Pearly whites are meant to be your best accessory, right? Well, in the eternal search for my brightest smile, I ditched my regular toothpaste and instead switched to brushing with charcoal for a week. No, I'm not crazy; this craze has been sweeping beauty bloggers and celebrities alike, and is said to whiten your teeth as well as regular teeth whitener but with none of the enamel-stripping chemical nastiness. But step away from the barbecue, because not all charcoal is created equal.
The charcoal I’ve been brushing with is actually a super-fine black powder with activated coconut shell charcoal, bentonite clay, organic sweet orange peel, organic peppermint and organic lemon myrtle, as well as other 100 per cent natural ingredients.
I was pretty excited to see if a chemical- and additive-free holistic whitening product would have similar effects to whitening strips or toothpastes. So too it seems were my fellow Stylers, one of whom opened the tub in my absence, only to have the contents spill out leaving charcoal dust EVERYWHERE on my desk. Word to the wise: open it carefully and brush your teeth without your makeup or favourite cute top on, because it stains everything.
How to brush with Warpaint Natural Teeth Whitener (edited with my suggestions):
- Dip a clean, wet toothbrush into Warpaint (make sure it’s a new toothbrush and not your existing one).
- Brush in small, gentle circles for two minutes.
- Keep your lips closed while brushing (and stay as close as possible to the sink; black splatters will gets everywhere if your mouth is partially open)
- Spit carefully and rinse (really, really) well. (Three rinses may be necessary, as well as a quick brush with a different clean, wet toothbrush to remove excess powder. And floss to get rid of any sneaky bits between your teeth.)
- Use as often as needed and don’t inhale the powder.
- Share your Warpaint smile (making a line with the black powder on your cheek) on Instagram using the hashtag #armedwithwarpaint.
Water turns the messy dust into a gooey black paste and you’re encouraged to brush with your mouth closed, but it can be hard to avoid some black dribble while brushing your front teeth. Halfway thorough my first brush, I couldn’t resist a peek. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed that I looked like a crazed zombie. I decided that snapping scary selfies and sending them to my mates on their work commute was essential (sorry, guys!).
Once the selfie mania subsided, I realised that I was going to have to work for the results. After I had finished brushing, there were multiple rinses, a quick once-over with another clean brush, and then flossing to remove any remaining black specks between my teeth. I suggest having a wet cloth nearby for the black dots around the basin and on the mirror (oops!).
It’s definitely not a product for the time-poor and it’s a lot more involved than whitening strips – there’s no ability to multitask when you’re keeping a careful eye on zombie goo. But if you’re serious about whitening your teeth then it’s worth a try; I noticed some pretty exciting results after brushing two to three times a day with Warpaint for a week.
The front section of my teeth now seems to be about one or two shades brighter, which was a pleasant surprise for a holistic product. I’ve tried many strips and mouthguard-type whiteners before, and while this is the most effort I’ve ever put into a whitening product, I would absolutely recommend it to friends.
Warpaint vs Toothpaste
Sour face after drinking juice, post brush? Surprisingly, no sour face! And no awful instant regret when drinking something acidic after brushing – woo hoo!
Sensitivity? Warpaint is non-irritating and is supposed to strengthen enamel rather than damage it. I can safely say I didn’t experience any sensitivity while using the product.
Fresh breath? This was a tough one to test. Cupping my hands and breathing into them was an option but I wanted a more accurate representation of what others would experience. I didn’t feel comfortable breathing into the faces of my fellow Stylers, so I trialled it on the boyfriend. He confirmed my breath was A-OK but admitted that it didn’t really smell like anything, despite organic peppermint appearing on the ingredients list.
That clean feel? You know the one. You slide your tongue over your teeth and feel squeaky clean. I did experience this on my front teeth, but it wasn’t always the case along the side of my back teeth.
The truth, no white lies…
I’ll continue to use Warpaint for its teeth-whitening properties, but will partner it with regular toothpaste for general oral health upkeep and minty-fresh breath. Within one week of brushing two to three times per day, I saw a definite difference in my front teeth and it has encouraged a healthier flossing habit (my dentist would be so proud!).