth whitening kits below are effective, easy to use, and less likely to irritate your teeth or gums.

Here are the best teeth whitening kits you can buy:

The best teeth whitening kit overall

crest whitening kit

Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips are effective, won’t slide around during treatment, easy to find at any drugstore, and have a less-concentrated formula for minimal sensitivity.

Pros: Produces results in four or five uses, recommended by dentists, low peroxide levels

Cons: May irritate the gums

Pack count: 20 treatments

Easy to put on and with an effective formula, Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips offers the most bang for your buck and is a favorite of Neil Hadaegh DDS, a professional dentist in Beverly Hills.

The gel is contained in strips that you press to mold around your teeth — so much so that Crest says you can even drink water and talk while wearing the strips thanks to their “Advanced Seal Technology.”

This formula typically has a lower concentration (10%) of Hydrogen Peroxide so it’s better for people who have sensitive teeth and can’t tolerate higher levels.

The Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips kit comes with 40 strips for 20 treatments (each treatment consists of a strip on the upper teeth and one on the lower teeth.) You are supposed to wear the strips for 30 minutes, once per day. Crest claims that after the 20 daily treatments, you can remove 14 years of tooth stains. 

However, strips don’t offer the custom fit of trays, which means you may notice some increased sensitivity if your gums come in contact with the whitening strips.

The best whitening trays

opalescence

If you’re looking for more precision in your application to avoid gum sensitivity, your best bet is combining teeth whitening gel with mouth trays or guards like in the Opalescence Go 15% kit.

Pros: Effective, greater control over application, potentially less gum sensitivity

Cons: Expensive, may cause sensitivity

Pack count: 10 treatments

The benefit of using a mouth tray or mouth guard with gel is that, unlike white strips, you aren’t as likely to miss spots on the teeth or irritate your gums. 

Opalescence is known for its whitening products in the dental industry. I’ve gotten amazing results with the Opalescence 35% formula, which is a syringe you squirt into your own trays and is slightly more intense. Heather Kunen, DDS, orthodontist and co-owner of Beam Street in New York recommended the Opalescence Go to Insider for how easy and mess-free the process is is to use to get that same high-quality whitening Opalescence is known for.

Dr. Hadaegh also likes this product, adding that the trays adapt to your teeth all the way to your molars. “They have 15% hydrogen peroxide, which means you only need to wear them for 15 to 20 minutes a day for five to 10 days. It also contains potassium nitrate and fluoride to help reduce sensitivity while strengthening enamel.”

However, because the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is so high, there’s a chance you may still experience some sensitivity, in which case it’s best to switch to a less concentrated alternative like Crest Whitestrips.

The best for sensitive teeth and gums

zimba white strips

Zimba white strips whiten over 7 to 14 days without causing major tooth or gum sensitivity and come in tasty flavors.

Pros: Affordable, no-slip strips

Cons: Only covers front 10 teeth (upper and lower), takes about a week to whiten, whitening doesn’t last

Pack count: 14 treatments

If you’re looking for teeth whitening strips but have had issues with teeth sensitivity in the past, Kunen suggested Zimba white strips. It’s made with a gentle formula that uses a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

One box contains 28 stain-removing strips (14 upper, 14 lower) which cover your front 10 teeth on top and 10 on the bottom. The strips stay on pretty well with anti-slip technology and they’re slick, so there’s no gel or goop. Moreover, you can choose between two tasty flavors, coconut or mint.

Zimba says you’ll see whiter teeth in 14 days, and it truly does take at least one week to start seeing any difference. The major downside here is that the whitening doesn’t seem to last long — most reviewers say you have to use the strips regularly to maintain results. But that’s not surprising considering the formula is gentler, and considering these are about as cheap as you can get for an effective whitening kit, these are a great way to whiten before an event without breaking the bank. –Rachael Schultz, health and fitness updates editor

The best LED kit

smile direct club

If you don’t want to use strips and are determined to use an LED light, the SmileDirectClub Teeth Whitening Kit is the way to go.

Pros: Few reports of sensitivity issues, more precise application of whitening gel, reusable mouth guard

Cons: Expensive, dentists agree the LED light will not make a noticeable difference 

Pack count: 14-28 treatments

The idea of LED teeth whitening kits has mixed reviews: Brands claim the light helps make teeth whitening more effective than traditional whitening strips or trays, but there aren’t any studies to support this claim and many dentists feel like they don’t speed up the process. Patrick Campbell, DDS put it succinctly when speaking with Insider: “Frankly, these products are not worth the money.”

That being said, LED whitening kits are probably as effective as the other options so they’re not a waste of money if you can find a well-priced option. Also, they come with whitening pens that allow you a bit more control in terms of the application so you can avoid your gums and any increased sensitivity, and they usually require you to spend less time per day with the formula on your teeth.

If you want to try an LED whitening kit, SmileDirectClub’s Teeth Whitening Kit is one of the most convenient choices and about the same price as non-LED options.

The direct-to-consumer kit includes a LED mouthguard to act as a catalyst for the hydrogen peroxide whitening formula. It only requires 10 minutes a day of use and comes with nine whitening pens (enough for two full treatments). When I tested the device, I found the company’s estimates to be conservative — I got more than double the use out of the pens than expected, which is a great value for the money.

I loved that the LED device just plugs into your smartphone for power. 

SmileDirectClub’s Teeth Whitening Kit is $74 for the LED Light and an estimated 12-month supply of whitening pens, and $40 for the LED Light and 6-month pen supply. You can find them all here.

Read our full review on SmileDirectClub’s LED whitening kit.

The best natural kit

teeth whitening

The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit is your best alternative if you’re looking for a natural, chemical-free approach to whitening your teeth.

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to use, no added chemicals

Cons: Takes some getting used to, smells weird

Pack count: 40 treatments

Teeth-cleaning sticks known as Miswak have been used for thousands of years in what is now Pakistan, India, many African countries, and other parts of the world. And, a meta-analysis in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine found that the Miswak was just as effective for oral hygiene as the toothbrush and toothpaste used by Western cultures.

The Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit features two Miswak root sticks with two carrying cases. Each stick will last for three weeks of daily use. Miswak comes from the Arak tree, and this product contains no pesticides or chemicals. Miswak Club offers a 120-day money-back guarantee if you do not have noticeably whiter teeth after using their kit.

It has a sweet musky smell (which some people like and others really don’t) and doesn’t make a mess. Some reviewers have noted that it may take a few weeks of daily use to notice effects and that the smell may be a bit off-putting.

The best for professional-level results

linhart

If you want the intenser results of whitening at a dentist’s office, but at home, the Linhart Teeth Whitening Collection uses a formula from cosmetic dentists in New York City.

Pros: Professional-grade results, easy to use

Cons: Expensive, LED has minimal proven advantage

“This whitening system was custom designed by high-end cosmetic dentists in New York City and utilizes the same whitening gel they use in their office on their patients,” Dr. Kunen, who has no affiliation with Linhart, explained.

The kit contains four syringes of 35% carbamide peroxide whitening gel, an LED whitening light to activate the gel, and a milder whitening gel to help maintain your results. It’s a bit pricier than other at-home kits but, as Kunen pointed out, “For those patients looking to replicate a chairside whitening experience, this is closest you will find!” –Rachael Schultz, health and fitness updates editor

What else we considered

What else we recommend

Glowup LED Kit ($35): This direct-to-consumer LED whitening start up will personalize the whitening formula to your level of tooth/gum sensivity and discoloration. The LED light is powered by your phone and requires 16 minutes of use. It only comes with three gel vials and the syringes aren’t the most intuitive to spread on your teeth, so SmileDirectClub is a better choice for most people. But if you have sensitive teeth and want lasting results, Glowup is a great option. (Read our full review here.)

Snow LED Kit ($149): This well-designed LED teeth whitening kit comes with 4 serum pens (no syringes) that are easy to apply precisely to your teeth. All four will last you 75 treatments. The mouthpiece is very comfortable to bite for the suggested 10 minutes and plugs into your phone for power. The kit is quite pricey, but I saw results after two uses, so the included treatments will allow a whole family to whiten regularly for basically all of time.

Opalescence PF 35% Whitening Gel ($45.49): This is a cheaper alternative to the Opalescence Go that Dr. Kunen and Dr. Hadaegh both recommend, delivering the same Carbamide Peroxide formula in a syringe. You’ll need to use your own mouth trays, but we can confirm it delivers whiter teeth after just a few 30-minute sessions.

Lumibrite 32% Whitening Gel($25): Dr. Hadaegh told Insider that Lumibrite causes little to no sensitivity, while also producing excellent whitening results due to its high concentration of Carbamide Peroxide. It does require custom bleaching trays.

Zoom NiteWhite 22% Whitening Gel ($30): NiteWhite is a clinical-grade tooth whitening gel of 22% Carbamide Peroxide. It’s medium strength, so it’s an excellent option for individuals who have some tooth sensitivity but want a whitening gel that’s not too strong or too weak, Hadaegh said.

HiSmile Whitening ($130): If whitening kits have left your teeth or gums sensitive in the past, Kunen suggested this brand which uses Pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) as its principal whitening agent as opposed to the more traditional and harsher peroxides. It’s definitely more expensive than the other options, but it’s also super easy to use.

