A fresh look at whitening - chanel

THERE is something about this Asian-specific, immensely popular whitening trend that makes me uneasy.

Maybe it’s the far-fetched promise of having flawless, porcelain-like skin (something I attribute mostly to genetics and to some extent, the combination of skincare, exercise, diet, stress control and general outlook of life).

Maybe it’s the fact that last year about this time, I tried a range and after three weeks, I found myself hypersensitive to the sun. My skin turned red and warm. I had to change my astringent toner to an alcohol-free one to soothe my face.

Maybe, as someone proud of her individuality, I don’t want to conform to the popular belief attached that being pretty means being fair. That notion of beauty is about as deep as a puddle.
I’d like to keep my skin healthy, happy, calm, well-hydrated and stress-free, thank you very much.

That is not to say that whitening skincare fails to deliver. Far from it. Just a few days back I squirted the last of my Estee Lauder Cyber White sunblock which I used until the end of its days because even with SPF50++, the texture remains light on my skin.

And yet I couldn’t see myself chucking my trusted bottles and replacing them with a whitening solution. My trusted skincare has served me well. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

But the barrage of whitening products that are launching this and next month tempt me to give whitening skincare another chance. So for three weeks, I used some of the newly released whitening products.

They are Chanel Precision White Essentiel lightening cleansing foam and ultimate whitening essence, Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 whitening beauty lotion, high potency whitening spot eraser, whitening hydrating emulsion, radiance reviving petal, whitening night essence and anti-dark circles eye treatment.

And like a scientist armed with lab essentials, I began my experiment to see if these products could lighten my sun spots, (self-inflicted) pimple scars and the general condition of my skin.

The Chanel Precision White Essentiel cleansing foam was more milky than foamy, something which I'm thankful for because that means my skin will not suffer that tightness often associated with foaming cleansers. This one is gentle and effective.

Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 whitening beauty lotion moist (read: toner) is kind on the skin with no tingling sensation. There is also a very moist option for those with dry skin.

Both the Chanel Precision White Essentiel ultimate whitening essence and Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 high potency whitening spot eraser somehow tingled on my face. They did not make my skin itchy but I did feel a momentary sensation, which, thankfully, stopped after numerous applications.

I loved the sweet and calming scent of the Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3 range, which made skincare a pleasure instead of a routine. All the products absorbed easily into the skin. No grease, no oiliness. Just moisturised, bouncy skin.

The hydrating emulsion even locks in moisture to help the spot eraser work better. And the radiance reviving petal is like a gentle scrub to slough away dead skin cells.

The Chanel Precision White Essentiel products are great, too. The whitening essence has a gel-like texture that melts on the skin, and the foam cleansed my face just right.

On the third day, I noticed that the spots hadn’t lightened. But I wasn’t expecting miracles because of my own folly in squeezing the pimples. My whitening regiment continued. I was determined to see if they worked.

By the end of the third week, I understood why this segment has such a huge following in this region. My self-inflicted pimple scars look like they are fading off my face. The results are not immediate. You are not going to wake up one morning and suddenly have great-looking skin, but yes, I did notice a difference.

This time around, my face didn’t get sensitive under the sun. None of the products dried my skin, which was a real bonus because whitening products, due to their brightening agent, may sap the skin off its moisture.

There were no breakouts, no unpleasant reaction. Perhaps I may have rejected this trend a little too soon. My only complaint is that the range is too extensive. The Lancome Blanc Expert NeuroWhite X3, for instance, has 10 products from cleanser to masque. That means forking out a lot of money.

The sales people will tell you a range gives optimum results when used in totality. Sure, because the ingredients will work synergistically. But if you can afford only one product, try the whitening essence or spot eraser. Maybe you can build your whitening skincare from there.

As for me, my scars have faded so that I hardly need to use any concealer when I put on my makeup. One thinly-layered pressed powder brushed onto the face is all I need to have my skin looking flawless.

That's the best thing of all because if there is one cardinal rule in make-up it is this: Only well-moisturised skin will yield fantastic looking make-up.

My final validation (not that I needed any, but compliments are always nice, yes?) came from a close guy friend, who, on normal days, would never notice my makeup or even care to ask if I’m wearing any.

One day, when we met up for lunch, he told me that I looked, “more beautiful than usual”. And yet all I had on my face was powder, mascara and clear gloss, all of which took less than three minutes to apply.

And that, to me, is precious.


Dara said...

People should read this.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin