Thursday, January 14, 2010

Revisit: iQQU Advance Sunscreen + some things I would like to note.

NOTE: This is a very long and wordy post, so sorry if you're not into that. I do include some useful information though, if you are interested in iQQU and/or are considering buying the sunscreen!

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.

My "new" tube -- definitely NOT fuller!

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.


  1. From what I read you are most definitely right about them releasing the product early. It sound's like they weren't really prepared. They also should've checked about the sticker's before sending them off as well.

    I know when I get certain product's most of them say do not use if it has already been open. If I got mine like that I wouldn't use it, if I did in the back of my mind I would be thinking "is this really safe to use?" everytime and if I have to question myself about the safety of the product then that mean's something's wrong with the product.

    I hope when the product is fixed they give you a new bottle too!.

  2. Very insightful post! With the amount of fans that she have I can imagine how hectic it must be for her to keep up with everything. Running a skin care line certainly isn't a one-person's job if she can't manage everything.

    Hope this gets resolved soon :-/

  3. trust me, i get what you're saying. i really like michele as a guru and love her tutorials too. when she came out with her own makeup line, i was really excited BUT decided NOT to buy anything b/c it doesnt seem very trust worthy yet. idk if you know lauren luke from youtube but she did came out with her own makeup line too but her's more appealing b/c it was also sold at sephora while iqqu is always shipping. i heard a lot of good things about the rice scrubs too but still did not buy it b/c i just dont seem to trust this brand just yet. know what i mean? if i were you i would feel cheated about the sunscreen but im guessing something went wrong and michelle is trying to fix this problem that everyone seems to be having. i really hope this problem gets solved and im glad you post about this

  4. I love michelle phan, i think she's so pretty and talented! I can only dream of becoming like her (yikes i sound like a creepy fan!). XD

  5. I've heard of iQQU but have never tired any of their products. & the name Michelle Phan doesn't ring a bell, but oh my to the situation she's in. It sounds like she may have just jumped the gun with her makeup line. Too bad for her, but I'm glad that you're addressing the sitution and made such a great post of everything. People need to know about what's going on and if there's a problem, customers should be aware of them. So a big thumbs up to this post! :D

  6. Great review! So detailed and very informative. Thank You for this because I was contemplating whether to order the sunscreen or not. But the Acne serum is not really working for me. I mean the acne scars has lightened but prior to use, I had some acne scars that lightened by themselves. *Sigh* So expensive for a not sure product.

    I love her too. She is very talented and I love all her videos but I hope IQQU will improve soon.

  7. very informative review! I can imagine how busy michelle has been! answering all those questions herself! I think this is her first big business venture so she'll learn from it.. trail and error is inevitable

    anyways, when your iqqu runs out, try shiseido sun protection cream PA++, it's my fav!

  8. Yup yup, IQQU needs to step it up. :( I'mma have to write up my thoughts on the sunscreen now that I've gotten to use it for a bit. ;)

  9. So there is no customer service team and Michelle answers all the emails? WHAT?! That is beyond an unsound business decision. I'm sorry to hear about the sunscreen. The company sounds like it is still fairly new so I hope they are able to work out the kinks soon.

  10. thanks for the heads up! that is strange that michelle would be the only one handling orders and customer questions, and i agree in order for a product to be successful all the bases should have been covered from the beginning!

  11. Ahhh... she should address all the issues with the product, not give a general excuse!

  12. That's crazy if it's seriously only her answering everyone's questions. No way things will make it like that. They need more people to give attention to customers. Plus when you have to ask multiple times. Bleh.

    I agree with testing things out a lot more before releasing the product. Does it really need to be a mousse texture if you know it's gonna shrink/settle in the tube?
    They should change the packaging to avoid controversy. It's the same like a gallon sized bottle but sell then only 2 fl oz of something and of course the packaging is going to be a problem.
    I'd be upset. I hate not being treated like a queen when it comes to customer service and I don't like feeling ripped off. Haha!

  13. i think how you feel about the sunscreen and IQQU in general is understandable... the way michelle priced her products is definitely on the premium end = we, as customers, would expect nothing else but premium customer service
    that being said though, i can see it from michelle's point of view as well. running your own business is not an easy task... hiring a customer service team = expensive, and from michelle's pov, i dont think is viable as her skin care line is just starting out.
    i dont have a problem with the products coming from thailand though... and it actually makes sense, a lot of the ingredients in her skin care line is sourced from asia, sooo would only make sense to place production somewhere there

    i for one would wait before purchasing from her line though... still lots of kinks to iron out... if i were put in your situation, i wouldnt have been as nice about it


  14. Hi! I'm a new follower. :D

    Awww, she must be under a lot of pressure because her e-mails don't even make any sense! o_O mL measures volume so, like if you put in 30mL and it settles and takes up half as much space you really only have 15mL of product... that is the definition of mL, right? The weight is the same but the mL has *actually* decreased.

  15. michelle phan is a pretty girl and I love her videos and all, but she doesn't look like the type of girl I would get along with LOL.. I think she should've took more time to release her products rather than get them out too quick.. Did you hear about her brushes she's coming out with?!?! I hope the ferrule doesn't just fall off LOL :X

  16. IQQU is just way too new. Michelle is trying to aime for a product-line like lancome, estee lauder, etc. But think again, we all trust lancome, etc. because when we buy something from them, we never have these kind of texture-change problems, etc. I recommend not buying iqqu right now (because then we are the guinepigs) but maybe when everything is confirmed to be save and problem free


If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to drop me a line and I'll get back to you asap :)