This has been on my mind for some time, but after reading Mai's post about her half-full iQQU Advance Sunscreen, I just wanted to get this out there.
For those who are not familiar with the iQQU brand, it is a skincare line created by Michelle Phan (aka Ricebunny). I adored her from the start and find her extremely talented, classy, and all-around awesome... and I was elated when she came out with her product line.
When I first ordered iQQU Advance sunscreen, it was the least expensive item at $33 (it is now priced at $25... + shipping = $33). Added shipping made it over $40 and if I do recall, it took VERY long to get here. Apparently the company is based in Thailand, which kind of made me wary.... hmm.
The sunscreen was GREAT -- you can read my review here -- I loved it but did not use it on an everyday basis. So after some time when I decided I wanted to use it again, I found out that it had turned liquidy! Maybe it's just the Hawaii weather. Anyways, it seemed to perform the same way when applied despite the watery-ness.
So I emailed iQQU to ask about why the texture change. I had also been reading reviews and lots of other people mentioned that their tubes were only half-full and/or occured other texture changes like becoming "grainy", and she sent them another tube. Now even though a little goes a long way, it is still a very small tube so I can see why people would be disappointed and feel "cheated" because even though the amount of product itself is 30ml, the tube is much bigger than that.
Her response to the worried customers was: "We're fixing this issue. Because the sunscreen is a mousse like texture, we realized we should have overfilled the tubes. It's exactly 30mL, weight I mean, but it doesnt fill it all the way because the texture is not so dense. We've already fixed it on the new sunscreens." Here are some of her other responses below...
What? If you read her first response, didn't she just say it was not so dense?
What??? "it's only 30ml" ... "you really got 40ml, not 30" So what is it???
Okay then, I guess it is 40ml. But the sunscreen tubes are certainly NOT fuller!!!
And here is an example of why quality control is so important.
Michelle assured me she will send me a new tube, but never did answer my question about the texture change, which was really bothering me -- is it still okay to use? I sure hope so because I did still use it. She says she is the only one answering customer emails and is probably always busy, but I think customer service is an integral part of a business -- and being able to answer important consumer questions is a MUST.
I waited months for an answer about my question and my new sunscreen, but nothing. I got an email from her a month or so ago, just about my Black Friday order, and if it had gone through. It had (the rice scrub) but I asked her what about the new sunscreen she'd promised? So she assured me again she'd send it, and I did receive it shortly after.
The thing with this new sunscreen (and Mai's too -- maybe everyone's now?) is that the texture is NOT soft, light, and mousse-like how my first tube was. It is more solid and dense, and comes out in a ball of product that you have to mush around until it becomes soft again so you can apply it. My new tube seemed heavier, but now I realize it is just because the product is more dense. It is still only half-full. So far, it has not turned liquidy, and I don't want to complain more because it was free, but this is definitely NOT something I am satisfied with. The "new" tubes are still not completely full of product AND the texture is not the same -- infact, it seems a little greasier IMHO.
I completely understand that she is most likely under a lot of pressure with this business, but I don't think it would kill iQQU to enforce some quality control and make sure that the product they are sending out is exactly what they are advertising. Shouldn't trustworthy companies make sure a product has the correct amount BEFORE mailing it off to the masses and then saying they'll correct the problem, but obviously haven't? Shouldn't they test how the product reacts to different temperatures? Shouldn't they make sure that every single batch is the same texture and consistency that they are claiming is so revolutionary?
Now I cannot speak for any other iQQU products besides the rice scrub and the sunscreen, but I feel like the sunscreen was just put out there too early. I think it could have used much more testing and improvement before introducing it -- for starters, put it in a smaller tube, so we actually feel like we're getting the full amount for the money!
Also, I'm not trying to discount Michelle or anything, as again, I feel she is very wonderful & talented, but in the case of putting out her line; maybe she (or whoever was pushing for it) was a little too eager. It would have helped to have a full customer service team set up beforehand, so she wouldn't be the only one swamped with orders and questions, and there could also be better communication between her and her iQQU team in regards to the products and packaging BEFORE introducing it to the public and later discovering inconsistencies that end up disappointing her trusting customers. So unfortunately, I would not reccomend this product anymore, until I hear news that it has been improved. And I'm sure many of us would like that!
Lastly, I hope iQQU does not forget that we are counting on them to truthfully respresent what is written on their "About Us" page:
- IQQU was created and inspired by everyday people who were never happy with their skin care products.
- The name IQQU means inspiration.
- The letter I represents IQQU as a person. The dot as a head, and the long shaft as the body.
- In ancient times, the letter Q use to represent a thread going through the eye of a needle, it symbolized sewing. This represents unity.
- The letter U represents you!
- So it means IQQU uniting with YOU to create the best skin care to fit your need.
- IQQU products were researched, developed and formulated by a team of well qualified material scientists and doctors.