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What are the differences in chemical formulations for skincare and cosmetic products between high-end department stores and drug stores?

Answers (1)

    • Mikhail Agapov

      It usually depends from company to company. There are some good organizations,  that adhere to all the standards and ensure that the ingredients used are of good quality, others might do the total opposite.

      Let me explain;

      Many high-end brands use cheap ingredients for their products. This is a fact. They get away with it by using flashy packaging and marketing strategies.

      Cosmetics are all about perception.

      For Example, let's take a simple lip balm, that a company sells for more than $70. If you will look at the ingredients list, you will notice the first ingredients are petroleum, octyldodecanol, and waxes. 

      Petroleum is Vaseline. 

      The ingredients list is pretty long and even mentions some awesome properties because of several actives that it might contain. There are chances that the percentage of these other ingredients or actives is so low that you wouldn't notice the difference if they were removed.

      As a general rule, some products are way more expensive than others because of the ingredients they contain. Oftentimes these ingredients were discovered and perfected after several years of research. 

      The problem is that they are added in low percentages as stated before. This means you are funding the company's research, not actually paying for the benefits of that ingredient in the product.

      Are they worth the price?
      Most of the time, the answer is no, and the reason is that;

      • The active ingredients that may help in achieving the result are in such low percentages that its effect is not visible even after using the product for more than 6 months. This is the reason, why you see advertisements asking you to use their products for more than a year.
      • There is no scientific evidence the active ingredient really delivers what it is supposed to do in the case of several products that are available online. The only efficacy tests that were performed are within the lab of the cosmetic company marketing the product. No other study has ever been performed.

      Very cheap cosmetic products usually contain cheap ingredients and/or poor quality ingredients and are mass-produced (usually overseas).

      An ingredient can be cheap because it is old (meaning obsolete) or abundant or easy to manufacture. So cheap doesn't necessarily represent bad quality, even though in many cases that is what you get.

      If I was at your place, I would look for products that are in between these two categories. Also, I would check the ingredients and their efficiency.

      You can also check online reviews of these cosmetic products, this way you can be more sure if a particular cosmetic product is good for use or not.


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