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Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Attempt to review facial care beauty products!

Several weeks ago, just about when I was to leave for Guwahati, I received a gift hamper, from a leading beauty care products company. It contained 3 packets of sample products, often used by females for cleaning and beautifying their face. The idea was that I use the product and review the same. But beauty products are not my forte. I am comfortable reviewing books, cars, hotels or gadgets but had never reviewed face care beauty products. It would have been lot easier to refuse to review, but I thought why not give it a try. Thus I made an attempt to understand these face care health and beauty products and write about them- this post shares my struggle, findings and approach during the process. Lines have been enhanced for humor factor and there's no intention to disregard any brand/human being or anything alive or dead.

Once I decided to review the facial kit, I hit my first roadblock- on what parameters one should review a face wash and face pack? How to determine or explain if it is good or bad? To help you relate, consider below table on how a hotel room or a car can be assessed and reviewed. I didn't have any metrics to evaluate a face pack. But I cracked my head and managed to come up with some evaluation criteria for the beauty products- refer table below...
Factor
Car
Hotel
Facial Beauty Product
Standard Functions
1 Ability to go from one place to another
2 Freedom to move at any time without having to book, plan etc
3 Protection from rain, heat, comfort of AC, radio, safe storage for bags

1 Place to sleep, rest and fresh-up
2 Access to associated facilities like pool, gym etc
3 Keep bags and go out for work/site seeing
1 Cleans face from dust, pollutants accumulated during outdoor travel

2 Reduces risk of possible infections/skin problems

Wow features/ Enhanced offerings
Performance: Speed, acceleration, 4x4 etc

Comfort: Climate control, cruise control, seat adjustments, massage seats, sunroof etc

Luxury
Exterior: Styling,
View from room, Large pools, landscaping, spacious rooms, speciality dining, great location, star rating etc
1 Face/skin feeling refreshed/Rejuvenate  

2 Glowing/radiating skin?

3 Possible complements from others?

Cost aspect
1 Selling Price compared to competition
2 Offers
3 Additional spend needed (accessories etc)
4 Cost and trade-off for alternate option (such as renting a car, using public transport

5 Value for Money aspect
6 Cost of ownership
1 Selling Price compared to competitions
2 Offers/Discounts
3 Additional spend needed (taxi expense to reach far away resort, lunch/dinner expense etc)
4 Cost and trade-off for alternate option (such as hostels, couch surfing, camping etc

5 Value for money aspect
1 Unit Price
2 Offers
3 Cost of not using (in case you get some infection or risk of not looking fresh- if applicable)
Misc
1 Status symbol
2 Eco Friendliness (hybrid, BS4, less pollution etc
3 Technical Specs
1 Loyalty Points
2 Eco Friendliness/ Responsible luxury
Ingredients or Composition?
Not tested on live animals?
No artificial chemicals




The kit contained 3 samples. They looked same (exactly how someone not interested in cars can't distinguish between a premium hatch, compact sedan or a sedan) but upon closer look, I realized that one is face wash, another is face pack and third one is a scrub. I had to first understand the difference between the three- after checking with female family members, I learnt that face wash simply cleans the exterior dust and is used for quick wash, whereas face pack is a longer process- apply it on the face, wait for several minute for it to work and then wash- so that it can go deep into skin and remove all unwanted stuff.  That was fairly simple explanation, but too simple to write a review. I had to add value by understanding the products better.

Official definition for Face washBrand's XYZ Face Wash is a soap-free, herb based formulation that cleans impurities and helps clear pimples. A natural blend of Turmeric and Herbs bring together their anti-fungal and antibacterial properties to prevent the recurrence of acne over time.

Official definition of Face Pack is as below
Brand's ABC Pack brings together the goodness of Neem herb, Clay extract and Turmeric, which work together to regulate excess oil secretion from skin, prevent the recurrence of pimples and also clean clogged pores.

Then what is a Face scrub? Official definition goes as below: Face Scrub removes impurities and dead skin cells. It also cleanses excess oil from the skin's surface, which is the root cause of acne. The scrub is blended with the goodness of herbs, which clears blackheads and acne, and Apricot fruit, which helps hydrate the skin.