What we don’t recommend

GLO Teeth Whitening Kit ($150): Glo Science sells a similar device to SmileDirectClub; both use an LED mouthpiece to reportedly act as a catalyst for hydrogen peroxide. But SmileDirectClub is a better value at half the cost. We still recommend strips over gel and mouth trays over LED light options, though.

FAQs about whitening your teeth

What types of teeth whitening products exist?

There are essentially two types of kits: ones that bleach your teeth to take stains off and ones that physically scrape off the stains. Whitening trays and strips have been the standard for decades and generally rely on carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. Activated charcoal powders had a spike in popularity recently, but the dentists we interviewed would tell you to nix the powders. Ira Handschuh, DDS, cosmetic dentist at The Dental Design Center in White Plains, NY and Ania Mohelicki, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in Boulder, CO both told Business Insider that they don’t recommend these because they can be abrasive and only remove surface stains. 

There is a third type of teeth whitening product that simply blasts your teeth with LED light, which typically claims to speed up the process and achieve more intense results. However, most of the dentists we interviewed agreed that any gains from this treatment are short-lived or nonexistent. “Most studies show some difference detected by computers, but no visual difference detected by the human eye. For the studies conducted in actual patients (in vivo), most found no added benefit for light-activated systems,” Charles Sutera DDS, FAGD, a professional dentist at Aesthetic Smile Reconstruction in Waltham, MA told Insider.

Only the SmileDirectClub system in our guide uses this technology, but it is used in conjunction with a whitening gel and a mouthguard that may offer better control over your placement and avoid increased gum sensitivity in comparison to strips. 

Which teeth whitening products are most effective?

“Shopping for teeth whitening products is very simple.” Dr. Sutera explained. “There is only one active ingredient in all teeth whitening products: hydrogen peroxide. It’s the same agent whether it’s prescription use or over the counter. Any other ingredients in the product are inactive fillers needed to create the right consistency of the product.” If you see carbamide peroxide on your ingredient list, it’s just a derivative of hydrogen peroxide. 

“The key is to understand that whitening can be effective at any percentage, but what differs is the time of use. A high percentage of hydrogen peroxide typically is only kept on the teeth for 20 minutes maximum, while a lower percentage can be worn for 6 hours or overnight.” Dr. Sutera explains. “Much of the selection comes down to personal preference. If you have a tendency to develop tooth sensitivity or if you want to minimize the risks of irritating your gums, that’s when you’d select a lower concentration.”

A few warnings about teeth whitening kits

Peroxide is effective, but it comes with several warnings. Pregnant or nursing women may want to stop using peroxide-based whitening products. It also isn’t suitable for children under 14 years old. And, you should not use peroxide for longer than two weeks of daily use without the supervision of a dentist.

The FDA does not recommend using any whitening gels with a peroxide concentration of higher than 18%. Two of the kits we recommend use peroxide (Crest Whitestrips and SmileDirectClub) but they should be safe for most people.

Again, you should always consult with your dentist before starting a course of treatment. For instance, if your darkened teeth are due to the natural thinning of tooth enamel that comes with aging, whitening kits will not help you. Also, they cannot whiten fillings, dentures, veneers, crowns, or caps.

Most importantly, Dr. Mohelicki says the biggest concern is wearing whitening kits for the right amount of time. “Over-the-counter options are inexpensive when compared to in-office whitening, but they offer no gum protection. With no gum protection, users can experience increased sensitivity and even burns in severe cases.” 

How to use teeth whitening kits effectively

Before using a teeth whitening kit, brush your teeth so your whitening agent can make contact with the surface of your teeth to improve efficacy, and so it doesn’t accidentally create an uneven white. “Any buildup of plaque or food debris will not allow for the whitening agent to contact the tooth and therefore not allow the whitening agent to do its job,” Dr. Campbell explained. “You could end up with a speckled, uneven whitened appearance.” 

And, after you’ve whitened, try to avoid food and drinks that stain your teeth.”I recommend that my patients stick to a ‘colorless diet’ just after whitening,” Dr. Handschuh told Business Insider. “Meaning, avoid highly-staining food and drink such as coffee, red wine, tea, sauces, etc.” But, if you really want to, he recommends using a straw to bypass your teeth a bit. 

As Dr. Sutera explained, whitening your teeth and then having a glass of red wine is like “two people in a canoe paddling in different directions. The whitening products open the pores and clean them out. If you have coffee, tea, or red wine within 72 hours of whitening your teeth, your teeth are more likely to absorb dark stains and adversely impact your whitening results.”

Does teeth-whitening damage your enamel?

“Most studies show that whitening does not damage enamel,” Dr. Sutera said. Though, there has been recent research that shows teeth whitening can affect proteins deeper in the tooth, though researchers are not currently sure if the damage is temporary or permanent, according to Dr. Sutera.

How can you prevent tooth sensitivity?

“It is common for the majority of people to experience increased tooth sensitivity after having teeth whitening done.” Dr. Mohelicki says. “However, for those who already have sensitive teeth, I recommend starting out by trying a whitening toothpaste. This takes significantly longer than trying an over-the-counter product or having teeth bleached in-office, but it can be significantly less painful.”

For whitening toothpaste, Dr. Sutera recommends patients with sensitive teeth use a toothpaste with potassium nitrate and fluoride and also use a fluoride mouth rinse. According to Dr. Sutera, potassium nitrate is the primary ingredient that helps with sensitive teeth, and fluoride a secondary option that has also been shown to help.  

If you have sensitive teeth and want to use a teeth whitening agent, you may just want to avoid higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. “The suggestion I would make is to use a lower concentration of whitening agent to get their desired whitening outcome while minimizing the risk of tooth sensitivity.” Dr. Campbell said. “Although anecdotal, I’ve found that brushing with Sensodyne toothpaste before and after whitening has helped me avoid sensitivity.”  

Why do you feel increased sensitivity after you whiten?

The bleaching temporarily weakens your enamel so the bleach can pass through it and further lift those stains, explained Dr. Mohelicki. “When [our enamel] is weakened during the bleaching treatment, many patients find that it can be hard to consume hot beverages, ice-cold beverages, or even eat certain foods. This typically wears off within 72 hours of ending treatment.” 

Our experts

For this piece, we consulted a handful of different dentists for multiple perspectives:

Read the original article on Business Insider

62 gifts under $25 that anyone will love – from a cold brew coffee maker to a silk pillowcase

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

West Elm Tea Towels

The elements of a good present – being thoughtful, useful, or novel – aren’t restricted to a big budget. But the best gifts under $25 are usually hidden in a minefield of totally expendable knickknacks.

As a team of product journalists and reviewers, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable gifts we know of, based on gifts we’ve received, gifts we’ve given, and others we’ve found along the way. They’re all things we have or would gladly buy and use in our daily lives.

Check out all 60+ gifts under $25:

A compact, waterproof blanket for outdoor activities

A feminine person sitting on a big, blue outdoor blanket on a sandy beach

Bearz Outdoor Pocket Blanket, available at Amazon, $20.99

They’ll appreciate this outdoor blanket for all of their get-togethers outside. It folds up easily and can even fit into their pocket. It’s also waterproof, puncture-resistant, and sand-proof, so they can use this gift to level up their beach days, camping adventures, hikes, and picnics in the park.

A trendy bucket hat for the summer sun

Feminine person wearing gray bucket hat from Hat Depot on Amazon

The Hat Depot 300N Unisex Bucket Hat, available at Amazon, from $10.99

Whether you’re shopping for someone who loves bucket hats or someone who has yet to try one, this accessory is a great gift for the summer. They’ll get much needed protection from the sun, plus they’ll look stylish wherever they go.

A tie-dye kit for a fun art project

Three feminine people wearing colorful tie-dye shirts

Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit, available at Amazon, from $12.85

Tie-dye clothing continues to stick around, but they don’t have to spend a fortune on a tie-dye sweatshirt to join in on the trend. This easy kit gives them the gift of a fun passion project or a hands-on activity with friends. It comes with five colors of dye, gloves, and rubber bands.

A trio of face mists for freshening up their skin

Three bottles of face mists from Mario Badescu; one is green, one is pink, and one is purple.

Mario Badescu Spritz. Mist. Glow. Set, available at Ulta, $21

Gifting beauty products like moisturizers and foundations can be challenging because everyone has specific skin types and shades. However, face mists are your best bet if they’re obsessed with skincare and need something refreshing for the summer. We can’t get enough of Mario Badescu, and its mists are no exception. You can learn more about Mario Badescu sprays in our guide to the best face mists.

A candle that smells like summertime at the beach

Waikiki Beach Coconut Candle

Bath & Body Works Waikiki Beach Coconut, available at Bath & Body Works, $3.62 

For a gift that lasts, get them a quality candle. They’ll love the summer scent of this one from Bath & Body Works. Bath & Body Works is a household name that we turn to for buying candles, which is why we include it in our guide to the best candle brands. You can choose from endless fragrance options and formats, as well as seasonal scents.

