What's The Difference Between High End Skincare And Drugstore Skincare?

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Undoubtedly, having thousands of skincare products on the market provides a fabulous choice for the consumer. But choice often brings dilemmas. What combination of ingredients will work for me? Is luxury skincare really worth it? Or am I paying more for the same thing?

Our instinct is often to seek out the best deal. Unfortunately, that can translate into the cheapest product all too often. So much so, that we forget the point of the purchase. When it comes to skincare, it's vitally important that we use something that’s effective for our skin type, addresses specific skin concerns and that prevents future damage.


Scientifically Backed Ingredients

High end skincare will always be charged at a higher price because of the extent of the scientific research that goes into its ingredients and formulation. Obagi® Medical, a leading force in non-prescriptive clinical skincare products have experimented with thousands upon thousands of ingredients to identify the most efficacious ones. You’ll find powerful, synergistic, optimised combinations containing a greater concentration of proven hero ingredients like Arbutin (7%), Hydromanil™, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Retinol in their products.

Drugstore skincare tends to have had limited scientific research, which ultimately means less effective non-active ingredients that work topically. Put it this way, drugstore products often target the symptom, rather than the cause.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, potent active ingredients that are found in high end skincare, ensure that cells are penetrated at a much deeper level and are corrected from within. Rather than a short-lived boost of nourishment that quickly dissipates, the chemical structure of skin cells are transformed. Results are long-lasting, skin is visibly altered and improved, future damage is prevented and specific skin concerns are resolved. Now you begin to understand the difference in pricing.


Advanced Skincare Technology 

It’s more likely that high end skincare harnesses the power of advanced technology. This allows active ingredients to have more longevity, achieve greater penetration into the skin and deliver moisture and nourishment longer throughout the day.

Drugstore skincare veers on the cheaper side of pricing, so these brands often don’t use the latest advances in technology simply because of the cost. It would push the price of their skincare up if they did. Without progressive techniques, ingredients have a shorter life, they work on a topical basis and don’t actively transform the cellular make-up of skin so results don’t last as long.

Here at Skinstation, we specialise in brands that employ state-of-the- art skin care technology. You don’t have to look far to find examples. 111Skin’s advanced Hydrogel formula, used within its sheet masks ensures complete saturation of the skin cells so that its powerful ingredients are optimised. The brand’s sheet masks are also unique because they target three different zones of the face and décolletage. 

Not satisfied with formulating this season’s must-have sheet masks, they’ve recently introduced another ingenious product, 111Skin Cryo ATP Sports Booster. Breaking new ground, this concentrated solution actually replicates the effects of intense cold on the skin, leaving skin brightened, toned and refined.


Skincare Clinical Testing

Another benefit of high end skincare is that products go through vigorous clinical testing to prove their efficacy. For example, Skinceuticals contributed to the rise in cosmeceuticals with the first clinically proven topical vitamin c solution. They’ve since led the way with their range of clinically proven serums. 

All of SkinCeuticals products are designed, formulated and clinically tested with 3 essential criteria in mind. Does the product get into skin? Does the product have qualifiable action in the skin? And lastly, does that action translate to end benefits for the customer. Only if the clinical testing proves that all three exist at an exceptionally high standard, will the product be put to market.


Skin inflammation, redness and sensitivity should also be incorporated into a product’s clinical testing to ensure its suitability against each skin type on the Fitzwilliam range. 

A great example is Dr. Barbara Sturm products which protect, detoxify and strengthen without overwhelming the skin. They are also gentle enough, containing pure and clean ingredients suitable for sensitive complexions.

Clinical and dermatologist testing is extremely expensive and many drugstore skincare brands can’t afford to put these in place. Also, unless you are confident that your product will achieve very high efficacy percentages, it’s a risky strategy because once the trial has been published, the information is out there to consumers. Instead, many drugstore brands focus on creating clever marketing around their product rather than it’s proven efficacy.



So, there you have it. The information is out there, the choice is yours. Invest more into your skincare to receive better, long-term results? Or save money today, but regret it tomorrow? 

Latest update: 11/05/2021
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