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What ingredients make the expensive brands so expensive?

Started 1341675963.933 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1341777175.127 by AuntieA

Just curious ........ all you ingredients gurus out there, why is it that some perfectly effective cosmetic brands are inexpensive and sold in drugstores, and other brands (whether effective or not) are horridly expensive and sold in higher end stores? What special ingredients make the expensive brands so expensive? When we buy a "high-end" brand, are we buying more expensive ingredients? more expensive manufacturing methods? (Monks perhaps?) more expensive packaging?

Thanks

 

 

If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun.
- Katharine Hepburn

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willdob31341676073.31310360 PostsRegistered 10/31/2010
GREED

NewerName1341676135.4731237 PostsRegistered 5/10/2012
Nothing. There are no ingredients that make a product worth spending a ton of money on. Any ingredient in an expensive product can be found in a less expensive formulation.

StellaDiva1341676843.1271132 PostsRegistered 10/15/2011

If a company charges twice as much for a product and sells half as many, the product is more profitable.

Argyll1341676910.5231261 PostsRegistered 7/31/2011

The expensive ingredient is hype,fancy packaging,and the fantasy of exclusivity. Now,many people swear up and down that the more expensive brand product is better than the drugstore version,and if that makes them happy,enjoy. What I have noticed is that sometimes a higher-end line has more of a color range,or a more trendy color. But then,the cheaper line has a copy-cat version ASAP,so I guess that notion involves just having a bit of patience. If price is no object,then lucky you (although think what the $$ saved can do,down the line!).

Kathleen1341677447.62712763 PostsRegistered 8/7/2006East Side, West Side, All Around The Town ... London Bridge is Falling Down

I think it's packaging and marketing. I haven't been impressed with the few makeup products I've tried ... but the bottle/compact/brush were very nice. The product itself was just so-so, and didn't look any better on me than the stuff I buy at CVS.

Pook1341678456.563530 PostsRegistered 5/5/2007

In most cases it's the amount of certain ingredients and the purity of them that really do make the difference. Also if the ratio of these ingredients when combined together is not the same, then the cheaper product will not have the same resultsl. The cheapo knockoffs or products can say they have a certain ingredient and they do but they use the bottom of the barrel product which is far inferior and often do not use a strength equal to what makes the more expensive work so well form many. But whatever works for anyone and whatever each person is satisfied with is all that matters. But experience has taught me that you get what you pay for. There are exceptions but I am not wasting my money to find the rare cheaper exception. It's far more economical to spend more money and get quality than spend less money over and over again to try to find something that really doesn't work well.

Harpa1341679364.9437515 PostsRegistered 6/28/2007

It may cost a little more if things are synthetically made, adding in the cost of R&D, or any ingredient that is imported, perhaps something w/ a more complicated manufacturing process ala La Mer. Sometimes raw ingredients do cost more, the neuropeptides that Dr. P uses, for example, or even waiting for the little snail to do it's thing, waiting for the lotus blossoms to open, hand manufacturing from the monks - all that plays into cost.

How those "special" ingredients can translate onto your own individual skin, however, is like a roulette wheel. Everything else has to work in tandem...your general health, your skin health, your environment, your age...

I keep saying that your skin does not need every ingredient that God ever made or that man ever devised. There are so many that accomplish the same things. Just like you wouldn't serve every vegetable at your meal. You carefully serve one or two that compliment your main dish.

njnj1341680183.06588 PostsRegistered 8/28/2011

Perhaps a few ingredients carefully developed/grown (and even then I am simply giving the vast majority of brands the benefit of the doubt, because when it comes down to it, there's only a few that are REALLY proven effective).

The rest is packaging, and the psychological appeal of brand exclusivity, as Argyll already mentioned.

No different than the appeals of exorbitant haute couture, six-figure cars, and eight-figure (or more) houses. There's a market for every consumer good for every budget, that's all.

