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Skincare is a huge industry. There’s such a wide range of products targeted at every price point, ingredient, or skin type. But how do they compare? Are more expensive skincare products higher quality than lower cost options?

quality at every price

You can shop for skincare products at both high-end department stores and your neighborhood drugstore. But does an expensive price tag mean the product works better, or is of higher quality? The answer is no, not necessarily.

Inexpensive or more affordable drugstore brands aren’t inherently less effective simply because they cost less. You can’t always judge how efficacious a product is based just on price.  There can be lots of products that you go back to again and again even after trying other, more expensive ones.

check ingredients

When it comes to skincare, the most important factor is what’s in it. What are the ingredients? If you take a look at the fine print, the ingredient list will tell you exactly what’s in that product. Many of the more affordable brands use the same or similar ingredients, but don’t have additional features that we’ll describe further below.

product development

So then, what differentiates the $200 item from the $12 one? Well, there are many aspects that will lead to a bump in price. For example, fragrances or scents. Some brands may invest a lot of resources in getting the fragrance of the product just right. Others might prioritize having a specific texture. Many brands have developed their own proprietary ingredients that are exclusive to their products or even patented. All of this takes time and effort that is priced into the retail sales price. 

Many brands will also do clinical studies involving human subjects, to be able to provide evidence of how effective their products are. A small start-up brand may not have the resources to undertake something like this yet. 

marketing & packaging

And of course, marketing and packaging are the number one biggest budget item for many expensive skincare products. Skincare is a visual space, and how products are packaged can be very important. There’s constant innovation, and sleek high-end packaging can impact whether someone buys it or not. Marketing is equally, if not even more, important. Glossy magazine ads, celebrity endorsements, and slick marketing campaigns all add up. 

Now, while it’s certainly nice to have an amazing scent, that isn’t necessary for the product to work. But if you have a sensitive nose, scent might be very important to you. The higher price tag may be worth it to you, but not at all for the next person. Because skincare is usually a daily regimen, you have to go with something you like using day in, day out. How to decide? Read the ingredient list, do your research, and ultimately what matters is whether it works for you.

Sources: Byrdie.comTotalBeauty.com


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