Are Expensive Face Creams Worth the Money?

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Expensive face creams claim to be a miracle in a jar, but are they really? Sure, before and after photos always looks incredible, and the packaging they come in is impressive. But under all that frill and wishful promises, do they deliver?

Are expensive face creams worth the money? Some creams can be worth it, but most are not. Cosmetic chemists who make face creams agree that most are not worth the money. They stress that these creams cost more due to the use of expensive ingredients. However, other companies just take those ingredients out to market it cheaper.

Before you think you just wasted a couple of hundred dollars on face cream, don’t fret! We’ll explore the reasons that make a face cream expensive together. Read on to see why these face creams may cost as much as they do as well as whether or not they are worth the investment.

The Ingredients

Expensive facial creams can have a plethora of ingredients inside them. Because many brands have their own labs, they do not have to list the percentage of what they use within the cream. They just have to list what’s in it. So, they could have 50% of the beneficial ingredient, or 10% and 90% water to dilute it.

Many of the expensive facial creams also have silicones, such as dimethicone, which offers a smoother application. Which makes the cream feel better when it goes on in comparison to its cheaper supermarket counterpart. However, it doesn’t actually benefit your skin in any way.

Other ingredients that are just for “show” are talc or mica, which offer light-reflective properties. These give your face a more luxe look and brighten it up to look younger and healthier. But similar to silicone, it does nothing for your actual skin. So, you’re paying for unnecessary ingredients rather than helpful ones. 

On the flip side, creams that are worth the money have ingredients like Retinol or ferulic acid. Vitamins like Vitamins A, C, and E also work well for your skin. There has been research and clinical testing to prove that these work for your skin. So, if you see any of these on your facial cream ingredients list, it is likely that they are worth your money.

Also it is very important to know what it is you putting on your skin. Read the labels and understand what the ingredients are, Some companies use chemicals in the formulas that may cause major health problems long term and maybe even cancer.

The Proof

One way to be sure a facial cream is worth the money is to research it. Find evidence, such as clinical tests, that show the cream actually works. Companies have to put money in to get these tests done, so it can show you and other consumers that their claims are true.

Sometimes these product tests can be misleading if the only testing done are those funded by the company. Be wary if that is the case since it is possible that the company performing the test can skew the results or choose to withhold information found in the study. Companies with multiple studies are the best ones to trust.

Before and after photos are another great way to show proof that the facial cream works. Many reviewers on websites like Amazon will post them in their reviews, but other brand name companies will also provide photos, too. While it can be impressive, everyone’s skin will react differently. So, be sure to look for reviews of people who have similar skin to yours (age, sensitivity, skin tone, acne, etc.).

Some examples of companies that have had testing done are:

These companies have had testing done that prove their creams work – so you can trust that you will see results with their products. Plus, they offer the science behind why their products work. So, you can feel secure in splurging on their creams.

The Feel

What expensive facial creams do right are look and feel good. They are a sign of luxury, so of course, they would have to look and feel the part. You may discontinue using a product that feels weird or heavy on your skin. It may help your skin, but the feel will stop you from using it. Expensive brands know this and will use ingredients to make it feel good when you apply it.

If you read reviews comparing expensive and cheap facial creams, you’ll notice how effective the look and feel can be. People will rave how nice an expensive cream feels or smells compared to complaining about it when using a cheap product. Even the jar or bottle it is held in can make it appear classier and more desirable.

You’ll also be more inclined to use a product that feels good on your skin, which will yield better results since you are consistently using it to help your skin. So, that may be why these creams are viewed as miracle workers rather than it actually having anything magical within them.

Expensive brands focus on the appearance of their creams, both in the jar as well as how it looks on your skin. That’s why they have ingredients like talc that brighten your skin when you apply it. If you feel like you look better, you’ll use their products more. Which means you’ll need to buy replacements and give the company more of your money.

The Packaging

Another aspect of the price when it comes to expensive creams are the packaging’s. Such things like material that the jar is made of, the pump, and the presentation all factor into the cost. Consumers can be swayed to pay more when they see how much care and attention went into the packaging of the product.

The jar itself needs to cater to the product. If a product needs a long shelf life, that can change how it is stored. Natural versus artificial ingredients will also impact how it is stored. Glass versus plastic not only looks more high end, but the ingredients inside the jar may also react differently.

How the cream is dispensed can also alter the price. Airless pumps are pricier than regular pumps, so if your cream has one of those price tags may also take the pump into account. Not to mention those that are branded or have special designs since that will cost more to manufacture for each jar. This does not rule out those expensive creams that come in pump-less jars though.

Another factor that can raise the price is the branding. Many brands are known to be high-end, so their packaging has to look the part. You may have frilly ribbons, silk boxes, and the cream sitting on a satin pillow inside the box. Buying certain high-end brands can also be brag-worthy, either to show off how much money you have or how much you invest in yourself.

Check out this study that shows how packaging can change a person’s perspective and use of a product. It is an interesting read about how low-quality products packaged well are preferred over good quality products packaged poorly. It makes sense given that we are swayed more by the look and feel over substance when shopping.

The Marketing

A hidden fee that you as the consumer don’t see is the marketing expense a lot of the expensive creams use. These companies need to pay for clinical studies, commercials, websites, marketing teams, lab techs, cosmetic specialists and dermatologists. A lot of the cheaper products are backed by a company that may not be able to afford all that.