LifeIsGood­DOSOMETHING1341680220.5466 PostsRegistered 7/7/2012
On 7/7/2012 Pook said:

In most cases it's the amount of certain ingredients and the purity of them that really do make the difference. Also if the ratio of these ingredients when combined together is not the same, then the cheaper product will not have the same resultsl. The cheapo knockoffs or products can say they have a certain ingredient and they do but they use the bottom of the barrel product which is far inferior and often do not use a strength equal to what makes the more expensive work so well form many. But whatever works for anyone and whatever each person is satisfied with is all that matters. But experience has taught me that you get what you pay for. There are exceptions but I am not wasting my money to find the rare cheaper exception. It's far more economical to spend more money and get quality than spend less money over and over again to try to find something that really doesn't work well.

Keep telling yourself that.

Good4u1341681282.5873172 PostsRegistered 1/12/2008USA - Midwest

Just the name on the bottle and maybe if there is a "M.D." after it; otherwise, there is nothing. How else do you think these ppl are going to pay for medical schl? I learned and stopped paying for it.

Beauty is ALWAYS before age...(Dorthy Parker misquoted intentionally)
Light-golden warm skin tone (dry side), olive-green eyes, medium brunette: Dominant Color season - Warm Autumn.

Pook1341682095.6233530 PostsRegistered 5/5/2007
On 7/7/2012 LifeIsGoodDOSOMETHING said:
On 7/7/2012 Pook said:

In most cases it's the amount of certain ingredients and the purity of them that really do make the difference. Also if the ratio of these ingredients when combined together is not the same, then the cheaper product will not have the same resultsl. The cheapo knockoffs or products can say they have a certain ingredient and they do but they use the bottom of the barrel product which is far inferior and often do not use a strength equal to what makes the more expensive work so well form many. But whatever works for anyone and whatever each person is satisfied with is all that matters. But experience has taught me that you get what you pay for. There are exceptions but I am not wasting my money to find the rare cheaper exception. It's far more economical to spend more money and get quality than spend less money over and over again to try to find something that really doesn't work well.

Keep telling yourself that.


I don't have to keep telling myself that!!! It's fact!! Yes there may be cheap products that are ok for some but with all the problems I've had trying to use cheap products that had inferior ingredients that messed up my skin and caused inflamation, I am taking no more chances. Do some research on products before blindly buying because they are "cheap" and find the sources for the ingredients they use (like ingredients rejected by the better companies because of contamination due to using the leftover ingredients that were the filtered out junk that these companies were disposing of) the purity and some of you may be shocked!!

bikerbabe1341682367.7278504 PostsRegistered 4/10/2007

profits for sure. i don't buy stupid expensive but i've yet to find any drugstore skincare that isn't a piece of garbage as far as working for my sensitive skin, especially if it has any kind of fragrance.

I take pleasure in my 'transformations'. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me.
- Anais Nin

tototwo1341685128.1532520 PostsRegistered 2/8/2008Great Plains

OP here -- Thanks for all your responses. I didn't mean for my question to be snarky - my mind was wandering as I vacuumed this morning and I was truly wondering if my skin care and makeup products are made with inferior ingredients. My complexion looks good and healthy, but should I spend the extra bucks now that I'm old?

Hmmm... Pook, is there proof that the cheaper brands are manufactured with the rejected dregs of the more expensive products? Because I kind of doubt it.

If you obey all the rules, you miss all of the fun.
- Katharine Hepburn

debra_jean1341685958.6178 PostsRegistered 3/24/2011

Good afternoon beauties and tototwo!

Why Are Some Products More Expensive?

Ever wonder why some skin care products are more expensive than others? Their hefty price tag can often mean greater results, but not always. Reason for pricey products include:

Higher Concentration- products which include a higher concentration of effective ingredients often will cost you more.

Manufacturing- high end products are often produced in a labor intensive environment rather than mass produced on an assembly line.

Research- skin care companies may fund years of research to create the most valuable product.

Advertising- many high end skin care companies have huge advertising campaigns, including magazine ads, TV commercials, and celebrity endorsements. this is a large cost to the company, and in turn affects the products price.

tototwo, does this shed a light to your question?

