Are Expensive Skincare Products Better Than Cheaper Ones?

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Building a strong skincare routine is one of the best ways to make sure that you are taking care of your body while maintaining a youthful appearance. It can also make your skin softer and help remove wrinkles.

However, the type of products that you use can have a big impact on how successful your routine will be. When examining the type of available options, you’ll notice that many of them can be quite expensive. It’s not uncommon to find cosmetic products that cost hundreds of dollars.

So, are expensive skincare products better than cheaper ones? In the clear majority of cases, the answer is no. As a general rule, there are only minor differences between the expensive products and the more affordable options. In fact, most people might not even be able to tell the difference between the two.

There are multiple reasons why there might be a price difference between skincare products. Now, we can get to answering the most important question, are expensive skincare products any better than cheaper options?

In most cases, the difference in price is caused by more marketing and more expensive packaging, rather than any real change in quality. As stated by Dr. Samer Jaber in Huffpost  you don’t need to spend a lot of money on moisturizers. More expensive does not mean it’s better.

There are two reasons why this price gap exists. First, some people don’t mind paying a little extra to have a premium experience. Secondly, most people don’t know how to tell the difference between skin care products. As they don’t know which one is best, they opt for the costlier option, figuring they’ll get more value for money.

As a result, you should try to ignore the price when you’re shopping. This will ensure that you don’t get tricked into paying more for a product that won’t offer any additional tangible benefits. It will also make it easier for you to make an informed choice, picking the one that will deliver the most benefits for you.

But what is the difference between expensive and cheaper skincare products? Are Expensive Skincare Products Better Than Cheaper Ones? According to Perry Romanowski (a cosmetic chemist founder of Beauty Brains) states that product cost has little to do with how effective a product is.

Let’s take a deeper look at this issue, finding out the difference between an expensive product and a more affordable one. This will make it easier for you to find the right product for your needs.

What Determines The Price Of Skincare Products?

Let’s start by looking at why skincare products are priced the way that they are. This can help explain why there are so many different prices for what are, at first glance, similar products. There are several factors that can affect the price that a product is sold at. These can include:

  • Whether it’s a brand name product
  • The type of ingredients used and how they were obtained
  • How much it costs to manufacture the product
  • The sale margin applied

How much influence these can have on the price might vary. To illustrate this, let’s take a more in-depth look at each of these elements and how they shape the product cost. 

The Brand

One of the biggest reasons why you might be paying more for a skincare product is because it is coming from a trusted brand. There might be some companies that can afford to spend millions on an advertising campaign featuring your favorite celebrities. As a result, their products will be more desirable.

As these companies have spent a lot of resources on positioning themselves are the leader in their product category, they are more familiar to customers. As a result, they can charge a higher price for their products, even if their skincare products aren’t more effective than the competition. 

The higher price might also form part of their marketing. Because of how expensive they are, many people assume that the product must be of higher quality. As a result, they are more likely to purchase a costlier skincare product.

It’s also worth noting that skincare companies spend millions to advertise for other reasons. Interestingly, having a more well-known brand name might lead to higher usage among its customers. According to a Swedish study, people who purchase luxury brands are more likely to use them more frequently. This means that they will make more frequent purchases


You might also want to consider the type of ingredients that the product contains. As we’ll discuss later, this can have a big impact on how effective it will be.  

To produce their products, some companies might use more luxurious ingredients. Because they are more difficult to source, the product price will be higher.

On the other hand, a cheaper product will tend to use ingredients that are more commonly available. This will allow them to keep the costs of producing the product low, so they can sell it for a lower price.

Manufacturing Costs

You might also want to think about how much it will cost the company to produce the product. During the manufacturing process, several expenses need to be factored in.

First, the company will need to think about the costs of getting all the ingredients to the factory. If they’re importing luxurious ingredients this will cost more, as they need to be shipped from an exotic location.

Then, the ingredients need to be turned into the skincare product. Each company will have their own way of doing this. The more complex the process, the more equipment they will need to use. This will result in a higher manufacturing cost.

Once processed, the product needs to be packaged. There are many different types of packaging available. For example, perfumes often come in elaborate glass bottles. Because of how difficult these bottles are to produce, they will often come with a higher sales price.

Finally, the companies will need to think about the costs of transporting the product to the store, where you purchase it. This includes things like paying for truck drivers and fuel.

The skin care company will need to think about each of these costs when deciding how they will price the product. This ensures that they will be able to make a profit. This higher the manufacturing costs, the more you can expect to pay.

Sales Margin

Finally, let’s talk about the sales margin. As we discussed, many factors can influence the price you need to pay to create the product. However, to guarantee a profitable product, most skin care companies have worked out ways to make these costs as low as possible. This enables them to have a higher sales margin.

Simply put, a sales margin is the difference between the costs associated with making the product and the amount you’re selling it for. As an example, if you make a product for $10 and sell it for $20, you have a $10 sale margin.

The bigger brands tend to have a much larger sales margin, which is why their prices are so high compared to their competitors.

What’s The Difference Between Expensive Skincare Products And Cheap Ones?

As we’ve seen, there are several factors that a company will take into account when deciding how much to sell the product. But how does this affect the quality of the product produced? What’s the difference between an expensive skincare product and a cheap one?

