Nobody likes to talk about money (“it is so crass!”) but the question arises once and again. What are the relative contributions to the price of a skin care product?
There can be a huge difference in the price of ingredients, even when the INCI name is the same or very similar. For example, a tea extract can be just what you make when you have a cup of tea, a tea bag left in very hot water for a few minutes. But this term can also refer to an extract that has been repeatedly purified to enrich it in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol responsible for many of the beneficial properties of Camellia sinensis, the plants we use to make “regular” tea. To purify an active chemical from the plant material can take many steps, each of them costs time and money and you lose some of the vaulable chemical at each step. If you want to buy tea you can do it in the supermarket for a couple of dollars but buying pure EGCG will cost several hundreds. At Skin Actives we buy the most pure chemical, unless there is a plant extract that contains several active chemicals. In the case of Camellia sinensis we may use two different extracts, one purified for EGCG and another purified for caffeine.
In the case of algae extract, we know that not algae are created equal, and not extracts have the same chemicals in them. For example, brown algae contain several active chemicals (see for example our Sea kelp coral), while most green algae, like Chlorella, don’t have any particular chemical useful in skin care.
Is there a difference between a $25 product and one that sells at $125? It depends, but you will have to look at the ingredient list. Often, packaging and advertising are major contributors to the price. You look at the jar, but the carton and the label can also bee very expensive.
At Skin Actives we spend money and time in ingredient and formula development and quality control, and these are major contributors to the final price of the products we sell. Lately we had to start spending money in getting some visibility in the internet, so that people can actually find us. This is a big change from when we started, and has to do with the big guys in the internet universe, which now make most of their money from selling visibility (pay per click, etc.).
The big skin care companies have other costs like maintaining their presence in the malls, shop fronts in New York and Paris, advertising in fancy magazines and TV, and paying celebrities and reviewers.
As you can probably guess, in my opinion Skin Actives products are the best value for money anywhere. We use the most advanced and effective ingredients available in the market (some of them made exclusively by us, like pure growth factors and antioxidant proteins) and we spend as little as possible on anything that will not benefit the customer in one way or another. The befit of our customer is our primary goal, everything else comes second (or third or fourth!).
Let me know if you have any questions.