Like designer clothes or high-end cars, luxury skincare brands earn their price with quality materials and painstaking attention to detail. But when it comes to investing $100 or more in a product, it needs to be more than just a vanity status symbol. To zero in on the splurgy skincare lines that are truly worth it—and the hero products you actually need from each—I tapped three beauty experts: celebrity aesthetician Candace Marino, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engleman, and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nkem Ugonabo.
“Several factors determine the prices of skincare, but price alone is not indicative of quality or results warranting products. There are thousands of products on the market with hefty price tags and formulas that don’t perform,” Marino explains. “When a brand can prove their products are doing what they claim to do, you’ll see higher price points, and these are the brands I generally trust and want to invest my money in.”
Featured image by Andrea Posadas.
15 Investment-Worthy Luxury Skincare Lines
Which luxury skincare lines are genuinely worth the splurge? Our skincare experts weigh in the best tried-and-true brands, along with the products they do best.
Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Augustinas Bader, a professor of applied stem cell biology and cell technology, essentially bottled up his research to offer some of the most efficacious products on the market today.
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream
It’s impossible to talk about vanity status symbols without touching on The Rich Cream. But the celebrity favorite is so much more than a beautiful blue bottle thanks to its patented blend of amino acids and synthesized molecules to promote cell turnover.
The Rich Cream, $290
Beloved by estheticians and dermatologists, the entire French skincare line has reached cult status since launching in the late 1970s. Biologique Recherche is known for extremely efficacious products thanks to a high concentration of medical-grade ingredients.
In 2013, the beloved Youtuber and makeup artist launched her eponymous skincare line (and its well-known Magic Cream) in the UK. A decade later, Charlotte Tilbury’s expertise still shows across her beautifully packaged skincare oeuvre.
Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Cleansing Ritual Duo
“Double cleansing is an essential part of my skincare routine, especially when I’m wearing makeup. I use Charlotte Tilbury’s cleansing kit because it has a two-step routine of an oil formulation to melt your makeup followed by a charcoal formulation to purify and further cleanse your skin.” — Dr. Dendy Engelman
Goddess Cleansing Ritual Duo, $46
The beauty stalwart has retained its allure for over a century. And though its ownership has changed throughout the years, the legacy brand’s reputation—particularly that of its eight-hour cream and retinol capsules—remains sterling.
Elizabeth Arden Retinol Serum Ceramide Capsules
“Another one of my all-time favorite splurge products. I love using retinol as it helps with cell turnover, the production of collagen, hydration, and acne all in one. These capsules are formulated to be highly effective yet extremely gentle on the skin, which is important when using a drying ingredient such as retinol.” — Dr. Dendy Engelman
Retinol Serum Ceramide Capsules, $92
This is one of the only brands in the organic category that I feel is appropriately priced,” Marino explains. “Unlike all the other organic and prestige lines out there, Furtuna is in control of their product from plant to packaging. Every ingredient is grown on a private estate in Sicily, fed by a natural spring. The plants are hand-picked and every part of the plant is used. Furtuna is not taking shortcuts anywhere.”
Furtuna Skin Rinascita Delle Olive Replenishing Balm
“This is a powerful healing, calming, and soothing balm packed with plant extracts that reduce inflammation and promote healing. Great for any dry, chapped, cracked, or impaired skin.” — Candace Marino
Rinascita Delle Olive Replenishing Balm, $225
Glo Skin Beauty
Known for peels and personalization, Glo Skin delivers high-quality products to suit every skin type.
Glo Skin Beauty Bio-Renew EGF Cream
“Bio-Renew EGF Cream is a truly transformative moisturizer that contains vegan epidermal growth factor, phyto-retinols, and bio-recovery peptides to firm the skin, strengthen the barrier, reduce signs of aging, and provide essential hydration. It tested extremely well in clinical trials.” — Dr. Dendy Engelman
Bio-Renew EGF Cream, $175
“This brand sources the purest and highest quality ingredients and pays for third-party testing of their formulas—many brands conduct their own testing—which means their clinical trials are 100% unbiased,” Marino says. “Their formulas are of such high quality and so safe that they’re all approved for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and they even have a cancer care program with specific protocols and products recommended for patients undergoing chemotherapy.”
IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum
“This serum was tested in the ORAC study by Brunswick labs, they test for efficacy of products, and in the vitamin C category, pro-Heal provided superior antioxidant protection compared to four other top products in the market. This is truly liquid gold.” — Candace Marino
Pro-Heal Serum, $150.10
Though the Barcelona-based brand offers a variety of medical-grade skincare products to address signs of aging, they’re best known for their innovative, mineral SPF products.
As infamous for its mysterious origins as its price tags, La Mer and its proprietary “Miracle Broth” (infused with sustainably-sourced sea kelp) tend to live up to the hype on the first try.
Ask a dermatologist for their favorite skincare brands and you’re almost guaranteed to hear Revision Skincare. What the packaging lacks in flash, its products more than make up for with efficacious ingredients.
“This skincare line was founded by Dr. Gregory Brown, a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon who spent years working on burn victims and researching how to optimize recovery,” Marino shares. “Their formulas are based on Nobel Prize-winning science that used epidermal growth factors and bio renewal peptides that heal, repair, and build stronger skin integrity. These products make your skin act, feel, and look younger.”
RéVive Sensitif Calming Serum Skin Barrier Repair
“This is a 911 serum for any reactive, sensitized, or impaired skin conditions. It features skin-calming ingredients and RéVive’s bio renewal peptides to soothe the skin while strengthening the barrier. You’ll see visible improvement in dehydration, redness, and dullness. Although I’m not on the sensitive side, I still use this product for its hydrating and soothing properties. It brings calmness to the skin and really supports the overall health and radiance of the skin.” — Candace Marino
Sensitif Calming Serum Skin Barrier Repair, $250
“Their team of doctors, scientists, and chemists are coming up with some of the most results-warranting formulas and technologies on the market,” Marino says.
Skinbetter AlphaRet Overnight Cream
“This product performs like a prescription tretinoin, but better. Its retinoic acid plus lactic and glycolic works on texture and tone. It’s peptide-based and nourishing, making it non-sensitizing and tolerable. This product outperforms prescription retinoids in several clinical trials and supports the skin as it benefits from the retinoid.” — Candace Marino
AlphaRet Overnight Cream, $135
The science-backed luxury skincare line is another derm and physician go-to. Launched in the early 90s after the brand’s founding scientist Sheldon Pinnell’s research on topical antioxidants led to the first vitamin C patent, the entire SkinCeuticals portfolio remains innovative and excellent.
When Tina Chen Craig, an OG blogger known to many as “The Bag Snob” channeled her skincare obsession into creating a singular, all-in-one “smart product,” U Beauty was launched and a cult favorite was born.
The ultra-luxury Swiss skincare line pairs medical-grade ingredients with natural elements sourced from the Alps and the ocean.
Share this Post