A personalized video message from their favorite celebrity

Cameo 2021

Personalized video message, starting at $1, available at Cameo

When trying to think of a unique gift, one that might not immediately come to mind is Cameo. The online service has tons of famous actors, musicians, athletes, and creators they might want a personalized video message from. Whether it’s for their birthday or the holidays, there’s something for everyone on Cameo, with prices starting at $1. You can get the likes of “Ugly Betty” actor Chris Gorham or internet dog sensation Puggy Smalls, each for $25 or less. 

Read more about Cameo and how to use Cameo.

A towel with a design of your city

Claudia Pearson City Tea Towels

Claudia Pearson City Tea Towels, available at West Elm, $18

Brooklyn artist Claudia Pearson has illustrated everything from children’s books to New Yorker pages to tea towels. Her quirky hand-drawn city maps add a sentimental touch to any kitchen.

A letterboard for lists, quotes, and milestone events

Target 12"x 12" Letterboard   Room Essentials™

12″x 12″ Room Essentials Letterboard, available at Target, $15

This square letter board brings a personalized touch to birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or dinner parties. The light grain finish offers a sleek, modern look that’ll match different living spaces.

A pure silk pillowcase that’ll help tame bedhead

ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase for Hair and Skin Health,Both Sides 19 Momme Silk,1pc (Standard 20''x26'', Beige)

ZIMASILK 100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, available at Amazon, from $20.39

Crafted from organic mulberry silk, this pillowcase is gentle and cool on hair and skin. Plus, you can choose from 36 colors to match your bedding. 

A water bottle that encourages hydration

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Ban.do Work It Out Water Bottle, available at Ban.do, $20

You’ll never forget to stay hydrated with this 24-ounce marked water bottle. It has an easy-to-carry plastic lid and removable silicone mouthpiece that makes it just as easy to clean as it is to drink from.  

The bedside storage essential

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Bedside Essentials Pocket, available at Uncommon Goods, $15-$20

Whether it’s your remote controls, books, or reading glasses, your bedside or couch essentials will fit perfectly in this convenient felt pouch. It slides between your mattress or under your couch cushion without looking like an eyesore.

The self-confessional book you can burn after writing

Burn

Burn After Writing Book, available at Amazon, $6.99

This bestseller went viral across TikTok because of its unique approach to self-reflection. With inquisitive prompts, the notebook works as a giant confessional you can quite literally burn after writing. 

A reflective card game that encourages connection

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We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Target, $25

This card game is unlike any you’ve played before. Its three carefully crafted levels of questions spark connections and stimulate reflective conversations. You’ll leave the game making friends out of strangers or diving deeper into your friendships. 

An assorted cookie tin

cookies

6-Count Cookie Tin, available Milk Bar, $22

Satisfy their sweet tooth with this assortment of cookies. You can’t go wrong with Milk Bar’s best, from its fudgy Chocolate Confetti Cookie to its fruity Blueberry & Cream Cookie.

We break down how to shop for Milk Bar online, here.

An ambient moon lamp

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Saturn Moon Lamp, available at Amazon, $23.99

This Saturn-shaped moon lamp gives off a soothing ambient glow to brighten up their room. Whether they use it as a subtle night light or as a room accessory, they’ll have fun matching the lamp to their mood with its 16 color options.

Hip wine glasses that elevate a nice dinner

wine

Hip Wine Glasses, available at Crate & Barrel, $6.95

There’s nothing that screams elegance more than a nice set of wine glasses. At only $7 each, Crate & Barrel’s stemware styles are the perfect guest to accompany your next charcuterie board. 

A milk frother that brings the taste of a cafe closer to home

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PowerLix Milk Frother, available at Amazon, $14.95

A milk frother is an unexpectedly convenient tool to have around the house, and it can make a frothy latte or cappuccino that tastes closer to what you’d find at the cafe.

We’re huge fans of this one in particular and even ranked it best overall in our guide to the best milk frothers.

Reusable straws that fold up on the go

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Food52 Reusable Straw Set, available at Food52, $25

Food52’s reusable straw sets come in a pretty color palette, and each pack includes carrying cases and cleaning squeegees. They can toss one set in their bag, leave one at work, and keep one in the car.

A cult-favorite clay mask that basically vacuums out pores

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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, available at Target, $7.99

The Aztec Clay Mask has been called “the world’s most powerful facial” and it’s also under $10. It can be mixed with water, but it works best with a little bit of apple cider vinegar.

Read our full review of the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask here.

Their new favorite pair of socks

bombas

Women’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Men’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Bombas is one gift we find ourselves giving friends and family every year. They’re the best socks we’ve ever tried, and they’re a little more expensive than someone is likely to spend on socks for themselves, making them a great gift.

Read our full review of Bombas socks here.

A Disney+ subscription

Originals Disney Plus 4x3

Subscribe for $7.99/month or $79.99/year

It gives you unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A large photo print of a meaningful memory

Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising

Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $22

Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $22 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $22, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $25.

A roulette of spontaneous date night ideas

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Date Night Bucket List, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Never run out of fun and new date night ideas — and take some of the pressure off deciding on an activity.

A cold brew coffee tool that makes a quart of liquid

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Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $21.65

This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can save hundreds of dollars per year on iced coffee. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option. We even named it best budget option in our guide to the best cold-brew coffee makers

Read our full review of the Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker here

A trio of bestselling lipstick shades

Beauty gifts under $25 Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Labs Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio, available at Sephora, $25

This paraben-free, ultra-pigmented trio features tiny but mighty editions of Pat McGrath Labs’ MatteTrance lipsticks.

A hair towel that cuts down on drying time by as much as 50%

aquis hair turban

Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Turban, available at Amazon, $20.99

Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers.

The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction that hair experiences while in its weakest state. Plus, it speeds up drying time by as much as 50%.

Textured dip bowls for condiments

West Elm Textured Dip Bowl   White (Lines)

Textured Dip Bowl, available at West Elm, from $5.52

Ideal for snacks, condiments, and the basics they love to cook with frequently. 

An approachable cookbook that’s great for hosting

Where Cooking Begins

“Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook” by Carla Lalli Music, available at Amazon, $15.81

This is the cookbook to beeline it to if your recipient loves to host friends for dinner. You can find more great options here, too.

A holiday shave set from a popular startup

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Shave Set, available at Flamingo, $16

Flamingo is the women’s brand of Harry’s, and it’s got the same M.O.: to make better hair removal products for a reasonable amount of money, and to present them in a way that makes them feel special. Its Shave Set comes in a recyclable pouch with a razor and two blade cartridges, daily moisturizer, luxe foaming shave gel, and a shower hook.

Read our full review of the Flamingo Shave Set here.

Smart outlet plugs that let you turn devices on or off from anywhere

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Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini, available at Best Buy, $9.99

A small but convenient gift, smart wifi plugs let the owner turn their electronics on or off from anywhere with their smartphone thanks to the Kasa app. If they have a smart home gadget, they can use the voice assistant to turn things on and off as well. In the Kasa app, they can also set schedules and “scenes” for controlling many devices with one button. 

A custom family portrait – including pets

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Custom Family Portrait, available at Etsy, from $15

For an especially thoughtful, impactful gift, order ahead of time and get a custom portrait of your little family — pets included.

A mini griddle that makes individual servings of breakfast foods

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Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle Maker Machine, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

This tiny waffle maker is perfect for single-serving breakfasts, or for meal prep (just freeze your waffles ahead of time). It’s compact for confined spaces, heats up in a few minutes, and has a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean.

A lifetime REI membership

REI

REI Membership, available at REI, $20

Perfect for the outdoorsy types, an REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.

A set of three silk hair scrunchies

SlipSilk

Slipsilk Mini Scrunchies, available at Sephora, $22

Silk is often used in products like headbands and pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage of hair, and these hair ties serve the same purpose. Designed to keep hair from catching, crimping, and pulling, these hair scrunchies are gentle on strands and around the wrist.

Containers of Belgian chocolate for fondue

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Decadent Chocolate Fondue, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Order a stoneware container of Belgian chocolate that you can heat up for a night of hassle-free fondue. 

A water bottle with a built-in filter system

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Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle, available at Amazon, $16.99

The Brita water bottle has a built-in filter that can improve the taste of water by reducing its chlorine content and smell. It can replace an estimated 1,800 single-use plastic bottles each year.

A reusable shopping bag that comes in tons of fun colors

Baggu Reusable Bag

Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, available at Amazon, $12

Baggu bags are popular for a reason — they come in over 40 fun prints and fold down to pretty much nothing even though they can hold 50 pounds of stuff. 

A spray that protects your shoes from stains

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Jason Markk Repel Spray, available at Amazon, $17

This Jason Markk spray repels water and oil to keep your shoes free of stains and water spots. It’s water-based, so it’s okay to use on a variety of materials — from suede to nubuck leather to canvas and others. It sprays a fine mist that covers large areas both quickly and evenly. 

Soft, cozy underwear that comes in fun patterns

MeUndies Boxer Brief

MeUndies Boxers, available at MeUndies, $24

MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear and loungewear for men and women that we’ve found at Insider Reviews. And, beyond that, we love their festive patterns. Because they’re pricier than most people are willing to pay for their own underwear, these make a great and surprisingly luxurious gift. We share our love for MeUndies underwear in our guide to the best places to shop for men’s underwear

Read our full review of MeUndies here.

