新年快乐! Hope all of you enjoyed your Chinese New Year celebrations.
For the last couple of weeks, I had opportunities to travel back to Japan for both work and personal reasons. For work, I attended the Cosmetic Technology Exhibition in Tokyo and introduced what I do in Singapore - helping Japanese cosmetic companies to do business expansion in Southeast Asia. Surprisingly, there were a lot more people than I had expected who are interested in coming to Asia especially countries like Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
I shared with the people I met that Singaporean people are already very knowledgeable about cosmetics. In order to have a chance in Singapore, Japanese cosmetics need to be very specific about their benefits, especially when compared to Korean brands which are very popular here due to their quality and much cheaper pricing. Sadly, the time of being proud of “Made in Japan” products is over…
While I was in Japan, I checked out new cosmetics - which is pretty much my hobby and usual routine – and I realised that there are so many different ranges of brands and types of cosmetics in the market. With thousands of products available in the market, I wonder how people decide which ones they want to buy…
HACCHI is a well-known brand in Japan that creates honey cosmetics. They use rich ingredients for both toner and lip serum so it works pretty well especially during winter time in Japan. CEZANNE is famous as a reasonably-priced but high quality brand. Although the eyeshadow colours well with a shimmery texture, this costs only about S$7. KATE is already here in Singapore but this CC lip cream is a new product so I bet it’s not here yet. It corrects your lip colour to a natural looking pink!
What do you usually do before you decide to purchase cosmetics?
Before I purchase skincare products, I will usually check the ingredients first. I have an interest in knowing what the cosmetics is made from and which are the main ingredients of the product. In fact, there are specific regulations in Singapore about showing the ingredients on the label of the packaging:
Listing of Ingredients
All cosmetic products must be labelled with the ingredients contained in the product. The quantity or percentage of each ingredient in the cosmetic product need not be disclosed on the labelling.
The ingredients should be listed in descending order by weight, except for:
a. Ingredients (except colouring agents) in concentrations of less than 1% (by weight) listed in any order after ingredients present in concentration of 1% or more; and
b. Colouring agents listed in any order, after the other ingredients.
Perfume and aromatic compositions and their raw materials may be referred to by the word “perfume”, “fragrance”, “aroma” or any other similar term. Likewise, flavouring may be referred to as “flavour” or any other similar term.
(Referred from GUIDELINE ON THE CONTROL OF COSMETIC PRODUCTS – HSA http://www.hsa.gov.sg)
Here are some tips: If you are looking for a skin toner with a high level of moisture, look for a toner with ingredients that have water and moisturing ingredients on the label of packaging. You can also find out whether there is a fragrance or colouring agents – these ingredients are considered to generate allergies and they are usually not suitable for you if you have sensitive skin. For your reference, the colouring agents are usually shown as “RED XX (CI XXXXX)”.
In Japan, there was a big incident caused by a whitening product from a very famous brand. People started developing white spots after they have used the product for a while. The reason why this happened was due to the ingredient called “Rhododenol” which helps to prevent having melanin. There were tests done before the product was launched, however this unfortunate thing happened after it was released in the market.
If you want to see photos of the white spots, click here.
Cosmetics can be your hero when they improve your skin problems but sometimes they can also become your foe if you keep using them without knowing about the products and ingredients. It is always a good idea to check a product’s information before you use or buy it. For example, if it’s a whitening product, you can ask the beauty adviser which ingredients are the active ones. You can also check how long the products have been in the market – if it has been in the market long, it means that more people have tried it without suffering adverse effects so it should be safe enough to try on your own skin!
You are the only person who can protect your skin and health. It won’t hurt you if you take a bit of precaution before you try new cosmetic products!