Kardashian spruiks product for Queensland young guns
THE effectiveness of a teeth whitening kit launched by two Gold Coast rich listers and spruiked by Kim Kardashian has been called into question by the dental industry.
HiSmile, which was started by Alex Tomic and Nik Mirkovic in 2014 and has since rocketed them into Forbes' Under 30 Rich List, promises to make your teeth two shades whiter in less than a week.
Just last week Kim Kardashian, one of five Kardashian/Jenner sisters estimated to be collectively paid in the millions to plug the product, said HiSmile "keeps my teeth white all the time".
"Because my teeth are already super white and it really is a lot because of HiSmile," Kim told her 147 million Instagram followers in a video post.
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#Ad So I’ve tried hundreds of different teeth whitening products over the years to maintain the whiteness of my teeth but am yet to find anything like @hismileteeth. I’ve been using their Teeth Whitening Kit for over 6 months now and not only is it easy to use, but it’s the most effective product for maintaining my teeth all year round #HiSmile #TeethWhitening
The HiSmile kit, which costs $80 and contains three gel-filled syringes and a mouth guard with an LED light, is imported from China.
The gel's ingredients contain sodium bicarbonate, sodium chlorite, aloe leaf juice, pomegranate seed extract and camomile flower extract.
However, the absence of an active bleaching ingredient caused serious concern for Australian Dental Association Queensland senior vice-president Norah Ayad.
"Of the key ingredients that they have listed, there is no actual bleach component, so there is no hydrogen-peroxide," Ms Ayad told The Courier-Mail.
"They have bi-carb soda and things like that aloe leaf, but none of those products have actually been shown to have any whitening effects.
"For people who want to physically change the colour of their teeth, you can't do that without some sort of bleach."
Ms Ayad said the LED light had no purpose without an active ingredient to react with.
"Some of the ingredients are abrasive, as if you are going to scrub away at stains it will have that kind of effect," she said.
"The heat and the wavelength of that light activates the bleach, to make it work faster, but looking at the key ingredients, I can't see what the light would be activating."
Tomic and Mirkovic had just $20,000 when they joined forces to launch HiSmile five years ago.
They made Forbes' Under 30 Rich List in 2018, a year after they made their debut on the Australian Financial Review's Young Rich List.
Their combined wealth was estimated to be $46 million in 2018 and the company, in a press release last year, expected turn over to reach $100 million in 2019.
Instagram photos of the pair show them living it up on the beaches of Italy and also in Dubai and the US.
HiSmile's marketing has heavily revolved around paying online influencers to flog their products and none are bigger than the Kardashian family.
Kylie and Kendall Jenner and Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian have all posted on social media and the latest, and greatest, of the influencers to talk up HiSmile has been Kim Kardashian.
Her Instagram post late last week was viewed more than 7.4 million times and received more than 1.25 million likes.
Followers criticised her post because she allegedly has veneers which cannot be artificially whitened.
It was the same criticism that was levelled at Khloe when she posted about HiSmile earlier this year.
"Any artificial material, such as porcelain which is what veneers are made of, the actually colour of them can't be changed," Ms Ayad said.
A HiSmile spokesman said the compnay has a great relationship with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters and that Kim Kardashian does not have veneers.
"Many of the Kardashian girls use the products, we have a great relationship with the family," the spokesman said.
"Kim doesn't have veneers."
He did not respond a question in relation to the active bleaching ingredient in the product.
Veteran celebrity agent Max Markson said the Kardashian sisters do not come cheap and it's highly likely the entrepreneurs paid Kim Kardashian $US1 million for her latest post.
He said in 2017, when he was engaged to find a celebrity to launch a product, he reached out to Kylie Jenner's people and came nowhere near close to sealing a deal.
"Kylie had about 70 or 80 million followers on Instagram at the time and I started at $US100,000 for one Instagram post and a one-hour appearance in Los Angeles," Mr Markson said.
"I ended up getting to $US350,000 for one post and a one-hour appearance and she still said no. They wanted $US500,000.
"I asked why was she so expensive and they said 'because she can sit on her bed at home, post on Instagram and get paid $US150,000 and that was two years ago'.
"I'd say they would have paid $US1 million. My understanding is that what she charges to post."
An ACCC spokesman said consumers should consult with their dentist before using any teeth whitening products.
"Suppliers of teeth whitening products sold online and through social media platforms are required to comply with the same product safety and consumer protection law as other Australian suppliers," the spokesman said.