Expensive vs affordable beauty: does price really matter?

About Us page component.


Does price matter when it comes to over-the-counter skincare products? No one knows for sure, since not every beauty company publishes clinical research on their creams. But most dermatologists agree that, generally speaking, expensive brands aren't any better for you than less costly creams.



So what exactly are you paying for when you buy a fancy skin cream? Well, while a lot of what is spent in cosmetics is on packaging and advertising – and that's fine, because that's what many of us buy into – a large portion is also spent on research and development (R&D): the company that wants to make the best product puts years – sometimes decades – of research into creating it with world class scientists. The pioneering products tend to come from premium brands, because these companies have the money to invest in R&D. After that, the expertise and know-how trickles down to the more competitive brands, which is why the same formula concepts are available from premium and competitive brands.

Still, unusual ingredients and brand new complexes aren't necessarily any more effective at moisturising skin or reducing wrinkles. The basic tenets of skincare – moisture and protection – can be achieved with products that cost little or a lot. Other ingredients that go on top of that are a bonus, but they are not necessarily going to make one product better than another for you, because of course beauty is also subjective: what works well for one person may not work so well for another. So affordable products can perform as well as expensive, and – as ever – application is key to the results you get.

Be sure to apply a face cream within three minutes of bathing or showering to trap the moisture under your skin. Test your new formula for a minimum of 14 days and be realistic about the results. The bottom line is that the most effective way to ward off wrinkles is by using a moisturiser with a sun protection factor of at least 30 in it every day – even in winter. That is what clarifies a product that 'works'.

We love Antonia Burrell's antioxidant-rich Cream Supreme to fight ageing and Evolve's Daily Renew Facial Cream to boost collagen. Looking for an affordable, every day multi-tasker? Try Orba's Vitamin E Facial Cream.

For everyday sun protection, we choose Elizabeth's Daughter's Daily Moisturiser SPF15 which creates a great base for makeup or Vita Liberata's SPF30 Passionflower & Argan Dry Oil for higher protection.