I was clearing up my drawers recently and stumbled on a cache of sample sachets of products that I had picked up or were given to me. 2 years ago I told you I keep a boxful of samples for various reasons and it looks like old habits die hard 😛 Interestingly, they were products which I was quite interested in at one point and wanted to test out before investing.
However, I realized that while some items are easily tested e.g. cleansers, I find some other products e.g. serums or moisturizers in sachets, insufficient for purposes of testing. From my experience, I’ve actually had a good experience with a sample sachet of product that lasts me say 3 applications but once I buy the full size product, I run into problems 2 weeks later because that’s the time it takes for my skin to adjust.
Also, I don’t know how true this is, but I read somewhere a while back, that sometimes, sample sachets contain products that might be good, but it might not be the same formulation as the full size product. As in, the product in the sample sachet might be of better quality than what you get in the full size product. Bothered me for a long while although it is probably just an urban myth that all companies will debunk. Or perhaps that only applied to washing powder 😛
However, I suppose getting samples is better than getting no samples at all. It gives you the chance to try the product for texture and scent if nothing else. If you have very sensitive skin, then it is a boon because any problems will show up almost immediately. Better than wasting money on a full sized product.
Speaking for myself, samples have been useful for finding out if shampoo works for my hair and whether a foundation works for me; and I like fragrance samples because I can figure out almost immediately if a scent works for me. I find samples useful for travel as I have said before. But then I have skin like an elephant (sometimes) so I can handle pretty much anything on the go 😉
Otherwise, for purposes of testing moisturizers and serums and treatment products like masks, unless I get a lot of sachets, I find sample sachets quite insufficient for my purposes. Your take on this? Are sachet samples of products useful to you or not?
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Like you, I don’t think a small sachet is usually sufficient for my skin to know if it would like the product. Thankfully, the girls at Mecca Cosmetica here usually piles on multiple sachets of the same products to let me really test it. Case in point: Nude cleansing oil. It was really a very good oil and when my shu ran out and I didn’t have the time to dash to the city to get one, I got a bottle from Mecca-2minutes walk away.
So, girls at Mecca must’ve really read my mind 🙂
Nude cleansing oil! Sounds like good stuff! I like it when the SA understands that we might need 2 or more sachets to fully appreciate the product. Then again I also understand that sometimes their hands are tied when it comes to samples.
you are so right abt the sachets! i honestly DO think they put superior products in the sachets and crappier ones in the actual bottle. i got the sachet of the Kiehl’s acai berry serum (like the 1 in your photo!) and the SA told me it would last for 7 days. what was he thinking, that i’d only use it on my nose? but nayway, it lasted ard 5 days…and my skin looked great. so i bought the whole bottle and Bam! pimples, dry patches, redness, the works.
Oh there’s no way any sachet can last 7 days! The most I’ve stretched out a sample for moisturizer to is 3 days used sparingly. So sorry to hear the serum didn’t work for you. I haven’t gotten round to using mine 😛
i do hope it works for u, but then again, you already have such nice skin
Thanks 🙂 But then as I have said, I have skin like an elephant so i’m less sensitive compared to most people.
The only samples I had were the ones a family friend gave my family when she worked at FANCL. hehhehhehe. The cleansing oil works great!
Haven’t tried their cleansing oil but I think they were the ones who had the facial washing powder that I found most intriguing
I’m the kind who needs to skincare products first without purchasing it first (as much as I can anyway). More often than not, I’d get quite a generous amount of samples here, which is awesome, compared to the “sorry ah we don’t have any samples” response I get in Malaysia.
A few weeks ago, I had a facial at Endota Spa, and they used Dermalogica products on me. When I was about to leave, the beautician gave me 6 sachets (or was it 8?) of the moisturiser to try, that it lasted me almost a month. And I’m definitely buying it once the sachets run out.
I collected a lot of perfume samples too, the ones which come in 1.5ml vials. Great for traveling, as I can bring along 2-3 different types of perfume with me without having to lug the glass bottles around.
Yep! I love perfume vials for this very reason and that was very generous of the SA to give you so many samples of the moisturizer to try! I’d appreciate something that can last me at least 2 weeks if not more but there’s this “fear” that we won’t buy if they give us that many samples. Pity really. I got quite a few sample sachets of the new Estee Lauder ANR and I know I’m definitely getting that soon!
Yes I like sample sachets ! It is so convenient to carry out when travelling and I insist to try the product before I buy as I have a sensitive skin ^^
Kiehl’s is so kind for giving those sachets generously ~ But the most bad thing is , I think I’m allergy to their products…I tried some different ranges already…it still doesn’t works for me and everytime it comes with a lot of red patches >_<
Well at least you didn’t spend too much money to find out since they are really generous with samples 🙂 I’ve learnt that skincare is like that. Just because everyone loves it doesn’t mean our skin does. I do like to try a product sample before buying – my gripe is that there is too little in the sachet to ever allow me to reach an informed opinion.
yes i got that too! loads of red patches n some pimples thansk to kiehls. sob. Dior works great for me tho.
Yes, I agree that treatment products are really not enough in one sachet. However, in terms of skin allergy, I will be able to detect within the use of the sample, so I still think that of moisturizers, eye cream, cleanser etc, are useful no matter how small. =)
Oh yes a sample in a sachet would be sufficient to see if your skin will react to it especially for those with sensitive skins. Perhaps I’m lucky that I don’t have very sensitive skin so I am usually checking for product efficiency 🙂
I agree with you that most samples are insufficient but I still appreciate the fact that I get to try out products on my skin to see if it works for me. But with that said, samples are quite difficult to come by here in Malaysia. :/ Does it mean that product samples are redundant? Haha!
