Les Petits Contes

About life's little observations, which matter. About hilarious situations, which illuminate. About stories which offer immense possibilities, open endings, different interpretations and perspectives.

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Location: Singapore

A nature lover; sun-worshipper, manic book-collector, dessert-devourer and a magnet for hazards

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If it's Good Enough for Mum


Recently my annual skin protest surfaced. Once or twice every year, without fail, my face cries out for some tender loving care. I would have a mild case of seborrhoeic dermatitis – little itches and peel around the nose – and I would trudge to the skin clinic on Grange Road. And I would grin sheepishly at my dermatologist and say, ‘’It’s that time of the year again…’’

This time, my regular dermatologist was fully booked for days – she must have been too busy doing cosmetic peels for her women clients - so I asked to see ‘’any doctor at the clinic’’, as all I needed was the corticosteroid cream and the face moisturiser.

The dermatologist assured me it was nothing serious, went over the possible ‘’causes’’ (which I could memorise by now) and even printed two pages of reading materials from the internet for me.

Then he asked what cleanser I had been using. ‘’Some commercial brands over the counter,’’ I mentioned. He suggested using ‘’mild brands’’ like Eucerin, Cetaphil or Hospigel. ‘’So, which one would you like?’’ he asked. I was as indifferent as him. ‘’Since you prefer lathering, then don’t take Cetaphil. Why not try Hospigel, it’s the mildest; even babies can use it. And continue with your regular Squalene – it’s a very good moisturiser’’

I agreed readily and asked, ‘’Yes, I like your Squalene, it’s very soothing. What is it made of, shark cartilage?’’

‘’These days everything is all processed in the lab. Like any other moisturiser in the market it’s made of yeast and bacteria,’’ he replied without batting an eyelid. While I gulped.

So, I left the clinic with a $10 bottle of face wash (Hospigel) and an $18 jar of yeast and bacteria – I mean, Squalene moisturiser.

I checked the internet. Yes, cleansers and moisturizers are made of polysaccharides (bacteria), glycogen (starch stored in liver) and urea.

To think women (me included) had been paying hundreds of dollars for a jar of ‘’hope’’. Maybe the thought of paying for Guerlain or Chanel will brighten your eyes and skin (and hence give you a ‘’natural healthy glow’’). And the thought of incorporating gemstones (La Mer), carviar (La Prairie), or some expensive rose essence (Jurlique) in your skin care will give you the aura of ‘’taste and expensiveness’’ and hence enhance the health and look of your skin.

But a cleanser is meant to do what it’s supposed to do – clean. And clean ‘’safely’’. So for now, I am content with my no frills, clinical looking Hospigel that I could even get at Guardian. And I am happy with my soothing bacteria and yeast – it is not infused with aroma therapeutic essential oil, but it really soothes my face, and is gentle on my pocket too.

Inspired by the simplicity of it all, I went to Guardian to look for a make up remover - another time tested, good old trusted over the counter brand. The packaging is humble but dignified, and our mother’s generation grew up with it. Hey, that generation produced lots of beauties too!

And so I got my jar of $8 Pond’s cold cream, and said to myself, ‘’if it was good enough for my mum, it’s good enough for me’’.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

may i know how much is it for the hospigel cleanser you bought at guardian?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

SGD 13.90

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:21:00 AM  

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