Hey guys, this is a continuation of last week’s article on the illusion of choice in cosmetics.
Like I promised, I’m going to show you how similar products created by brands owned by the same company can be. Today I’ll be looking at two similarly priced items. Then next week I’ll compare a luxury item with a similar drugstore version. All the products mentioned are produced by L’oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetic company.
Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask vs. Vichy Pore Purifying Mask
Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask costs $28 for 3 ounces or $9.3 per ounce. Its ingredients are:
Vichy’s Pore Purifying Clay costs $20 for 2.5 ounces or $8 per ounce. Its ingredients are:
The first two ingredients are the same for both! That means the base of each ingredient is exactly the same. So what makes them different (and might explain the $1.93 difference?)
The main difference between the two is that Body shop is using Rhassoul Clay(Moroccan Lava Clay) and Vichy is using Bentonite clay( Argilla). Rhassoul is a bit more expensive since it is only mined from Morocco but both are considered gentle cleansers that can be used without having to moisturize after.
Bentonite clay on its own maybe too harsh for sensitive skin and is usually combined with glycerin, which Vichy does by making glycerin its 4th ingredient.
The only other main difference is that Body Shop also intends its product to be a legit exfoliator because they included pumice and a shell powder. Vichy’s attempts some exfoliation with the Zea Mays Starch but I doubt it will be as effective the Body Shop’s.
Another difference I thought I should point out is that they are using different carrier agents. Carrier agents help useful ingredients like allantoin (reduces inflammation) penetrate the skin better. Body shop is using Denatured Alcohol and PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor oil while Vichy is using Propanediol (which I’ve read is bio-derived, whatever that means) and Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride. It may not seem so important but some people don’t want alcohol or ethoxylated ingredients in their products so I just thought to point that out.
Fun fact: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is derived from coconut oil and contains medium-chain, saturated (straight-chain, won’t go rancid easily) fatty acids. This means it has a super-long shelf life, has no odor, makes formulations more spreadable and doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue.
Every other difference comes from using different colorants, fragrances, preservatives and ‘claims’ ingredients.
Don’t know what a claims ingredient is? Let me demonstrate; Body Shop includes Charcoal as one of its ingredients. It’s even in the name! But notice at the bottom of the list; therefore, it is not likely that it was added in enough concentration for it to *actually* do something (which is absorb toxins). It’s just there to make you feel better about the product. Vichy doesn’t have any of these claims ingredients; all ingredients have a specific purpose.
So you see they’re pretty much the same and will work similarly as well. They just have different packaging and are sold under different names. What I found very funny was that Body Shop advertises its product as ‘vegan’, which it technically is, but so is Vichy’s but it doesn’t do that. Vegan is such a buzzword now and people are more likely to rush for the Body Shop even when they’re technically the same. Marketing is such a mind-trip!
Next week, we’re looking at primers. I’ll be comparing Lancome’s La Base Pro Hydra Glow Primer and Nyx Born to Glow Illuminating Primer.I originally wanted to combine everything but then I realized this post was going to be super long. Almost canonical, and that’s no fun. See you then!