I read all the 3 definitions 5 times over, but still couldn’t figure out what is what. I couldn’t figure out which one should be used in what scenarios or in what sequence or at what frequency. I could interpret roughly as below

Face Scrub will not clean clogged pores or oil secretion. Face pack doesn't hydrate the skin, Face wash prevents pimples and acne but doesn't do the work of other two. For complete benefits, one should apply all 3!

Why can't we have just one that does all the functions? May be it is like how small cars, SUVs and mini vans serve different purposes. It will be foolish to expect one car to be everything- like be less than 4 meters to claim tax benefit, seat 7 people, have high ground clearance, 4x4 capabilities and still deliver 25 kmpl fuel efficiency and cost not more than 5 lakhs. We have to identify what kind of vehicle we need based on intended usage. It is the same for facial care products I am guessing. First decide what kind of protection/treatment you need for your face and then identify which one in the market is best suited for that purpose.

Anyway, going back to the earlier table, I had to ‘evaluate’ the samples sent to me but I wasn’t sure how. If it is a car, I can drive around and measure acceleration, fuel economy and get a feel of how it handles sharp turns etc. A hotel room can be evaluated based on star rating, space and features in the room, the location and other such aspects. But how to evaluate if a face wash is really capable of preventing pimples? I have not used any Face wash since years and didn’t have any pimples of late either. So to evaluate the Face wash, I needed someone who would have otherwise got pimples under normal conditions without using this face wash and then I should check if he/she now doesn’t get pimples after using Brand's Face wash for a period of time. Of course, I don’t have the time and resources to conduct this kind of experiments, so I have to either trust the brand for what they claim or find out other means to verify.
I referred to other fashion/beauty bloggers to see how they review beauty products. Chennai's Fashion blogger Bhushavali has reviewed lots of beauty products years ago- check her Fashion blog here!. IMBB seems to be another popular beauty product review site. Sindhu JP, Sindhu Gupta are other fashion and beauty bloggers from Chennai that I am aware of. From what I gathered, reviewers focus on following aspects:
1 Composition (what constitutes the facewash), 
2 Shelf life, 
3 Quantity and Price, 
4 Smell and feel it gives, 
5 How to use, 
6. Official description and claimed benefits.
7. Will I purchase? (yes/no)
8. Tested on Animals or Not!

With above points in mind, I tried to study the facial beauty products further. "Not tested on Animals" felt like a cool thing to write about. I tried to check if the brand's products are tested on live animals or not. I couldn't get a definitive answer. Then my thought ran as below:

How to test facial products on animals? For this, one will need animals with fair amount of facial skin. Most animals like mice, rabbit, even bigger ones like cows, tigers have near zero facial skin. Their face is largely filled with fur, with provision for eyes, mouth, nose etc. There is no space to apply facial on their face and test. The only animal on which you can possibly test is monkeys. Monkeys have fair amount of exposed facial skin, so it makes sense to test on them. But who will catch the monkeys and convince them to take part in this testing? It is not enough if you catch them. After applying face pack, they should be released back to forest. Otherwise test won't be effective. (if you keep them in AC lab and don't expose them to elements, how will they catch dust, pollution etc which are the target elements the facial is supposed to fight against) So catching a monkey, applying facial to it, releasing it back to forest and catching same monkey again after few weeks to test if it got pimples or not would be a super complex process. So I am safely assuming the facial care beauty products were NOT tested on animals.

After finding out that some facewash contains lemon, honey, neem and half dozen other herbs/edible items, my first thought was- should I only apply it on my face or can I make a milkshake and drink it?. Despite having all natural ingredients, apparently all facial products are for external use only. So sad no? Apple, Pappaya, Cucumber and so many fruits and vegetables go into manufacturing of facial products- now I know why fruits and vegetables are getting increasingly un-affordable...

