Best Cosmetics

Reporter: Adene Cassidy

The average Australian woman spends 24 minutes a day in front of a mirror, making themselves beautiful. And spends almost $70 a month on creams, tonics and lotions ... Nationally that's an eye-opening six billion dollars a year.

"People are really conscious of how much they're spending and how much they're investing." Said Eleanor

Little wonder beauty companies will promote their use of ingredients like gold and bee venom to lure customers ... But what really works, and just what are we paying for?

"often the cheaper ones are funded by giant billion dollar corporations and they invest a lot of technology into their products they're just as effective." Said Eleanor Pendleton

Instyle magazine went in search of the best products .. Testing the top selling beauty products .. Comparing the supermarket cheapies with more expensive, high end beauty creams and cleansers.

"we went through an extensive process of trialling products writing about products getting feedback from the artists who use them every day on photo shoots and in their daily life to basically figure out what's the best." Said Beauty editor Eleanor Penleton

The results may change your daily beauty regimen.

"I tested the cetaphil cleanser which is great it kind of lightly removes my make-up it doesn't have a strong fragrance which I like and it makes my skin feel really soft and smooth and it's cheap ... and it's cheap. very affordable." Said Consumer

"the difference between these two is this is $53 and this is $15 they're both soap free and fragrance free so they're both the same and do exactly the same thing they clean your skin and remove impurities." Said Eleanor

Eleanor says their survey revealed that for every expensive product, even a face cream worth $250. There is a cheaper alternative. The first thing you should look for is the main ingredient that is the first one listed.

"When a brand launches a product it will have a key ingredient and I just am always wary to check how much of that ingredient is in the product and if it's effective and I think for consumers it's important to be wary of that and conscious of that because (butt) it may be effective or it just might not." Said Eleanor

This olay day cream, for just $35, was voted as a best beauty buy for results and value.

"If I'm comparing an expensive brand and a cheap brand I will turn them over and check what the active ingredients are often you will find they are really similar." Said Consumer

Natasha cook, dermatologist from Macquarie st dermatology says there's no such thing as a miracle cream to wipe away the wrinkles ... However there are certain ingredients consumers should look for.

"Certainly one of your gold standard is the alpha and beta hydroxy acids now these are fruit acids which produce new fresh skin cells and they also address complete cell exfoliation. The other stella ingredients to look for is vitamin a particularly the ones you can get from your doctor but there are over the counter varieties." Said Natasha Cook

Natasha advises sticking to simple and inexpensive products, avoid the trappings of packaging, celebrity endorsements and anti ageing promises. Her top choices for cleansers and moisturizers are all supermarket buys.