Actually they aren’t hard to come by but we have to ask for them. Usually a polite enquiry will yield a sachet sample from most counters. At least from my experience over the years
Some months ago, I obtained a sample tube (5ml) of one of Origins’ serums and that lasted me 3 weeks which was sufficient enough time for me to see if the product works for my skin.
More recently, I scored a couple of sample sachets (2ml) from Origins again – moisturizer, serum and eye gel). The moisturizer and serum lasted about 6 days and the eye gel …well, I’m still using it. I find that a one week’s supply isn’t sufficient time for my skin to “decide” if it likes the product. Moreover, I really dislike samples that come in sachets because once opened, it really hard to store properly. I have to take the extra effort to squeeze the product out into little screw top jars. For that reason, I find it a hassle to bring samples on travels unless they’re in packaging that is storage friendly e.g. tubes or in little sealable jars.
Gosh you must use very little to stretch the samples that far 🙂 I was previously told that each sachet sample is only meant to be used once or max twice. I think its to do with oxidisation, contamination and sufficiency of product 🙂 I don’t usually use sachet samples at home but I take them when I travel because I can use and throw
i love sample sachets for traveling purposes! can use then dispose and make rooms for other stuff. heheh. true that sample serums or moisturizers are just not sufficient to justify the results on our skin
Ya use and throw – best things ever for travelling 😀
While I agree that sometimes, the samples may not be sufficient….there’s also samples (in sachets) which need to be stored, for eg: a 5ml eye cream sample in a sachet may last you a while. In that case, we need at least some small container to store it so as not to expose the remaining product which may reduce its efficacy. And sometimes, the problem is to look for a small container, etc.
But overall, I agree that giving out samples is a good sales strategy. I have personally gone on to buy full-sized products after trying out samples.
Perhaps that might be why certain skincare items dont’ come in sachets – the exposure to the air and the opened sachet packet can cause contamination. I too have gone on to buy full sized items after testing out samples – these brands that are generous with samples are sneaky! 😛
I do find samples to be useful and like most girls, I really appreciate it when the SA gives me a couple of samples to try after a purchase is made.
I do not think that the samples quality are different from the actual size ones. So far, I’ve never really encountered such problems. Thing is, the formula in the actual size might change after using it. (Eg; a face moisturiser stored in a screw off jar….unhygienic and as a result of constant exposure to the air, products might get oxidised thus resulting to a change in colour or texture).
For travelling, samples and small jars of skincare is definitely more convenient. In fact, I only use my samples during travelling, otherwise most of the time….feel a bit sayang =P
You do have a point about how samples might feel different because they are “fresher” since a sachet could last only a few uses vs a tub or bottle which might have oxidization issues. Looks like many of us agree about using samples for travels 😉
I’m with Sugar on the idea that the formulation in samples are better. I have my Clinique 3 step and I swear it was lots better in the samples than when I bought my full-sized ones. I’m still on the Clinique 3 step though, but I guess it’s either my skin’s just gotten used to it and maybe that’s why the effect isn’t as wow.
Still though, samples are awesome for travelling and to be honest, it’s kinda nice seeing all my collection of samples ; ) Don’t really know how to explain that feeling.
Importantly, your skin mustn’t be breaking out from using the skincare. I’ve found that sometimes when we start a skincare and it improves our skin, its much more noticable but once its “repaired” then the wow factor is reduced coz we are in “maintenance” mode. Collecting samples is fine but make sure you use them before they expire! 😉
I’m definitely with you on this! I think samples for base makeup, cleansers and scrubs are really useful because with the given amount, you’d be able to tell if the product works for you or not. Serums I’m not too bothered really but for the sake of testing if I’m allergic to it? But to see if it actually produces any results would be unlikely. Because I’m a student on a budget I don’t actually use samples to determine my purchase. Most of the time, I can’t justify buying the full-sized product but I do pass on the good word (sometimes even review). That’s not too bad right? :p
At least I don’t buy one product and expect crap loads of samples?
Haha or buy one cheap product and ask for a boatful of samples of others? 😉 Samples thus far are great for getting me to like things I might never have tried before. I’m sorta regretting getting some very expensive samples. I know I’d never be able to afford to buy the product in the future!
I’m a bit like you… I collect samples, but in the end, I don’t end up using them!! Like geekchic, when I was in Melbourne, the Mecca Cosmetica girls that I got to know there would load me up with tonnes of samples (even when I didn’t buy anything… they knew how much I bought anyway), but most of the time, I didn’t end up using them for years and the packets ended up drying out!
My favourite sample to get nowadays is the Kiehl’s Utlimate Strength Hand Salve because it comes in a tube (any sample in a tube is much better); the assistants at Kiehl’s know this already and automatically pop one in my bag every time I buy something :p. As for the sachets, they’re too fiddly and troublesome for me… if I REALLY wanted to try out a product, I’d ask for a few samples.
Oh did you have to ask for the sample in a tube? I actually found myself liking their Creme de Corps body lotion because the sample kept my skin flake free in winter time in HK. But yes sachets are way too fiddly unless I’m stopping over in a place for at least 2 days.
well, everytime i buy something at kiehl’s and they ask me what samples i want, i always ask for something in a tube or a bottle 😉 but yeah, the ultimate strength hand salve comes in a small tube that’s GREAT for traveling (and if you get enough of them, it equals a full bottle… hehe)
i do like creme de corps, but sometimes i find it too much for Malaysia… i stick to their normal body lotions… but i do have the large pump creme de corps in handy to refill travel bottles… and it’s lasted me for years… :p
I must try that too. I only tried a sample of the Creme de Corps but it was while overseas. You are right. It might not work as well here or I’d likely be sticking to the floor or to the chairs LOL