When it comes to products like cleansers and hydrating serums, the pricier products will oftentimes provide a better sensorial experience. “The more money you spend on a product, the better it will feel on the skin; that’s the point of luxury skin care,” Ford explains.

For example, a less expensive hyaluronic acid serum may feel a bit sticky on the skin, while the pricier option may leave behind a smoother surface. An affordable oil cleanser may take a bit of work to fully rinse off the skin, while the more expensive product may wash off with ease. Of course, we’re generalizing here, and you can certainly find sensorially appealing options at budget prices, but it’s an overall pattern Ford has found from years in the industry.

However, cleansers and simple serums like hyaluronic acid oftentimes deliver similar results. “They do what they claim to do, and they may not have the best texture, but they deliver on their performance,” Ford explains. 

So if you need to cut down on your skin care spending, you might want to consider opting for a more affordable cleanser and continuing to invest in vitamin C and retinol products to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck all around. And if you choose to spend more on skin care regardless of the step, you shouldn’t feel bad about it—self-care is something you should enjoy.

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