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Expensive Lady Aging Cream v. Cheap Lady Aging Cream

I risked my face for science.  Okay, that’s hyperbole.  I did an experiment comparing expensive face cream (Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar, $15.00 for 0.5 oz) to cheap face cream (Walgreen’s brand Alpha Hydroxy Face Cream, 4.0 oz for 6.99).

Let me start by saying I have pretty good skin.  Despite a lifetime of doing everything possible to cause them, I’m relatively wrinkle free for a woman of my age.  I stayed out of the sun.   I smoke, I squint, I sleep on my face and I scowl, but apparently the experts are on to something when they tell us to minimize sun exposure.  I also have good genes, the women in my family tend to have good skin.   So I’m not trying to work any miracles with my face lotion, I just want to fight dry skin.

My usual skin care ritual involves washing it and spreading on a little moisturizer.  It’s not a system that works for everyone, but it’s served me pretty well.  It also made designing my experiment pretty easy.  I decided to wash as normal and smear half of my face with expensive cream and half with cheap stuff.  If the marketing team at Philosophy is to be believed, I should be half a shriveled prune of a woman on one side, and a radiant goddess on the other.  Not so much.

After 30 days of half-and-half moisturizing, there is no visible difference in the appearance of my skin.  Both products appear to work exactly the same,  with one costing nearly 30x as much as the other.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

3 replies on “Expensive Lady Aging Cream v. Cheap Lady Aging Cream”

So much is tied to genetics and the luck of the draw. Yes, diet and sleep are most important. Water, water, and water.

I have found that when cheaping out I first scour the internet for reviews. I match content percentages, such as 8-10% AHA. I am at that point where I can feel the shift towards “mature” skin, but am not quite ready for those heavy products.

There is a difference with very high end products such as Shiseido or La Prairie.My mother spends oodles of money, an investment she says, on high end beauty products and regimens, and sometimes she gifts me. It’s the difference between riding in a Bentley or a Toyota Corolla. I notice the difference but do not support the high profit differences in price. And I don’t like dealing with those department store sales ladies. It’s awkward and guilt inducing. Blech.

I’m not too concerned about wrinkles, seeing as though my mostly olive-skinned family remained relatively wrinkle-free well into their fifties. I do have really dry skin and drugstore moisturizers work better for me than the high-end stuff. For one thing, I’m more likely to find something uncomplicated and unscented at CVS or Walgreens than I am Macy’s.

LOL at “half a shriveled prune.” Despite knowing you’ll save money on drugstore brands, it’s always a little disappointing when so-called miracle creams in their pretty, pretty jars don’t deliver.

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