One of the greatest disparities in the beauty world is undoubtedly the vastly differing price range of skin care brands. So many items we can pick up in local pharmacies and drugstores, not to mention online, for little more than pocket change. For example, the classic Nivea Creme can be bought for just over €2. Yet on the other end brands like Sisley, Amore Pacific and La Mer range in the €100s. Our skin is delicate and very important, but how do you know if it’s worth it that price tag is worth it or not?
#1 Check Percentage of Beneficial Ingredients on Packaging
Many skincare products share very similar ingredients if they’re targeted at the same issue. E.g. many anti ageing products will contain retinol, whether it’s luxury or drugstore bought. Yet the percentage can vary wildly, so check the order of the ingredients as they move from high to low content. If it’s at the beginning of the list there is a relatively high amount of it!
#2 What Effective Percentage Should It Be?
Always do your research to discern how much of the active ingredient needs to be present in order for it to work and do its job. E.g. benzoyl peroxide is an active ingredient in acne related products, whereas vitamin C is an antioxidant ingredient to brighten the skin. Vitamin C works best if there is 15-20% of it in the product, so if it’s under this amount you may not see a difference.
#3 Do the Active Ingredients Meet Your Skin’s Main Needs?
Even if it has been hailed as the next cult product that every beauty editor is praising, there is no point getting it if it isn’t suited to your skin in the present time. Even if it does reduce the appearance of wrinkles, if you’re in your early twenties and suffer more from breakouts than fine lines, leave it for now.
#4 Does It Contain Silicones for a Smooth Application?
One of the most common differences between a lot of high end skincare items and their cheaper alternatives is the use of silicones. Many pricier items use silicone for a smoother application, so it feels like it is made with different components when actually it’s the same but nicer to apply. That doesn’t effect your skin though, just the enjoyment factor of using it.
#5 Has the Brand Done Clinical Tests?
There is far less regulation on over-the-counter skincare than the prescription variety, so brands can get away with having little evidence or proof that their claims are based on scientific fact. Check to see if they have conducted any research to prove their claims, as otherwise you’re just accepting their marketing and advertising for face value. Remember ‘helps improve’ means very little with no other additional information.
#6 How Much Alcohol is in the Product?
If alcohol or its derivatives are one of the first six ingredients listed on packaging, then there is a problem regardless of the price. No matter what skin type you have, the skin will be left weakened and unable to renew itself. There are different types of course, some of which are beneficial fatty alcohols that work well in small amounts. Steer clear of SD alcohol, denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol!
#7 How Do Ingredients Work on a Cellular Life?
If you’re using expensive skincare that promises to help get rid of fine lines or any markings, you must consider if this product can actually achieve this? It needs to work on a cellular level, meaning it must have time to sink in. If it’s a product that you apply and quickly wash off, it’s not the right one for you.
#8 How Many Active Ingredients are Present?
If the item is very expensive and you’re looking to maintain your skin rather than cure any skin ailments specifically, then you should opt for skincare that has multi-active ingredients when it comes to moisturisation and skin elasticity. The more active ingredients with a high percentage, the more you’re getting from that splurge.
#9 Is It Multipurpose?
The more multipurpose a skincare product, the better, as the skin is exposed to fewer preservatives. This means the skin won’t be stripped of its natural barrier, and there will be far less likely allergic reactions. Try to avoid MI, which is a preservative found in worryingly high levels in many toiletries and beauty items!
#10 Does the Expensive Skincare Reviews Focus on Packaging?
A large component of beauty and skincare is based not only on the quality of the product but the marketing, advertising or packaging. Audiences are drawn to beautiful, luxe packaging and advertising with celebrities, which in turn drives the price up. Stripped back, the product may still be the same as a cheaper version. It’s all about that ingredient list, people!
#11 Save Your Money for High End SPF
Many dermatologists advise skimping on expensive face wash and moisturiser and splurging instead on SPF, which does vary in how soluble and effective they are, as well as skincare for targeted problems like brown spots or scarring. These often need more specific, intense of ingredients in higher doses.
#12 Trial the Splurge and the Dupe
If still in doubt, apply the expensive face cream/product to one side of the face and a cheaper alternative on the other for one month. If you see no difference, ditch the big price tag. Oftentimes we fool ourselves into seeing a difference. This will curb that tendency!