Ever wondered how many advertising dollars you are paying for to get your hands on something ‘trusted’ for your consumption? Ironically, trust does not come from the integrity of the manufacturer but how much they are will to spend in advertising dollars to make the brand popular.
In other words, it’s how much investors are willing to throw in to make the brand a success, translated into commercial advertising—TV, radio and web presences and on packaging. Yes, those embossed gold foils you touch for a second before throwing into the waste, a second’s pleasure you paid for.
You may have heard your hair stylist telling you to use professional products bought at salons, or lamenting that an increasing number of customers tend to have clogged hair follicles due to the use of hair conditioners. Aside from the common misuse of conditioners—they are meant for dry tips and you are not supposed to use them near the roots, another reason is that many conditioners contain petroleum jelly or silicone, which can clog hair follicles and trap bacteria if not rinsed out thoroughly.
As a result, a breakout (or many) may occur. To avoid this, make sure you rinse your hair thoroughly to eliminate residual conditioner. One easy way to make sure that there is no conditioner left is to rinse till your hair doesn’t feel slippery anymore. Alternatively, you can try coconut oil on the tips of your hair. Gently warm the oil with your palms before running your fingers through the length of your hair to deeply condition dry tresses.
Old coffee grounds make an excellent facial exfoliant, gently sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal the fresh, healthy looking skin underneath. The same way caffeine wakes us up, it can also make our skin feel refreshed!
Mix a few tablespoons of old coffee grounds with an oil base, such as coconut oil, and a few drops of essential oil for a nice smell, then there you have a scrub that will keep for weeks! Some people also recommend mixing coffee grounds with plain yogurt for use as a face mask.
When it comes to sunblocks, the general rule of thumb is: the higher the SPF, and the higher the PA index, the better the protection against UV rays is. More often than not, this also translates to a higher cost. According to New York-based Skin Cancer Foundation, an SPF 15 sunscreen blocks 93% of UVB radiation, while an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks 97 percent and an SPF 50 blocks an estimated 98 percent.
Moreover, reapplying sunblock frequently is more important that applying a high SPF sunblock as you’ll inevitably remove some sunscreen (and it’s protective properties) through something as simple as touching your face or wiping your perspiration with a tissue. In addition, it is often estimated that people do not use the adequate amount of sunscreen anyway, so the you might not be getting as much SPF protection anyway. At such, reapplying a lower SPF sunscreen frequently might be even better than splurging on a higher SPF sunscreen.
A teenage staple, oil blotters are probably one of the first makeup-related product every girl had in her bag during her secondary school days. Whether your preference was blotting paper or blotting film, who could forget the sense of satisfaction derived each time you stared at the amount of sebum that has transferred from your skin to the blotters? And while many of us might have upgraded to using fancy premium blotters—powdered, scented, you name it—it can be easy to forget that the sole purpose of blotting papers is to literally soak up excess shine on your skin so you don’t look like the inside of a cooking wok.
A budget-friendly alternative, as demonstrated by many makeup artists, is to simply use tissue paper. All you have to do is press a piece of tissue gently on your skin and be careful not to rub so as not to smudge or remove any makeup.
Some toners are designed to eliminate any traces of impurities left, provide an astringent effect and balance the skin’s pH so that subsequent products applied will be absorbed better. While high-end brands have many pricey options for toners, there are actually many budget-friendly options available on the market that will balance your skin without breaking the bank. Try ICM Pharma’s Rose Water Cleansing Toner, $6.40 for 120ml, which is great to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin.
At just a fraction of the price of many premium skincare brands’ toners, this product is gentle on skin and delivers an instant moisture boost. Alternatively, if you are concerns with oiliness, try the Witch Hazel Cleansing Toner. Thanks to Witch Hazel’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, it also doubles as treatment for cuts, abrasions and insect bites. The cost is kept low because ICM Pharma is a local brand from a drugstore born and manufactured in Singapore , easily available in pharmacies and supermarkets here.
Check out drugstores like Watsons or Guardian and choose a health care brand of lip balm over a cosmetic brand as these are usually free of fanciful ingredients that involve heavy marketing, which explains the inflated price tags.
Many makeup removers are marketed as gentle, non-stripping and enriched with skincare ingredients to condition skin and remove all traces of makeup at the same time. And while they’re not ineffective, many botanical oils that you can simply find in your kitchen actually gets the job done at about a fraction of the price. Some of the most commonly found ingredients that work wonders on melting away makeup are olive oil and coconut oil.
At room temperature (in Singapore), both oils are in liquid state so all you have to do is store them in a pump bottle and dispense as required. After massaging the oil onto your skin, wipe your skin with a hot towel to thoroughly remove makeup. For those with like a balm texture can refrigerate the coconut oil. Or add a few drops of tea tree oil into the mix to help combat acne-causing bacteria.