PETALING JAYA: Nothing boosts a woman’s confidence more than a little make-up to enhance her best facial features.
And they are spoiled for choice with all manner of products flooding the market.
While international brands are decidedly more popular, many women are now opting for local make-up names as prices are much lower by comparison.
Many however say they are careful when considering locally-produced cosmetics, as all too often these contain chemical substances beyond permissible levels.
In March and May this year, the health ministry ordered 15 local products to be taken off the shelves after these were found to contain scheduled poisons harmful to health.
Writer Adila Ali, 34, said she decided to give home-grown products a try this year despite using reputable French brands for a long time.
“I decided to try this locally-made compact powder after going through its social media reviews. And I find it suitable for my skin too,” she said.
She added local brands were significantly cheaper than French brands, saying she paid only RM100 for the powder compared with RM300 for the imported one.
“For the local powder, stocks are always available. Once, I had to wait two weeks for the French powder to arrive,” she said, adding that the long wait was troublesome as it necessitated her returning to the outlet just for that one purchase.
When asked if she was ever worried local products may contain high levels of mercury, Adila said as a smart consumer she was cautious about every product she used on her skin and read the product’s labels carefully.
“Some international brands have mercury too. It is just that users take it for granted. They think it is safe since the brand has been around,” she said, adding it was time consumers started taking nothing for granted.
Network engineer Dian Sulaiman, 27, is also a local product user and is happy with her choice as local products do not leave her skin dry.
She said she felt safe using local brands as long as she knew what they contained.
“For example, I’ll check if they contain Paraben,” she said, referring to a preservative agent used in make-up products that is said to be cancer-causing.
She said she would also stop using any product if it caused pimples to erupt on her face.
“I don’t know if I’m allergic to anything. But pimples are a sign that my skin hates the product,” Dian added.
Beauty consultant Eva Khoo had a different point of view however.
She said she had encountered too many customers who used local brands which made their skin thinner and caused rashes.
“I only have one face and I’m not willing to risk it. It is not about the price; it is about the quality.”
Another reason Khoo will not touch local products was her sensitive skin.
“There are many side effects after using a product because we do not know the ingredients.
“For me, I stick to the brand that I have been using for the past four years because it works well on my skin,” she said.
Khoo tells women to be cautious when buying make-up and beauty products for their skin.
“You can find a beauty consultant to advise on what is appropriate to use for your skin type.”
A university student, who wished to be known as Azira, has sworn off local products after a make-up cream she used four years ago caused an outbreak of pimples.
“My friend was using the cream. So I tried it out of curiosity without knowing what it contained.
“Pimples started popping out within two months. I stopped using the product immediately.”
Azira went on to try several other local products but the results were just as frustrating.
“I had some scars caused by the pimples which I tried to get rid off, but was unsuccessful.”
She decided to stop using make-up altogether and her skin improved after three years.
Azira said she now focuses on just keeping her skin moisturised.