Tag Archives: counterfeit

What are you really buying when you shop for skin care online?


Clients often tell me about great online skincare sites. They love that they can shop at their convenience: when they run out of stock they can hop online from the comfort of their bed, iPhone or iPad and just place a quick order and in a few days it arrives at their doorstep.

Yes, this is fantastic, convenient and a no-brainer, but do you know what you are really buying? Have you ever considered that this may be dangerous? Would you buy perishable food or vitamins online? No, I hear you say. Why not? Possibly because by the time they arrive at your doorstep, they may be off: unless, of course, you are home to receive them when they are delivered.

But then there are many questions: When they leave the air-conditioned warehouse, how long have they been sitting in the delivery van? Is the van air-conditioned? How long have they been sitting on your doorstep before you get to them? Well the same goes for ordering skincare online: you need to know how many days it will take to be delivered to you.

Most products have a short shelf life. They ‘go off’ like food and they can harm your skin. The efficacy of the product will be compromised. I see skincare as an investment, why would you put this stuff on your skin? It’s so not worth it.

I had a client recently come to see me, complaining that a product she had recently purchased was not up to scratch. It wasn’t performing as well as the one I had sold her last time and she complained that it has a strange smell. On further investigation, I soon realised that her product had been purchased from an online discount site.


She could not see that there was any problem with this at all, as when the product arrived, it was identical to the one she had purchased from me. She was convinced it was exactly the same, the box looked the same, the tube looked the same, it seemed to smell the same. What she didn’t realise was that because it was so cheap, it would have had to have been counterfeit, fallen off the back of a dodgy truck, discontinued, expired or stolen stock, which had been sitting in warehouse for months in the freezing cold or steaming heat. The large professional skincare companies would never sell to – or have any official relationship – with these discount websites. When you buy a product that is so cheap, there is a reason. Don’t get sucked in by the free freight or the buyer incentives.

Most of the reputable skincare companies invest millions of dollars buying back their products and test them only to find “some of their original product plus bonus fillers, water, animal urine, broken glass and even sand” at no extra charge.

Any reputable legitimate online store and authorised stockist will usually have a salon service and an address for returns, as well as a 24-hour question line. Do not be afraid to ring the product company directly to find out if they supply the website you are shopping with.

So I implore you to think very carefully before ordering your ‘must haves’ online; your best option is to collect them from a salon. This way you will know what you are getting: you can see where the products have come from and you will always receive exceptional service with a smile.