Get your money's worth!

Ever wonder why your skin is getting no where as radiant as Gong Li's although you're a religious user of the facial products that she endorses? Advertisements often, and are legally allowed to exagerrate claims with the aid of lighting effects and editing. The best way to determine whether a product is good and suitable for you is by understanding its composition.

With the recession hot on our heels, we can't afford to waste money on products that don't work on us. Being able to differentiate good products from lousy ones that don't is a handy skill! Here are some simple tests you can perform on your products to see if they are as good as they claim to be.

Test 1: How absorbable is your facial essence?
Facial essences are expensive, aren’t they? So it’s important to find out how much of that liquid gold actually gets absorbed into our skin.

Directions: Stack five cotton pads together. Drip a little essence on top and wait for a few minutes. Then check the cotton pads. The more absorbable the essence is, the further it travels downwards. You’ve got an A-lister if the essence reaches the cotton pad at the base! If it doesn’t travel vertically but spreads on the top layer, stop wasting money on that piece of junk!

Test 2: Is your toner as mild as it claims to be?
Toners high in acid or alkaline content not only prick your skin, they also have less contraction effect on pores.

Directions: You will need pH test strips. You should be able to get them from pharmacies and chemists. Get the ones that test for a wider range of pH values instead of the old school acid/alkaline test strips that you used in your sec school chemistry lab. Drip some toner onto a test strip. Read the instructions that come with your kit. It should teach you how to read your results. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use a toner with a pH value between 5.5 to 7 as the average pH value of our skin falls between this range. For a toner with better pore contraction abilities, ph 4 – 5 is your choice.

Test 3: How absorbable is your cleanser?
If it hardly gets into your skin, it's hardly going to touch the dirt in your skin.

Directions: Fill a glass (preferably see-through) with water. Add a drop (about the size of a pea) of cleanser into the glass of water. If the drop of cleanser does not sink, gently stir it a little and it should disperse, causing the water to turn milky. This means that it is water-based and hence, easier to be worked into your skin. If the drop sinks and does not disperse, it is oil base and not easily absorbed.

Test 4: Are your products too oily?
Oily products may cause breakouts. If you have oily skin and are prone to breakouts, you should definitely avoid such products! Oily products are more difficult to be absorbed into the skin too.

Directions: Smear a little of the product in question onto the back of your hand and leave it on for 3 to 5 minutes. Gently press an oil absorber sheet over the area where the product has been smeared on. The amount of oil left behind on the sheet is an indicator.

Test 5: Do make-up removers take everything with them?
Some oil-based make-up removers are known to leave behind a layer of oil on your skin, which could cause pimples.

Directions: Add a few drops of make-up remover into a glass of clear water. Stir the water so that both water and make-up remover blend into an even mixture of white. If there is a transparent film left on the surface of the mixture, that’s the oil that’s left on your face. If that happens, either change your toner or wash your face thoroughly again after using it.

Test 6: Is the lipstick sufficiently moisturizing?
If you have dry, cracked lips, a lipstick with poor moisturizing properties may highlight the cracks in your lips instead!

Directions: Using a pencil, draw an outline of a pair of lips on a piece of oil absorber sheet. Colour the inside of the outline with the lipstick that you want to test. Leave it aside overnight. There should be traces of oil around the lipstick outline. The more obvious the traces, the more moisturizing the lipstick is.

These experiments are simple, aren’t they? Now you can evaluate your products to decide whether they should stay on your shopping list!
1 Response
  1. Cris Says:

    Thanks so much for these, I had no idea before. Great blog :).