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Rio Smile whitening kit review: Can the blue light technology brighten teeth in just 20 days?

The brand promises results with just 15 minutes of use a day – but is it all too good to be true?

Chloë James
Thursday 19 August 2021 16:07
<p>Even after the full 20 day treatment, the LED lights had no effect on our tester’s teeth sensitivity </p>

Even after the full 20 day treatment, the LED lights had no effect on our tester’s teeth sensitivity

We hated lots of things about the sudden onset of constant Zoom calls last year, but one of the worst was realising that yes, our teeth really are that colour. Dental discolouration isn’t always drastic – over time, foods and drinks can slowly dim your smile without you realising until one day you’re confronted by your own tiny reflection in a video call.

The first port of call for this issue is usually your dentist. Professionals can use much stronger concentrations of chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, which is the key to a bright white grin. However, for surface stains, you can easily boost your confidence with a home teeth whitening kit.

Rio Beauty’s smile white advanced blue light teeth whitening treatment does just that. Armed with whitening gel and blue light activation technology, the product promises to lift stains caused by all the typical culprits like wine, coffee, tea and food colourings.

A lot of kits claim to do this, but what really sets this one apart is its ability to do it in just 15 minutes a day instead of the standard half an hour. Our priority for anything beauty-related is that it’s quick and easy, so this sounded ideal.

But is 15 minutes enough to glow up your smile? We completed the full 20 treatments in each kit to find out.

How we tested

We set aside 15 minutes every evening for 20 days to see if the combination of blue light and whitening gel could really transform our teeth. Most important to us was whether the worst of our discolouration improved in this time, so we took pictures of our grin to use as a comparison. We also took note of all the tiny details that make a positive DIY beauty treatment, such as taste, ease of use and comfort.

Read more:

Rio Beauty smile white advanced teeth whitening

Buy now £39.99, Lookfantastic.com

  • Steps: Apply once daily for 15 mins
  • Duration: 20 days
  • Rating: 7.5/10

Everything in this kit looks very clinical. Each contains an LED blue light mouthpiece, which is powered by USB, or even an iPhone or Android phone port. After applying the pre-treatment spray, you just coat the tray in gel and pop it in for 15 minutes.

A lot of whitening gels have an unpleasantly strong minty taste, but this was an exception and had no particular flavour. While it leaves a bit of sticky residue afterwards, you just rinse and continue with your evening as usual.

That was the easy part. While 15 minutes is a very short amount of time spent whitening compared to other kits, we felt every last second. The mouthpiece is one of the least comfortable we’ve ever used. It’s rough on your gums, and also didn’t quite reach the gumline on our top teeth. We struggled to keep it in our mouth at times and had to hold it in. You can grin and bear it, but it really isn’t the most pleasant experience.

Read more: Can Pro Teeth Whitening Co’s charcoal strips brighten your smile?

However, we were motivated to keep it up when we noticed improvement after the first 15-minute session. Stains lifted slightly across our front teeth, especially at the top. We expected a similar change with each subsequent evening, but it took about a week after the first to see more improvement.

Each kit contains enough gel for 20 sessions, and we were impressed with how far our teeth came in this time. There was still some mild discolouration, but it definitely lifted the worst of the staining. Although we wouldn’t go so far as to say they were 5.4 shades lighter – as Rio Beauty claims the best results can be – the colour was a lot more consistent than before across both rows of teeth.

The only thing we weren’t entirely sold on was the necessity of the pre-treatment spray, as we ran out after 14 days and didn’t see any major difference when we went without. We also felt like we were stretching the gel a bit thin by the end, so could have done with more of that too.

Also, we’ll admit that we were worried about increased sensitivity, as the blue light does look alarmingly harsh. However, even after the full course of treatment, there was no change in sensitivity either way.

The verdict: Rio Beauty smile white advanced teeth whitening

Now that we know it’s possible to whiten your teeth in just 15 minutes per day, we can’t imagine ever going back to sitting down for a full 30 minutes of whitening trays or strips. It may not be the most comfortable method in the world, but it’s bearable and gets the job done within 20 days.

It’s important to be realistic about the results. Without a professional, you can’t get a blinding white Hollywood smile. What this kit will do, however, is lift those painfully obvious surface-level discolouration caused by food and drink. Expect reduced staining, no sensitivity, and a quick confidence boost.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on teeth whitening kits and other beauty buys, try the links below:

For more brightening products, check out our edit of the best teeth whitening kits, from LEDs to toothpastes

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