Good marketing can make or break a good product. A cream doesn’t have to actually work if it’s marketed well and perceived to be a quality product. On the opposite of that, a cheaper option may go unnoticed due to lack of marketing. Consumers cannot take advantage of that cheaper option if they don’t know it’s there.

Commercials and photos of beautiful people with expensive products also allure consumers into buying the product. They are essentially selling a lifestyle, a fantasy. They are basically saying, “If you use our products, you can look as good as this person.” Everyone wants to look their best, so it’s easy to get sucked into what they are offering.

So, expensive creams reign supreme over cheaper options due to their marketing campaigns and overall presentation. It’s hard to say no to a product that promises to fix your problem areas with rave reviews and science or photo evidence to back it up.

The Perception

Similar to the marketing tactic of using beautiful people to sell a lifestyle, expensive products also meet a real lifestyle as well. There is a perception that if you can buy these expensive creams, it means that your lifestyle supports that kind of spending.

Whether you feel like you need to prove yourself around your rich friends or family, or you just like to spend money on yourself, expensive facial creams can be your answer. It even speaks to those who aspire to be able to afford to splurge on those expensive items. Not only can they give you the results you want, but it also shows off the money you can afford to spend.

Spending more money on the product will also entice you to use it more since you believe you’ll see results. You expect a $100 moisturizer to work better than a $10 one you can get at any drugstore. This may result in you using the more expensive one more often. This consistency will give you the result rather than the product itself.

High-end creams also claim that they use natural ingredients. They also claim to be cruelty-free. These reasons may also sway consumers into putting out the big bucks who believe in supporting these methods. Unfortunately, not all creams actually truthfully follow these practices. So, unless you know for certain that they do these things, don’t buy it.

The Rebrand

Many big cosmetic companies such as L’Oreal are parent companies to other companies like Skinceuticals or CeraVe. Given that these companies are related, they will have many products that use the same formula. This translates to high and low priced products that essentially give you the same result. The parent companies do this to expand their brands as well as make them more prestigious.

So, in essence, you are paying for the brand rather than actual results. It also goes to show that you can get good results from cheaper creams so long as they have the same beneficial ingredients. The ingredients that help your skin only cost so much. So, if you spend more than $60 you are paying for the brand rather than the actual cream.

Another thing big companies do is rebrand a best-selling cream by packaging it differently and changing the name. If you compare ingredients though, you will see that it is the same product. So, yet another reason not to splurge on the newest and most marketed facial cream without looking at the ingredient list.

In these cases, it is not worth it to pay the extra cash when you can get essentially the same cream from a cheaper sister company. It pays to check out all products before deciding on trying one, especially if that one is super expensive. Do your research when you come across expensive brands or products, you might just save some money!

The Options

There are a variety of facial creams out there. Not to mention different kinds for different parts of your face. Eye creams, wrinkle creams, sunscreen, fine lines, moisturizer, primer, lip balms, etc. It can be overwhelming. Plus, when expensive facial creams are, well, expensive it can be hard to keep trying different creams in the hopes that one works for you.

 Here are some examples of expensive creams and products that are worth your money:

  • TNS Essential Serum® – An all-encompassing serum that helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines, improve skin tone, and texture. SkinMedica lists testimonials, clinical studies, and how it will help your skin with science. You aren’t wasting your money here check it out at Amazon.

The Cheap Options

While we would like to think that we get what we pay for, that may not always be the case with facial creams. You may not be paying for quality creams, but lab service fees, packaging, advertisements, and brand name. Do your research on the ingredients in the cream. Become your own cosmetic chemist when you shop for your next facial cream.

Lucky for you, there are products you can buy for a fraction of the price that do have great results. Here are a few examples:

  • Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on – While this eye roll is cheap compared to the eye cream above. Reviews for it are very positive, especially about it moisturize properties. Go and check out the reviews for yourself at Amazon.
  • RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream – A cheap alternative to anti-aging cream that actually works. It’s ingredients, such as Squalane, have anti-aging properties that provide results. The RoC product line gets some pretty good reviews so go check it out for yourself at Amazon and you be the judge.
  • Burt’s Bees Radiance Day Creme – Not a bad price for an anti-aging cream that packs multiple vitamins and nutrients for your skin. There are some reviews that dock it for how it feels going on your skin, but that it lightens once it soaks in. Burt’s Bees products have been around for a while. Go check their products out at Amazon.

These are just some examples of cheaper products that are shown to work as well as their expensive counterparts. These are good for those who don’t have the means or just don’t want to spend the money on the expensive facial creams.

To Summarize

Expensive facial creams claim to be a miracle that can fix any qualms you have with your skin. There are mixed results on whether or not these creams are actually worth it. The ones that have science and powerful ingredients will be worth the cost. However, those that offer empty promises and beautiful packaging will not.

Don’t forget that big companies that run other high-end cosmetic companies charge more for brand and appearance rather than the actual product. If that is the case, find the equivalent product that is cheaper to get the same result. Don’t look past the cheaper products so long as they have ingredients that are known to help like vitamins. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have good skin! 

In summary, don’t spend the money unless you want to since you can get a product that is just as good for a fraction of the price.