The benefits of luxury toiletries over high street brands

Understanding the difference between luxury toiletries and cheaper high-street brands will help you to filter your search

There is so much choice out there. On the high street there are aisles stacked full of toiletries but what should you take home? Often, your closest high street shop or retail park store is part of a huge global company. It can be that you see a lot of the same product, and its spin-offs, everywhere. The great thing about being an independent is that we value our shelf space and stock a small range of high-quality luxury toiletry brands.

When you are looking to buy beauty products a good place to start is by understanding the benefits of luxury toiletries over some of the cheaper high street brands. This will allow you to filter your search based on knowledge.

The ingredients

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Do you know what you’re putting on your face? Many high street toiletries use harsh chemicals that are cheaper to source and produce. You may have heard of parabens. These preservatives are widely used in the cosmetics industry and help products to have a longer shelf-life. Worryingly, some research has shown that they could be connected to cancer. Sodium laurel sulphate is another chemical used in many products to produce foam. Again the jury is out, but SLS has been linked to cancer and can cause skin irritation.


At The Hambledon Gallery, we partner brands that have a commitment to natural ingredients and great design. Miller Harris, Plum and Ashby and Burt’s Bees all have an ethical ethos. For example, if it’s a moisturiser to target dry skin, the research completed prior to production will be done with this at the forefront of the product. Natural, body-friendly ingredients are used, which may be more expensive, but are better for the health of your skin in the long term.

Our skin is ‘nose to toe’ with the elements, it is our largest organ and a protective, but also highly absorbent barrier. Next time you’re looking for a skincare product, take a look at the ingredients and have a quick Google, you may be surprised at what you’re applying to your body.

The technology and testing

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Another consideration is whether or not a product has been tested on animals and sadly, this does sometimes come hand in hand with the more affordable brands. Fortunately, there has been a drop in animal testing, but it is still a problem within the industry.


Many luxury toiletries companies make a commitment to the environment and to health and are keen to publicise it. Read what they say about themselves to get a better idea of where they started and the technology that was used to create it.

All our brands are cruelty-free. One of the popular brands we stock is Burt’s Bees, offering a range of skincare product, all of which they refuse to test on animals. Look for the Leaping Bunny seal on all the packaging across their range.

Plum and Ashby are also kind to our furry friends, no animal testing and the products are free of synthetic preservatives. Miller Harris products are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, they are cruelty-free and formulated without animal derivatives.

The production

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Many brands manufacture their products overseas using processes driven by cost alone. The type of raw materials, the environmental impact and the conditions and pay of the workers are not a primary concern. Many of our customers worry about these issues and want to make a conscious difference in whatever way they can.

Buying goods from some high street companies will usually mean you’re not supporting small businesses or companies that have built their reputations by providing customers with good quality products over time. The luxury toiletries we stock and the brands we partner, put ethical sourcing and localism, supporting their local communities with employment and sponsorship, at the heart of their work.


We stock U.K. products wherever we can and both Miller Harris the London Perfumer and Plum & Ashby are British companies. Plum and Ashby are a small company based in the Cotswolds and they are proud to source and produce as much as they can locally. Burt’s Bees the original hippy brand started out with its iconic beeswax lip balm in the USA but are trailblazers in sustainability. Check them out here.

The longevity

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Aside from the harsh preservatives that many high street brands will use, the longevity of a product isn’t just about how long it will last in its bottle but also how long it will last on your skin. So something that costs you only £30 may well last you half the time that a more luxurious, more expensive brand.


The botanical extracts used to scent luxury brands like Miller Harris have a broader perfume range. They have deeper base notes that develop and linger on the skin. A Miller Harris Eau de Parfum will last longer than a high street Eau de Toilette, that’s both in the bottle and on your skin.

The branding

Luxury and High Street

Part of the joy of a luxury brand is the beauty of its presentation, the decorated glass bottles, the tasteful and creative use of colour or the artistry of their graphics. Even the innovation or style of the packaging adds to the sensuality of your luxury experience. Brands like Miller Harris not only look good but have a clear conscience working with Smile Plastic to source sustainably recycled materials. These use composite recycled plastics in new and clever ways for their packaging.

The results

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We are not ruling out that there are some brilliant, more affordable skincare and toiletry brands out there, but finding one that ticks all the boxes and allow you to have a great buying experience is something we haven’t yet come across (we’d love to hear your favourite if you think we’re missing a trick).


With all this in mind, the results of luxury toiletries tend to speak for themselves, as many of our customers return time and time again to re-purchase the items they love and trust.

Ready to purchase your luxury toiletries?

If you have any questions about any of the luxury toiletries we stock, get in touch by emailing us on or give us a call on 01258 452880.

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