In With Skin blog :-)

Mona Dahl1341686498.1032201 PostsRegistered 3/29/2007
On 7/7/2012 WhateverUsay said: Nothing. There are no ingredients that make a product worth spending a ton of money on. Any ingredient in an expensive product can be found in a less expensive formulation.

While this is literally true, it doesn't mean that a serum from Olay or Paula's Choice is going to work as well as something from Skinceuticals. Sometimes, you get what you pay for--and what you pay for is research, first-quality ingredients and propriety, cutting-edge technology.

Risk more than others think is safe,

Care more than others think is wise,

Dream more than others think is practical,

Expect more than others think is possible.

happy hous­ewife1341686649.98330794 PostsRegistered 1/4/2007

Pook - I beg to differ with you. I have extremely dry and sensitive skin and I find the "high end" products are the ones that do cause my skin to rebel. The dermatologist told me that often those products just have too much of the active ingredients in order to be able to ask the high prices, and that higher concentration is what damages my skin. Very often a little is good but a lot is bad for very sensitrive skin. I find that cleansing with Dove for sensitive skin to be far superior to using any cleansing productand that moisturizing with mineral oil - or now I use argon oil - is much superior to the expensive brands. My skin is cleaner - healthier and happier with out all that krap on it. For those who can afford it and want to use it - go for it and enjoy but for me and according to the dermatologists I know less is definately more in skin care.

Last edited on 7/7/2012

Last edited on 7/7/2012

When faced with senseless drama, spiteful criticism or misguided opinions walking away is the best way to defend yourself.To respond with anger is an endorsement of their attitude. -Dodinsky

sparklestar1341686743.79710172 PostsRegistered 1/6/2008

I don't think it's the ingredients .... I think it's the name attached to the product.

NewerName1341687347.0571237 PostsRegistered 5/10/2012
On 7/7/2012 Pook said:
On 7/7/2012 LifeIsGoodDOSOMETHING said:
On 7/7/2012 Pook said:

In most cases it's the amount of certain ingredients and the purity of them that really do make the difference. Also if the ratio of these ingredients when combined together is not the same, then the cheaper product will not have the same resultsl. The cheapo knockoffs or products can say they have a certain ingredient and they do but they use the bottom of the barrel product which is far inferior and often do not use a strength equal to what makes the more expensive work so well form many. But whatever works for anyone and whatever each person is satisfied with is all that matters. But experience has taught me that you get what you pay for. There are exceptions but I am not wasting my money to find the rare cheaper exception. It's far more economical to spend more money and get quality than spend less money over and over again to try to find something that really doesn't work well.

Keep telling yourself that.


I don't have to keep telling myself that!!! It's fact!! Yes there may be cheap products that are ok for some but with all the problems I've had trying to use cheap products that had inferior ingredients that messed up my skin and caused inflamation, I am taking no more chances. Do some research on products before blindly buying because they are "cheap" and find the sources for the ingredients they use (like ingredients rejected by the better companies because of contamination due to using the leftover ingredients that were the filtered out junk that these companies were disposing of) the purity and some of you may be shocked!!

Not fact. Do you have any links to support your claims? Companies, both high end and low, source thei ingredients from the same manufacturers. Often high end and low end brands will be made in the same factories.

Pook1341687585.6873530 PostsRegistered 5/5/2007

tototwo, this was told to me by a dermatologist I saw over several years for skin problems. It was not certain ingredients causing my problems but inferior ingredients. Since ditching the cheap stuff I've had no problems at all. If you really want to get into it, it's time consuming to find out where ingredients come from that companies use and they have classy terms for junk product on the containers so you don't know it's inferior. Not everyone reacts poorly to the inferior ingredients so it's not really a large issue, but in the end, it's always better to get the best to avoid contaminants. Also, as debra_jean pointed out that the time and cost for the extensive research to develop a product that is eventually dumbed down using inferior products by the copy cat companies. It's just like argan oil. You can buy cheap or buy good. The cheaper ones are usually made second, third and even fourth presses which are really deluted because all the good stuff has already been extracted. There are also some who say first press but while they technically are, they are the leftover junk from first press. A friend used some of my argan oil (JM) and said it sure didn't feel like her cheaper stuff and immediately noticed the difference.

