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Your Say: Is expensive skincare ever worth it?


Skincare is such a divisive thing once prices come into play.

I feel like in many ways, people are more willing to pay for a more expensive makeup item than they are a more expensive skincare product.

expensive skincare worth it

Might it be because a makeup item can last longer, while you’re likely to finish your skincare product in 3-4 months? Think of the last expensive eyeshadow palette you purchased. I’m sure it’s still sitting there after a few years, while that last expensive skincare product has been emptied many moons ago LOL!

Often therefore, when I share about a skincare product which is more expensive than normal, I’m asked if it’s worth it.

Well, what do you think? Is expensive skincare ever worth it?

I think you can make a case for it either way 🙂

Expensive skincare is absolutely worth it!

On the one hand, there is some sort of research and development and technology in making effective skincare. Research isn’t cheap, and it can take years to develop a new product or discover a new effective ingredient.

If you take that viewpoint, then yes, expensive skincare is absolutely worth it. Who won’t want to pay to take advantage of all that technology? Also, if a product contains a higher percentage of an active ingredient, are you not willing to pay more?

In the past, I’d have been more willing to subscribe to this viewpoint.

Cheaper brands of skincare tended to be filled with fillers, be low in content on key ingredients or contain cheap ingredients that weren’t very effective. The perception therefore was that the more expensive skincare brands were better for your skin, because they did more.

However, I don’t agree with this point of view anymore, because technology in skincare has come a long way. Now that many brands are owned by larger groups and holding companies, facilities for R&D can be shared, and the information they obtain can be easily spread across the brands they own, which usually span the low, mid and high-end.

I won’t say that expensive skincare isn’t worth it (I make my case for it below), but I do certainly think more than twice before trying something new that is expensive, because I’m not sure what I’m paying for – product or brand name?

expensive skincare worth it

Expensive skincare isn’t worth it at all!

On the flipside, there is the argument also that a lot of what goes into a product is costs that you don’t otherwise see e.g. marketing, packaging, advertisement etc.

All these costs will add up, and once you factor in brand goodwill, you can end up with a product that can cost more than it should.

Brands like The Ordinary and The Inkey List made their name by selling this concept. Their products are simple and effective, and above all, affordable. It led people to believe that they were over-paying for skincare from more expensive brands.

The availability of skincare ingredients in the mass market too led to an uptick in those pursuing a DIY approach to skincare, mixing their own lotions and potions at home, on the basis that they are more effective and affordable.

I too tend to agree these days that expensive skincare doesn’t equate quality. So often we see higher priced products delivering poorer results than something that comes from the pharmacy, or comes from a more affordable brand. I refer of course to established brands, not upstarts or celebrity/designer branded products with questionable sources and ingredients.

While that is partially true, I hesitate to take a blanket view to say that expensive skincare isn’t worth it at all.

If an indie brand sells skincare at a higher pricepoint, I can understand why. Buying high quality ingredients in smaller quantities mean a higher cost, and it’s hard to price things lower if you can’t get a cheaper price for your ingredients.

If you look into natural or organic skincare brands, quite a lot of them are priced higher than average. Natural and organic skincare ingredients go through many layers of certification and testing so all these add to the cost. It is not often that you find a very affordable natural and/or organic brand of skincare, because it isn’t easy or cheap to get the certifications.

What is it worth to you?

At the end of the day, I prefer to ask this question: What is it worth to you?

Whether expensive or cheap is a matter of perception. To some, a cream that costs RM300 is reasonable. To another, that’s expensive. There is no benchmark to establish what ‘expensive’ really means.

What is easier to judge is its worth to you, as the user. If a product you’re using delivers the results you expect, and you’re happy to continue using it, I don’t see why you shouldn’t, even if it is, by common agreement, expensive.

I don’t like telling people if anything is ‘worth it’ because it can mean different things to different people, so the best person to decide if it’s worth it, is YOU! 🙂

RELATED READING: You decide what’s worth it! READ HERE

expensive skincare worth it

Go for efficacy not price

Instead of price, I prefer to consider a product’s efficacy.

I’m happy using products that are affordable, that come from the pharmacy or that don’t cost very much, as long as they are effective for my needs. I enjoy using an affordable Vitamin C serum like the one from Melano CC that you can get for about RM40 on sale.

I also enjoy using the Omorovicza Vitamin C serum that retails upwards of RM300.

What it then comes down to is sustainability. Which product am I more likely to be able to sustain long-term usage of, as skincare can only be effective when used regularly, in sufficient quantities, over a period of time.

If I’m feeling flush, then perhaps I might spend on the Omorovicza Vitamin C serum for a few months. In other months, I’d likely go for the Timeless 20% Vitamin C serum, or the Melano CC serum.

I therefore enjoy using and trying an expensive skincare product, but if I can find something that is as effective and as comfortable to use at a lower price tag, I’m happy to switch too. After all, you can never have too much savings! 😉

There’s no need therefore to scoff at those using more expensive skincare brands, or to berate them for being silly when there are alternatives. We all use skincare for our own reasons, not to show-off to others.

At least, that’s what I hope people are using skincare for 😛

So, let people use what they like. As long as it works for them, that’s all that matters. It’s worth it to them, even if you don’t think so! 🙂

What is your approach to expensive skincare?

Sometimes, I think people impose too many ideals on others. Let people enjoy themselves, especially now. There is little to be happy about as it is!

Paris B



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