The truth about whether expensive skincare products are better is that it really depends. Some top-of-the-line skin care products can have a high price tag with a low-quality formulation and lots of chemicals. Comparatively, some low-cost skin care products can be really user-friendly with beautiful natural ingredients, but some can also be very cheap and nasty. The amount of money you spend really has nothing to do with how good the product will be – it all comes down to what’s in the mix.
If you compare skincare products from both ends of the price scale that have the same ingredients how do you know which one is better? It’s often all about the amount of the active ingredient. Most products should tell you the percentage of an active ingredient. 2% will be much higher than 0.5% for example. When you look at an ingredient list on a label, it’s useful to note that the higher up on the list of ingredients something is, the more of it is in the formula. So if a product is boasting to contain a certain ingredient, if it’s the last thing on the list then it may only have tiny amounts!
Marketing & perception
Marketing is a very expensive exercise, as is packaging. The cost of advertising and fancy packaging all has to be absorbed into the cost of the product itself. If you are drawn to the prettier & fancier bottles and fabulously designed labels, just remember that you’re paying for that in the price tag. Skin care is big business, and some companies make outlandish claims and charge hundreds or thousands of dollars for a tiny pot of cream that claims to be ‘the best’. Sometimes, however, an extremely expensive prestigious cream can be almost exactly the same as one that costs a fraction of the price – it’s all about perception, as many people believe the more it costs the better it should be.
Regulation of cosmetics
Industry regulation of cosmetics is a tricky business. In Australia, suppliers of cosmetics are legally required to adhere to strict labelling regulations, which is enforced under the Australian Consumer Law. All ingredients in skin care are considered ‘industrial chemicals’ whether they are natural or not, and should be approved by NICNAS(1). 20% of products that underwent a recent review did not live up to the requirements of the labelling standards. 30% of calls to the Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission (ACCC) were made because of injuries or adverse reactions to cosmetics(2). This included both high-end and low-end products. So it really goes to show that all skincare products are scrutinised, and you can get the same problems no matter what the price tag.
What does this essentially mean?
My advice would be to always read the ingredients and do your own research. Compare products, check the percentage of active ingredients if they are listed, and look things up on databases and review sights online for products or specific ingredients. Spending more on your skin doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get better results – remember, it’s all in the mix.
- Health AGDo. Chemical Information – Cosmetics; 2015 [cited 2015 Sept 21]; Available from: http://www.nicnas.gov.au/chemical-information/cosmetics.
- Rickard D. Cosmetic compliance and safety and the Australian Consumer Law. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission; 2014 [cited 2015 Sept 21]; Available from: https://www.accc.gov.au/speech/cosmetic-compliance-and-safety-and-the-australian-consumer-law.
Haley is a passionate Naturopath & nutrition expert, writer, and mum of 2 young children, with years of experience in the industry. She is a known as a real ‘nutrition nerd’ and follows the latest natural health research. As a Paleo and raw food enthusiast, she coaches people in healthy living, beauty and positive mindset. Haley has personally experienced the benefits of the SkinB5 natural acne treatment system and is happy to offer her guidance to help others regain clear skin. Follow her blog at www.aliveinwonderland.com & link with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/aliveinwonderlandhealth