My task was simple: Spend two weeks using men's facial products and check the results.
At first, I rubbished the notion because I thought my editors were poking fun at my horrible complexion.
Not that I was offended.
For years, my parents, and now my girlfriend, have said my skin has a desert-like arid quality - it "prefers" to be completely dry.
It just so happened that last month, I came across an "all natural" camouflage cream made by a Korean cosmetic company and meant for our national servicemen. "It is quite popular," a salesgirl at the Plaza Singapura shop told me.
According to my colleagues, it is no longer surprising for men to delve into the arcane world of cosmetics and skincare. Men are now willing to shell out hundreds of dollars on products that claim to keep our skin soft and supple, I am told.
So I took on the challenge. How hard could it be, right? While it sounded like an easy assignment, the steps were not.
Twice every day, I had to slather on a deep cleansing, oil-eliminating facial wash.
Next, I sprayed a liberal amount of shine-control toner followed by an anti-ageing serum around my eyes and another coating of facial moisturiser.
I also had to put on sunscreen before heading out for the day and an anti-blemish cream before sleeping at night.
This beauty regimen interrupted my morning and night routines for two weeks, robbing me daily of half an hour that could have been spent sleeping.
My editors noticed my grouchiness but laughed it off and insisted I continue the experiment.
Well, the joke was on them! Towards the later part of the experiment, I might have left out a few steps.
It started off with excuses I gave myself.
"I am 26. I don't think I am that old," I thought. Okay, no need for the anti-ageing serum.
"The sun isn't very bright today." No need for the sunscreen too.
In the end, the five-step process shrunk to two steps - only because the toner came in a spray bottle and took a second to apply.
Did this affect the results of the experiment?
I don't know but my girlfriend says my skin feels "super good" to the touch since I started using the products. My colleagues also say I look "fresher".
My take is that if you commit to the multi-step process, even in theory rather than in practice, it can only be a good thing.
This article was first published on July 12, 2015.
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