5 rules to improve your online skin care shopping

Buying beauty products online can be a little scary, especially if you’re trying to avoid the ordeal Abi went through in last week’s article. However, there are ways you can protect yourself from online vendors by following a few simple rules. 

I spoke with skincare blogger, Nancy (@redlipsgoldskinned), about her experience with shopping online and what she has learned about social-media beauty products. 

50 per cent of Nancy’s buys are of social-media-promoted products, however for her everyday makeup needs, like concealer and sunscreen, she likes to stick to products she knows. 

“I’m not very experimental and gravitate towards tried and tested cult favourites,” she says. 

Though she does most of her initial product recon on social media, Nancy stresses the importance of doing research before purchasing, especially for beginners on their makeup and skincare journeys. 

“If you are new to skincare or makeup…research, research and research because no one knows your skin as you do,” she says. “When starting out, pick well-reviewed products, get samples when possible and once you have the basics in place you can branch out and experiment.”

And just because social-media swears by it and the price seems to match what is promised, it doesn’t mean the results will be what you hoped for. 

“I don’t believe a hefty price tag equals results, especially with skincare,” she says. “While I’ve found some gems through promoted posts, I have also wasted a LOT of money and caused some irreparable damage to my skin.”


To help you avoid wasting money on products that are just well-marketed, Nancy came up with five rules to help you when purchasing products online: 

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 Wait it out

I have a 3-day rule. Never order anything before researching or order anything late at night, period!  For, makeup & skincare, I read countless reviews from bloggers with similar skin tone, skin type, living in similar climatic conditions, check for ingredients, adverse reactions etc.

Should fit my budget and be sustainable –  

Can I afford to continue buying this expensive serum if it works for me? If the answer is no, I look for more affordable alternatives. No makeup or skincare is more important than rent, grocery or financial security. 


One in, one out – Only 1 product per category –  

I try not to buy dupes of products in my collection already or buy products I won’t get enough use out of. I really do not need 4 different gold highlighters or multiple vitamin C serums. I try to buy a replacement only when I’m done with the product in that category (unless it expires, or I experience an adverse reaction) 

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Should solve a PROBLEM, not my FOMO

Since most brands market to their target audience through social media influencers these days, it’s common to be bombarded with posts about the same product (sponsored or not) and end up buying the next cool thing. While most of my makeup falls under the nice-to-have category, for skincare I only consider products that solve a concern I have – like hyperpigmentation or sebum control. For example, pore clearing or gold infused products do nada for me. 

No Limited Edition Products or New Launches

With makeup especially, brands create hype using the words ‘limited edition’, create hype, a sell-out and eventually bring it back. There’s always a dupe, or there will be one soon. Waiting for reviews before buying has saved me a lot of money.