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Health, Beauty & Fashion

Tips on buying skincare

Guidelines to help you ensure products you buy are fresh
The Straits Times - July 14, 2011
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Tips on buying skincare


-Always read the instructions and warning information on the label before using a product. You might spot an ingredient you are allergic to. -Test the waters before jumping in. Try the product on a small area of your skin, usually behind your ear or on the inside of your forearm as these areas are more sensitive. If there is no reaction after 24 hours, it is generally safe to use.

-Keep your eyes and nose peeled for changes in a product's colour, odour and texture. Stop using the product if you notice any changes or if you develop an adverse reaction to it. See a doctor if the irritation is severe and does not go away.

- Store cosmetics away from high temperature and sunlight, as they may break down the preservatives used to keep the cosmetics bacteria-free and safe for usage.


- Do not buy cosmetics from unfamiliar sources, such as unknown Internet sites, and be wary of products with exaggerated claims. Buy only from reputable companies committed to safe products.

-Do not be too quick to believe what you read in advertisements or labels, even if the claims are made by 'scientific experts' or backed by 'scientific research'. Sometimes, only partial findings from a research are profiled and this information may be too brief for you to make an informed decision. If a product's claims sound too good to be true, they are most likely so.

-Do not apply cosmetics to irritated or damaged skin.

-Do not dilute cosmetics with water or saliva when they dry up. The moisture will encourage bacteria growth and contaminate your cosmetics.

You can call Health Sciences Authority on 1800-2130-800 or e-mail for more information on the regulation or safety concerns of cosmetic products.


Note: Under the HSA, cosmetics include hair, nail and skincare products as well as oral and dental hygiene products.

My friends and relatives use products recommended by their dermatologists. I'm convinced that they work and I definitely agree that products endorsed by certain renowned dermatologists in Singapore are way better than normal ones. These products tend to be more expensive than normal and I will buy them only if I really need to.
Gary Teo

I do not think dermatologist-endorsed products are better than normal ones. The components used might be of higher quality, but it still depends on the condition of and suitability to our skin. I had a classmate who uses only water to wash her face, yet she has a smooth, glowing complexion. I have also witnessed a great positive change to my best friend after she used a certain brand of cosmetic products, but when I tried it, I was disappointed to see that it didn't improve my complexion.
Ng Qi Yan

I found out long ago that one needs only two skin products: a moisturiser and a minimum SPF 30 (UVA and UVB) sunblock. The rest of the products are just gimmicks.
Logic Chinese

The important thing to look out for in a product is the ingredients. The same ingredients in an expensive product may be found in a cheaper one. The percentage of this ingredient is also key in determining the effectiveness of a product. At the end of the day, it is better to read the labels, do some research and select products that work for your skin. The best thing is to slap on sunscreen and live a healthy lifestyle.
Jeff Yeo

In terms of the amount of time, research, technology and ingredients involved, dermatologist-endorsed products do have an edge over those off-the-rack cosmetic products. However, both may be equally effective in preventing ageing. As for wrinkles, frown lines, sagging skin and double chin, it is best to leave these to the doctor and his needles.
Tan Janette

I watched a television programme once which said laboratory tests showed there is actually no difference between expensive and inexpensive products. The only difference in price is due to branding and, probably, packaging. Psychologically, people tend to think that more expensive means better and when dermatologists endorse the products, they'll feel more assured of their choice.
Katherine Teng Saw


Jeff Yeo wins a $50 shopping voucher for the best post. The winner should e-mail his full name, address, e-mail address, identity card number and contact details to by next Wednesday. Specify ST MYB Facebook as the subject.


SATURDAY, JULY 30 Cosmeceuticals-Debunking The Myths: A public forum by the National Skin Centre. Singapore Management University, Administration Building, Conference Hall 1, Level 5, 2.30pm. $8. To register, visit


Buyers beware