As someone who loves sharing thoughts about the good (and bad) stuff out there, I often run up against people who’d agree wholeheartedly with my recommendations, or toss brickbats at me because they don’t agree with my views. I see it happening to everyone and really, I am not surprised. Some are just more polite and better behaved than others.
In fact, I’d suggest that people not blindly follow online product or skincare routine recommendations, just because a blogger or a social media influencer endorses or shares about it. There is more you should be thinking about than just how much it costs.
Here are just 5 reasons why skincare and makeup recommendations will not work for you, and why you really should be taking ALL product recommendations with a pinch of salt 🙂 Yes, even mine! I’m very realistic 🙂
Where possible, I try to mention in my posts that I live in the tropics. While it appears repetitive to regulars, it serves to help those who have stumbled on my blog for the first time who may not know where I live. I live in Malaysia near the Equator, where it is hot and humid for most of the year. For those who are going through a hot summer, now just imagine living in that heat, but all year round. Bliss or a nightmare, depending on your preferences LOL 😀 On the rare occasions that the temperature drops to a cool 25°C in the day, we pull on winter clothing! LOL! Ok, I kid. We need every excuse to air out our sweaters and coats 😛
But a high humidity (quite consistently 85-100% humidity level) means that my skin doesn’t dry out nor feel as dry as when I’m in a country where the humidity is low. In fact, as much as the high humidity can sometimes feel oppressive, I still welcome it. It is, I feel, the reason why women in South East Asia generally don’t show their age as much as their counterparts in other parts of the world. Yes, it is a blessing even if it may feel like a curse! 😀
Having travelled I have found that different products work for me in different climates. Sometimes, a product that works well for me in a cooler, drier climate feels too heavy here in the tropics. Applying many layers of product feels comfortable, and very welcome in a cooler, drier climate. For me here in the tropics, less is often more. This is the case too with makeup. Cushion foundations felt lovely in a drier climate, offering a nice glow to the skin. But here in the tropics, I feel that it can often look too “sweaty” if not set with some powder. This is also why I feel that the k-beauty trend for makeup and skincare is not inherently suitable for those of us living here in South-East Asia. We should develop our own skincare routine! 😀
As for skincare routines, having gone around the complicated routines route, I have pared down my skincare routine a little (which I’ll share another day), and my skin seems to like it better. It isn’t short, but it is much more manageable now.
Knowing where a blogger or reviewer lives is therefore important for me to allow me to judge and adjust my expectations of a product or routine accordingly.
Adjusting a recommended routine or product to where you live is, I feel, very important. Take the gist of the routine, and tailor it to your skin, where you live. You will derive better benefits that way.
This may not be something you think about, but the type of water where you live can affect your skin and hair. In most European countries, the water is hard water i.e. water that has high mineral content. I remember that hard water made my skin feel dry, and hair feel very stiff, and never very clean. Detergents do not lather up well in hard water, and limescale deposits build up very quickly in showers, kettles and sinks. I used to have to descale my electric kettles and wonder why my mother or grandmother never did it back home.
Soft water has fewer minerals, and washes away soap and dirt more easily with less build up. Having experienced both types of water, I used to wonder why my skin felt so much better here at home, than in Europe. The answer lies in the water.
The type of water can also affect how your cosmetics perform e.g. facial cleansers, shampoo or body washes. So that’s something to think about too, and how your skin may react to the water. You wouldn’t think something as innocuous as water could make a difference, but it does.
This is probably the most obvious reason why a skincare or makeup product recommendation fails. One thing I try to remember to mention in my posts is the type of skin I have – dry skin. I did not always have dry skin. I started out blogging with combination skin that was slightly acne-prone. It then normalized, before now tending to dry. I do care for it of course, so it never truly feels very dry (moisture sandwich FTW!), but I do feel it’s important to point out the type of skin I have, because different skin types react differently to different skincare and makeup, and even skincare routines.
You may notice that I don’t talk about brightening/whitening cosmetics products, or anything to do with pore control or acne. These products have a tendency to be drying. I do not use foaming facial cleansers or cleansing oils, because they are now drying to my skin. Perhaps you’d like to hear my logic on this 😉
For makeup, foundation is like skincare. It reacts differently on different skin. A foundation that is lovely and emollient on drier skin may feel too heavy on oily skin. One that is mattifying and makes oily skin look lovely and matte, may settle into lines and accentuate dry skin. A cream blush may look lovely on drier skin types but slide off oily skin. Yet sometimes, it may work. So much is dependant on your personal preferences and how your skin reacts to a product.
