We won’t beat about the bush on this one: last week, we were pretty shocked to be asked by a natural skincare company whether negative feedback was ‘filtered’ out before we publish reviews submitted to us by our team of testers.
Taken aback, we said no – that our reviewers are encouraged to provide both positive and (constructive) negative feedback on all products that we submit to them for testing – just like we do our Beauty Bible testers in our Awards. We only edit lightly for reasons of space, and without altering the overall sense of the report.
The company, who had initially been interested in submitting a product for an upcoming themed ‘tried and tested’ feature article which we have been planning for a while, withdrew their interest and declined to submit a product.
Actually, on reflection – it was the withdrawal that perhaps shocked us more than the question.
What we do – and why we do it
We are in the skincare game, and we are hugely supportive of ‘free from’ skincare – and well labelled skincare – as we know how much it can help those who need or want to avoid certain ingredients, for any number of specific and personal reasons.
But that doesn’t mean we are here to do that blindly. We are here to be fair, not to be nice, per se. We are here to give fair assessments on skincare products which we review (we ask our testers to test for around a month), so that readers can get a good idea of their qualities, any shortcomings, and whether they may like to try them out, assuming they are suitable for them.
We are also here to give honest feedback to the manufacturers, where we can, in order to help them, and perhaps improve their products or their labelling, as they see fit. They are as free to ‘take or leave’ our thoughts as we are free to give our honest feelings about them. We try to be constructive.
It’s hugely disappointing to be asked whether we deceive our readers by not giving them a complete assessment of what we think of a product.
We can’t help asking ourselves why this might have happened. Do some other skincare sites and bloggers give good reviews as favours, and ‘spoil’ some cosmetic companies? Do a few natural skincare manufacturers believe that they are deserving of preferential treatment, in some way?
Writers, reviewers and natural cosmetic companies – do let us have your thoughts. Are we missing the obvious?