Our Product Review Methodology
How we rate and evaluate cosmetic products.
Policy was last updated on February 3, 2022.
As an AWG collaborative brand, we adhere to the most stringent and rigorous product evaluation procedures, to ensure both fair and reliable reports.
While our writers do express their anecdotal experiences with the products, we do not believe these are accurate or informative enough on a large scale to be the nucleus of our reviews. Everyone’s skin is different, therefore to produce the best and most reliable product reviews, we take an evidence-based approach.
All input we offer is based purely on an analysis perspective, looking for supporting evidence from authoritative sources.
Our writers and content producers are professionals in their fields. They have years of training and real-world experience under their belts and can be trusted to provide you with the fairest and most accurate articles and product reviews possible. They strive to keep their own personal preferences and biases out of their work, and will never give a recommendation for a product based on their own subjective experiences.
Below is a detailed explanation of our 4-step methodology for reviewing a product:
Step 1. Ingredient Analysis
Analysing the ingredients and chemicals that are used to create skincare products is perhaps one of, if not the most important aspects of reviewing a commercial product. If customers don’t take an active interest in this area, they may find themselves using products that contain certain ingredients that their bodies may find problematic. We aim to provide a comprehensive database of informational content that revolves around skincare ingredients and what they do.
We look into both the active and non-active ingredients inside a product. Firstly, we ensure that the product does not contain any harmful substances. Though we also understand that the definition of a “harmful product” may depend on an individual’s reaction to it, and may not be universal.
When it comes to the active ingredients, we are looking for clinically proven and research-backed ingredients, in the correct quantity and potency, that are fit for the purpose the product is being marketed for.
Finally, we are not medical professionals, and we will never recommend medical-grade products or products containing ingredients designed to treat various health issues or skin conditions. We are approaching the skin care industry from a commercial perspective. You should speak to your doctor if you have any specific medical concerns.
Step 2. Claim Analysis
A big part of our reviews is to ensure that the product is not purposely misleading or tricking consumers into thinking it’s capable of doing things it cannot. Unfortunately, like many commercial industries, brands can get carried away with exaggerated marketing in an attempt to sell as many products as possible. We will thoroughly make sure to only recommend products that are accurately marketed.
Logically, after thorough ingredient analysis, our next step is to take the evidence we found for ingredient functionality, and directly compare that to the statements being made by the brand marketing the product we’re reviewing to ensure everything adds up.
We always ensure to fully break down our findings within each review.
Step 3. Value Analysis
We will never recommend or give our full approval on something that we feel is not good value for money.
The skincare industry has a very wide range of product prices, from budget products to those on the more luxurious end. We don’t believe in price snobbery; a product that is priced incredibly cheaply doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile item. Similarly, just because a certain product may be expensive, it doesn’t mean it’s a scam or overpriced.
When looking at product price points, some higher prices are justified due to the quality and potency of ingredients used, however sometimes the price can be unjustifiable in our opinion.
Our reviewers carefully evaluate and assess this delicate topic on a product-by-product basis.
Step 4. Customer Feedback Analysis
Finally, we take a look at what customers who have used the product we’re reviewing are saying on a broad scale. There’s no better source of information than wide sample data from real people who have actually used the product on a continual basis.
By conducting a thorough sentiment analysis, our reviewers aim to ensure that a product is widely accepted and well-received by consumers.
If a product has had a relatively poor reception, this could be cause for concern and will be noted within our review.
However at the end of the day, everything is subjective and just because the majority opinion seems to lean in one direction, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have the opposite view.
All we aim to provide is as much information as possible that will then give you the confidence to make your own purchasing decisions.
Step 5. A Personal Touch
We personally use every product we review.
Our writers detail their own experiences with the individual products, and give their own subjective opinions based on what worked and didn’t work for them. Our approach is honest and transparent, and you can rest assured knowing that we have taken the time to incorporate every product into our routine in order to get as well-rounded a view as possible.
Why Trust Us?
Good question. Our reviews are the most trustworthy and reliable because of the analysis-based approach we take during the production process.
As stated earlier, our published reviews are not simply anecdotal write-ups from an editor, they’re written by experts, and all statements are backed with real evidence and sources. Our content producers are highly trained and experienced and truly care about providing the most informative pieces for you to make more educated purchasing decisions.
In fact, to avoid any conflict of interest, we do not allow manufacturers to send us any products for review at all. Every product we decide to review is our choice and our choice only.
Overall, our mission is simple! We’re here to help you, and our content producers are passionate about doing exactly that.