Coasters made from reclaimed vinyl records

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Upcycled Record Coasters, available at Uncommon Goods, $18

These upcycled coasters are made from reclaimed vinyl records and sealed against moisture. Each set includes a variety of music genres. 

Fast-absorbing, moisturizing hand sanitizer

Touchland Power Mist Mint

Touchland Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $12

Touchland makes hand sanitizers that aren’t sticky or drying. We like them because they’re fast-evaporating, moisturizing, and effective. 

Read our full review of Touchland Hand Sanitizer here.

A protective phone case

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Incase Phone Cases, available at Incase, from $24.95

Incase probably already makes your laptop case, and their phone cases are great for many of the same reasons. They’re lightweight, add another layer of protection, and allow for some fun personalization. 

A membership to unlimited reading

Scribd

Scribd Membership, available at Scribd, $9.99/month

Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd. (Or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If they aren’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make them one. 

Read our full review of the Scribd membership here.  

Herbs de Provence in a cool ceramic crock

Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crock

Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crock, available at Williams Sonoma, from $14.95

Switch it up for the cook in your life with this tasty herb mix. The classic blend of thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender hails from the South of France, and Williams Sonoma recommends using it to accent poultry, meat, sauces, and soups. 

Chip-resistant, vegan nail polish that comes in over 50 colors

Smith & Cult Nail Polish

Smith and Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith and Cult, $18

Smith & Cult’s rich, chip-resistant nail polish comes in 52 colors and is the kind of beautiful bottle you leave out on the vanity because it’s just that nice to look at. The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t have potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde or camphor, among others. It’s easy to see why we included Smith & Cult in our guide to the best nail polish brands.

Charitable lottery tickets that donate money to a deserving organization

Scratch off Donation Card

Scratch-off Donation Card, available at LottoLove, $23

When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.

Lip gloss that’s moisturizing and not sticky

Tower28 ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss

Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14

Tower 28 makes soft lip glosses with subtle color and a non-sticky, moisturizing formula with ingredients like raspberry seed oil and rosehip oil. You can pick from 10 different colors. 

Read our full review of Tower 28 here.

Reusable beeswax sandwich wraps

Bee's Wrap Reusable Food Wraps

Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wrap, available at Food52, from $18

Beeswax Sandwich Wrap is made from cotton infused with beeswax and natural oils. It acts as an eco-friendly substitute to plastic sandwich bags, and it can be reused over and over and over again.

Gourmet flavored syrups that are perfect for coffees and teas, and even cocktails

monin mini coffee syrup

Monin Mini Coffee Syrup, available at World Market, $9.99

Did anyone — anyone at all — say cocktails? Monin’s coffee collection has everything needed for café-inspired drinks, be they cocktails, lattes, coffees, or teas. It includes five syrups ranging in flavors from amaretto to Irish cream. Plus, Monin has a recycling initiative that works to improve the health of bee populations. 

A smart chip that helps you find items you’ve lost

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Tile Mate, available at Target, $24.99

How nice would it be if every time you lost something, you could find it within a few minutes? Use your smartphone to make the Tile Mate ring aloud, and you’ll be able to locate your keys or wallet using the sound. 

A travel-size duo of two cult-favorite NARS products

cheap gifts

NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil Duo, available at Sephora, $20

NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencils are travel-sized so your giftee can bring them on trips or easily throw them into purses and pockets for on-the-go use. The formula is non-drying and long-lasting, and they can be used to line, define, and fill in lips with colors that range from subtle to rich. 

A popular lip mask that creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight

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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22

Laneige’s hyper-successful Lip Sleeping Mask uses a combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, minerals, antioxidants, and fruit extracts to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture overnight. It has over 13,000 ratings on Sephora, and an average rating of 4.4-stars out of five. 

Read our full review of the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask here.

A slip-resistant armband to keep their phone in place on a run

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Tribe Cell Phone Armband, available at Amazon, from $14.98

If you’re going to buy an armband for a runner, you’re probably going to wind up buying this version from Tribe. It has over 40,000 reviews on Amazon (with a 4.4-star rating overall) and, while it’s not the most perfect out there, it’s frequently recommended for its water-resistant and no-slip design. 

Knee-high socks from one of the best loungewear companies online

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Tommy John Knee High Casual Sock, available at Tommy John, from $16

Tommy John is another company responsible for some of the very best loungewear and underwear on the internet. Their knee-length socks have light compression to support blood flow, and the “comfort cuff” design means you should be able to peel them off without finding marks left over. 

Read our full review of Tommy John here.

An adjustable phone stand for their desk, dinner table, or kitchen counter

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Lamicall Adjustable Cell Phone Stand, available at Amazon, from $11.99

Whether they use it as a desk accessory or to prop up their YouTube search for “how to chop onions” while they cook at home, a lightweight, adjustable phone stand comes in handy more often than you’d expect. 

One of the best new books of the year

book

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon, from $14.49

If you’re looking for a good book to gift, look no further than the reading lists already on Amazon — from the best books of the month, to the best books of the year, to the 100 you should read in a lifetime

A photo book with some of their best memories

Softcover Photo Book

Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising from $15

For a sentimental gift under $25, we recommend these beautifully designed photo books that look like a personal magazine, curated by you for them.

Bath salts that are the perfect excuse for relaxation

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Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, available at Dermstore, $18

Herbivore Botanical’s bath salts include nutrient-rich Pacific sea salts combined with ylang-ylang and vanilla essential oil. They’ll moisturize the skin and provide a deeply relaxing, calming effect on the brain to decrease anxiety and restlessness.  

The best hair mask you can buy

its a 10 miracle hair mask

It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask, available at It’s a 10, from $12.49

Perfect for color-treated, heat-styled, and otherwise damaged hair, It’s a 10’s hair mask deep-conditions strands with a blend of moisturizing ingredients like oat kernel extract, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and linseed extract. We tout it as the best overall pick in our guide to the best hair masks.

A cute, bunny-shaped loose-tea infuser

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Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $9.78

Gift them some relaxing time spent sipping their favorite tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). 

The makeup remover tourists stock up on in French pharmacies

Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Remover, available at Amazon, $14.99

Bioderma’s makeup remover is a cult favorite among makeup artists, celebrities, the average person, and the Insider Reviews team. We call it the best overall in our guide to the best makeup removers, and we also mention it in our roundup of French pharmacy skincare products.

Tickets to an event you know they’ll appreciate

StubHub gift card

Live concert and game tickets, available at Stubhub, from $15 per person

Once it’s safe to attend live events again, is there a good concert, play, or game you think they’d love? It doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure they get to go with a friend or two.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 8 best hydrating lip masks to buy in 2021

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Pattern of Best hydrating lip masks, inclduing Milk Makeup, Bite Beauty Lip Mask, and Sephora Collection Lip Sleeping Mask
  • Lips can’t produce oil and moisturize themselves, making them more prone to dryness.
  • A lip mask will add moisture into your lips while creating a protective layer to keep it locked in.
  • We selected the eight best hydrating lip masks you can buy, below.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Just like the right skincare routine can have your face glowing, lips need attention too, especially when they dry out and get chapped. That’s where a lip mask comes in. The point of most lip masks is to hydrate your lips and seal in moisture. Some do one more than the other, but we prefer those that have a healthy balance or lean toward hydrating. After all, what’s the point of locking in moisture if there’s nothing to lock in?

Ingredients to look out for.

Unlike the rest of your face, waxes and oils are great for your lips. After all, your lips don’t have any pores to clog. In general, there are three categories of ingredients to look for.

In general, we kept an eye out for hydrating emollients like jojoba oil, moisture-trapping occlusives like petrolatum, water-attracting humectants, and other ingredients like topical melatonin that have specialized benefits. We avoided ingredients like salicylic acid, menthol, and camphor.

We picked eight of the best lip masks, which are each crafted to deliver long-lasting hydration, not just a quick fix.

These are the best lip masks of 2021

Bite Beauty Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy

Bite Beauty Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy

Agave+ Nighttime Lip Therapy (small)

This lip mask comes in a frosted glass pot with a matte cover. The mask is rich and feels deeply hydrating while lasting several hours. It’s made with a mix of waxes and oils like castor seed, safflower seed, and sunflower oil. It’s also made with agave and pomegranate extracts for an antioxidant kick. It feels silky and buttery on your lips at the same time.

Bonus: it comes with a perfectly-sized spatula that fits into the inside of the lid and helps you avoid sticking fingers into the pot.

Sara Happ The Dream Slip

Sara Happ The Dream Slip

The Dream Slip (small)

Sara Happ’s lip mask has an exciting ingredient list. The first ingredient is hydrating and healing: jojoba oil. The next four are thick, moisture-trapping ingredients like beeswax and white mineral oil. Past the ingredients, my experience with this product was amazing.To my surprise (and despite my tendency to toss and turn), this mask actually lasted overnight. 

Sara Happ also offers a clay lip mask ($34).

