Luxury, translates to expensive but I’m guessing you already knew that. Skincare is no exception to that rule.
As someone who blogs about beauty, It’s certainly a question I’m often asked. Fortunately, I’m able to try all kinds of skincare from various brands, including drugstore to high-end and pretty much anything in between. Plus, “newsflash” – I do buy it myself too so I like to think I’m well versed when it comes to skincare.
Any savvy beauty buff knows there’s no such thing as a time-stopping or reversing miracle cream, and it’s highly doubtful there ever will be. Ageing is a natural process and nothing, nout, nada is going to stop it. However, If we develop a good skin care routine and make informed product choices we can do our bit to slow the ravages of time.
I love the idea of luxury skincare but, all too often, it’s not ethically produced and/ or, I can’t afford it.
You may not be surprised to learn that there are actually creams available out there which will set you back an obscene £1,000 plus, per pot. I Prefer to keep my feet firmly on the ground with the most expensive pot of cream I’ve used costing £163.
I’m not in a position to repurchase at this price point but I have to admit, when I see that the product is used (but not endorsed) by both royalty and celebrities I’m immediately drawn in. With its consistency of semi-softened butter, a quarter of gold venom (from the queen bee), no less, and a delicious all-natural scent, I’m intrigued and want to know more.
The packaging looks and feels luxe, it’s chunky and unusual in appearance which I believe may account for some of the cost. My luxury product is skincare extraordinaire Deborah Mitchell’s award-winning, signature Black Bee Venom Mask. What’s more, Deborah’s brand Heaven skincare is cruelty-free and use only natural, organic ingredients which for me, is an important factor.
What makes it special?
Black bee venom is so rare, only 500 Black Bee Venom Masks are produced annually. With that in mind, I wanted to delve a little deeper into the subject of luxury skincare costs so I asked the founder and owner of Heaven Skincare Deborah Michell what she could tell me about why her iconic product is so costly.
This is what Deborah had to say:
“If you’ve ever tried my Silver Bee Venom Mask you’ll know it’s one cream that totally transforms your skin. Relaxing lines, similar to injectables such as Botox because the skin believes it’s been stung. As a reaction, the facial muscles relax preventing the bee venom from travelling further through the skin’s tissues. Simultaneously, the skin goes into survival mode and lucky for us, this is anti-ageing collagen and elastin – the pillars that hold the key to that youthful glow.
So why make a stronger version? The answer is – you go to the gym once a week to start prepping your body, you see improvements, but now you want more. This is what my clients asked for – more bee venom in the form of my patented Abeetoxin. More glow in the form of moisture molecules contained in the bodies sting reaction to the venom. With a cost of £27,000 per ounce, you want to see every result possible.
Ok, so now you want to know why gold venom is so great? To explain how gold works, I have to first explain how a bee lives. In its first three days of life a queen bee feeds royal jelly to her babies, she protects them from harm and disease by stinging around them, this contains antibiotics to help and heal. To create a new queen royal jelly is fed longer than three days.
Black bee venom is so effective there’s no need to buy a moisturiser or an eye cream. If the skin is sensitive to such a strong venom you’d think you might have to be careful, but no, it improves sensitive skin by treating and re-boosting skin cells. It’s quite simply is a Miracle cream” – Deborah Mitchell – founder, Heaven Skincare.
Deborah Mitchell is an official “guardian of bees” she also donates a portion of her revenue to bee charities. No bees were harmed during venom extraction. If you’re interested in how venom is extracted read my Heaven skincare Bee Calm Kit post to find out more.
Unfortunately, all too often our luxury skincare purchases are funding product promotion, celebrity endorsement and so on. If a brand showcases clinical tests, trials or studies (none of which come cheap), it all adds to the overall cost. Luxury packaging or a combination can also hike up the cost.
Should we choose a “salon strength” over a high-end products you might find on a beauty counter in Boots.
The answer for me is yes, you should. I don’t claim to be the oracle but writing a beauty related blog for over two years has given me insights into the industry which I wouldn’t otherwise have. Did you know some well-known beauty counter brands, (better-known for their makeup over skincare) may use lower strength active ingredients than salon branded products? Worse still, some brands don’t contain any actives at all so there’s no lasting improvement to our skin. This may well be for the purpose of reducing the chance of contact allergic reaction en masse – fuelled by the theory that the majority won’t bother patch testing a product.
Choosing a naturally active alternative
With the majority of high-end skincare brands being less than ethical, you may want to consider a natural alternative. If you like results but are put off by vivisection, or unsustainable production then, of course, there are many beauty brands available which will not only give good results but also, peace of mind that your money isn’t supporting unethical practices. Read about why I started Leaning Towards A More Ethical Approach To Beauty.
If we’re going to leave a large dent in our bank balance for a considered skincare purchase we expect great results.
Sadly, it’s not always the case, plus, aside from bee venom products – where you’ll see an instant result (and long-term improvement as collagen and elastin production is stimulated). Skincare containing actives can take around a month before you’ll notice any changes. Our skin renews over a twenty-eight-day cycle so be mindful of your choices.
Ingredients to look out for:
Actives (plant-based, or otherwise) – these will help stimulate your body’s ability to produce those all-important building blocks – aka collagen and elastin needed for firmer, smoother skin.
Antioxidants. We should all know about free radical damage. In simple terms, free radicals are incomplete atoms. They are unstable with an inherent need to complete themselves. Our healthy, or normal cells are a target and once an incomplete atom (free radical) has stolen an electron or “piece” of our healthy cell it becomes inflamed, dysfunctional or even dies. As this process continues more normal cells have “pieces” stolen wreaking havoc on our skin, accelerating the ageing process. Vitamin C is your weapon of choice; neutralising free radicals and donating an electron to the incomplete atom which in turns reduces or stops the cycle.
If your skin’s appearance is important to you, Use vitamin C topically every day. Eat a diet rich in citrus fruits or at least include a vitamin C supplement in your diet.
Retinol is the king of skincare ingredients, known for speeding up dead skin cell turnover. However, if you choose to use Retinol within your skin maintenance routine it’s paramount you use a good sunscreen daily as Retinol can affect the skins natural ability to fend off UV radiation by removing the invisible film which protects the skin. Have a read about a new launch Retinol Serum which I tried recently. It’s by one of my favourite brands skinSense and is a gentle formula and a great place to start.
Sunscreen. This is a NO BRAINER. UV rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage the DNA of our cells. This accounts for the majority of visible ageing. As time passes, you’ll also notice a “leathery” appearance to your skin and deeper lines forming – all telltale signs of sun worshipping. Wear sunscreen every day, regardless of weather conditions. I use once-a-day Face Fluid SPF 50 by UltrasunUK.It’s superfast absorbing and the perfect makeup base.
Remember… This year’s suntan is next years wrinkles.
Essentially, my advice would be to leave the celebrity endorsed, overpriced pretties on the shelf and choose products containing some, or all of the above ingredients – for best results. Read more about my thoughts on the Black Bee Venom mask here.- Is it really natures botox?
Do you insist on luxury skincare? Or, are you happy with the results you find from drugstore products? Maybe you mix it up? What are your thoughts?
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