Are more expensive skincare products actually better?

When you walk down the aisle of a drug store, it seems like the skincare options are endless. A dermatologist said there are two products you really need and the more expensive products usually don’t work better.

“I think I’ve been trying skincare products since I was maybe 13, so almost ten now,” Ria Kim said. “I had pretty bad cystic acne all through early college. And it was really stressful.”

She said she cleanses, moisturizes and protects her face from sun damage, and sunscreen is the most important part of her skincare routine.

Dermatologist Dr. Fayne Frey said the same thing. She also said that a higher price does not necessarily mean better quality.

“There’s no correlation between how much you pay and whether the product works,” Dr. Frey said.

But she said you could blame marketing for making you think that.

“Anti-aging is a brilliant marketing term. Why? Science hasn’t found a single ingredient, a single product, that can reverse the aging process,” she said.

Dr. Frey said that when it comes to taking care of your skin, it’s easier than you think.

“Healthy skin in a healthy individual mimics a healthy body. And that’s not the sexy answer that everyone wants. But healthy skin, again, mimics a healthy life. And we know it requires a good night’s sleep, healthy eating, exercise,” she said.

When shopping for skincare on a budget, Dr. Frey says sunscreen and moisturizer are the two essential products to consider. And when it comes to cleaning your face, she said all you really need is water.

“I had a survey many years ago. I actually surveyed about 500 women, and half of them – remember, these are women with healthy skin – half of them they only used water,” she said.

Dr. Frey said if you wear oil-based makeup, you should consider using a face wash. She also said that at the end of the day, the cheaper products you buy at the pharmacy probably work just as well, if not better, than the expensive ones.