Skincare can really start to eke up the price of your monthly expenses—that we know—and not all of it is worth it. In fact, there are tons of drugstore alternatives that are effective and far less costly. But, every so often, those prestige products are really worth their salt, and they actually make a huge difference in your skin, be it in regard to wrinkles, plumpness, hydration, or the like.
So, in order to offer the best possible options for when you're willing to make the splurge, we rounded up the investment beauty products that are really worth it. From serums and night creams to eye balms and toners, here are the skincare investment pieces worth turning over your credit card.
Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"According to the brand (and, with correct usage, roughly two pumps applied to dry, clean skin morning and night), you'll notice positive differences in the skin both immediately and in the long term. So, obviously, Editorial Director Faith Xue; my 70-year-old makeup artist mother, Elise; and I all had to try the cream to see how our skin would fare. The literature claims users will notice an almost immediate improvement in brightness, plumpness and hydration. Then, with diligent usage, one can expect a decrease in things like wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and redness as time goes on, in addition to a consistent increase in overall skin health, elasticity and even skin tone. Interestingly, across the board, all three of us noticed the impressive results the brand claimed we would notice immediately, like improved brightness, hydration and plumpness."
"As far as eye creams go, this game changer is actually on the less extreme side of the spectrum as far as price point goes. I've experimented with handfuls upon handfuls of formulas over the years (forever on a quest to nix my stubborn dark circles), and nothing has worked as instantaneously and long-term as this pretty brightening potion. It's better than creams and gels I've tried triple the price, and while it's still not child's play for your wallet, it's worth every single penny. It's one my one steady on no-makeup days."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"The combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E enhances your skin's protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals—which is great. But, it also improves signs of ageing and photodamage, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and brightens your complexion each time you use it. I'm pretty sure it's one of the more life-changing products I've ever used and you'll have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands."
"I found and fell in love with Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum (£173), a concentrate sent from the gods to rebalance and calm any irritated skin and help reduce redness. It's an active plant-based complex that works to strengthen your skin's natural defences, minimising a sensitised reaction. Purslane (one of the line's hero ingredients) calms inflammation and protects your skin."
Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"I'm really convinced the reason my forehead wrinkles aren't deeper or more visible is due largely to using this stuff religiously. My 60-year-old mum was using it continuously, and it looked like she got a mini neck-lift. BioEffect isn't just any anti-ageing line: It's engineered with Nobel Prize–winning science and 10 years of biotechnology that helps you practically age in reverse. Word broke that the line was so successful at helping women look younger that the brand quickly spread across Europe and now the U.S. The active ingredient in BioEffect is human-like epidermal growth factor grown in barley plants using patent-pending biotechnology."
Faith Xue, editorial director
"Impatience is a virtue I possess in excess, which means that when I use a skincare product, I expect to see some sort of result immediately the next day. This overnight cream from Clark's Botanicals has become a staple in my nighttime routine because it actually makes a noticeable difference in the brightness and smoothness of my skin even after just one use. Plus, it's made with mostly natural ingredients and contains colloidal oatmeal to soothe any irritation if you're usually sensitive retinol. Last but not least, it smells sort of like marshmallows, which makes it a delight to use. Yes, it's pricey, but considering the fact that I'll often use it as my sole skincare product after cleansing and it can technically replace your serum, moisturiser and overnight mask, I'd say it's worth it."
Maya Allen, assistant editor
"My skin will never be the same after using this cream created by Dr. Barbara Sturm for darker skin tones. I ruled out all face creams before this—I was convinced my abnormally small pores would perpetually reject all creams, which ended up clogging my pores and causing annoying pimples. This lightweight cream feels like a silky, fluffy pillow every time I lather it all over my face. And it's specially formulated for evening out deep complexions and fading dark spots, which is my number one skin concern. I've been using this on a daily for the past few months and have noticed a dramatic difference with my hyperpigmentation."