Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Domesticity Dispatch: In The Name of Research

Don't laugh, but I'm road-testing a skin whitening lotion right now. Yep, you heard it: skin "whitening."

I've said it before and I've said it again: the concept of skin whitening is TEH EVOL. Fine, deal with hyperpigmentation an uneven skintone if you must, but I don't like how these beauty products promise the "glow" of "rosy white skin" - as if slathering a cream for a certain amount of time is going to turn us from J.Lo-bronze to a perfect porcelain pale a la Ziyi Zhang, and as if that kind of pale would make us automatically beautiful in everyone's eyes. As someone who has lived among the toasty-skinned in Honolulu, I'm pretty darn proud of my tan, and there's no amount of product or colonial mentality that's going to change my mind about it.

That said, as someone of Malayo-Polynesian extraction with Chinese blood, I'm very much aware that hyperpigmentation is a dead-on giveaway of aging on most Asian complexions, and especially for those whose complexions are not as prone to wrinkling as the rest of the world. As I'm typing this, in fact, I actually have three spots on my face that would look like freckles to some people and birthmarks to others, but are quite obviously the signs of too much sun and not enough protection. Which is why I reached for that sample pack of Pond's White Beauty Detox Spot-Less White Cream, knowing that I'll probably get laughed at by my family when they find out.

And here's where the review portion of this entry begins: Folks, this Pond's cream may promise to "whiten" my age spots and even out my complexion in two weeks, but I ended up slathering this baby all over my face and already I have the dreaded "cement face" effect after one use. Seriously, people, I should email the ingredients of this product to the Beauty Brains, because I found titanium dioxide in the ingredients list - which I'm sure is causing the cream to wipe out what's left on my tan and leaving a dreadful ashy cast. "Rosy white," my foot - I look like I spent my summer vacation locked in a crypt with fluorescent lighting, that's what. In all fairness (heh), however, the texture of the cream works better as a primer, since it does have all sorts of silicones and leaves a layer that could work with foundation on top. Plus the ingredients also list niacinamide, tocopherol (Vitamin E) and other vitamin extracts, which sound good from a skin-care standpoint even if the "whitening" properties turn out to be a gimmick. I could see this working for someone who's most affected by hyperpigmentation - say, someone with yellower undertones plus major acne scars and freckles -but I'm just going to dab this on my "age" spots from now on and leave the rest of my skin alone.

One thing's for sure: I'm leaving this cream behind on my dresser, because I'm going island-hopping with my family for the rest of the week! YAY! Hopefully I'll be able to share more stories when I come back at the end of the weekend.


Anonymous said...

hey i wanted to buy that product but i wasnt sure if it would work. does it really make your skin whiter? cause i have sum dark spots on my face so plz just let me kno k?

meimei said...

hi Anonymous:

A little too late, but I've tried this a couple of times and I think it's OK - it didn't "whiten" my skin (thank goodness) but it did have a significant effect on my dark spots, and it worked well under my powder. I just wished this came with a higher SPF, but since it does have titanium dioxide, the sun protection factor is significant enough.

If you're too scared to commit to this, as I am, you may want to start with one of the sample-size sachets, which can last you up to two weeks - enough time for the product to work. I got my sample pack when they came with my copy of Preview, but you should be able to purchase the sachets at Robinson's or Watsons.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

thankz so much it did :)