It is an open secret that the retail business scene is getting increasingly crowded. In fact, the brick and mortar stores are not doing so well…all thanks to the rise of online shopping portals.

While shopping online seems to be the cooler and cheaper option for many nowadays, there are things you need to look out for before making that purchase. As a savvy customer, you must be diligent and do your checks first.


#1: Check The Delivery Terms And Conditions

Prices may appear cheaper on first sight. But this is before the freight charges. If you are buying from an overseas online portal, you also need to factor in the shopping cost and other taxes (if applicable). These may add up to quite a bit.

What is worst is if the item never arrives.

The background checks I will do include:

• What is the length of delivery? (i.e. when can I expect to receive my item?)

• Do they ship overseas? If yes, is there free delivery? If not, how much do I have to pay?

• Is there a tracking number for my item?


#2: Check The Return Policy

In fact, I learnt this the hard way. I once bought an item online that was listed as size M. But when I received it, it was size XL. That’s a huge difference. And the product quality was less than acceptable.

Questions you should ask yourselves include:

• Do they entertain returns? Who pays for the return? 

• Is the return process cumbersome?




#3: Check The Reputation Of The Online Store

Online stores pop up so frequently. And almost all require you to key in your credit card details before making the purchase. 

Giving away your credit card details is like handing your house keys to a stranger. You never know what you are going to get yourself into.

Always check the reputation of the online store. Areas of concern would include:

• Is it trustworthy? 

• Is it a secure site? Check if the URL starts with https which means all communication between your brower and the site is encrypted.

• Does the website look like a cheap rip-off?

• Are there any other red flags? Worse, is it a bogus store selling fake goods?


Despite all the complaints I’ve heard from clients, students and friends, I am still a great fan of online shopping as there are really good genuine deals. All you have to do is to do your homework first. 



I used to have bad skin in my younger days. It was so bad that the acne spots were big and red. And because I thought pressing the acne would help them heal faster, I would happily squeeze them. But I was dead wrong. The constant squeezing of the pimples led to many post-acne marks.

When I realized what I had been doing was so wrong, it was too late. I swear I kicked myself hard enough for that lesson to be learnt the painful way.

Moving forward, it was only when I started understanding more about my own skin and how to care for it that things became better.

I can’t claim I have perfect skin now. But at least I know it has improved significantly to the extent that I receive compliments from my workshop participants. And I am happy to share what really works having tested so many different products.

In this blog, I am going to share the 3 tips you should adopt to get great healthy skin. I personally swear by them. They have been my guiding principles over the years.


#1: Know Your Skin Type

This is a big one which many people neglect. Don’t feel obliged to buy just because the salesperson is pushy or super nice. Also, don’t blindly use what others buy for you. They may not suit you.

Different skin conditions require different solutions.

You really need to determine your skin type and how it behaves throughout the day.

Does your T-zone tend to be oiler than the rest of your face? What do your pimples normally appear? Or do your skin feels tight when you try smiling?

All these are tell-tale signs that a different skin type requires a different skincare routine.

Using the wrong skincare will not only not solve your problem, it may even make it worse. Imagine if you use cream-based products for your oily skin problem, it is just like a nightmare waiting to unfold anytime.


#2: Read Skincare Labels

Sorry people, but I don’t go for brands. Just because Brand X is a huge brand does not necessarily mean the skincare product suits my skin.

Instead, I follow a more tried-and-tested method of reading skincare labels. Just like how we read food labels to know what we are putting into our stomachs, so too must we read skincare labels to understand what we are slapping onto our face.

Before buying any skincare, turn the product to the reverse side and look at the skincare ingredients. 

The ingredients will always be listed in descending order of weight. Because many products are water-based, aqua or water will almost always be listed first.

Next, check for the active ingredients. Active ingredients are like the star ingredients of the skincare product. They need not always be listed towards the top of the list.

For example, if you are looking at a brightening product, then you need to check if Vitamin C is present. If it is present, then check the percentage. For Vitamin C to be effective, it has to be between 10% – 15%.

Lastly, check if the skincare product contains any possible irritant(s) to your skin. Based on your skin type, you wouldn’t want to aggravate it further. Assuming you have dry skin, you would never choose a product that contains alcohol as that ingredient itself will dry out your skin further. And if you have clogged pores currently, then you must choose non-comedogenic products as the ingredients have been specially formulated to avoid clogging your pores.



#3: Be Diligent

Great healthy skin does not happen overnight. 

You cannot be eating fried foods all the time and hope all the acne disappear.

Similarly, you cannot start using your skincare products for a few days and hope they will miraculously solve all your skin problems.

It does not happen this way.

The human skin is a living organ and the skin cycle takes about 6 weeks to renew itself. Therefore, you need to be diligent and adopt good habits such as having a skincare routine that sticks with you over time.

A proper skincare routine that is easy to follow would be the basic 3-step skincare comprising cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Do this twice a day.

Remember, you only have one face and you use it daily to face others in all human interactions. When you start taking care of your skin (which I regard as your best asset) and treating it well, your skin too will reward you by taking years off your face.



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