So this is why a product recommendation may not work for you. It may not be suitable for your skin type.
Never ever discount genetics. Some people are genetically predisposed to not have an acne problem, or even have acne. Some continue having acne even into adulthood. Some people are genetically predisposed to look young, or to age more gracefully. Some may find themselves greying early and have crows feet around their eyes from their 20’s. Some, like me, are genetically predisposed to having freckles and hyperpigmentation. Others are blessed with clear skin into their old age.
Your race can also affect how you look or age. All things being equal, those of Asian and African descent do often look younger than their years. It is about genetics. So, take that into account the next time you buy into a glowing review of a firming or lifting skincare product. Perhaps they don’t even have the problem in the first place!
I therefore take advice about anti-aging routines and product efficacy with a large pinch of salt, as should you. Genetics is also the reason I shy away from spot treatment products and procedures. You can’t help your genes. Products and skincare routines can only do so much. Genetics take care of the rest, for better or worse and the best thing you can do, is learn to live with your frailties.
Finally, age. At different ages and different points of our life, we face different skin challenges. Take myself for example. I’m in my 40’s, and I can’t take advice from a 20 or even 30-something about skincare. We are just not at the same stages of our life. When you’re in your 20’s and 30’s, your collagen-filled skin will bounce back from problems quite quickly. Have a late night? It won’t show as much. In fact you’d bounce off to work with just 2 hours of sleep, looking like you had a full 8 hours rest.
Wait till you hit your 40’s. A late night can hit you like a ton of bricks LOL! 😀 Dark circles start appearing around your eyes due to declining collagen and skin elasticity, and no amount of eye cream will help (don’t believe an eye cream will brighten your undereyes ok? All it does is hydrate). I sometimes even feel jet-lagged and need a few days to recover from one late or stressful night 😛
Similarly, a 20 or 30-something will feel that disconnect with me. I’m too old for them, and my skincare preferences and routines may be too. I may be too preachy and talk too much. We come from different generations.
Ditto with my makeup. I don’t do fancy eye makeup, and I do tend to favour a more simple, neutral eye. I can’t handle the inch-thick makeup routines and tutorials I see peddled on YouTube and Instagram. I want a nice look that looks like me – not like I fell face first into a vat of powder. I prefer eyeshadows with some shimmer, and a satin texture, that are transparent without being too bold. 10 years ago, I’d rock green and blue eyeshadow almost daily LOL! So, things I like or recommend, may not tie in with what a younger audience enjoys. Most will find me so boring – that old lady blathering on and looking exactly the same before and after wearing makeup LOL 😀
Age also puts us at a different stage of our lives. For example, I’m in my 40’s and have been working for over 20 years. I’ve paid my dues, done my time, and I like my bits of luxury, because I am now in a position to afford it. When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s, my beauty haunts were the pharmacies. When I wanted to splurge on a luxury beauty item, I waited till the department stores held their semi-annual sales, when I might be able to receive discounts, gifts with purchase or gift vouchers. I built my luxury collection by queuing up at warehouse sales! Oh the days of buying Dior lipsticks at 3 for RM100 are days I recall fondly 😀
So I don’t blame those who feel that disconnect because I no longer feature very affordable items. Heck, if I don’t allow myself that little luxury now, then when? 🙂
Consider therefore, the blogger or social media influencer’s age when determining if a product or routine might be a right fit for you. Also, consider their age and position in life, before complaining that they don’t feature cheap products. Often, we deserve our luxuries.
These are just some things I encourage you to think about when soliciting product recommendations or reading product reviews, or even when trying a suggested skincare routine. Do remember that we are all individuals, living in different parts of the world, at different stages of our life.
I think it’s wonderful that there is so much sharing going on these days, but I also have to warn about blindly hero-worshipping any individual, or blindly taking on someone’s product or routine recommendations wholesale. Sometimes it works, but very often, the 5 factors above can work dramatically against you too.
Have you been disappointed by a glowing product recommendation or skincare routine suggested by a blogger?
I’ve had my share of disappointments. In the early days, I was very easily influenced, and would just blindly buy into everything that received a glowing review. Often, I’d wonder why it didn’t work for me as well as I read it did. Then, I wised up and starting thinking a little more. These days, I know better! 🙂 How about you? Share your story about the duds you’ve experienced! 😀