With so many clinics and spas vying for our attention, knowing which health tests and treatments are worth your dirhams can be dizzying. This month, we look to save some money by trying out at-home treatments that promise post-salon results…

THE TREATMENT

Teeth whitening

THE AT-HOME ALTERNATIVE

Spotlight Teeth White Strips

WHO’S IT FOR?

Anyone who wants to brighten their pearly whites without paying a huge dentist’s bill, or those with teeth too sensitive to undergo laser whitening treatments

THE PRODUCT

Spotlight Teeth White Strips have only just launched on the UAE market, but for consumers used to bringing similar products in from the US in their suitcase, they’re causing quite a stir. A comprehensive at-home kit created in Ireland by Drs Lisa and Vanessa Creaven, the whitening strips contain six per cent hydrogen peroxide, the minimal amount allowed by UAE regulatory bodies. There’s an accompanying tooth sensitive gel and comforting gum oil too, to help prevent and minimise the sensitivity that often accompanies tooth whitening procedures.

THE EXPERIENCE

I’ve had my teeth whitened before and, on one occasion, the sensitivity was so bad I cursed my vanity for 48 hours afterwards, so I was curious to see whether the same visual effect could be achieved at home without the feeling of my teeth burning out of
my head.

I was initially worried that the at-home procedure would be a little labour intensive, given it takes place over a two-week period as opposed to the hour or so spent in the dentist’s chair – but in truth, as long as you spend at least one hour sitting down each night (hello, Netflix!) you’ll find it easy to fit into your schedule. You simply apply whitening strips to your top and bottom rows of teeth each evening, leave them on for one hour, and then apply the tooth gel and gum oil to prevent sensitivity and leave those on for five minutes. Simple.

THE VERDICT

If you’re a fan of the quick fix dazzle that comes from professional whitening, the slow burn effect here might take a little getting used to – change is incremental, not instant, so taking photographs does help. Initially, I’m doubtful I’m going to see much change. But after a week, I notice that my teeth look shinier and brighter, and after a fortnight, there’s a noticeable shift in colour. Gradual though it might be, the whitening effect here should last around six months and, with having suffered only the slightest extra sensitivity throughout the two weeks, I’m a convert.

Spotlight Teeth White Strips cost Dhs295 per kit and are available for delivery from basahracare.com

Two more to try…

01 FILLERINA LIP VOLUME DERMO-COSMETIC FILLER TREATMENT

Topical fillers have been attracting a lot of press of late, thanks to their promise of results without invasive injections – and the alleged backing of one Ms Megan Markle. But can a cream or serum really give the same results as a salon injection?

THE PRODUCT

If you’d love fuller lips but are terrified of the so-called ‘trout pout’, an at-home alternative could be a good way to go. Fillerina’s lip volume kit uses multiple sizes and strains of super-plumping hyaluronic acid to fill and moisturise lips from the inside out. You simply apply the gel to clean lips five times a day for a month.

DOES IT WORK?

Truthfully speaking, the effectiveness of the product could be judged entirely on your expectations – if you’re looking for a Kardashian pout, it’s going to take more than this little tube. But for a more realistic recovery of lost volume, a reduction in visible lip lines and a more moisturised mouth, we approve.

Fillerina Lip Volume is available at leading pharmacies across the UAE, priced at Dhs289

02 CHARCOAL PEEL-OFF FACE MASK

Used in professional facials designed to blast blemishes and deep clean pores, charcoal is well known for its purifying effects. This mask promises to remove impurities and leave skin clear and clean without a visit to the salon.

THE PRODUCT

SkinRepublic’s Charcoal Peel-off Mask is shiny, slightly rubbery and very, very black. You need to work quickly to spread it evenly across your face – it dries quickly – but if you manage a smooth application before it solidifies, you’ll get 20 minutes of comedy out of it – this is prime, family-frightening fodder.

DOES IT WORK?

It seems we might be suffering from a touch of beauty snobbery, because we were initially doubtful how effective a Dhs12 per use mask could really be. It turns out, very. While ill-advised for those with dry skin, the impact on my oily, open-pored complexion was immediate and noticeable, and my skin remained clearer for
a week afterwards after just one use.

Skin Republic’s Charcoal Peel-off Mask sachet contains three applications and is available from BinSina Pharmacies, Spinney’s and Waitrose, priced at Dhs35