Illegal teeth-whitening kits are ‘widely available’ on eBay and Amazon

Having whiter teeth is something that many of us would love, but a new report may put your off ordering any DIY kits online.

Which? has warned that several illegal teeth-whitening kits containing dangerously high levels of hydrogen peroxide are ‘widely available’ on online marketplaces, including eBay, Amazon and Wish.

Worryingly, 21 of 36 teeth whiteners tested were found to contain illegal levels of hydrogen peroxide, which can burn gums and cause permanent damage to teeth.

In particular, six products were found to contain more than 100 times the legal limit for hydrogen peroxide, five of which were available to buy on AliExpress for as little as 85p per application.

Based on the findings, Which? is calling for online marketplaces to be given greater legal responsibility for the safety of products sold on their sites.

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Five of the worst offenders were sold on AliExpress, with the worst one, a 'Teeth bleaching gel kit', sold by Oral Orthodontic Materials, found to contain a whopping 30.7 per cent hydrogen peroxide

Five of the worst offenders were sold on AliExpress, with the worst one, a 'Teeth bleaching gel kit', sold by Oral Orthodontic Materials, found to contain a whopping 30.7 per cent hydrogen peroxide

Five of the worst offenders were sold on AliExpress, with the worst one, a ‘Teeth bleaching gel kit’, sold by Oral Orthodontic Materials, found to contain a whopping 30.7 per cent hydrogen peroxide

WORST OFFENDERS 

· Teeth bleaching gel kit – 30.7% hydrogen peroxide, from Oral Orthodontic Materials store on AliExpress

· Sunup teeth whitening gel – 29.7% hydrogen peroxide, from Expsmile store on AliExpress

· Teeth whitening gel – 14.3% hydrogen peroxide, from ZZ Shiny official store on AliExpress

· Pro teeth whitening gel – 13.9% hydrogen peroxide, from BMT store on AliExpress

· Crest 3D Whitestrips – 13.2% hydrogen peroxide, from Yougo flagship store on Wish

· Professional bleaching kit – 10.6% hydrogen peroxide, from Dear Beauty Official store on AliExpress

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In the UK, teeth whitening products should legally contain up to 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide – a natural bleaching agent.

However, in tests on 36 teeth whiteners available online, Which? found that 21 exceeded these levels.

Five of the worst offenders were sold on AliExpress, including the ‘Teeth bleaching gel kit’ from Oral Orthodontic Materials, ‘Sunup teeth whitening gel’ from Expsmile, ‘Teeth whitening gel’ from ZZ Shiny, ‘Pro teeth whitening gel’ from BMT store, and ‘Professional bleaching kit’ from Dear Beauty Official.  

All five were found to contain over 100 times the legal levels of hydrogen peroxide, with the worst one, a ‘Teeth bleaching gel kit’, sold by Oral Orthodontic Materials, containing a whopping 30.7 per cent hydrogen peroxide – 300 times legal levels.

Meanwhile, five out of nine products tested from eBay were above legal levels, and five out of 13 products test on Amazon marketplace had illegal amounts of hydrogen peroxide.

Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection Policy at Which?, said: ‘It’s worrying that our tests have revealed so many of these products sold on online marketplaces – and often hyped on social media – are breaking legal limits for hydrogen peroxide and putting the health of users at risk.

‘It’s clear that self-regulation is not working, leaving people exposed to a flood of unsafe products online.

‘It is absolutely crucial that online marketplaces are given greater legal responsibility for the safety of products sold on their sites, so that shoppers are far better protected from dangerous and illegal items.’

Based on the findings, Which? is urging consumers to seek help from a professional dentist if they are looking to whiten their teeth.

Alternatively, consumers should look to buy teeth whitening kits from reputable high street retailers, according to Which?.

The 'Pro teeth whitening gel' from BMT store on AliExpress contains 13.9% hydrogen peroxide

The 'Pro teeth whitening gel' from BMT store on AliExpress contains 13.9% hydrogen peroxide

The ‘Pro teeth whitening gel’ from BMT store on AliExpress contains 13.9% hydrogen peroxide

Crest 3D Whitestrips are not available to buy over the counter in the UK due to their 13.2% hydrogen peroxide content

Crest 3D Whitestrips are not available to buy over the counter in the UK due to their 13.2% hydrogen peroxide content

Crest 3D Whitestrips are not available to buy over the counter in the UK due to their 13.2% hydrogen peroxide content

Following the tests, Which? reported the findings to the online retailers, who responded by removing the unsafe products from their platforms.

Speaking to MailOnline, an Amazon spokesperson said: ‘Safety is a top priority at Amazon and we want customers to shop with confidence on our stores. 

‘We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and we monitor the products sold in our stores for product safety concerns. 

‘When appropriate, we remove a product from the store, reach out to sellers, manufacturers, and government agencies for additional information, or take other actions. 

TEETH WHITENERS TESTED 
  Number tested  Legal amounts of hydrogen peroxide  No hydrogen peroxide found  Illegal amounts of hydrogen peroxide 
AliExpress 8
Amazon  13
eBay  9
Wish  6
High street brands  2
Total  38 12  21 

‘If customers have concerns about an item they’ve purchased, we encourage them to contact our Customer Service directly so we can investigate and take appropriate action. The products in question have been removed.’

An eBay spokesperson added: ‘We take the safety of our users extremely seriously and work closely with authorities including Trading Standards to help ensure sellers and listings on eBay comply with laws and regulations.

‘We have removed five of the nine listings tested by Which? and taken the appropriate action on the sellers.

‘We have filters in places which automatically block listings which are unsafe or do not comply with our policies. These blocked six million unsafe listings from making it onto site in 2020.

‘Our teams also work around the clock as an additional safety net to manually review and remove anything which may not have been caught by our filters.’

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