BEAUTY-FULL BULLSH*T! The Truth About Beauty Prices

BEAUTY-FULL BULLSH*T! The Truth About Beauty Prices

Ever felt a bit guilty after splurging on a cleanser? Are you one of the growing number of women who is not ashamed to say they have more SENSE than money (even if you are rich)?

Is there a big difference in quality or results between a £50 and £18 cleanser? Yes, but not in a good way!  

Active ingredients play a part in cost however, beware of the following:

  • It depends on how many Active Ingredients are used in a formula. The recent trend for single ingredients in souped up concentrations is a false economy, because you need so many products to get the same benefits as a product with multiple actives. Overloaded concentrations can also cause skin sensitivities.
  • Are the Active Ingredients good quality and clinically tested (evidence-based)? Very importantly, are they used in the same concentrations they were tested at? It is not uncommon for brands to use a lower concentration, just to be able to say it's included. Some brands include an ingredient in their product name, even though it might be at an ineffective concentration and be an extract rather than the actual oil.
  • Many brands call attention to ingredients that are not really considered Active Ingredients e.g. various low level essential oils (these are fragrance) or Glycerin, which is in pretty much in every moisturiser ever made.

More often than not, the price you pay is dictated by the following:

Factors that determine how expensive beauty & skincare prices are

Here's an example. We sent the ingredient lists (INCI) for four market leading Cleansing Balms, with no other information about the brand, price, etc, to an experienced Cosmetic Scientist for blind evaluation of the formula. His professional comments and answers to questions about parabens and active ingredients etc. are below:

Comparison of cleansing balms - price, active ingredients, parabens, mineral oil, animal-derived ingredients/vegan

We have been brainwashed into the mind-set paying more = better quality or performance. It's been proven wrong time and again in all industries including food, cars, cosmetics etc.

When I was running a well known brand, we had a body scrub that sold for £25. A rival company produced a copy of the product with an almost identical name and packaging and sold it for £6.99. Surprisingly, it did not sell very well. They then raised the price to £12.99 and sales went through the roof. At £6.99, customers did not believe that the quality was good enough but at £12.99 they believed the very same product was good quality. This demonstrates how we, living in relative abundance, have been trained to (not) think. Oh and by the way, I tried the product to compare and honestly, it did the job!

My father used to tell me as a teenager, "Maleka, remember, it takes a really smart person to pay 50p for something that is worth £1 but any dummy can pay £1 for something that is worth 50p. Make sure you understand the difference between price and value."

He was rather blunt, as Father's tend to be with their wayward daughters who are spending all their earnings in Harvey Nichols! However, in the times we are living, and with the threat of another global recession, this is a good lesson for women to stop being duped by brands, celebrity endorsements and paid product reviews. Stop the sheep mentality. Supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl are knocking the socks off the 'big four' and cars like Lexus/Toyota are challenging Mercedes and BMW on performance and reliability.

MERUMAYA® is a challenger brand. It does not have the fanciest or heaviest packaging (on purpose) but the product itself rivals anything on the market and truly delivers results. My job is to inform you of that and then it is your choice to make and I respect that.

Note, I am NOT saying that this applies to everything; a zirconia simply is not a diamond and a skincare product that sells for £40 is not likely to be outshone by one that sells for £1.99. But I am saying that a cleansing balm that costs £18.50 DOES out perform the rest for skin results, ingredient quality, cruelty-free, non-animal ingredients, non-petrolatum, price, packaging, sustainability, saving precious time and supporting UK jobs. 

There are times when our aspirations and desires factor high above value and performance. We need to each pick and chose what is important to us. e.g. I would still like to drive an Aston Martin if I could, but I would not spend massive amounts on things that go down the sink. What do you think? Please give us your thoughts in the comments below. Tell us how influenced you really are by packaging and the perceived brand positioning/quality. Would you look at brands differently now?



  • I’m 79, always looked after my skin. I have lines etc, which are my life experience. Your youth serum plumps my face, brightens my skin and softens my laughter lines. It makes so much difference, I love it ❤️

    Wendy Robson
  • Hi Maleka
    This is so interesting! Would love to see a similar comparison done with your wonderful serum and others that are twice or three times the price.
    Cath x

  • Maleeka…can I nominate you for a Peerage. When an actress and reality TV star can become seriously rich peddling rubbish to gullible clients, I so admire your integrity to produce a high quality , ethical product, within budget with faultlessly efficient administration. YOU ARE A SUPERSTAR ( disclaimer : no points expected to be earned by this statement ! )

    Ann Coxon
  • Hi Maleka, apologies in that only just read this – fascinating and I totally agree with your thoughts and beliefs. It would be really interesting to see other products compared like this, especially your fab serum against others of twice or three times the price.
    Cath x


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