When it comes to moisturisers, sushi platters, and colonoscopies, cheaper isn’t always best. $2.99 for a sushi platter? Smells fishy! We love a bargain just as much as the next person (we have the coupons to prove it), but if it’s going ON or IN our bodies, quality always comes first. We’re here today to answer the age-old question, can’t I just use a cheap moisturiser? The short answer is yes, you can do whatever you want, and should always do whatever makes you happy. But first, let us let you in on a few things first, because we’re pretty confident it won’t make you all that happy… and here are the 3 reasons why.
1. Filler Ingredients
We don’t like being Bad News Beatrice (trademark pending), but very budget-friendly moisturisers can contain filler ingredients. What are filler ingredients? Well, filler ingredients are inexpensive ingredients put in cosmetics to…‘fill...it...out’ *dots connect, light bulb moment*.
Things such as petroleum jelly, paraffin or mineral oils are put into skincare products to make your skin feel soft on the surface. However, these ingredients don’t sink in deep enough to make any significant or beneficial impact on the condition of your skin over time. You’re essentially paying for not a whole lot, not to mention that these ingredients are often derived from petroleum (say what?!), not something we're keen on slathering ourselves in. Why they’re used in so many products, we’ll never understand, but our spidey senses tell us it’s because they’re super cheap to source and use…
Think of filler ingredients as fake friends. Sure, they’ll sit with you at lunch, but they’ll give you back your clothes unwashed, not tell you when you've got food stuck in your teeth and talk behind your back. We like to take a friendlier approach. We don't want to toot our own horn here, but all our products, including our moisturisers, are made with well-researched, skin-friendly, natural oils. Take our Full Cream Moisturiser, for example; a great, hydrating all-rounder made with a base of Sweet Almond, Coconut and Olive Oil, as well as a good, solid dash of Milk Protein to help improve skin elasticity.
We also skip on the questionable preservatives like Phenoxyethanol that often sneak into 'natural' products and hide at the bottom of ingredients lists hoping not to be noticed. Instead, we use a natural Hops Extract (think beer), so we know our products are not only effective, but healthy too. We also avoid the likes of silicone. It doesn't sound like a harmful ingredient, but basically, it's a slippery, ethoxylated oil that's used as a lubricant (for bike chains etc.). Surprisingly, it's also the leading ingredient in most hair conditioning and detangling products, and even some skin creams. It's what makes them glide on so smooth, often just sitting on the top of the hair or skin to give the illusion of improved texture. These can usually be identified by big words in ingredient lists that end with –cone. Sure, it's incredibly cheap to use and makes your skin and hair feel temporarily silky, but there are much healthier options that your skin and hair will actually make use of, such as Jojoba Oil. It's also not the best for the environment. Ever think about what happens to your products after they’re washed down the drain? Natural oils break down quickly in the water system, silicones don't. Needless to say, our moisturisers have got your back… legs, arms, and face, and we’ve been saving you a seat since first period. Real friends.
2. Concentration of Ingredients
Call us demanding (please don’t though, it's not just our skin that’s sensitive) but we like to see results with our skincare. If the label promises hydration, plumpness, and glowing skin, we expect to see it. Crazy! When products list wonder ingredients like Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin E or Squalene, to name a few, it’s important to consider the concentration. If these ingredients aren’t concentrated enough in the formula, then the product won’t be effective. Many lower-end budget-friendly moisturisers will have watered-down active ingredients or be obtained from a lower quality source to cut corners and save costs. Imagine the first cup of tea from a green tea bag, it tastes good right? Lots of antioxidants. Now imagine if you reused that green tea bag for 3 more cups of tea. It’s still Green Tea, still tastes like Green Tea, but it’s just not the same. See where we’re going here?
Also, what many people don’t realize is that even the best active ingredients will be wasted if there is no system to deliver them into the skin. Essentially, they end up washed down the drain in the next shower. Sometimes, we also see great active ingredients put into a formula that's essentially just glycerine – not much innovation or thought put into that. At MooGoo, we spend as much time thinking about ingredient delivery system as we do the ingredients themselves. We skip on the skimp and make sure to only use effective amounts for any of our ingredients, especially our oils like Sweet Almond Oil and Olive Squalene, and our more pharmaceuticals ingredients like Bakuchiol, Argireline and Vitamin C that promise results. Whether it’s our Soothing MSM Moisturiser for extra sensitive and irritated skin or our Double Cream with Ceramides, there's a reason that ‘Effective Amounts’ is one of the points in our Ingredient Philosophy.
3. Reading Between the Lines
We’re into farm-aceuticals (natural solutions to clinical skin issues) and we know a thing or two about dealing with sucky skin conditions. There isn’t an eczema arm we haven’t soothed, or a scratchy, sensitivity flare-up we haven’t calmed. It’s MooGoo to the rescue! OK, we’ll stop now. When it comes to clinical skin issues, what's not in the product is even more important than what is. To keep our formulas gentle as well as effective, we steer clear of anything known to cause skin reactions, including but not limited to essential oils, paraffins, parabens, sulfates, petroleum, synthetic fragrances, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol and parallel parking. We know the painful sting all too well...
Take our original Eczema & Psoriasis Cream (AUSTL 335464)*, who has never even met those ingredients at all and would cross the street if they ever saw them. This is made with a base of natural oils like Sweet Almond and Olive Oil, then we added concentrated Aloe Vera and Centella Asiatica for their healing and soothing properties. Did you know? The Centella Asiatica plant is an African plant that tigers rub their wounds against to help heal their abrasions. Seriously cool cats. *ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.
When you’re looking for products to use on your skin, especially if it’s sensitive or particularly MOO-dy, it’s important to keep in mind that products that are super cheap to buy are probably super cheap to make as well. That being said, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because something is extraordinarily expensive that it’s made with the best ingredients out there, and you’re guaranteed extraordinary results. Often that’s just a fancy bottle and a big marketing budget to pay for celebrity endorsements. As a small Aussie fish in a big pond (we spent a whole ten minutes trying to find a cow metaphor that worked here), the only way we can keep thriving is to make sure our formulas are better than others around so that our customers keep coming back for more, year after year.
Moisturisers are meant to protect, hydrate and nurture your skin to be in its healthiest state. We bet that’s why you buy them in the first place, right? But marketing is a funny thing (can’t live with it, can’t live without it) and a ‘science-y’ looking bottle covered in dermatological words doesn’t guarantee that what’s inside is the friendliest formula for your skin. Don’t be fooled; always read ingredient labels! If the ingredients are full of fake friend filler ingredients, preservatives and synthetic fragrances, or the actives aren’t concentrated enough to be effective, your skin won’t be thriving like it should and you won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Yes, skincare is a lot more complicated than you think. As always, if you have any questions (limited to skincare please), don’t be a shy cow, get in touch with us! We’re always up for a good yarn.