this is true, the best way is to get a bunch of samples (either by contacting the companies directly or going to sephora/nordstroms/etc. and talking to the reps and acting totally clueless about mens skin care. they'll shower you with some samples (or you can just ask- since its a considerable jump in price from drugstore stuff... though if you calculate it out per oz. its not that much more or sometimes even cheaper). cetaphil is a good drugstore brand. lots of dermatologists recommend it- their face wash is pretty gentle too.