What you need to know before and after buying a new product

9:00 AM

I didn't think about this post until my friend was texting me about how he was going to buy some product based on how popular the brand was. That's when I had the thought that a lot of people might be thinking like him, buying stuff because of the marketing surrounding the product and the brand.

There are few things you need to do before purchasing that shiny new product and a few other steps to take after buying it. To avoid any mishaps , unnecessary products, stuff that are not meant for your skin, that will break you out etc..

Steps before buying

1) Read

It has become the standard to read product reviews before buying any type of beauty product. However, a nice marketing and ad campaign can sometimes easily ruin our self control !

Read a lot of reviews, preferably from people who have the same skin type and skin issues/need as you do. Try to find a nicely balanced review : if the blog post is only rewriting what the manufacturer marketed , it won't give you a constructive opinion of the product.

If you can't find it on a blog, Reddit is the way to go : you can find a lot of people opinions fairly easily. Also, check out comments on Youtube reviews, some might be helpful !
A list of Beauty related Reddit I tend to visit : Asian Beauty - Brown Beauty - Skincare Addiction - Makeup Addiction

2) Ingredients

Not matter how great the product seems to be, if the ingredients is a whole load of crap or if the marketed star ingredient is at the end of the list, you might want to pass on the product. 
You can search up product ingredients on Cosdna, however, it's not always accurate, and all of the warnings won't specifically apply. It's not because an ingredient can be an acne trigger that it will break you out !

Cross checking the ingredients with products that have already worked for you and products that didn't is another way to know if a certain product could work out for you. I use an Ingredient Checking Spreadsheet macro made by the great Melubbeauty : that you can find here.

Eventually , dress up a list of ingredients that you know you want to avoid or go for. Keeping that list in the notes of your phone could help you when you're shopping in a drugstore.

2) Checking the pH when shopping for cleansers

The issue with pH and cleansers has its lovers and detractors but eventually : a cleanser with a high pH could lead to a weaker skin barrier and your skin getting drier in a result. I don't have the actual knowledge to address and explain this step, but the "perfect" (again, highly simplifying here) pH of your cleanser would be around 5. You can read Snow's article on Why the pH of your cleansers matter here.

3) Get samples !

Before splurging on a product that might not work for you, you might want to get samples. A lot of Asian Beauty shops offer a large variety of samples to try.
Moreover, even if you don't get the fancy packaging, samples can sometimes be more economical than getting a full size product. Check out the Asian Beauty list of shops here.

Steps after buying

4) Patch test

Even if you have been always lucky you don't know when that luck might run out ! Always patch test : you should test your new product on a certain area of your face before applying it all over your face. Try to patch test for a sufficient amount of time, ideally 2 or 3 weeks depending on how your skin works and how it reacts to new products.
Why patch testing ? You can prevent an allergic reaction or a break-out, this way, if your skin does react to the product, the damage will be restricted to the area where you tested the product. Better break out in one area rather than your whole face !

5) One product at a time

Always test one product at a time and introduce only one product at a time as well. If you introduce several products at the same time and you break out, you won't be able to know which one break you out in the end. Patience is key, it's easy to get excited with a new huge haul of beauty products but your skin is worth more than that !

6) Breaking out ? Purging ?

If you do end up breaking out, whether you followed the last few steps or not you should go back to the routine you had before breaking out/adding new products. If you aren't sure what broke you out : Keep it simple and let your skin calm down with a simple routine : Cleanser , moisturizer, sunscreen. I would also add a trusty spot treatment in this simplified routine to fight the break out. 

However, a break out is different from purging : you can't purge from a moisturizing cream or a foundation, if you do get pimples from those type of products you might want to stop using them. To know precisely if you are breaking out or purging, reading this article from Skinacea might be helpful.

Lastly, don't mistake a break out from something else : I personally tend to break out when I eat spicy food both my stomach and skin can't handle it and especially salty food just doesn't do it for me (Another reason to throw the junk food out of the window !). Of course, it won't be the same for everybody, some people don't break from food, others break out from different things.

Before buying other products :

Keep track of what you already have. This advice actually applies for almost every thing but, do you really need another sleeping mask ? Don't you already have this lipstick color ? Do you really need another nude nail polish ?
It's fairly easy to get overwhelmed with a whole bunch of products, and if you follow step 5 carefully, you won't even be able to try and test all of the product for a long time.

Don't buy too much at a time. Again, the more you buy at a time, the more you're tempted to try everything all at once. 

Honestly, I'm guilty to a lot of these issues : I tend to stack products, test them before patch testing them and even accumulating a whole bunch of creams and cleansers that I don't even end up using after all because I'm not sure if they were breaking me out (hence why you should patch test one product at a time diligently). But I've been working and on it and I've started to be more conscious about my skincare/beauty routine and ways.
Are you read to buy some Asian beauty products now ? Check out my list of dedicated shops here !

This post is going to be posted on January 1st, so : Happy New Years ;) - Dini

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