Drugstore skincare can make you do a happy dance that only comes from finding a sub £10 skin winner OR drugstore skincare can also be the ticket that has you piling up a shop display worthy amount of bottles in the corner of your bathroom. You know what I mean? The ones you don’t want to throw out but you’re also probably never EVER going to use. #BeenThere
Want to leave the display of skincare bottles to the drugstore merchandising team? I hear ya. This is the BIGGEST drugstore skincare con to keep your skin saavy eyes peeled for.
THE BIG DRUGSTRORE SKINCARE CON
Can I take you shopping for a sec? As if we need asking ‘eh! Imagine we have a mutual friends b’day celebrations in our diaries, the kinda celebration that you just NEED a new dress for. Cute jeans and a glitzy top ain’t cutting this gal’s style *winks*. So because we are pals we are onto the ASOS dress hunt together, I’m guarding the £s in your pocket and you’re making sure I’m not splurging on ANOTHER black dress *winks*.
With the countdown on we’ve narrowed it to 3 dresses – whoop! We hit the ‘I want it now’ button and gimme some ‘free next day delivery’ and next stop is obvs. Daniel Craig and chocolate brownies!
Next day the ASOS man is on our doorstep and it’s time to put our superman changing skills into action. We tear open the brown box and suddenly we are thrown into a ‘shocked face’ moment worthy of a career in acting.
Instead of the waterfall maxi dress in floral print we’ve got a black ‘just over the bum’ bodycon, instead of the lace insert skater dress we’ve got a ‘negligee’ that would be worthy of a James Bond seduction scene [not that he needs the encouragement ‘eh!]… and well, let’s not even get onto the 3rd. I’ll just say Whozer!
While these options all have their moments, they are not the kinda moments we want to be bringing to our mutual pals b’day bash.
This is the most common and the BIGGEST drugstore skincare con out there… it’s not what it says it is on the front of the bottle.
When you get the wrong clothes through from ASOS it’s pretty obvious ‘eh. When you pick up a body lotion that has a picture of a cocoa butter pod on the bottle, but that is the last thing on the ingredients list, it’s not as in your face.
I’m not saying these body lotions are going to do nothing for you. What I am saying is they are being completely mis-sold to you. That means if you know that cocoa butter does moisturising wonders for your skin, then you are not going to be getting those super powers from this body lotion.
..BUT THERE’S SOME IN THERE RIGHT?
When this comes to ‘precious’ active skincare ingredients like Allantoin or Bisabolol these are fine at the bottom of your skincare ingredient list because they pack an A-list skincare punch that means you need only a tiny teeny bit of ’em.
When it comes to oils and butters like Argan, Coconut or Shea [or any others, name me your fav!] these should be in the top 1/2 of your skincare treats ingredients list. The further down they are, the more likely these ingredients aren’t there for your skin but so they can be made all famous on the front of that skincare bottle.
This drugstore skincare con can get pretty cringy with other ingredients like artificial coconut fragrance coming before coconut oil #DrugstoreSkincareCringe. It also makes a real natural skincare pick harder to choose from the mineral oil packed – they both have a coconut beautifully pictured on the bottle!
HOW TO OUT SAVVY DRUGSTORE SKINCARE
Now you know, there are just 2 easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy steps to out savvy this drugstore skincare con. #Simples.
First do a quick google for INCI name + [insert your skincare hero ingredient here]. So if yours was Shea butter, you’d google ‘INCI name of Shea butter’ and you’d get ‘Butyrospermum Parkii’.
PRO-TIP: A big hint that an ingredient is featured in a big enough % to do your skin some love is the brackets! Instead of just Butyrospermum Parkii butter written on the ingredients list, you’ll get Butyrospermum Parkii (shea) butter. It’s not a fail-safe, but it is a BIG clue that this ingredient is something to be proud of in the formulation – whoop to that.
Second step, just scan through that drugstore skincare pick ingredients list for the magic name. Found it? Is it before the half way mark? Great, this guy knows it’s perfect ‘just the way it is’ there’s no mis-representation going on here! If you see this dude sneaking below the half way line then know that skincare ingredient that was your hero on the front is not going to be your hero in the bottle.
Shout me your magic skincare ingredient and I’ll let you know exactly what to look for on the ingredient list and where abouts it should be!
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.