Sunday, May 1, 2016

Grease be gone: Why blotting papers are the ultimate summer saviours

Keeping in line with the summer theme, here's another product type that is essential for those who live in hot, humid climates. The Blotting Paper. A nifty little pack that I absolutely cannot live without, be it summer or otherwise, but especially during summer.

The concept of a blotting paper is simple--it's made out of absorbent fibres, not paper literally although Clean & Clear make one that is papery/plasticy and absolutely terrible, but I digress. So, good blotting papers are thin soft papers, almost linen-like, that you gently press on the skin and voila! The grease is gone and you're left with fresh-looking matte skin. And I'm not exaggerating; the gratification you get when you see the grease (and sweat) on the paper cannot be underestimated.

It is important to note that the skin needs both moisture and oil. So, depriving the skin of these two essentials in the hope that you won't get oily during the day is a big mistake! Instead, give the skin what it needs so that it doesn't overcompensate for lack of oil--the skin will always produce oil because that is how it functions--it needs oil to protect itself from dryness, environment, etc. But you can use blotting papers to keep the excess oil at bay. 

Most papers contain oil-absorbing agents or are made out of materials such as flax seed, yam or hemp. The Palladio Rice Paper ones contain rice powder, while the Glo Minerals blotting papers are made from abaca tree leaves. The Boscia Clear Complexion ones are dusted with willow bark and bamboo extract. Sadly, the ones available in India don't quite do the job. So, the three blotting papers that I like come from Korea and Japan.

1) DHC Oil Blotting Paper
These were the first ones that I tried and I love them. The pink packaging is cute but can fray over time. The oil blotting paper itself is slightly smaller in size compared to the Innisfree one mentioned below but you get 100 sheets in one pack.

2) Skinfood Natural Fresh Oil Blotting Paper
The Skinfood oil blotting paper made from natural hemp is cheaper than the DHC one and comes in a more practical packaging. There is a rubber-like flip open packet, which keeps the papers secure. Also, you get 100 sheets in one pack so overall, these are my new favourites considering performance, price and packaging.

3) Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Oil Blotting Paper
These get the job done but come in not-so-great packaging. The oil blotting paper itself has one side textured, which gives a good grip on the face, while the other side is polished smooth, which unfortunately slides on greasy skin. Also, you get only 50 sheets in one pack. So, yeah, will not repurchase these.

The best part about blotting papers are that they are inexpensive (anywhere between 3-5 USD or 180-300 INR) and last a long time. One pack usually contains about 100 papers and depending on your usage, it can last anywhere between one to three months.