About Illumi White
Designed by dentists and formulated with only the highest quality ingredients, Illumi White self-proclaims to be the #1 dentist recommended teeth whitening system that will provide noticeably whiter teeth in only six days. So, if you have dark or stained teeth and are looking for long-lasting, naturally brilliant, and uniform results, Illumi White claims to deliver.
On top of this, Illumi White’s unique formula adds potassium nitrate to “significantly reduce tooth sensitivity,” and each of the treatments are quick, convenient, and easy to use. In fact, the process works over three simple steps:
- Brush your teeth.
- Twist Illumi White’s pen to dispense the gel inside.
- Apply the gel to your teeth and you’re done!
Based on these claims alone, it might be easy to believe that Illumi White is a no-brainer when it comes to teeth whitening systems. But before you hand over your hard-earned money, we think there are a whole lot of red flags you should be aware of. What are they? We’ll outline everything in this review.
Illumi White’s Active Ingredients: Special Or Not?
Illumi White might be guaranteed to provide results (more about this in a second), but other than the fact that it contains a little extra active ingredient, there doesn’t seem to be anything especially powerful about it. Just what is this active ingredient, though?
Illumi White uses 35% carbamide peroxide, which, when applied to your teeth, breaks down into hydrogen peroxide. In turn, once this hydrogen peroxide breaks down, an oxidation action occurs that can help remove surface stains from your teeth. In comparison, many other at-home whitening systems often contain 22% carbamide peroxide. Is there much of a difference?
Here are some quick numbers to put things into perspective: Carbamide peroxide is about 3.5% as powerful as hydrogen peroxide. So, at 35% carbamide peroxide, the Illumi White’s system contains about 10% hydrogen peroxide. In comparison, 22% carbamide peroxide translates into a little over 6% hydrogen peroxide.
When looked at from this vantage point—all things being equal—Illumi White might initially seem roughly 40% more effective that some other teeth whitening systems. It also contains potassium nitrate, which is a common ingredient found in sensitive toothpastes.
Which brings up a good question: Are we comparing apples-to-apples here, or is Illumi White meaningfully different that other teeth whitening systems? We’ll answer this in the next section.
Does Illumi White Represent a Solid Value?
To fully address this important question, let’s break it up into two parts: how much Illumi White costs, and what you’ll get for your money.
Illumi White’s Trial Offer
The only way to purchase Illumi White is through a 14-day trial for $6.95 S&H. Then, you’ll be sent a full 30-day supply.
After your 14 days are up, you’ll pay $95.13 for Illumi White’s full price. You’ll also be signed up for the company’s autoship program, which means you’ll keep receiving a new supply once per month, and you credit card will be billed $95.13 plus $10.91 S&H each time.
Is there anything “exclusive” about this trial, as per the Illumi White website? There certainly doesn’t appear to be so.
Outside of the trial, subsequent Illumi White shipments come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H charges and a $19.60 destruction/repackaging fee. Despite this fee, the product must still be “unopened with its seal intact and in good, marketable condition without package blemishes.”
What’s Included in the Illumi White Kit?
Here’s the catch: After reviewing the Illumi White website, it’s not exactly clear what’s included with your purchase. For example, one video outlines how to add the gel to a silicon mouthpiece, similar to most other whitening kits. However, based on the pictures on the ordering page, it appears you’ll only receive two whitening brush pens.
For clarification, we called customer service at 866-251-4985. The agent we spoke with was professional and friendly, and let us know that you’ll receive two whitening pens, each of which should last about two weeks with normal use. On the other hand, if we were interested in the tray-based kit, we’d have to order the sister product Elite White.
Comparatively, you can purchase whitening pens from mainstream manufacturers for as little as $8. Let’s talk more about this.
Are There Other Whitening Systems Instead of Illumi White?
Even if we limit the discussion only to those available online and through trials, there are dozens of whitening systems out there that use similar formulations as Illumi White. We’ve even reviewed several of these options here at HighYa, such as Whitening Coach, Spark Whitening, Dial-a-Smile—and as we mentioned above—Elite White.
Then, if we expand our search to whitening systems available from mainstream manufacturers available at local retailers, you might add hundreds more options to the mix. Not only this, but you’ll find they’re applied in all sorts of different ways, including mouth trays, strips, pastes, and more, some of which you might prefer more than others.
The point? If you’re in the market for an at-home teeth whitening system, you literally have hundreds of options, and based on your needs and preferences, some of these might work better.
Important note: As we mentioned previously, keep in mind that these trial-based kits can be priced 8-10X higher than some of the mainstream competition, while not necessarily providing any better results.
Not only this, but many of the trial kits we’ve reviewed come with bottom-of-the-barrel customer reviews and average ratings two stars or less. Why? Most complaints appear to reference failure to work as advertised (or at all), high prices/unwanted subscription programs, and poor customer service. What’s going on here?
A Whitening System by Any Other Name…
In our opinion, based on our research, we think many of these online-only, at-home whitening systems are manufactured by the same handful of companies. Heck, for all we know, it could just be one company that’s responsible for each and every one of these products. Why do we think this?
They often contain the same ingredients, feature the same claims, and advertise essentially identical products. Often times, they’re also priced the same (even down to the $10.91 S&H).
Want even more evidence? According to Illumi White’s Terms & Conditions:
“Elite White LLC reserves the right to package the product being shipped to the end consumer with any of its privately labeled brands. Due to production there will arise instances where you will receive the same quality product with different labeling.”
Ultimately, we think this indicates that you might not expect any better results from Illumi White than other similar whitening systems, and that you might also experience some (or all of) the customer complaints referenced above.
Before wrapping things up, let’s talk about the face behind Illumi White and Elite White, Dr. Kenneth Lounders.
Who Is Dr. Kenneth Lounders?
Browsing through the Illumi White website, you probably watched the video featuring Dr. Kenneth Lounders. But who is he, and what connection does he have to Illumi White?
After searching online, it appears Dr. Lounders operates a dentistry practice based out of Englewood, FL, which is about 30 minutes from Illumi White’s headquarters in Venice, FL. There wasn’t a whole lot of customer feedback about him online, although he did have a 5-star rating on HealthGrades.com, along with an A- Better Business Bureau rating (as of 3/16/16).
However, we weren’t able to uncover how he’s related to Illumi White or Elite White, such as whether he’s one of the creators or just a paid spokesperson.
Is Illumi White the Natural Choice for Teeth Whitening?
As we detailed in our at-home whitening buyer’s guide, there are a lot of factors that go into what kinds of results you can expect from these kinds of products, such as how old your stains are, what caused them, which layers of your teeth are stained, and much more.
But overall, even though it seems to have more carbamide peroxide than much of the competition, we don’t think Illumi White will provide any more “naturally brilliant, uniform,” faster, or longer results than other at-home options. And considering the fact that it’s much more expensive, it might not provide optimum value, either.
When taking all of this into consideration, along with poor customer feedback for nearly identical products, it’s our opinion that your money might be better spent on local options from mainstream manufacturers. For the ultimate recommendation, be sure to speak with your dentist, too!