The truth about beauty product prices

Is there really such a big difference in quality or results, between a cleanser that costs £50 and one that costs £15?

To some degree the prices are to do with the ingredients, concentrations and their quality.

However, more often than not the price is dictated by:

  • expensive packaging - think double-walled jars, bling, heavy containers and cello wrapping - much of which ends up in the bin
  • smaller manufacturing runs are more expensive
  • 'luxury' brand positioning, which is marketed to appeal to your aspirations and influences the mark-up or brand margin.

Let's look at an example.  Below you can see the ingredient lists for five market leading Cleansing Balms, along with a Cosmetic Scientists evaluation of some aspects of the ingredients:

Cleansing Balm comparision

Which would you chose and what would you base that decision on? Tell us in the comments below please.

In my opinion, we need to break away from the mind-set, that paying more = better quality or performance.  Or that more reasonably priced products do not perform. That is not always the case and it is proven time and again in all industries including food, cars, cosmetics etc. When I was running a well known brand, we had a body product 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 do very well. They then raised the price to £12.99 and sales increased significantly.  At £6.99, customers did not believe that the quality was good enough but at £12.99 they believed the very same product was quality. This demonstrates how we, living in relative abundance, have been trained to 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 and one our nation is embracing.  Supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl are challenging 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 £100 is not likely to be outshone by one that sells for £3. But I am saying that a skincare product that costs £35 can potentially out-do a product that costs £100.  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 on that in the comments below and please share with us how influenced you really are by packaging and the perceived brand positioning/quality.  Would you look at brands differently now?

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