Should you splurge or save on skincare products?

We all know that skincare products vary wildly in price. But while you may be seduced by a cheaper price tag, do you know what’s in the product you’re purchasing? Because although the blurb may say all the right things, you may be getting less than you expected. Equally, if you buy the priciest product, you may be paying a premium price for nothing more than the look of the bottle the product comes in or a so-called magic ingredient.

There are many excellent products, and many poor quality products available across the price spectrum. And you do need to be canny when it comes to your skincare. Something that is great value doesn’t necessarily refer to the price, it can also refer to a product actually doing what it says it will. Nothing is great value if it doesn’t work.

What’s in the product?

So for starters, check out what ingredients are in each product. If you’re interested in a particular serum, look at different serums with different price points. We’ve started the research for you:

  • Boots Vitamin C Serum (£6 30ml Boots)

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Peg-12 Dimethicone, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ppg-26-Buteth- 26, Sodium Citrate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Chlorphenesin, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bisabolol, Disodium Edta, Maltodextrin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

  • Pixi Vitamin C Serum (£26 30ml Pixi)

Aqua/Water/Eau, Ascorbic Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Propanediol, Glycerin, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin) Orange Fruit Extract, Ferulic Acid, Tocopherol, Caffeine, Microcitrus Australis Fruit Extract, Microcitrus Australasica Fruit Extract, Beta-Carotene, Lecithin, Citrus Glauca Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Junos Peel Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Retinol, Xanthan Gum, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Punica Granatum Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Polysorbate 20, Phospholipids, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin.

  • Obagi Professional C Serum (Vitamin C) (£139 30ml Brigstock Skin & Laser)

L-Ascorbic Acid 20%, Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua), L-Ascorbic Acid, Alcohol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zinc Chloride, Calcium Hydroxide, Fragrance.

  • MZ Skin Brighten & Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum (£250 30ml Harrods)

Aqua (Water), Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Propanediol, Isoamyl Laurate, Glycerin, Tribehenin PEG-20 Esters, Acetyl Glycyl Beta-Alanine, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Tranexamic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isoamyl Cocoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopherol, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Passiflora Edulis Fruit Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Sodium Lactate, Citric Acid

What does this suggest?

What’s interesting is that the Obagi product has the least number of ingredients. But rather than indicate that this is negative, in fact it’s exactly the opposite.

20% of the product is L-Ascorbic Acid, which is known as the purest form of Vitamin C.

If what you’re looking for is Vitamin C based skincare, this is what you need to be researching. The most expensive product on our list, the MZ Skin serum has just 10% Vitamin C. It even says it in the product name. So you’re getting less bang for your buck!

Remember the science!

As well as cost, the other area you might want to consider when choosing whether to splurge or save is the scientific credentials of the brand. Harder perhaps to ascertain, as anyone can use the phrase ‘scientifically proven’. But you can find out quite a bit by Googling.

Obagi, for example, was founded in 1988 by leading skincare experts. The brand’s full name is Obagi Medical, and it’s a ‘global specialty pharmaceutical company’. Obagi says it has a rigorous product development process for product formulation, with a dedicated R&D team researching thousands of ingredients, reviewing every form of the ingredients to identify the highest quality, most bio-available form and optimizing key ingredient concentrations and pH.

Brigstock Skin & Laser Clinic uses Obagi within our skin rejuvenation therapies – so it’s fair to say we are slightly biased! However, this is because we have done our own research and believe these products are worth their weight. In fact, we’re so certain about their quality that we provide a results guarantee.

Choose a good clinic

If you want the very best advice on skincare products it’s worth using a specialist clinic. There are lots to choose from so look at Google reviews to see what customers genuinely say about them. You can check out our reviews which will give you a good benchmark.

Brigstock Skin & Laser provides consultations for our prescription-only Obagi skincare systems which are available for a variety of skincare concerns including acne, hyperpigmentation and sun damage. You can book a free consultation here or call us on 020 8683 6730. We also sell a range of non-prescribed Obagi products and our team will help you choose what’s best for your skincare needs. If you’d like to be kept updated on products and offers, you can check these out online and through our newsletters and events.

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