Often, one of the most significant differences is how much they can afford to spend on advertising. An expensive product can afford to launch a huge campaign. They can afford to splurge on getting an A-List celebrity to talk about the product’s benefits. These ads are spectacular, making sure that you take notice of the product.

However, it’s important to remember that advertising doesn’t impact the effectiveness of the product. As a result, let’s try to ignore this element and look at some of the most substantive differences between the products.

As we mentioned, the type of ingredients that are included can have a big impact on the price. More luxurious ingredients attract a bigger price tag. They can also be a great way to find out the type of impact that the product will have.

By comparing the ingredients used to make a cheaper product with the ones used in more expensive ones, you’ll be able to learn more about the type of effect it will have on your skin. It can also be a great way to compare the products, so you find out what you’re paying for. We’ll discuss how to do this a little later.

In this area, you should be aware that most large skincare companies will own multiple different brands. As a result, they can take the same ingredients, remix them slightly, and put them into a new product. They can then sell the new product, with a different name and packaging, for a lower price.

Making this area even trickier, most skin care companies will have proprietary formulas. This means that they don’t want to reveal exactly what goes into making the product, in case the competition tries to steal their research. This can make it hard for you to get a sense of what the active ingredients are.

Finally, a more expensive brand might have more money to dedicate to research. This can often be the key to developing a more effective product. These findings are often touted in advertisements, as they improve on their formula.

This can affect how it feels to use the product. For example, more costly products tend to have a more pleasant texture when applied to your body. An expensive cream might be smoother, gliding across the skin while a cheaper option might be thicker making them harder to spread.

How Can You Make Sure You’re Getting A Great Skincare Product?

As we’ve seen, there aren’t any major differences between the $200 skincare product and the $20 one. In most cases, they will function in the same way and provide the same benefits.

However, it’s not always this simple. In some cases, there might be a genuine difference. A breakthrough that can’t be matched the competitors or a different recipe. At these times, it might be worth purchasing the more expensive option.

So, how can you make sure that you’re not getting fooled into paying more for an expensive product that doesn’t offer any clear benefits?

The key rests in knowing how to research and choose which skincare products you use. Let’s look at some of the best ways that you can do this.

Look At The Ingredients List

One of the best ways to make sure that you’re getting a good product is by looking at the list of ingredients. This will let you see what you are paying for and get an understanding of how it might impact on your skin.

As we mentioned earlier, most companies will want to keep their ingredients list secret, to make sure that the competition doesn’t copy their work. However, they often have a legal obligation to tell their customers what’s in the product that they’re buying.

To find the full ingredients list, you might need to do to the product site. However, most products will feature the most important ingredients on the packaging.

When comparing the products, make sure to look at the active ingredients. These are the ones that will have to most impact on your skin. In some cases, they might have been highlighted.

In most cases, you will see the same ingredients appearing on the packages. This tells you that there isn’t much difference between the expensive option and the cheaper one.

However, in most cases, you will need to do a little digging. Thankfully, with a few simple searches, you can find out what the purpose of the ingredients is. At these times, you’ll often find that different ingredients are doing the same job. In this case, it won’t make much of a difference in the effect that the product will have on your skin.

Look For Clinical Trials

When you are purchasing a product, you want to make sure that it works properly. To prove this to their customers, most skin care companies will conduct clinical trials.

These are scientific tests that are run on the product to determine how effective it is. In some cases, they might test against other brands, to see how the results compare.

This can be a great way to get more clarity about the type of product that you are using and how it might impact your skin. It will also let you see which dosage is the best, so you can get the most value out of the product.

But, while they can be a useful source of information, the trials are paid for by the skincare company. This often means that there will be a strong incentive to produce evidence that shows that their product is the most effective option on the market. For this reason, you should approach these with a degree of skepticism.

Turn To Online Reviews

One of the best sources of information is often online reviews. This will let you see the type of experience that other people had when they used the product. For example, did it feel smooth when applied to the skin? Did they notice any benefits?

To get these answers you will often need to dig deeper than the star ratings. Make sure to read several different reviews. After a while, a strong picture will begin to emerge about the pros and cons. This will give you a better overview of the product.

Try It For Yourself

Finally, you might want to try out the product for yourself. Often, this is the only way to know for sure how you feel about using it.

When using it, try to put the price out of your mind. Focus only on the effect it’s having on your skin and the experience you’re having when using the product.

After using each product for a few months, you should be able to accurately compare the results. In some cases, you might want to make a journal, to help you keep track of your thoughts and make a clear decision.

To help you with this, some skincare companies might offer free samples, to allow you to trial their product.

Final Thoughts

The price of the skincare product will depend on several factors, such as the profit margin and the type of ingredients that are used. The companies will need to consider these when determining the price, so they are making a profit.

However, the price doesn’t always indicate the quality of the product. There are many times where the main difference between expensive and cheap products is the profit margin.

To make sure that you can tell the difference between products, and pick the right option for you, you need to know how to research effectively. There are several ways that you can do this. For example, you might want to compare the active ingredients. You can also turn to clinical trials or online reviews. However, the best method is to test them yourself and see how it affects you. Hopefully, now you will be able to tell the difference between an expensive and cheap skincare product and find the right one for you.