Five years ago, I had my teeth whitened for the first time and last week was the second. Both experiences were surprisingly different, which I'll describe below. What was the same was actually what happened afterwards: the experience of being perceived as much younger than my age that immediately followed having my teeth whitened both times! The first time I had just had my daughter, and I was looking to get back into acting. (I was a professional actor and model in NYC for almost ten years.) The second time around, just last week, I was now a stay-at-home mother of two, and my teeth had grown even more crooked. (It happens over time, and I'm considering Invisalign now as well! More on that below, too!)
However, long-term solutions aside, I've found that whitening my teeth is a very quick, easy way to feel less self-conscious about my smile! Also, coincidentally (or not), following both experiences, strangers who knew nothing about my life, perceived me as being college age. At least that's what two college kids who were also drying their nails at my favorite salon in Roxborough thought this Sunday until they asked to follow me on social media, opened up my Instagram, and then quickly became visibly horrified when they realized I was an old lady mother of two. So, maybe it's anecdotal or coincidental, but it does seem to me that whitening your teeth is a quick way to take years off your age!
As a blogger now, I've had several companies approach me about teeth-whitening. I considered an in-home treatment, but ultimately I decided to work with Rittenhouse Dentists, because I really love their whole approach from start to finish. While an at-home treatment is always tempting for a busy mother of two and would have saved me a car trip, I also know I'm not that great at following directions and messing with your teeth and gums seems like something to leave to professionals. Plus, Rittenhouse Dentists promise not to be "regular dentists" but "cool dentists." (A reference to one of my favorite feel-good movies Mean Girls!) Going to the dentist is something I usually dread, but their self-aware humor helped lighten my mood ahead of my appointment. I found myself actually looking forward to going to the dentist as I got in my car for the long drive from Philadelphia to Bryn Mawr. (Rittenhouse Dentists also has offices in Rittenhouse Square and on City Live Avenue.)
Here's my honest review of Rittenhouse Dentists that I provided in exchange for having my teeth whitened:
Just as promised, the Rittenhous Dentist's office in Bryn Mawr was not your "regular" dentist's office. When I walked into what you can see (above) is a spacious, serene waiting room, I was immediately offered tea or coffee. My wait was almost too brief! Not only were the aesthetics different, but unlike my previous experience, comfort was key. Instead of staring into space for 90 minutes, while lasers were aimed at my teeth, aware of every minute of excruciating discomfort, Dr. Abdulla's assistant offered me Netflix goggles. Something I've never tried before but loved. (Obviously! Who doesn't love Netflix?) I selected Friends on the iPad before placing the goggles over my eyes, because that's what I watched during the countdown to my son's due date. It helped time pass just as quickly while having my teeth lasered as it did while waiting for my son to decide to be born. I don't know if it was the Netflix and not having my mind on my teeth, but the procedure also barely hurt. The first time I had my teeth whitened I thought my teeth were very sensitive, but the second time I got through all three sessions without any pain-- only some mild discomfort the third session. (Teeth are whitened in sessions of three laser treatments about fifteen minutes each, so that the treatment can be adjusted to your comfort level.) The assistant offered to turn it down to mild, but I told her I didn't think I'd need her to!
"Has the procedure changed in five years?" I asked afterwards. That's how quick and much more painless the whole thing felt. They said it hadn't, so I really think the difference was in the atmosphere. After my teeth whitening, they even provided me with a complimentary paraffin hand treatment. I felt completely refreshed and renewed! It really was more like a spa visit than a dentist's visit just as promised. (I did experience some pain (or zingers as the assistant called them) afterwards, but I took ibuprofen that evening and felt fine by the next morning.)
What I also appreciated was Dr. Abdulla's helpful advice about other ways to improve my smile, followed by her assistant helping me look up my insurance and providing me with a truly incredible tip, "You can usually add orthodontist work to your dental insurance for sometimes only an addtional $7. It's worth contacting your HR to ask!"
Yes, it is! My other dentist's office was only focused on the bill-- not on helping me pay it! And now that I'm the mother of two, even if my teeth-whitening has made me look younger than the tired mommy I currently am in reality, many more orthodontist visits are probably on the horizon for my family as well.
You can book your own incredible spa-like dentist visit here.
