• 5 Alternatives to Expensive Anti-Aging Products

    5 Alternatives to Expensive Anti-Aging Products

    When you're in the market for new skin care, so many products may seem unnecessarily expensive. Is Neiman Marcus' $90 anti-aging face cream much more effective than a $9 drugstore moisturizer? The answer is: it varies.

    It's no secret that the beauty industry has a lot of confusing information. That's due to the exact reason of obfuscating items that actually deserve the asking price. The pursuit of better skin can be a really frustrating (and really expensive) experience.

    One tool that can be used to research the actual value of a product? Ingredient lists can tell us that a product is much more than its marketing and price tag. We've looked at the ingredient lists of five of the most expensive luxuries anti-aging products and found affordable alternatives that are just as effective (if not more so).

    1. Creme de la mer vs. nivea cream

    Even people outside the skincare industry have heard of La Mer . Its military-grade price tag and romantic origin story--it was invented by a rocket scientist who attempted to heal his own decade-old burns--raised the moisturizer to legendary status. But as otherworldly as this product may seem, is it actually any better than its drugstore contemporaries?

    After years of exchanging notes on beauty forums and trading stories, an avid fan of the expensive cream has discovered that it has an unlikely doppelganger: the sea cream Nivea Cream . The basic ingredients of each product are almost identical, according to Beautiful WithBrains , and thanks to the packaging of the cream jars, what additional zhuzhCDLM antioxidants might have imparted is completely lost.

    2. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence vs. Misha Time Revolucion First Treatment Essence Intensive

    SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is another high-priced skincare product that relies heavily on its mystical findings to stimulate attraction and justify its enormous price tag. According to SK-II, the key ingredient in this essence, Pitera, was discovered when someone noticed the youthful hands of a brewery.

    This patented ingredient compound is a byproduct of rice fermentation that is said to contain amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and all that good stuff. This top ingredient (and the one that makes up the bulk of the solution) also happens to be the top ingredient in Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Intensive . It's called SaccharomycopsisFerment Filtrate and is essentially a generic version of Pitera.

    While the SK-II essence ends with a simple list of moisturizers and viscosity control agents in addition to ferments, the Misha essence is packed with a bunch of other beneficial ingredients including niacinamide, licorice root extract, and a large amount of antioxidants. This is one instance where the replication actually outperforms the original.

    3. SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic vs. Timeless Skin Care 20% Vitamin C Serum + Vitamin E + Ferulic Acid

    SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Products It's not just a marketing strategy. In fact, it was once patented for its pH levels and precise vitamin E and ferulic acid blend proved to be the most effective. For years, Skinceuticals' powerful dark spot fade feature was out of reach of its competitors, and consumers were faced with the choice of spending nearly $170 or settling for a lesser formula.

    While SkinCeuticals' patent protects a trifecta of ingredients at a pH between 2.5 and 3, the timeless serum , which contains all three, is offered at 2.4. Everything down to the ham sandwich smell is a dead ringer for the skinceuticals version, but be aware that a lower pH can cause more irritation among those with sensitive skin.

    In short, opt for Timeless to save, but if your epidermis is already under a lot of stress, the original may be a safer bet.

    4. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair vs. Misha Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule

    Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is the best-selling repair serum in the world, and at this point no other serum can compete with that fact. However, just because something is a best seller doesn't mean it is the wisest investment.

    Misha Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule Strictly mimics the ingredient list of its luxurious counterpart, starting with its main ingredient, Bifida Fermentation Lysate. This yeast-derived product has proven anti-aging capabilities ranging from antioxidant benefits to improved skin elasticity. The two twin serums also contain skin conditioners such as hyaluronic acid and butylene glycol.

    Like the Misha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive above, the brand's night serum actually outperforms the original serum that inspired it. Misha's serum is packed with more anti-aging ingredients including niacinamide, retinol, and nine additional ferments.

    5. Drunk Elephant VirginMarula Luxury Facial Oil vs. Shea Terra Organic Marula Oil

    When DrunkElephant's Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil first hit the shelves, shoppers were surprised by its inflated price, which was due to the much lower average price of one ingredient in the product, Marula Oil.

    While I agree that paying $40 for 0.5 ounces of straight Marula oil is highway robbery, I can't stress enough that not all oils are created equal. For something you apply to your face every night, it is important to source a reliable provider with high quality ingredients.

    However, high quality does not necessarily have to be expensive. This cheaper alternative by SheaTerra is wild harvested, ethically produced, and has over 600 reviewers praising its pure, high quality oils.