Found that one should select right face-pack based on whether their skin is dry or oily. Another new for me. Had never cared what kind of skin mine is- checked my cheek to see if there's oil dripping- if so I thought I can run a mini petrol bunk and mint money! Unfortunately no oil was flowing out of my face, so I had to conclude mine is dry skin.

Some face-wash lotions claim to have super complicated formulas and systems (Active Cleansing System, Advance Multi Vitamin etc for example), it feels more complex than working of an aircraft engine. I have no way of verifying it, so decided to ignore them.

Surprisingly face-packs do not seem to come with measurement strips- Some other brand was offering a skin colour meter to check how much fairer you've become after using their product for just 2 weeks...

Found that there're some face packs for men also, suddenly remembering John Abraham's ad- after shooting, work-outs, riding bike etc he refreshes himself with some facepack.. I don't work as hard as him and I drink lots of coconut water, which I still think is better way of refreshing the body than applying the cream on our face and hope it re-hydrates skin, makes it glow and so on. I also recalled Sachin Tendulkar insisting men need dedicated mardo- walah facewash!

Armed with above details on what to hunt for or compare, I made an attempt to compare the face care products in my typical comparison style. There're just too many products in the market and my expertise is limited, so I had to stop with few examples I felt direct rivals...
#
Product Name
* Face Wash
* Face Pack
* Face Scrub
Honey Lemon
Face wash
Face wash Daily
1
Manufacturer
Brand X
Brand X
Brand X
P-Anjali
Bond's
2
Composition
Lemon and Haridra
Clay extract, Neem, Turmeric
Neem, Apricot, Turmeric
Pure Honey, Aloe Vera, Lemon peel, Neem and Tulsi
Water, Glycerin , Vitamin E
3
Shelf  life
NA
NA
NA
18 months
 NA
4
Quantity
50 ml
50 gm
50 gm
60 gm
50 gms
5
Price
Rs 60
Rs 70
Rs 70
Rs 45
Rs 75
6
Smell & Feel
No comments
No comments
No comments
No idea
No idea
7
Official description
Refer post
Refer post
Refer post
Refer Note 1
Refer Note 2
8
Claimed Benefits
Pimple prevention
Acne Prevention
Acne Prevention
???
???
Note 1: A soap free herbal formulation that gently cleanses dirt, oil and prevents pimples also. Neem and Tulsi kills germs , Lemon controls the excess sebum secretion while honey and Aloe Vera moisturise and rejuvenates the skin tissues, to make complexion fresh smooth and beautiful

Note 2: Bond’s Face wash Daily is a gentle cleaner which not only cleans your skin from within but also makes it feel alive. This face wash is gentle and suitable for frequent use as it does not strip your skin of its natural oils. It is enriched with Vitamin E and reaches the deepest pores of your skin to clean them from within. The Bond’s Face wash Daily also helps in reducing acne breakouts and makes your skin look rejuvenated. It's mild, fresh fragrance make the face washing ritual a pleasurable experience. Make this face wash an integral part of your daily routine and watch your skin love you.

Will I buy? No.
I hope you liked my attempt to review facial products. This post is for entertainment purpose only and doesn't intend to criticise or make fun of any brands or individuals. Please use your discretion and judgement before actual purchase and use. This blogger can not be held responsible for claimed benefits not materialising.

Your comments welcome...

15 comments :

magiceye said...

Hahaha... Thank you for the hilarious review!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thank you!

Deepika said...

This is the best review read till now... keep it up...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Deepika

DeeDee said...

Why does it lok like bbbbbbio........well abc...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

:)

Sharmila Rao said...

wow, the analysis, is so precise and complete it is as if you are answering a pharmacology major question. :)

docdivatraveller said...

This is like a 'tech' review of beauty products!
www.docdivatraveller.com

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Doc and Sharmila.. :)

Swati said...

Hilarious and makes for a great read. Thanks for sharing :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Swati...

Veidehi said...

Lol nice one :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Veidehi

Nisha said...

Thanks for making me laugh. Now you know why I don't accept a beauty products for review. :) And you too shouldn't.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I doubt if anyone dares to send me after this review