Innisfree Lip sleeping mask with green tea

Innisfree Lip sleeping mask with green tea

Lip sleeping mask (small)

K-beauty brand innisfree makes a sleeping lip mask that packs an antioxidant punch with the scent of a fresh cup of green tea. It feels very hydrating on the lips and lays on a thick layer, similar to Vaseline. The mask has a slight dark greenish tint on your lips, which may look funny if you’re around other people, or unseen if you actually wear this to bed.

Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask

Tatcha The Kissu Lip Mask

The Kissu Lip Mask (small)

Tatcha’s gooey Kissu Lip Mask comes with a luxe-looking, mini gold spatula and smells fruity. The jelly treatment is made with a mix of hydrating and protective ingredients. Some of its main hydrators include squalane and camellia oil as well as soothing ingredients like peach extract. 

Most masks on this list have a 12-month shelf life, but the label on this one suggests it only lasts six months before expiring. Fortunately, the pot of product isn’t that big… which means you also have to decide if this is worth the value

ILIA Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask

ILIA Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask

Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask (small)

ILIA’s hydrating mask is made with a standard set of hydrating ingredients like mango butter and moisture-trapping waxes. But ILIA uses some standout ingredients in their lip mask like salicornia, which is derived from a succulent, and papaya enzymes that gently exfoliate lip skin to allow the formula to hydrate deeper. Its consistency is waxy but slightly more liquid than Vaseline.

ILIA’s innovative lip exfoliator ($26) is one of our favorite scrubs.

Sephora Collection Lip Sleeping Mask

Sephora Collection Lip Sleeping Mask

Lip Sleeping Mask (small)

The Sephora Collection Lip Sleeping Mask is the ultimate budget and value option of the list. Plus, it feels and works great. Sephora’s thick and gooey lip mask is made with hydrating oils like shea butter and sunflower seed oil. And it has waxy ingredients to keep that moisture locked in. All the boxes, checked!

Milk Makeup Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask

Milk Makeup Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask

Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask (small)

Milk’s silky Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask is infused with hydrating oils and butters as well as protective-layer-producing waxes. Although it’s not high on the ingredient list, Milk’s lip mask uniquely uses topical melatonin, which may have skin-repairing effects. This mask also recruits moisture-grabbing hyaluronic acid and a berry blend for antioxidants. Made with over 10 different extracts from fruit, flowers, and more, Milk’s lip mask smells like shea butter with a hint of lemon.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Buttermask Intense Repair Lip Treatment

Kiehl's Since 1851 Buttermask Intense Repair Lip Treatment

Buttermask Intense Repair Lip Treatment (small)

Kiehl’s Buttermask Intense Repair Lip Treatment is a hydrating paste of butters, waxes, and oils. This means it’ll hydrate while locking in moisture. Ingredients include hydrating superstars like coconut and castor oil and moisture-locking agents like beeswax. When you apply the smooth Buttermask treatment, it smells like shea butter and feels like it’s immediately getting to work.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best whitening toothpastes of 2021, according to dentists

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Whitening toothpaste helps remove surface stains from teeth.
  • We spoke to 4 dentists on what to look for in a whitening toothpaste that won’t hurt your teeth or gums.
  • Our top choice, Colgate Total SF, is effective, ADA-approved, and budget-friendly.

Whether you’re a coffee addict, ex-smoker, or just want to polish your smile a little brighter, virtually everyone wants whiter teeth. There are all kinds of intensive options available, from whitening strips to in-office dental treatments. But for most of us, the easiest way is to switch up our toothpaste and ask it to do more than just fight plaque and cavities.

Whitening toothpaste generally works by using enamel-safe abrasives to physically remove surface stains. Many also contain other active ingredients, like peroxide, to dissolve stains and bleach teeth. Some even contain a chemical called blue covarine, which makes teeth appear whiter instantly by canceling out yellow tones – sort of an optical illusion.

But since not every ingredient is equal and some teeth whitening products notoriously cause tooth sensitivity, we spoke to four board-certified dentists to learn which whitening toothpaste really works. They shared the top brands they recommend to patients, as well as some tips for what to look for when shopping. We also personally tested several toothpastes to get a feel for texture, taste, and anything else a consumer might want to know.

Here are the best whitening toothpaste options:

The best whitening toothpaste overall

A box of Colgate Total SF Whitening Toothpaste on a white background

Colgate Total SF Whitening Gel is a top pick among our dentists as it’s a budget-friendly and effective way to whiten and protect the overall health of your teeth.

Pros: Inexpensive, American Dental Association (ADA) approved, provides sensitivity relief

Cons: Taste is questionable to some

Two of our expert sources, Ben El Chami, DMD, a NYC-based dentist and co-founder/chief dental officer of dntlbar and Chris Salierno, DDS, a Melville, NY-based dental practitioner and chief dental officer of Tend, independently named Colgate Total Whitening as a top option they’d recommend to patients looking for a daily whitening boost. It also bears the ADA seal of acceptance, meaning the professional organization support that its efficacy and safety claims are sufficiently backed up by clinical research

It’s a clear winner in the eyes of the pros because, in addition to whitening power, it has antibacterial properties that help defend against gum disease and tooth decay. These effects come from the active ingredient, stannous fluoride, which also helps offset the increased sensitivity some people experience when using whitening toothpastes. 

The minty taste is subtle and not-too-strong without any unpleasant aftertaste. And compared to other toothpaste packaging, we love that Colgate Total has a flat flip-cap for easier access and the option to stand the tube up straight on your sink.

The best natural whitening toothpaste

Tom's of Main Simply White Toothpaste on a white background

From trustworthy natural personal-care-products brand, Tom’s of Maine Simply White Clean Mint Toothpaste delivers on its whitening promises without any harsh chemicals.

Pros: ADA-approved, no artificial flavorings or colorings, brand prioritizes sustainability and ethics

Cons: Some users dislike the taste, some complain that it’s less effective than traditional toothpastes in keeping breath fresh, price

Tom’s of Maine Simply White is one of very few toothpaste brands in the “natural” sector to earn ADA approval with proven whitening effects. If you prefer to steer clear of traditional toothpastes because of their ingredients, production process, or simply personal preference, Tom’s Simply White is the best bet for whiter teeth, vouched for by dentists and customers. 

Like most whitening toothpastes, Tom’s Simply White uses abrasives — in this case naturally-derived silicas — to scrub off surface stains. It’s flavored with peppermint oil which delivers a mild, not overpowering fresh flavor. The tube is recyclable, which we love, and it has a smaller cap and opening which, in our experience, makes for less of a mess but also means you can’t store it upright on your bathroom counter.

Tom’s also contains fluoride. There are oft-debated but largely unproven or debunked arguments against the naturally-occurring mineral, but it’s an ingredient the ADA and every dentist we spoke with strongly encourage people to look for in their toothpaste thanks to decades-long body of evidence that make it the gold standard in cavity prevention.

The best whitening toothpaste for sensitive teeth

A box of Crest Pro-Health Gum and Sensitivity Sensitive Toothpaste Gentle Whitening on a white background

Crest Pro Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening is a science-backed plaque remover and a rare combination of sensitivity relief and whitening power.

Pros: ADA-approved, relieves sensitivity

Cons: Some users dislike taste and texture, not enough relief for extremely sensitive users, whitening effects are subtle

There aren’t too many whitening toothpastes on the market that specifically cater to those with sensitive teeth. Crest Pro Health Gum and Sensitivity Gentle Whitening, however, does and it’s the only ADA-approved toothpaste that offers both sensitivity relief and whitening effects. The stain removal is provided by hydrated silica, which acts as a gentle abrasive. This isn’t as extreme as some other products, both in terms of removing stains and causing sensitivity, so it’s a real trade off. But it’s the best-researched option out there for sensitivity sufferers looking for stain removal action.

The minty-sweet taste is mild but pleasant, and users say that, compared to other leading brands of sensitive toothpaste, it both tastes better and relieves sensitivity better. Like the Colgate Total SF Whitening Gel, we like that this tube has a flat flip cap for easy closure and the ability to stand vertical on a countertop to save space.

The best intensive whitening toothpaste

A tube of Colgate Optic White Advanced Sparkling White toothpaste on a white background

Colgate Optic White Advanced Sparkling White is formulated with hydrogen peroxide and abrasives to provide a double-whammy whitening effect.

Pros: ADA-approved, extra-strength whitening ability

Cons: May leave a filmy mouthfeel after using

Colgate Optic White Advanced, like the other products on our list, contains gentle abrasives to scrub stains and polish teeth. But it also uses hydrogen peroxide for its natural lightening properties, giving you a one-two punch of whitening techniques – sort of like washing your white laundry with not just a strong detergent, but bleach too. 

It’s the only bleaching toothpaste (not merely stain-removing) that the ADA has granted approval to, and like all ADA-approved pastes, it includes fluoride for cavity prevention. Despite its powerful whitening ability, Optic White is safe for enamel and many people report less sensitivity and irritation than with other whitening toothpastes.

The toothpaste works by creating a sort of film on the surface of your teeth so that the hydrogen peroxide can continue to work for more than just the two minutes you spend brushing. As a result, some people don’t like the feeling it leaves after you brush.

