I Tried Cheap & Expensive Skincare To See If Price Really Matters

I Tried Cheap & Expensive Skincare To See If Price Really Matters

I am obsessed with taking care of my skin. So much so that I’m willing to try out the latest trends and the newest products. But one of the things I always grapple with internally is if a skincare product’s price tag is really worth it. For this skincare test, I wanted to take some cheap skincare products and some more expensive skincare products to see if you could really tell the difference. For the purpose of this experiment, I did my best to find products that were comparable and showcasing an in-house line. 

I mean, sure – a brand will say it’s worth it, but is it really?

cheap and expensive skincare

Case in point: I selected an item from Shoppers Drug Mart’s Life Brand and Sephora’s Sephora Collection to go against top of the line brands.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “That’s not fair!” But honestly, I think there are a lot of misconceptions and stigmas when it comes to in-house brands that they aren’t good enough or that because they aren’t as expensive, or they won’t have good enough ingredients. Once again, not true!

Here are some of my thoughts and opinions on if price really matters when it comes to skincare products.

Spot treatments:

cheap and expensive skincare

Life Brand – Clear Action – Advance Acne Spot Treatment, $7.99

VICHY – Normaderm Hyaluspot Targeted Fast Acting Care, $21

In my last piece, I spoke extensively about my hormonal acne, so I was super excited to test out two brands so who help out with this. First up, I took to the back of the packages to explore the ingredient listings. Both of these products have salicylic acid, which is known to help unclog pores and prevent lesions in the face. Perfect.

The Life Brand spot treatment includes witch hazel, which is similar to tea tree oil, acting as both astringent and anti-inflammatory. With this product, you’re supposed to apply it to the individual breakouts three-times-daily and it will help dry it out and help tighten the skin.

cheap and expensive skincare

When I tested out the VICHY product, I found that it works a bit differently, using hyaluronic acid to create more of an invisible layer to help product against external agents. Since I have sensitive skin, I found that when I applied the VICHY product, my skin was a bit more tingly than with most products, but it immediately disappeared within a few minutes.

The results between the two products were fairly average. To be honest, I didn’t notice an immediate clear up using either. But I did notice a shrinking in my problem areas using the Life Brand spot treatment, which made me feel better.

My only concern was that I couldn’t really keep applying it three times a day. I mean, who can?

Each had its benefits, and from what I have read up, with continued use of the VICHY product, it can help to reduce the redness of spots as well as heal them faster in the future. So I guess, stay tuned.

Skin aging:

cheap and expensive skincare

Sephora Collection – Firming Sleeping Mask, $22

Sephora Collection – Ultra Glow Serum: Glow + Strengthen Vitamin C Serum, $27

Dermalogica – AGE Smart Phyto-Nature Firming Serum, $199

I recently celebrated my 36th birthday, and of course – I’m thinking about aging in a way that’s very real, so I’ve been exploring how to take care of my skin, properly.

This means buying anti-aging serums and creams, and oh my, are they expensive.

As soon as I heard about the brand new Phyto-Nature Firming Serum by Dermalogica, I had to try it out. Using plant-based products, I took one tiny pump to my face, and within a week it calmed down my rosacea and evened out some of my finer lines near my eyes.

However, I’ve got to admit that $199 is not something I might be willing to shell out on a product all the time, so I used two different Sephora Collection products to see if I could get the same effect and oddly enough, I enjoyed them.

I was nervous using a cream at night because, to be honest, it felt heavy and I thought it was going to get all over my pillow. But I made sure to work it into my routine, and the mask would seep into my face right in my skin, leaving me with smoother, more supple skin.


One of the active ingredients in the mask is PEP (peptides) which is known to tighten skin, and while I didn’t notice my lines even out, I did feel much better about how smooth and strong my skin felt. In the mornings, I would wake up and use the Ultra Glow Serum, and it was everything. It’s lightweight, absorbs into the skin quickly and didn’t have a huge fragrance.

Did the two Sephora products offer the same benefits as the Dermalogica? I don’t think so!

However, if my budget couldn’t spring for the one serum, this works in a pinch and they were just as good.

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