Or, Assigning Relative Monetary Value To Essences/Ampoules/Serums On A Per-Ounce Cost Basis, Maybe The Internet Is Dicks And Also, Math!
It’s known in the skincare kbeauty internet that May Coop Raw Sauce, a real(TM) 100% kbeauty product carried at Sephora and literally nowhere else, is very expensive. It’s $44 a bottle, which is just too much, you know. I mean, maple water? what a gimmick! it doesn’t even contain niacinamide! I’m so happy that I read lots of internet and know better than to fall into the Sephora kbeauty exclusivity markup trap.
Though… those May Coop Raw Sauce bottles are fucking huge. And it *does* contain horse chestnut extract, which science is investigating for real things, in addition to other delicious-looking extracts like black current, olive, rice…. But no, I know better than to fall into that trap. It’s not like the bottle is lovely and well designed or anything, or that the essence actually feels lovely on my hand (I think to myself, at Sephora, staring off into space and rubbing my hand ritualistically as the sales people watch me from behind the nail polish make sure I’m not shoplifting). I don’t even care that they offer 40mL travel sizes for $14, or that my local Sephora carries them.
Sorry for all the salt.
One thing that really grinds my gears about the online reviewing community in general is the lack of discussion about cost per ounce of product when talking about how expensive/valuable different products are. It’s true that things aren’t priced by the ounce, but we use up larger bottles of products more slowly than smaller bottles of comparable products, so a $50 serum that takes 3 months to use would be cheaper than a $20 serum that takes two weeks, even if the initial cost doesn’t appear that way.
Not everyone ignores cost per ounce, especially when
justifying discussing expensive products that are enjoyed by the reviewers, but people are quick to jump on the hate train when something that they’re not interested in (for whatever reason) is “too expensive.”
I wanted to do a simple cost per ounce comparison of a bunch of essences/ampoules/serums that I will probably buy, because my face is dry and fragile like the rice paper in a spring roll (in other news, I’m hungry) to see if the “expensive” ones really are so expensive.
I’m not going to take ingredients into account because ingredient lists do not make or break a product, and there’s no way of knowing from an ingredients list just how much of a thing is in the goop, unless stated. I will mention the ingredient that will influence my willingness to buy the thing, because that is a factor, but that varies so that people can make their own assignments of worth re: ingredients. There are lots of other factors I’ll be ignoring, like the feel or scent of products, packaging, and accessibility. As I said, I’m going with simple metrics here. I’m getting prices from major sellers like Jolse and TesterKorea, not taking shipping into account and treating everything as though it’s NOT on sale.
I want my essences/ampoules/serums to 1. hydrate, 2. not make me super red, 3. be interesting in some way, whether that’s from such science/very ingredient/wow, presentation, feel/smell of the product, and 4. not cause any long-term averse effects (like an essence that gives me a wonderfully smooth skin texture but dries out my skin over time? nuh uh). All of these essences/ampoules/serums probably fit the bill.
|Product||Price ($)||Vol (mL)||$/mL|
|COSRX HA/Snail/GM Essences||$16||150||0.11|
|Benton High Content Snail Bee Essence||$20||100||0.2|
|TONYMOLY Nutra Energy (Moist) Toner||$33||145||0.23|
|May Coop Raw Sauce||$44||150||0.29|
|Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule||$30||100||0.3|
|Goodal Waterest Water Oil||$23||60||0.38|
|Danahan Youth Berry Energy Essence||$37||45||0.82|
|Holy Snails! Shark Sauce||$29||30||0.97|
|LJH Tea Tree Essence||$21||50||0.42|
|Innisfree Jeju Lava Seawater Essence||$28||50||0.56|
|Banila Co. MF&MH Essence Oil||$32||30||1.07|
|LJH Propolis Ampoule||$25||15||1.67|
|Sulwahsoo Encapsulated Ginseng Serum||$150||35||4.29|
Wha-bam. Look at that. May Coop Raw Sauce is solidly in the middle, leaning to the “less expensive per oz.” side. It ends up being cheaper than a bunch of the random shit I want to try, and more expensive than everything I have, amusingly.
You want expensive? Look at the price per oz. comparison for Sulwahsoo, which I included for “scale,” as it were.
Again, I’m not taking effectiveness into account. All of these essences/ampoules/serums interest me, and I’ve considered dropping cash for them at one point or another (my poor over-saturated face is the only thing stopping me, really) and they all have value, whether or not they work for you, or me, personally.
tl;dr, stop using “this is too expensive” as a catch-all for avoiding bringing up legitimate complaints about a product, unless you’re willing to do the math.