How I tested

A pink toothbrush over a bathroom sink with toothpaste on it

In researching this piece, I consulted four dental professionals (see Expert Sources, below)  as well as several published, peer-reviewed articles testing the efficacy and safety of various whitening toothpaste and active ingredients. 

I also personally tried several kinds of toothpaste to take note of:

  • Taste: Toothpaste is toothpaste, not candy, so we don’t want to oversell the flavor of any of the products as “delicious” – but some pastes have strange, chemical, or overly-powerful flavors and aftertastes. Most of the pastes I tried had a simple, fresh taste that contributes to the overall clean feeling you want after brushing, but a few tasted mildly metallic or just plain unusual due to non-traditional flavoring ingredients.
  • Texture:  Generally, toothpaste is either a gel or a paste and is pretty thick. I paid mind to see if any felt chalky, runny, or gritty, as well as how well they lather and spread around the mouth. Items that didn’t make the cut usually felt weird in one of these ways.
  • Packaging/ease of use – It’s not terribly common, but some toothpaste tubes are somewhat difficult to use because of poorly-designed packaging. For example: one of the toothpastes I don’t recommend, the Plus Ultra, is in a metal tube similar to what artists’ paint comes in and was kind of a pain to squeeze. Conversely, all our picks have easy-to-open or -close caps.

What to look for in whitening toothpaste

There are two major categories of whitening ingredients in toothpaste: abrasives and bleaching agents. Most whitening toothpastes rely on gentle, enamel-safe abrasives that work to scrub off stains caused by eating and drinking. Technically, they’re not changing the color of your teeth, just cleaning off any gunk that might make them appear more yellow. This is going to be the vast majority of whitening toothpastes available, and is why most people need to use at-home whitening kits to see a truly brighter smile.

Bleaching agents (like peroxide), on the other hand, can actually lift the color in the outermost layers of your enamel. However, they’re less common in toothpastes because they usually need more than two minutes of contact to really work (hence, why whitening strips work – they hold the bleaching agent on your teeth for several minutes). Additionally, bleaching agents can be irritating and cause sensitivity for some. The only bleaching toothpaste that made our top picks, Colgate Optic White, actually creates a film that sits on your teeth, keeping them in contact with the hydrogen peroxide for longer than the few minutes you spend brushing.

According to Drs. El Chami, Hain, and Springs, the number one thing to look for when shopping for new products is the ADA seal of acceptance. Brands can choose to submit their products to the American Dental Association, a non-profit advocating for safe dental practices, for review to obtain its seal which signals that the dental community agrees there is enough research to substantiate that a product is safe and effective. This is especially important when it comes to whitening toothpastes, as they tend to use abrasives like silica (the same stuff that makes up most of sand) to scrub off stains. The ADA review ensures those abrasives aren’t doing more harm to your enamel than good. 

The other thing you need to look for is fluoride, a mineral that strengthens enamel and helps prevent cavities. The naturally-occurring mineral has been demonized by phony science, but the ADA, all our experts, and a whole body of research deem it not only safe in your toothpaste, but also necessary for preventing cavities. Learn more in our FAQs.

The only ingredients dentists recommend you avoid are sugars, which improve the flavor of toothpaste but can cause adverse effects including tooth decay. Fortunately, the majority of toothpastes utilize tooth-safe sugar alternatives like xylitol or stevia.

What else we considered

an open box of toothpaste products sitting on a bed

Relatively few products on the market bear the ADA approval seal, which our sources overwhelmingly told us was the best way to know a product’s claims have been substantiated by research and thus the ones we can recommend to you most confidently. That said, a product without the seal isn’t necessarily ineffectual or bad — it just likely didn’t undergo the organization’s optional review process (which does cost money, so is difficult for smaller companies to obtain). Here are some other, non-ADA-approved products that came up in our research:

What else we recommend

  • BURST Fluoride ($10): This brand’s fluoridated toothpaste also boasts a lack of sodium lauryl sulfate, along with parabens and artificial flavors and colors, but it tastes and feels perfectly normal. 
  • Smile Direct Club Premium Fluoride Whitening ($5): The brand you probably know from their subway ads also sells a whitening toothpaste, and it happens to be relatively inexpensive compared to other new-wave brands. It also tastes really good, in this writer’s opinion. 
  • Spotlight Oral Care Toothpaste for Whitening Teeth ($10): This dentist-designed product contains fluoride for healthy teeth, as well as hydrogen peroxide for a quick kick of whitening. 
  • Sensodyne Pronamel Mineral Boost with Gentle Whitening Action ($6): While not currently bearing the ADA seal, this new product could be a helpful whitening option for those with sensitive teeth. It purports to help your teeth better absorb minerals such as calcium and phosphate, thus strengthening your enamel. 

What we don’t recommend

  • PLUS ULTRA Mint Toothpaste ($10): This toothpaste takes “natural” to another level, starting with its unique leafy green appearance. It doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, and its plant-derived ingredients are organic — but it also lacks fluoride, so we can’t recommend it. 
  • Huppy Peppermint Toothpaste Tablets ($12): Frequent travelers may appreciate that this paste comes in the form of tablets, complete with a little storage tin. Fluoride is left out, instead including a substance called nano-hydroxyapatite. But these tablets also contain charcoal, the safety of which is still hotly contested among dentists.
  • Luster Premium White Pearl Paste ($7): This paste doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens, but it does contain fluoride (important) and one other notable ingredient: pearl extracts, which purportedly work as abrasives to buff off surface stains. There’s no published clinical research on pearl as a tooth whitening agent, but telling people you brush your teeth with pearls will make you sound very fancy.

FAQs

Do whitening toothpastes actually work?

Yes — just maybe not as well as you might hope. Dr. Salierno explained to Insider that over-the-counter whitening toothpastes are best at removing surface stains, but for a more dramatic whitening effect, professional methods are your best bet

“The true whitening effect that patients are typically after is the result of the removal of intrinsic stain, or stain that is more deeply embedded in the tooth surface,” Salierno said. “In order to get a great whitening result, patients would do well to have a professional cleaning first, and then use a prescription-strength whitening agent as directed by their dental team.”

Bottom line: Whitening toothpastes are safe and can be effective at removing surface stains — just don’t expect a dramatic transformation from over-the-counter toothpaste alone.


Is charcoal toothpaste safe to whiten teeth?

Glad you asked. Charcoal is a trendy ingredient right now, making its way into food, cosmetics, and yes, toothpaste. The idea is that charcoal is able to absorb impurities and thus whiten teeth, but the clinical evidence isn’t great: Reviews of laboratory studies suggest that charcoal isn’t particularly effective as a whitening agent, despite its mildly abrasive properties.  What’s more, it has the potential to damage your enamel, discolor it permanently, and damage your gums, according to a 2019 study in the British Dental Journal. 

More recent research supports the safety of charcoal toothpastes, but dentists and researchers caution consumers that the charcoal actually runs the risk of scratching enamel or getting stuck in the gums and other crevices. Those with fillings should especially steer clear.


Is whitening toothpaste safe for my teeth?

For the most part, yes. While many whitening toothpastes use abrasive agents to scrub away stains, dentists and researchers generally find them safe and non-damaging to the enamel of your teeth. There are a few exceptions — see about charcoal, above — but for most people, whitening toothpastes don’t pose a threat to dental health. Dr. El Chami does caution, however, that those with sensitive teeth may want to avoid whitening toothpastes in favor of something gentler. 

Paul Springs, DMD, a prosthodontist who practices in Queens, New York, elaborated, adding, “Some brands contain grit particles that are too large, which irreversibly wears down tooth enamel. This is often an issue with charcoal or baking soda toothpastes made by unrecognizable brands, so I strongly recommend patients only use toothpastes with the ADA seal of approval to avoid that issue.”

Just because a product doesn’t bear the ADA seal doesn’t mean it’s unsafe, but lesser-known brands may use questionable ingredients (or even questionable forms of ingredients that are generally considered tooth-safe) that are too gritty and can wear down your enamel. The ADA seal is your confirmation that everything in the tube is safe for at-home use.


What’s the big deal about the ADA Seal of Acceptance?

As we mentioned earlier, the ADA seal program is an optional review process in which companies may choose to submit a product to the professional organization for independent review to determine if there is sufficient research backing up the safety and efficacy of the product. 

Because the review process is optional and potentially cost-prohibitive to smaller companies, there are many toothpastes and other dental products on the market that don’t bear the ADA seal. This doesn’t necessarily mean the products aren’t up to snuff — but the dentists we consulted with highly recommend sticking to ADA-approved products to ensure you’re getting a product that actually works and is safe. 

As Dr. Springs put it, “Not having the seal isn’t enough to condemn a product, but there is enough that [damage enamel] that I wouldn’t risk chancing it.”


Is fluoride really safe?

Fluoride has been demonized by oversimplified health information and conspiracy theories for decades for supposedly causing dental staining and even cancer. While this is technically true of the chemical, it would need to be ingested in very large quantities to have these severe negative effects, far more than fluoridated water and toothpaste are likely to provide. 

