When you want to buy a book or CD, you read the latest reviews. Buying skin care products should be no different; you should do some research before you buy to avoid making expensive mistakes…..

Most of us just go to the nearest pharmacy, Clicks branch or mall to see what skin care products are on offer and buy on impulse or on advice from the shop assistants. Most outlets don’t let you try the various products and anyway, they often have so many products that this would not be an option. But skin care products are very expensive and you don’t always know if you are buying the right product for your skin type. One way to get more information is to look at different beauty product reviews. Making a well informed decision is better for your wallet as well as your skin.

Go online for personal beauty product reviews

A great place to look for beauty product reviews is online forums and review sites. These forums and most review sites are written or commented on by people just like you: women who bought something and want to let others know about their experiences. Almost all these women have nothing to gain and have no affiliation with the product or the company that manufactured the product.

Trust your family for an honest opinion

If you’re looking for an honest opinion on a shade of eyeshaow or foundation, ask your family, friends or even co-workers. If you see someone with great skin, or a wonderful lipstick colour you can ask what they use and if they are satisfied by the products they use. This way you see the result for yourself. There is one other plus to asking your family: they often have the same skin type and allergies as you, and this means their advice can prevent allergic reactions if they have experienced this with certain products.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Consider buying from distributors who will often offer samples, home demos and delivery

Cosmetic companies like Avon, Avroy Shlain, Valeur and Justine offer a service where you can attend beauty workshops in the comfort of a friend’s home, try the products, exchange views and advice and order after discussing your skin type with a trained distributor. Often the condition of the distributor’s skin will be her own testimony to the effectiveness of the product. (My 72 year-old mom-in-law is a walking advertisement for her home distributer cosmetic line – all her clients think she’s 20 years younger than her real age.)

Remember, doing some reasearch before you spend money on expensive or unsuitable skin care products will save you from making costly and unflattering mistakes.