I received an interesting email question from reader, Wan a while ago, where she asked me what sorts of skincare I’d splurge on. Basically, out of the different products I use, which ones will I splurge on and on the flip side, which I might save on.
Well, Wan the answer might be glaringly obvious in the photo above
I have, over the years, used products from the very high end of the price spectrum, down to the low end from the pharmacies. Some products I use still come from the pharmacies although I am increasingly drawn to pricier counterparts.
It’s never the case that cheap = bad and expensive = good. It is all about how it works for your skin, how much you can afford at any given time and your personal beliefs. So, let me tell you the type of products I’d splurge on and why don’t you share your thoughts with me as well?
When it comes to skincare, the products I splurge on and dig deep into my pockets for are my serums, face oils and anti-aging creams. Primarily, I splurge on serums.
Higher concentration of ingredients and higher quality make it more pricey
I have learned from trial and error over the years that for a serum to work, the concentration of ingredients has to be high. Higher concentrations of ingredients come at a price so efficacy of a product too, comes at a price.
For face oils, I want that high quality oils be used in the product. The higher the oil quality, similarly the higher the price tag. If it contains essential oils, I too want something of high quality. So while I don’t doubt that there are affordable options out there (which is great if they exist), I will pay for a higher quality oil product and this applies to both face and body.
Anti-aging products too get my money, because again, for it to work, it needs a high concentration of ingredients and that comes at a price tag. So during leaner times, I’d save on everything else – cleanser, toner, moisturiser but I’d splurge on a serum.
I save on cleansing oils but not on cleansing balms
When I use an emulsifying cleansing oil, I go for cheap options, because I’ve found that cheap or expensive, they all work the same on me and most of them do use mineral oil anyway. But when I use a cleansing balm, I’m not above paying a little more for a high quality one. Ditto toners. I have found that some toners actually work on my skin to make it look better, and they cost more, while the ones that just “do the job” cost less.
I save on face sheet masks
I have used face sheet masks from the high end brands and the cheaper pharmacy brands and I’d do the lower end ones any time. I still like L’Herboflore a lot (not pharmacy but not expensive) and on other days, I go with My Beauty Diary. I have good results from both of these brands and they are affordable per use so I don’t mind using them more often, the way I should! There’s no point having an expensive product that I’d only be able to bear using once a month when I could be using something more affordable once a week and get better results!
Good products can be found at the pharmacies
Ultimately though, it still doesn’t mean that an expensive product will work for your skin where a more affordable option may suffice. Pharmacy brand options like Vichy and La Roche Posay have very high quality products at an affordable price. We don’t get them here in Malaysia, but if you have them and operate on a smaller budget, consider using them.
I have also had good experience with Eucerin products and I’ve read good things about Uriage as well. I haven’t gotten round to trying them, but the reports are promising. Avene too gets good feedback. I also find that Olay used to work for my skin (Total Effects, but not Regenerist) when I was on a budget, and so did L’Oreal Revitalift range (but no others in the L’Oreal line). My skin tolerates Western (particularly French) skincare better than Asian so I am less enamoured with Asian brands of skincare, both high end and drugstore.
Work with whatever your skin likes
Ultimately, listen to your skin. It is so important. A product could cost you RM4,000 (US$1,500) and still break you out or not deliver the results you are seeking. A product might cost you under RM50 (US$15) and deliver. So, there’s no need to keep up with the Joneses.
There’s no need to keep up with the Joneses so work within your budget
There’s nothing wrong with using affordable skincare. I’ve seen people feel embarrassed that they’re using something from the pharmacy and I want to say “Why? If it works for you and has a small pricetag, why be embarrassed about it?” As long as you are sure it is working for you, and that you are using sufficient product, it’s enough. Don’t skimp or save on product use. You need a decent amount and consistent use to see results in the long run. This isn’t like instant noodles – adding hot water doesn’t make it work faster or better.
After all, it would be far better having a good skincare routine that is within your budget, than trying to live beyond your means and cutting down on your product use. If I didn’t have the budget (and I’ve been there) I go back to the pharmacy. At least I don’t feel the pinch when I replenish and I don’t feel bad using generous amounts of product on my skin.
So, your turn then. What skincare products do you splurge on? If you’d like to share, what do you save on?
I have dabbled in skincare a long time, and have run the gamut from high to low end. I’ve found gems in both and while I am now using pricier products because my budget allows me to, it doesn’t mean I’ve never been in the pharmacy. I have, I’ve found my gems in there and they stood me in good stead, protecting and nourishing my skin through the lean years until I got on my feet and can treat my skin a little better. So, nothing embarrassing about using affordable skincare at all!