The dental community is at a consensus that not only is fluoridated toothpaste safe, it’s strongly recommended for the purpose of preventing cavities and strengthening enamel throughout your life. In fact, the ADA will not grant its seal of acceptance to any toothpaste which does not include fluoride. This goes for standard as well as whitening toothpastes — ideally fluoride is going to be included in any toothpaste you use daily.

Expert sources

Dr. Ben El Chami, DMD is a dentist and the co-founder and chief dental officer of dntlbar, a family of Manhattan dental practices. 

Dr. Chris Salierno, DDS is a dentist and the chief dental officer of Tend, a family of dental practices with locations in New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Courtney Hain, DDS is a dentist who owns and operates her own practice, Smile San Francisco.

Dr. Paul Springs, DMD, is a prosthodontist who practices with Dr. Mondshine and Associates, a dental practice in Forest Hills, Queens, NY.

Check out our other oral health buying guides

oral b 1

The best toothpaste you can buy

Nobody likes going to the dentist, but if you take good care of your teeth between visits, the cleaning will go easier. We researched and tested many kinds of toothpaste to find the best ones you can buy.


The best natural toothpaste you can buy

Natural toothpaste formulas don’t have to be lacking in powerful ingredients or great flavor.


The best toothpaste for sensitive teeth you can buy

Don’t let tooth sensitivity make that hot cup of coffee or cold glass of water a misery to drink. You can treat your pain with a great toothpaste for sensitive teeth.


The best electric toothbrush you can buy

We want you to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a lifetime. That’s why we’ve done the research to bring you five electric toothbrushes that we feel are the best choices for the most people.

We visited the top consumer websites, listened to actual product owners, and considered advice from dentists and dental hygienists when making our decisions. So go ahead and break out your favorite toothpaste. Healthy, clean white teeth are on their way.


The best toothbrush you can buy

There’s plenty to be said for the classic manual toothbrush: It can’t run out of batteries and it’s compact, lightweight, and portable.

We chose a wide array of manual toothbrushes, from the low-cost disposable brush you keep on hand for guests to the Cadillac-level manual toothbrush that the classic oral hygiene aficionado will appreciate to unique options, like charcoal-infused toothbrushes that might just help bring out your brightest, whitest smile ever.

Read the original article on Business Insider

27 of the best skincare products available on Amazon, according to thousands of rave reviews

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Skin care products amazon good reviews 4x3
  • There are plenty of standout products hiding in plain sight on Amazon.
  • Below, I’ve compiled a list of 27 skincare products with near-perfect reviews.
  • You’ll also find the overall Amazon rating and what they’re built to do for your skin.

Have you ever reached the end of Amazon page results?

To me, it sounds more like a riddle of what would happen if you were to reach the ends of the earth or beat an unbeatable video game. Does the internet break? Does time cease and then, rapidly, ominously, move backward?

Guessing by Amazon’s sheer selection size, we aren’t going to find out any time soon so put that existential dread to bed. The online behemoth’s plethora of options makes it both the most convenient place to buy things you already love, and one of the tougher places to apply its frequent discounts to new worthwhile buys – like skincare, which can be more expensive than it warrants thanks to beauty industry markups.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of 27 solid skincare products flying under the radar on Amazon that you may want to check out the next time you need a vitamin C serum and don’t want to drop $100 or more. The following cult favorites have hundreds – if not thousands – of five-star reviews you can vet yourself before buying, too.

27 under-the-radar skincare products with near-perfect Amazon reviews:

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser

CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser (small)

Overall rating: 4.7/5

Five-star reviews: 1,150+

This exfoliating face wash uses the acne-clearing agent salicylic acid, which keeps blackheads and pimples at bay. The BHA gently scrubs away dead skin cells, and it uses a less harsh and more budget-friendly formula than many other face scrubs.

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

Mederma Advanced Scar Gel

Advanced Scar Gel (small)

Overall rating: 4.4/5

Five-star reviews: 1,300+

Whether you struggle with new or old acne scars, Amazon shoppers love using this gel to treat scarring. One swipe per day of the clinically approved cream can start improving the appearance, color, and texture of scars.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick

Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick (small)

Overall rating: 4.7/5

Five-star reviews: 1,150+

Amazon users say that even those who hate using sunscreen will like this one. They also say the stick formula glides on smoothly and works well, but you’ll just want to be careful not to miss any spots. Since there’s no fragrance, it’s a friendlier option for sensitive skin.

Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap

Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap

Dr. Squatch Pine Tar Soap (small)

Overall rating: 4.4/5

Five-star reviews: 3,800+

If you have super dry skin, this natural soap made with shea butter, oatmeal, and sand exfoliates without stripping moisture. Many reviewers said they used this soap up quickly, so make sure to store it away from the water if you want to prolong its use.

Mighty Patch Hydrocolloid Stickers

Best budget beauty picks_Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch

Mighty Patch Original (36-count) (small)

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Five-star reviews: 3,100+

The skincare community has adopted this new spot treatment for its gentle approach to targeting acne — no popping necessary. Our team loves it too. Just clean the area you want to apply it to, stick a patch on, and wait overnight. 

Schick Hydro Silk Facial Razor

Schick Hydro Silk Facial Razor

Silk Touch-Up Multipurpose Exfoliating Dermaplaning Tool (small)

Overall rating: 4.6/5

Five-star reviews: 5,300+

Easily shave off peach fuzz, remove dead skin, or clean up your eyebrows with this multi-purpose facial tool. The blades have tiny guards so it makes face shaving less intimidating and safer to use. 

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Healing Ointment (small)

Overall rating: 4.8/5

Five-star reviews: 4,325+

Comparable to Vaseline, this thick ointment cream is used to relieve dry, cracked skin. People often use it to treat severe eczema and psoriasis. But even for more tame skin, a little bit goes a long way and is useful to have if you live in an area with cold weather or frequently use hand sanitizer. 

Silicone Face Cleanser Brush

Silicone Face Cleanser Brush

Silicone Facial Cleansing Brush (small)

Overall rating: 4.6/5

Five-star reviews: 2,300+

These handheld brushes are a gentler alternative to washcloths and a more effective technique than your hands. For people with sensitive skin who cannot use harsh scrubs, this turns your everyday facial cleanser into a light exfoliant. 

Thayers Facial Toner

Thayers Facial Toner

Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner (small, Preferred: Amazon)

Overall rating: 4.6/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 4,300+

Thayers’ witch hazel toner is a cult favorite of the online beauty community, and it’s consistently one of Amazon’s most popular skincare products under $25. Rose water, aloe vera, and a proprietary witch hazel extract work gently and efficiently to cleanse and hydrate skin, tighten pores, and control oil production.

Thayers supposedly creates the only witch hazel products made of non-distilled extract from the witch hazel shrub, meaning they should maintain the highest levels of therapeutic tannins (mild antioxidants that nourish the skin).

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Indian Healing Clay Mask (small)

Overall rating: 4.6/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 1,700+

This underground beauty community Holy Grail has shown up everywhere from the Sephora beauty blog to Youtube vlogs. I wrote my own love letter to it after receiving a glowing recommendation from a colleague.

It’s been called the ‘world’s most powerful mask’ and with good reason: the 100% natural calcium bentonite clay draws out all the impurities deep in your skin, and, especially if mixed with apple cider vinegar, effectively exfoliates the surface of the skin for a smoother, more even texture.

Esarora Ice Roller

Esarora Ice Roller

Ice Roller for Face & Eye (small)

Overall rating: 4.6/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 2,550+

The Esarora Ice Roller is designed to shrink pores and puffiness and act as minor pain relief for migraines, sunburns, and sinus discomfort.

Dermal 16-Pack Sheet Mask Set

Dermal 16 Pack Sheet Mask Set

Korea Facial Mask Sheets (small)

Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 3,500+ 

This combo pack is designed to cover pretty much every common skin concern, with each sheet mask using a different specialized ingredient — from snail extract to hyaluronate to cucumber. 

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Best budget beauty picks_Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Drying Lotion (small)

Overall rating: 4.6/5

Five-star reviews: 2,700+

The powerful drying lotion has been described as “magic” for zapping whiteheads overnight. Dab a bit on your whitehead and it should be gone in the morning. A little goes a long way and the bottle can last you half a year.

Insta Natural Vitamin C Gel Facial Cleanser

Insta Natural Vitamin C Gel Facial Cleanser

Vitamin C Gel Facial Cleanser (small)

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Five-star reviews: 3,800+

Insta Natural’s gel facial cleanser combines vitamin C, organic aloe, and green tea extract for a gentle face wash that works to remove dull cells, fade sun spots and discoloration, and leave skin feeling hydrated and clean. 

New York Biology Dead Sea Mud Mask

New York Biology Dead Sea Mud Mask

Dead Sea Mud Mask (small)

Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 2,500+

New York Biology’s Dead Sea Mask is designed for all skin types. It’s infused with minerals, aloe-vera, chamomile extract, vitamin A, sunflower seed oil, and jojoba oil, and claims to leave you with a clean, refreshed feeling.

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water

SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water (small)

Overall rating: 4.7/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 2,375+

Micellar waters are beloved for their ability to refresh and cleanse skin while respecting its natural moisture barrier, and they’re often used as the first step in a dual-cleansing routine. Garnier’s version has racked up thousands of glowing reviews for its gentle, effective cleansing. 

LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer

LilyAna Naturals Retinol Cream Moisturizer

Retinol Cream Moisturizer (small)

Overall rating: 4.4/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 6,800+

LilyAna Naturals’ Retinol Cream Moisturizer works to fade sun damage, dark spots, and acne scars, and to reduce fine lines. It also contains a hydrating combination of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, green tea, shea butter, and jojoba oil to balance the dryness of retinol with prescription-strength effectiveness. 

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 (small)

Overall rating: 4.7/5

Five-star reviews: 3,400+

EltaMD UV is an oil-free facial sunscreen that has zinc oxide with broad-spectrum coverage to protect against UVA and UVB rays. It’s lightweight, silky, and good for sensitive- and acne-prone skin as well as those dealing with rosacea and discoloration.

Mario Badescu Rosewater and Green Tea Facial Spray Duo

Mario Badescu Rosewater and Green Tea Facial Spray Duo

Facial Spray Herbs/Rosewater and Cucumber/Green Tea, 8 Fl Oz (Pack of 2) (small)

Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 1,350+

Mario Badescu’s bestselling duo includes two of its cult-favorite facial sprays: Rosewater and Green Tea. Both combine gentle and non-irritating aloe and herbal extracts to serve as a “pick-me-up” for dry, tired skin — either on their own or to set makeup.  

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

Hydrating Facial Cleanser (small)

Overall rating: 4.7/5

Five-star reviews: 2,500+

CeraVe’s bestselling cleanser is formulated with essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid that cleanses, hydrates, and helps build up the skin’s own protective barrier. It’s fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and non-drying to aid the skin’s natural moisture levels.

LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum

LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid (small)

Overall rating: 4.3/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 3,200+ 

This fast-absorbing vitamin C Serum works to brighten and even skin tone as well as boost its collagen production. Vitamins E and C fade hyperpigmentation, fade scars, and reduce fine lines, and it should be gentle enough for all-over use. LilyAna Naturals also has a 100% money-back guarantee, in case it’s not a fit for you.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Best budget beauty picks_CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

Moisturizing Cream (small)

Overall rating: 4.8/5

Five-star reviews: 4,450+

CeraVe is a trusted drugstore brand with a dedicated band of followers. This face and body cream for normal-to-dry skin moisturizes, restores, and maintains a protective skin barrier to keep skin looking and feeling rejuvenated.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (small)

Overall rating: 4.6/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 2,100+

Paula’s Choice is best-known for its gentle, transparent skincare products, and this Skin Perfecting 2% BHA is a good example. It has 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid to unclog and minimize enlarged pores, exfoliate dead skin, and reduce fine lines. The exfoliation should also brighten and even out skin tone. 

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

Face Moisturizers for every skin type_Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream for Extra Dry Skin (Neutrogena)

Hydro Boost Gel Cream (small)

Overall rating: 4.7/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 2,650+

Neutrogena’s 1.7-ounce, non-comedogenic gel face cream is a godsend for ultra-dry skin. It’s packed with hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally found in the skin, that can absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water. 

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

Naturals Vitamin C Serum (small)

Overall rating: 4.3/5

Five-star reviews: 9,900+

Some vitamin C serums go for $160 and up, but this one has garnered a loyal following for much less (you should also check out Maelove’s $28 Glow Maker). It lightens dark spots, reduces fine lines, and improves clarity with a blend of nutrients designed to aid collagen production. You’ll find ingredients like vitamin C, botanical hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and aloe vera, witch hazel, and organic jojoba oil to nourish skin.

Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator

Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator

Facial Scrub & Face Exfoliator (small)

Overall rating: 4.4/5

Five-star reviews: 1,600+

Exfoliate dead and dull skin cells and moisturize your skin’s base with this microdermabrasion facial scrub. It’s designed to buff away dirt, grime, and tired skin cells to reveal brighter, healthier skin underneath. Afterward, the skin should appear more even and feel softer and smoother to the touch. Aloe vera and manuka honey help replace moisture. 

LilyAna Naturals Eye Cream Moisturizer

LilyAna Naturals Eye Cream Moisturizer

Eye Cream Moisturizer (small)

Overall rating: 4.3/5 stars

Five-star reviews: 5,600+ 

Vitamin C, vitamin E, rosehip seed oil, and organic hibiscus flower extract work to brighten, firm, and tighten the delicate skin around your eyes. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Sephora’s rewards program and product display may make you spend more money. These are other sneaky ways it gets your money.

  • Sephora has a massive following.
  • Members of the store’s rewards program have spent upwards of $35,000 to redeem exclusive members-only trips.
  • The store offers unique technology, Color IQ, to identify specific foundation shades to match customers to products.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Have you ever left Sephora with way more products than you intended to buy when you first stepped in the door? You’re probably not the only one. Sephora was named retailer of the year at the 2018 World Retail Congress. And it seems that people can’t get enough. Here are some sneaky ways you might not have noticed that Sephora gets you to spend more.

As soon as you walk into one of their locations, you’ll notice what makes Sephora different from the traditional department stores it competes with. Sephora has nearly all of their products on display, so customers can try just about everything. It’s great for the customers because they can test stuff out, but it’s equally great for the company because you’re in the store for longer, which means you’re more likely to buy more.

A 2015 study found that the likelihood of purchasing a product increases with time spent holding and looking at it in the store. The more time you spend trying out a product, the more it feels like it’s already in your possession and you need to purchase it.

Sephora also has kiosks stocked with makeup remover, tissues, and other necessities so customers can clean up, and, more importantly, so that they can try more products throughout the store. And if you’re not sure what to get, Sephora has even developed special technology to match customers with their perfect foundation shades. The device, called Color IQ, scans your skin to assign you a four-number code, which gives you a curated list of all the foundation shades from different brands that will best match your specific skin tone.

And if you’re not taking advantage of the samples, the shelves are also set up with an eye on your wallet. The most expensive products are placed on top shelves because they’re the easiest to reach, while cheaper items are on the bottom shelves. And, of course, the checkout line is surrounded with travel-size goodies to tempt you at the last minute.

Amanda Krause: So, when you’re up against the register lines and, you know, you’re kind of looking at all those mini products, you’ll find things that are maybe, you know, $5, $10, depending on what it is. And that can be enticing for a lot of reasons. Maybe there’s a primer you really wanna try but you don’t wanna spend $25 on the full size, so you can just get a smaller one for 10 bucks.

Narrator: But while the smaller products and their smaller price tags may seem like a good deal, they’re often not. Take, for example, the GlamGlow SuperMud mask. The full size costs a whopping $59. In comparison, the mini half-ounce jars for $25 seems like a steal. But in reality, the mini costs $50 per ounce, while the full-size jar comes out to about $35 per ounce. So if you’re looking to save money, the larger product is actually more cost-effective.

Another way Sephora gets customers to spend more is simply by being their go-to beauty store. They accomplish this by carrying a diverse array of brands, including ones that can’t be found anywhere else. The company often collaborates with brands to release limited-edition items, which not only draws customers in, but pressures them to purchase the products.

Krause: Sephora might have that one exclusive item that you can’t get anywhere else. So it really kind of draws people in because you never really know what you’re going to find there.

Narrator: Exclusive brands and items make it easy to keep coming back. More than anything, Sephora’s all about building brand loyalty. Case in point: their robust rewards program. According to the Harvard Business Review, reward programs not only encourage customer loyalty, but can also get new customers to shop like older, more profitable customers. And the longer a person has been a customer, the more profitable they become to the store and the less they cost to serve.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider program has three tiers, and anyone can sign up for the basic level. Members earn a point for every dollar they spend, as well as perks like a birthday gift and beauty classes. The highest, most coveted tier is Rouge, and you have to spend $1,000 in a calendar year to qualify. The exclusive benefits include significant discounts on all merchandise during Sephora’s sales and free two-day shipping year round.

Nico Reyes: So, I’ve actually been a Sephora shopper since about 2014. And only just recently, this past year, did I become a VIB Rouge.

Narrator: Sephora’s exclusive rewards for Rouge members include sponsored trips with cosmetics brands to New York City or Los Angeles, and some members have even spent more than $35,000 to rack up enough points to redeem on such trips. But is it worth the $1,000 to reach Rouge status?

Reyes: VIB Rouge has benefits that VIB doesn’t have, like early access to products, like invitations to, like, Sephora events, facials, whatever. If that’s something you’re interested in, then work towards it, sure. But if not, VIB is literally so similar. They’re so similar in terms of their benefits; I don’t think it’s worth it to actively try to spend $1,000 a year to reach that status.

Narrator: After all, both VIB and Rouge members have access to Sephora’s sales. Sephora definitely makes it easy to spend more, but finding good deals isn’t impossible.

Krause: Sephora constantly puts things on clearance, just maybe not at the forefront of the store. Keep an eye on the website, keep an eye on their social-media pages, like their Instagram, their Twitter, see what promotions are going on, and really just kind of focus on some of the sales and promotions that they do, because a lot of the times you can get equally good products for a little bit less money.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in August 2019.

Read the original article on Business Insider