Hello Left Brain and Right Brain,
I have read dozens of your articles in the search to discover what really works and what is just beauty company puffery. I have seen you, time and time again, debunk any notion that expensive skincare products do anything more than the run-of-the-mill drugstore options. I think I even saw one of you quoted (outside this blog) as saying that spending any more than $25 on a moisturizer or anti-wrinkle cream is a waste of money. I've practically given up on the idea of using an anti-aging product at all, since it seems that nothing really works aside from Retin-A, and to a much lesser extent, Retinol.
I have very frequently seen you recommend the typical offerings of the drugstore facial care aisle, Olay and Neutrogena especially. Although I haven't delved into the world of anti-aging in their skincare lines (or those of Roc and L'Oreal) I have tried my fair share of their moisturizers. They seem to do the job fine. Since I don't have dry skin there isn't much difference between my skin that has been moisturized for days and my skin that has gone days without moisturizer. I mostly use moisturizer because my understanding is that keeping one's skin moisturized is a preventative measure against aging in itself.
I'm sticking to moisturizer here because I'm not keen to spend $20-$30 on the mass-market lines' anti-aging products that might not work, but I am willing to spend $10-$15 on their moisturizer. The trouble is, I'm a very disloyal beauty consumer. I don't like to buy the same product twice, and if I do, it will be years between the first and second purchase. I like variety in my products. I like to be "wowed" buy a new cream's texture, application, and, to a lesser extent, smell or lack thereof.
What I'm saying is, the drugstore is a bore. I'm actually getting sick of looking at the same line-up of products. I'm suffering from cream fatigue. I recently even bought two creams by Olay, a day and a night, that I swear are exactly the same.
It seems as though you guys aren't the biggest fans of "natural" and "organic" cosmetics, but there seems to be a wider offering of lines at places like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Erewhon. Lines like Andalou Naturals, Avalon Organics, MyChelle, and Dr. Hauschka. Simple products that I am concerned with like cleansers, toners, and moisturizers are quite a bit more expensive than their drugstore counterparts. I've barely tried any of these products.
My question is, is there anything in these products that are as effective as the ones at the drugstore? They are chock-full of oils and extracts of plants and herbs, but can any of these moisturize, cleanse, and tone as well as traditional chemical-based ingredients? Do they justify the higher price tag, and will they have the same (or better) effect on my skin?
Yes, I want variety, but I'll be damned if am going to spend between $40 and $150 at the department store counter minefield on Estee Lauder and Lancome, or, even worse, on Caudalie, Peter Thomas Roth, Dr. Brandt, or (dare I say it?) Perricone, at the Sephora cartel.
Thank you for reading my whining long-winded inquiry.
Bored at the Drugstore.