As a comparison, take baking or cooking - a recipe that is delicious can be ruined by using cheap ingredients. Then the person making it cannot figure out why their food doesn't taste the same.

cupcake131341688628.841898 PostsRegistered 10/11/2010Kentucky

Some people believe you get what you pay for and buy only the "best". It's about status. Companies know this and price as high as these people are willing to pay.

So to answer your question, the secret high $$$ ingredient is the feeling of superiority.

NewerName1341689591.4071237 PostsRegistered 5/10/2012
On 7/7/2012 Pook said:

tototwo, this was told to me by a dermatologist I saw over several years for skin problems. It was not certain ingredients causing my problems but inferior ingredients. Since ditching the cheap stuff I've had no problems at all. If you really want to get into it, it's time consuming to find out where ingredients come from that companies use and they have classy terms for junk product on the containers so you don't know it's inferior. Not everyone reacts poorly to the inferior ingredients so it's not really a large issue, but in the end, it's always better to get the best to avoid contaminants. Also, as debra_jean pointed out that the time and cost for the extensive research to develop a product that is eventually dumbed down using inferior products by the copy cat companies. It's just like argan oil. You can buy cheap or buy good. The cheaper ones are usually made second, third and even fourth presses which are really deluted because all the good stuff has already been extracted. There are also some who say first press but while they technically are, they are the leftover junk from first press. A friend used some of my argan oil (JM) and said it sure didn't feel like her cheaper stuff and immediately noticed the difference.

As a comparison, take baking or cooking - a recipe that is delicious can be ruined by using cheap ingredients. Then the person making it cannot figure out why their food doesn't taste the same.

Sorry but you are still wrong. There are good ingredients and bad ingredients in both high end and low end products. But the quality of the individual ingredient used in the manufacturing process is not going to differ for different by price point.

Bindi1341690125.463874 PostsRegistered 4/11/2007

When I do purchase "high end" skincare products, it has nothing to do with the name on the product! No one knows what I use but me, and I don't have to impress myself!

I don't care if it's high end, or drugstore, if it works on "my" skin, that is the deciding factor for me! Same way with make up!

~ Bindi ~
Posting from my iPad & iPhone sometimes, so format of my posts will look different:)

kcladyz1341690555.0473864 PostsRegistered 4/30/2012
On 7/7/2012 willdob3 said: GREED

like WEN lol

Maggie Nol­ia1341690666.02714669 PostsRegistered 1/30/2006

No special ingredients. It's the packaging.

Buzzards fly in packs. Eagles soar alone.

Pray for the USA.


"Let's roll." ~ Todd Beamer, 9/11/01.

Pook1341690761.93530 PostsRegistered 5/5/2007
On 7/7/2012 morning lover said:

Pook - I beg to differ with you. I have extremely dry and sensitive skin and I find the "high end" products are the ones that do cause my skin to rebel. The dermatologist told me that often those products just have too much of the active ingredients in order to be able to ask the high prices, and that higher concentration is what damages my skin. Very often a little is good but a lot is bad for very sensitrive skin. I find that cleansing with Dove for sensitive skin to be far superior to using any cleansing productand that moisturizing with mineral oil - or now I use argon oil - is much superior to the expensive brands. My skin is cleaner - healthier and happier with out all that krap on it. For those who can afford it and want to use it - go for it and enjoy but for me and according to the dermatologists I know less is definately more in skin care.

Last edited on 7/7/2012


That is your skin but my problems were from the inferior ingredients. Note also that I said that not everyone reacts poorly to inferior products. It appears you have a sensitivity to certain products in higher concentration which is different than my problem so it's like comparing apples to oranges. Recognize that my problems are quite different than yours.

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