It’s hard for me to believe that I started into my skincare obsession at least six years ago. On the one hand, I feel like a battle-hardened veteran who has been through the trenches (I can’t even count how many perfect products have been abruptly discontinued over the years!), but on the other, I feel like there’s still so much I can improve and learn!
In the earliest days of my dive into the world of Asian skincare, the r/AsianBeautyExchange subreddit saved me so much time, money, and frustration. There, I could purchase samples, decants, and partially used products for a fraction of the retail price, which was a godsend because my budget was very limited. This allowed me to try so many more things than I would have been able to try otherwise, and it led to a lot of great product discoveries over the years. I also was able to offload products that didn’t work for me to recoup some of the cost.
It was an amazingly kind and generous community, and I was even able to send care packages to people who were going through tough times, which was so nice.
The Asian Beauty Exchange subreddit allowed me to try so many more things than I would have been able to try otherwise, and it led to a lot of great product discoveries.
The subreddit is still alive and well as far as I can tell, but it’s not quite as active as it used to be. I also understand that some people aren’t keen on the idea of purchasing or swapping decants with people who are more or less total strangers!
If a skincare decant or product exchange group sounds appealing, why not consider starting one yourself? It could be local, restricted to an interested friend group, or open to anyone! If that sounds like fun, here are a few tips to get started.
1. Decide on Your Platform
How are you going to communicate with everyone in the group? Facebook is usually the easiest way to create and manage a group, but you can be creative! You can set up a free website, create your own subreddit, or make a dedicated Instagram account for the group.
Whatever you choose, just make sure that it’s easily accessible to everyone and also easy for you to update and maintain.
2. Make Sure You Have a Decent Inventory
It’s not exactly in good taste to start a decant or skincare exchange group if you don’t have very many things that you can trade for. I’m not saying that you should run out and buy a bunch of products that may or may not work for you, but I do think it’s a good idea to take stock of what you have before you decide to start up a skincare decant group.
If you feel like your stash is lacking, it might not be a bad idea to purchase a couple of popular products that have already been on your wishlist! That way, if they do work, you can share small decants with other people, and if they don’t, you don’t have to feel saddled with a crappy product.
3. Don’t Skimp on Decanting Supplies
When you’re sending decants of products, the recipient is trusting you to use clean, sterile containers that won’t leak or spill in transit. Fortunately, sample bottles and jars are inexpensive, and it’s easy to make sure that they’re sterile before you use them.
The easiest way to ensure that your supplies are clean is to rinse them with a bit of 70% isopropyl alcohol and let them air dry before filling them.
Make sure that you have tape to secure the lids and a way to label the samples so that the recipient knows what’s inside!
4. Hype It Up!
A decant exchange only works if you have other people who want to purchase or trade products, so it’s important to make sure that you spend time telling people about it and marketing it until it starts to grow on its own.
Make sure the group is easy to find on whatever platform you choose, and post about it periodically so that friends and family see it. (Don’t go crazy and start spamming your social media about it. Just be cool.)
You can even kick off the group with a giveaway to get people interested and following the initial launch. Everyone loves freebies, right?
What Do You Think?
Have you run a successful skincare or beauty decanting exchange group before? Are you interested in trying it out? Let me know what you think in the comments!