The skincare world loves the term ‘luxury’: luxury formula, luxury ingredients, luxury packaging… the list goes on. Completely unregulated, literally any brand can plaster their products with the word and more often than not, it’s simply used as a much more flattering synonym for the word ‘expensive’. But – and it’s a big but – when it comes to skincare, more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better.
Thankfully, the tide is turning. “Today the luxury landscape looks different,” explains Ksenia. “And what we now consider luxury is more than just a beautiful box! This category is being revamped by new upcoming brands that are reinventing what luxury means.” Some brands are operating with watertight sustainability credentials, others are leading the charge with cutting edge science and innovation. The key is to work out what luxury means to you and the factors you value the most when it comes to choosing products to stock up your bathroom cabinet. To help you figure out if a ‘luxury’ product is your kind of luxury, we’ve flagged some questions you might want to ask yourself below:
Is it truly sustainable?
Although sustainability is vital, it can also be expensive, which is why so many brands are only taking baby steps towards a more eco-friendly future. Refillables are great, recycled packaging is a must, but the most exciting players in the sustainable beauty game are the brands pushing beyond the urge to greenwash and doing everything in their power to limit their environmental impact. It’s the brands innovating with sustainable packaging alternatives, using only mindful sourcing practices, cutting and offsetting their carbon and water uses and upholding ethical employment standards. If you’re not sure about a certain product: slide into the brand’s DMs.
Is the brand using pioneering ingredients?
In the same way certain food items cost more than others, skincare ingredients have varying values too. Some things which are readily available or can be made in a lab tend to have pretty low costs, whereas other ingredients are pretty expensive to buy. If, for you, the most exciting and efficacious ingredients are the defining characteristic of a luxury product, inspect that ingredients list! Don’t forget: the first ingredient listed will be the one in highest concentration. If the flashy sounding substance is halfway down the list, it probably isn’t potent enough to do anything.
Is the brand innovating with cutting edge technology?
There’s a hell of a lot of research and development going on in the world of skincare, and perhaps the most important thing for you is hunting out the brands that push the needle forward in terms of innovation. It’s important to remember that skin science is full of its own breed of jargon, and something that sounds impressive might actually be pretty bog standard. Our Skin Mentors are clued up on all the latest skin innovations making them the perfect sounding board to cross examine bold claims and marketing speak.
Does the product make you feel good?
That unexplainable feeling your skincare routine gives you can’t be overlooked. Sure, we’re pretty solid in our belief that skincare should be efficacious and effective, but luxury to you might mean products that feel rich and decadent on the skin. Be warned, though, you still need to find products that suit your Skin Mood™, concerns and type and for that, you can come to us. Our Holistic Skin Sessions take your beauty ethos into account, meaning we recommend products that will work, but will also be a joy to use.
Want to unpack the real definition of luxury skincare even further? We cover the topic in depth in S2 Ep11 of our podcast, The Skinterview, alongside Irene Forte, founder of eponymous skincare line