Recently, beauty review site TotalBeauty blogged about the worst face moisturizers Unfortunately, they based their list strictly on member ratings & comments. They don’t even consider ingredients, objective performance, and price/value.
Here are 6 reasons why ratings based on personal product reviews are practically worthless.
6 Reasons to Remain Skeptical of Reviews
1. Is it Real?
The Internet is an excellent information source. However, anyone can write anything. How do you know that review you read was written by a real person who really tried the product? It easily could have been written by a corporate shill or a competitor. You have no way to know. Beauty product sales on the Internet generate big money. Some marketers will do anything (like writing fake reviews) to get you to buy.
Don’t trust any single source on the Internet
2. Easily Fooled
Even if people writing reviews are sincere, they can be easily fooled. Science has shown that when people pay higher prices for products, they tend to rate them higher (even when they are exactly the same product). Factors like price, packaging, color, etc. all have an effect on your subconscious mind. You may believe a product worked better than your usual product, even if it didn’t.
People are easily fooled
3. Polarized Opinions
Mostly when you use a product, it will work fine. Not awful, not great. It will be average and rarely will it inspire you to write a passionate review. When someone has a great or terrible product experience they will be more inclined to write. So, you get extreme reviews that do not represent most people’s experiences.
4. People are different
Everyone is different and while a product works great for one person, it might be lousy for you. Product effectiveness depends on things like skin type, hair type, personal preference, external environment. What one person says about a product probably will not apply to you.
5. Scores are relative
In the TotalBeauty face moisturizer list, they score products on a 10 point scale. Unfortunately, averaging numbers like this is not useful for subjective data. One person’s 5 may not be the same as another person’s 5. Unless the scale is calibrated (as cosmetic research testing facilities do) the rating numbers can not be reliably averaged.
6. Fallacy of cause and effect
One reviewer said this about Reclaim Day Cream. “I have broken out with pimples. I want my money back.” Now, she may have had a reaction to the product or not. Just because she used it then noticed pimples the next day does not mean the product caused the problem. How would she know that she would not have gotten pimples whether she used the product or not? We frequently attribute effects to products when it is not true.
Beauty Brains Bottom Line
While product reviews can be interesting to read, they should not be solely relied on when making purchasing decisions. Looking at ingredients, reviewing claims, seeking unbiased sources (like the Beauty Brains) and remaining skeptical are much better ways to make product purchasing decisions.
What do you think? Do you believe beauty product reviews? Leave a comment a let the rest of the Beauty Brains community know.