With so many brands and price ranges available on the market, a lot of questions arise. Are expensive skincare products worth it? Can’t I just buy the “dupes” that everyone states that work just the same? Why would I pay much more for something they’re telling me can be so much cheaper? Is SkinCeuticals worth the money? Why are some brands so expensive?
Let’s sit and talk about the price of products, then. And, cutting immediately to the point of TL;DR: some products are really worth it, and some aren’t. Although it may be enticing to state “splurge on this type of product ” or “this whole brand is worth every cent,” things are not so simple.
Here’s why expensive skincare may be worth it
The price point of products is deeply impacted by a lot of factors. Most of them, as you may imagine, deeply depend on the brand positioning itself on the market. Let’s look at some of the factors we consider are worthy of increased prices.
We’re talking about actual science, beyond just market research and claims that “customers really like it”. There are a few brands doing so much of the heavy lifting when it comes down to cosmetics science. Both Shiseido and SkinCeuticals are great examples. These companies are coming up with innovative ingredients or new ways to use some old-school ones. And this isn’t coming of thin air, research needs to be properly funded. That is one of the reasons these types of brands have higher prices: they are delivering innovation.
Texture & Experience
We can all state that what matters are the results, but for most people, that’s just not true. We may not be willing to pay for a level-up in user experience, but most of us love it. This one comes down to how much you can and are willing to pay for it. If you can’t keep your routine unless you love using the product, then it’s completely justifiable. Additionally, this experience is extremely relevant when it comes to sunscreens because most cheaper ones will be quite hideous to use.
Social & Environmental Commitments
Sometimes the prices are not directly related to the formula itself, but to sustainability. Paying living wages, ensuring health support to the entire company, choosing sustainable ingredients over cheaper ones, selecting a more expensive bottle that can be reused… all of this will impact the price.
Quality of Ingredients
This is why we’re not fans of reading INCI lists to evaluate if a product should be expensive. Stating “hyaluronic acid” doesn’t tell you anything about its molecular weight (and consequently what it will do to your skin). Reading about orange oil doesn’t tell you how it was extracted (and that really matters because it changes which molecules it contains). How ingredients come to be is really important in how they work, so keep that in mind. And also, remember that quality doesn’t mean “rare” or “harvested during the full moon.” That is just marketing and we’ll dabble into that in a second.
Here’s why expensive skincare may *not* be worth it
Although the previous points tell you a story of brands that are focused on making effective and conscious products, that’s not always the case. Here are two other factors that can have a huge impact on price points.
This is very common with designer brands, but also skincare ones that want to enter the premium market. They are selling you the right to showcase a bottle of their brand, and you are paying well for it. In our modest opinion, that is not money well spent in skincare. However, if you really love a product, go for it. It’s your money after all and we’re not here to tell you how to spend it.
Marketing budgets always come in heavy. Sometimes it’s the outlandishly rare ingredient that doesn’t really do anything. Other times, it’s the brand ambassador that charges millions. Often, it’s also the PR budget for special events for influencers and press, as well as ads. It’s part of the business, but again, not contributing to making a better product.
10 expensive skincare products worth splurging on
We’ve seen a number of reasons why expensive skincare products may or may not be worth the price, but we know that speaking in generalities isn’t always helpful for those on the other side of the screen, trying to decide what to invest in. It’s time to get specific: we don’t know whether all “expensive” products live up to their price tags, but we do know of some that are definitely worth every cent. Discover them below!
SkinCeuticals Prevent Silymarin CF Serum
The best vitamin C serum
We know you were expecting to find CE Ferulicon this list–and you were right to, as it’s a fantastic product–but that one has been on the market for so long now that there are a lot of dupes. This one, however, is truly unique. All in all, it’s the perfect vitamin C for those with oily skin. It not only is oil-free, but also contains salicylic acid to reduce blemishes. There’s really nothing like it on the market.
Dermalogica Ultracalming Serum Concentrate
The perfect solution for sensitized skin
Featuring UltraCalming™ Complex and a blend of botanical ingredients, this gentle cocktail of ingredients help both the most sensitive and sensitized skins. This formula not only soothes sensitivity and restores comfort but also makes sensitive skin more resistant to external influences. Include it in your skincare routine to visibly reduce redness, flare-ups, and itching all the while repairing the skin barrier function
NUXE Nuxuriance Ultra Anti-Dark Spot & Anti-Ageing Hand Cream
Hands down, the best hand cream
We know hand creams don’t seem sexy, but just wait until you find the perfect one. Every single person we know that has tried this one has never looked back. Both the texture and aroma are divine, and it leaves the hands supple and nourished.
Fillerina 12HA Densifying-Filler Treatment Grade 4
The at-home alternative to cosmetic injections
Even though it looks like it has two syringes, worry not. This Fillerina product is for you to “draw” with the applicators directly on top of the wrinkles. It not only helps to fill wrinkles, but also adds lost volume. You can even use it on the lips and cheekbone area for an extra boost.
Filorga NCEF-Essence Supreme Multi-Correction Lotion
The brightness-boosting potion
Sometimes we look at an INCI list and immediately know a product has everything to be awesome. This is definitely not one of those cases. We had no idea this would be so great until we actually tried it and were mesmerized by the glowing skin we were sporting. If you ask us, we have no idea how this essence does it, but we can totally confirm it actually works.
Darphin Intral Daily Rescue Serum
Farewell to redness
This is the ultimate serum for people with sensitive skin. Actually, we’ve lost count of how many people told us that they’ve tried everything for redness and sensitive skin and only this one works. We had to give in to evidence, this serum is really worth every single cent if you have challenging skin.
Elizabeth Arden Advanced Daily Youth Restoring Serum
Improve the skin texture
This serum is the definitive “skin improver”. With both ceramides and a retinol derivative, it boosts the radiance of the skin and improves its looks. Additionally, it tackles dehydration, thus improving the appearance of dehydration fine lines.
Martiderm Platinum Lip Supreme Balm
Kiss chapped lips goodbye!
This is another product that may appear uninteresting. That is, however, until you actually try it. It’s nourishing, but not sticky. Boosts the radiance without having chunky sparkling particles. It plumps the lips without discomfort. And, more than anything else, it will let you say goodbye to chapped lips.
Lancaster Sun Sensitive Luminous Tan Oil-Free Milk SPF50
A sunscreen worth the splurge
There is something extra about this sunscreen. The Lancaster sunscreens have been doing wonders to those who love to get tanned skin in the past few years. Lancaster is all about protecting the skin while ensuring you get a golden and uniform tan. So, if you’re looking for that sunscreen that will both protect and let you tan, this is it.
Shiseido Vital Perfection Overnight Firming Treatment
Redesign your facial contours
Shiseido has single-handedly produced more scientific articles by itself than a lot of other well-known companies put together. Practically every single product they put on the market comes from an extremely well-researched background. This firmness cream is one of their best sellers because it actually works, and customers notice an improvement in their features.
So, should you splurge on skincare?
All in all, it will all come down to how comfortable you feel splurging. Take into account all the factors we’ve mentioned, and then decide. If you need some extra ideas, stop by our selection of luxury products and browse away!
Pharmacy Technician & Beauty Writer