I love coincidences, don't you? Whether they're actually signs from the cosmos is debatable. (I guess. I vote yes!!) However, superstition aside, I've always found that paying attention to recurring themes that pique my curiosity always lead to equally intriguing discoveries. About two weeks ago, I happened to order Biossance's squalane and vitamin c rose oil at the same time as a friend of mine sent me samples of rosehip oil from her new green beauty company Dowey Laugh based out of Portland, Oregon. At the same time as all of that, I was suddenly seeing rosehip oil all over my Instagram feed, touted by my favorite beauty bloggers. Why are rose and rosehip oils suddenly so popular, I wondered? Was it just another blogger trend or something deeper and more magical to do with roses themselves?
I'm happy to report the latter is the case! I've always loved the scent of roses. One of my husband's first gifts to me when he was courting me-- aside: marry the one who woos you-- was a tiny bottle of rose scent he ordered from Bulgaria. (Another aside: did you know Bulgaria is called the Land of Roses? How romantic, right? I still have the little bottle. It came sealed with a wax rose, and I swear I can still kind of smell it, and it takes me back to 2009 when we met.) Another, less personal plus to the new rose oil craze: I know you all are probably super saturated with green beauty bloggers pushing coconut oil. Well, I am sooo excited to report I have found the remedy for that oversaturation (pun semi-intended) and for many other skin issues: rosehip oil!
1. What is Rosehip Oil?
First of all, keep in mind rosehip oil is not an essential oil and is in fact different from rose oil! Rose essential oil is made from rose petals while rosehip oil, also called rose hip seed oil, comes from the seeds of rose hips. Rose hips are the fruit left behind after a rose has flowered and dropped its petals.
For facial skin care, rosehip oil like coconut oil is a non-greasy oil that offers several benefits when applied externally. It protects the skin and increases cell turnover because it contains beta carotene (a form of vitamin A), vitamin C and vitamin E which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals-- aka a fancy phrase for the aging process.
2. Why Is Rosehip Oil Anti-Aging?
It's a very rich source of vitamin c for one! One of the richest plant sources, actually! Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, and the oils are able to penetrate deep into the skin's layers to repair damage, improve moisture, and reduce signs of aging. In fact, it's so effective some doctors are calling it a "natural alternative to Botox". Sign me up! Needles terrify me, so Botox sounds particularly unappetizing. I haven't used the rosehip oil long enough to comment on longterm benefits, but I have noticed, after applying it, my skin has a nice glow!
3. What Are Some Other Benefits of Using Rosehip Oil?
If anti-aging isn't your concern, using rosehip oil probably can probably still benefit you. Its many applications are astonishing. In fact, it was made into a rationed syrup in World War 2 and used to help children fight infection. Applied externally, it can also protect from sunspots, help with stretch marks and reduce acne-scarring, boost the immune system, help with osteoarthritis, and help with eczema among a myriad of other benefits.
4. How Much Does Rosehip Oil Cost?
As I mentioned above, I'm beginning to see rosehip oil from a variety of brands from pretty pricey $68 bottles in high-end brands like Biossance to Kora or this bottle of plain, unvarnished rosehip oil from The Ordinary for only $9.80. (I have their $6 glass bottle of hylauronic acid, which I use every night before I put on my moisturizer, and it's amazing.) If you want a more affordable but still pretty mixture, Dowey Laugh offers a gorgeous, all natural option for only $38. Half the price of similar oils at Sephora!
5. Tips on Applying Rosehip Oil
Keep it cool. Rosehip oil is a natural ingredient, so it can go rancid, eek! And if you are investing in a pricier bottle, that would be heartbreaking! The best kind is cold-pressed, although it's more expensive and might explain the difference in price points. It retains the most nutrients. To see the most benefits, use it twice a day on your skin and neck. The good news (as far as priciness goes) is you only need a couple drops at a time! If you're using it to combat acne scars, keep in mind it is an oil and shouldn't be used on active acne as it might clog pores. Consider adding a few drops to your bathwater. There isn't a lot of science on this yet, but there's a chance rosehip oil can help with arthritis and inflammation. Either way, it can't hurt!
Here's a link to another post listing a few more benefits of using rosehip oil, including the cool fact that Kate Middleton and Miranda Kerr number among its fans! Do you plan to try rosehip oil? Here's a coupon to my friends shop if you do. (I don't personally benefit btw, other than the satisfaction of helping a friend succeed at something that clearly has benefits for us all!)