Sunday, 6 October 2013

8 Tips and Reminders for Making your Skincare Products Perform at its Best


I’ve had several posts about skincare now and I felt the need to share some tips and reminders to ensure that we don’t get disappointed or frustrated with our products. It’s not a surprise that I’ve encountered a lot of people who somehow lose confidence or trust with their beauty products or their skincare regimen over time. In defense of skincare (as I have been a brand manager for this industry in the past years), it is unfortunate that improper handling or too much expectations cause some, if not most, of this disappointments.
 



 So here are some tips and reminders to all skincare users, just in case we sometimes forget… 

 1. PROPER STORAGE. Skincare items including make-up or cosmetics are sensitive to heat. Drastic changes in temperature and exposure to heat can make your skincare lose their efficacy, change viscosity or texture, and worse, make them oxidize faster. This means that the product you spent for will lose their capability to work as you expect them to. Don't let them get exposed to heat. Check if your vanity table or cabinet is reached by sunlight at any time of the day. If so, then you better consider moving your cabinet to a different part of the room or make sure your curtains don't allow too much sunlight in.


In my experience with managing skincare brands, I've encountered customer complaints about their cream that became watery or changed color and the like. The truth is, a lot of consumers forget that these products are supposed to be handled with care as well. Upon purchasing your beauty products, do you leave them in the car for a few hours while you shop some more or have dinner? Do you put it inside the car with you or in the boot? Do you keep it out of heat or sunlight? 


      


2. EXPIRY DATE. Skincare products are perishables; they EXPIRE. It’s very rare, though, to see an expiry date stamped on the products. So how do you know if it’s expired? Check the manufacturing date, which is normally embossed, printed, stamped or marked behind the bottle, under the box. It can be on the sticker with the manufacturer or distributer info. From the manufacturing date, it takes 3 years, in general, to expire. Organic products, however, expire faster, probably within 2 years or less.

Beauty products have expiration date

Once your product is expired, stop using it. It may or may not cause your skin harm but it won’t work as you expect them to which will lead to disappointment.


 3. LIFE AFTER OPENING. It’s not only the expiry date that you should watch out for but also the product’s “life after opening”. As soon as a product is exposed to air, it starts to reach expiration earlier than the expiry date. You should look at the bottle or jar label to check within how many months do you need to consume the product. Some can last up to 24 months while some can be as short as 4 months, again, shorter life for organic items. If you do take slower to finish the product before the last month of its life, it’s best to stop using it. Life after opening of most products are within reasonable time frame for you to finish IF you apply it as directed. For example, if it says ‘apply in the morning and evening’ then you should be able to consume a 50ml cream within 4 months. But if you get lazy and only apply once a day, then chances are you will take longer than 4 months.

Pay attention to 'Life after Opening' on the label


 4. ORDER OF APPLICATION. There’s a good reason why your beauty consultant gives you step-by-step application, from toner to moisturizer. Absorption of the products by the skin is important in ensuring that you get the most out of your skincare routine. Toner comes first because of its low viscosity (viscosity, in layman’s terms, is that notion of ‘thickness’; example, maple syrup has higher viscosity than water). Since the toner is light or less viscous, when you apply a thicker product such as serum, the skin will still absorb the serum. If you apply your moisturizer first before the toner, the skin might not be able to absorb your toner completely.


 Aside from absorption of the skin, proper order of application is also important in making the products work as a team. Some serums are formulated to increase the efficacy of products to be applied after it. A good example is Perricone MD Cold Plasma, which acts as a serum and booster for other products on top of it. If in doubt which goes first, just look at the viscosity of the products, apply the lightest before the thickest products and you’ll do just fine.


 5. EFFICACY MAY NOT BE FOREVER. Have you experienced using a product, loved the results, then after some time, you notice that it doesn’t change your skin anymore? Don’t fret, it’s not that the product is bad; it’s possible that it had already done the maximum it could for your skin. It doesn’t mean that your product stopped working. Also remember that your skin condition changes. A product for your oily skin may not work anymore if your skin changes to normal/ dry skin. As time goes by, our skin also changes. This is why there are specific products for certain condition and age groups. What you use during your teenage days will not be suitable when you reach your 30’s, right?


 And just because you don’t see great improvements anymore means that you should change your product. Take for example an anti-wrinkle item. Maybe during the first month, you notice that there’s a significant reduction in wrinkles then no change on the 2nd month. Should you change? Not necessarily. Your anti-wrinkle item may not be erasing the wrinkles left but if you don’t see more wrinkles developing, this means that your product is fighting off new ones; it maintains the current condition of your skin.



6. SAMPLES and SACHETS. I’m sure you also get those sachets or samples from beauty counters or even from magazines. When you do decide to open one, don’t keep it too long. Consume it within a few days or maybe within a week. Sachets don’t have covers so they oxidize faster. Best to put it inside an airtight container once opened.



Some samples do stamp their manufacturing date or expiry date so you are aware if you can still use them.

Count 3 years from manufacturing date for expiry


Some sachets print manufacturing and expiry dates

 


7. CONSISTENCY is KEY. Regular application of products as directed is important in seeing optimal results out of your skincare. People who spend money on beauty products then get lazy to use them sometimes surprise me. Think of your skin as your stomach; it needs to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and consume water. Those serums, essences or creams are food for your skin. Without which, the skin becomes unhealthy or ‘sick’.
 If you need to travel, take small amounts of your products with you. I find it very useful to have mini containers for my products. This is also why I enjoy free minis from my beauty shopping. Travel-size products are very useful so don’t take them for granted.

Use travel containers for your products


Free travel-size products are very useful



8. BEAUTY IS NOT JUST SKIN-DEEP. Although skincare products are essential to our skin’s health, take note that they can’t do magic tricks. The condition of our skin reflects our internal health. If you truly want youthful, healthy skin, you must start from within --- your eating habits, diet and overall lifestyle. Have you ever seen a sick person who has radiant, glowing skin?


 Watch what you eat, set aside time to do some exercise, have a happy, social life and keep a positive outlook. Your skin will definitely show how beautiful you are inside. And don’t forget your daily skincare routine. Combined with good habits and lifestyle, beauty products can do wonders for your skin!