Ever Hear of Purple Shampoo? I Tried Purple Toothpaste…
As a blonde, I’m constantly manipulating the electromagnetic spectrum to coax my hair into a whiter and whiter shade of platinum.
Purple shampoo is one of the best ways to do that, because purple and yellow (blech!) cancel each other out.
And guess what? According to a company called Popwhite, the purple principle can also apply to your unsightly tooth stains.
Most blondes will attest that purple shampoo works. Because purple and yellow are opposites on the color spectrum, the aggressively purple tones in your shampoo can actually neutralize the yellow tones in your hair. It’s not as good as a fresh glaze, but it works.
So as a purple shamp devotee, Popwhite got my attention immediately when they emailed me about their purple toothpaste and mouthwash for white teeth. I agreed to take the products on a test run. Because if it works for my hair, it should work for my chompers, right?
Why bother with purple paste when Whitestrips exist?
Well, anyone who’s tried the typical tooth whitening methods knows they make your teeth effing hurt after a while, especially when you’re eating especially hot or cold foods. Purple toothpaste and mouthwash are designed not to give you any sensitivity, because they don’t bleach your teeth the way peroxide-based solutions do. Tooth whitening that doesn’t hurt your mouth whenever you catch a cold breeze is something we can all get behind, right?
So I got the toothpaste. My first impression of was that it looked VERY purple. Like, the photo above (provided by Popwhite) does not do it justice. This toothpaste isn’t a tasteful Easter egg lavender. It’s bright purple. It’s like a liquified Barney costume in a tube.
And it contains food-grade dyes to make it that purple. The presence of the food dyes freaked me out. It seemed like a really artificial way to get the desired effect. Aren’t yuppie moms always trying to avoid food dyes like they’re the next gluten?
To give Popwhite credit, though, they cop to using the dyes. The company “mixes food and drug grade blue and red colorants to create its patented and validated Power of Purple formulas,” according to the website. It still seemed weird to use toothpaste with food coloring in it, but whatever.
The toothpaste’s other active ingredients are xylitol and coconut oil. Xylitol’s pretty common in dental products, and it’s allegedly derived from birch trees. It helps reduce plaque and build enamel, according to the Popwhite site.
And coconut oil, as we all know, is just trendy as f*ck. I was excited to see it as an ingredient in Popwhite, because I’ve always wanted to try oil pulling. Oil pulling is when you swish coconut oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. It’s supposed to whiten teeth and clean them better than chemicals can.
When I say I’ve “always wanted to try” oil pulling, what I mean is, “I tried it once and it tasted disgusting and was a total waste of time.” So I was stoked to see it as an ingredient in Popwhite, because this seemed like a much more palatable way to add coconut oil to my toothbrushing routine.
So add it I did. I switched out my regular old-school Colgate toothpaste for the Popwhite paste-and-mouthwash combo twice a day.
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Popwhite has a really odd taste, but I didn’t mind it because I’ve tried natural toothpaste like Tom’s before. It’s pretty similar to that. What did bug me, though, was that flecks of bright purple landed all over my sink while I brushed my teeth. They were easy to wipe away, but if I was in too much of a rush, the sink would be left with little purple sprinkles all day. Plus I got a few stains on my beloved fluffy white bathrobe, which gave me agita — but luckily they washed away in the laundry machine.
So did it work?
Yes and no. Popwhite is supposed to whiten your teeth in two weeks, and it did. My teeth were noticeably much whiter. And I drink a lot of coffee, so this is a pretty big accomplishment. Also, just like Popwhite had promised, I had zero tooth sensitivity. Again, very conducive to a coffee-girl lifestyle!
But there was also one gross side effect: plaque buildup.
I’d been using Popwhite for a couple weeks and thought my mouth had finally attained goals af status. But then I smiled into my magnifying ring light mirror and noticed something grotesque: there was way more plaque buildup between my bottom teeth than usual. Ew, ew, ew and no thank you.
This led me to think Popwhite’s toothpaste isn’t strong enough to clean plaque the way my regular Colgate would be. So I started using the Colgate first, then adding the Popwhite paste and doing the mouthwash afterward. This worked pretty well and kept my teeth both white and plaque-free. It was time-consuming, but hey, so are Whitestrips. It was worth the extra brushing time because the whitening really did work.
And now for the other downside: I’m mid-move right now so I had to pack away my Popwhite supplies until I find a permanent new home. It’s a BIT MUCH to bring three tooth-cleaning products with you to a monthlong sublet, you know?
So I’m back to just my regular Colgate for now — and my teeth have already gone a few shades yellower. It only took a few days for Popwhite to wear off. It seems like it only works if you’re truly using it twice a day every day — just like how you have to use purple shampoo once or twice a week for it to work.
The Popwhite duo costs $36 and I’d still say it’s worth it. It’s not a perfect product, but it’s really great to have white teeth without the sensitivity that comes with bleaching. I’m not dropping hundreds on permanent whitening any time soon, and Popwhite is a great alternative. Just remember to keep using it daily, and don’t skip the regular toothpaste to stay clean!