You may have come across a new skin care product that you can’t wait to try.  It comes from a luxury skin care brand and costs a pretty penny.  But you notice another very similar product from a drugstore brand.  It makes the same promises as the luxury one, and it’s much cheaper.  With such an obvious price difference, it can make you wonder: What exactly is the difference between drugstore and luxury skin care products? 

The Differences Between Drugstore & Longevity Skin Care

There are a few factors that influence the difference in price between drugstore and luxury skin care. The packaging and price are the main differences between drugstore and luxury skincare products.  Both of these sources spend more on marketing than on the essential skin care ingredients themselves. 

It is no secret that drugstore and luxury brands are at least 10 or more years behind the advancements being made by cosmeceutical and medical brands.  Longevity and drugstore brands are copycat industries, meaning they simply copy what innovative cosmeceutical and medical, small holistic brands are doing if they can cheapen it enough to satisfy their high margins.  They find non-organic and bargain basement ingredients, add preservatives, fancy packaging, and a huge marketing budget, and they are off to the races with your money, leaving you with mediocracy. 


To be fair, there is some degree of higher quality ingredients in luxury brands but not enough to warrant the price difference.  Surprisingly, the thing that they both have in common is the use of synthetic preservatives, fragrances, dyes, and microplastics.  The sales from these two sources make up 75% of the money being spent on skincare.  Sadly, a vast amount of consumers are not aware that higher quality, small brand, organic and holistic skincare brands exist.  If they do, they somehow trust the corporate brands more, which is a testament to their lavish marketing campaigns.


Whether we prefer minimalist skin care bottles or all colors of the rainbow, there’s no denying that packaging impacts our interest in a product.  Packaging is much more than just for aesthetic purposes as some products have specific packaging requirements to keep them stable, which drives up the cost. 

The Next Price Jump

The next jump in price would be a dermatology office, esthetician, or medi-spa, in which ingredients are sourced of much higher quality and density of active ingredients than luxury and drugstore brands.  The higher price can be out of reach, so this prevents many people from acquiring them.  Aside from the fact that drugstore and luxury brands have the best distribution, wherein they are widely, easily convenient, and accessible.  Think of a drugstore brand as McDonalds, while a luxury brand would be something a step above Olive Garden.  

What Skin Care Products Should You Splurge On?

There are a few unknown things that are worth paying for in your skincare products like real Dermal Nutrients and unadulterated lipids found in high-quality moisturizers.  We who seek quality actually pay to have most other things ironically left out.

A way to wiggle into the desired cosmeceutical bracket that would give you miles of more value for your money would be to save money with a gentle generic cleanser, pure hydrating mists, and lipid-rich moisturizers that are easy enough to make or source locally by your local herbal craftswoman.  Moisturizers are the least effective way to provide active ingredients. Instead, splurge on cosmeceutical grade serums as there is potential for product absorption of the active ingredients of your choice.

Most skin care ingredients that are in drugstores and luxury brands are smoke, mirrors, and abracadabra.  If you are serious about your skin, look to these other places armed with the hacks I just mentioned.