Like any regimen, skincare is a very personal journey. What works for one person might not work for another. However, there are several ingredients often found in luxury skincare lines that experts swear by for themselves and their clients.
Luxury skincare products frequently contain higher concentrations of active ingredients or more unique elements, adding to their cost. Many of luxury skincare brands use newer technologies and have science-backed ingredients that can visibly transform your skin with continued use.
When it comes to efficacious, results-driven skincare, sometimes price does matter. So we’ve rounded up some of the best luxury skincare brands worth investing in that promise to make your skin just as beautiful as the products look on your shelf.
Dr. Barbara Sturm
Dr. Barbara Sturm’s celebrity clientele (Emma Roberts, Emily Ratajkowski, Kim Kardashian, and more) swear by her glow-inducing products, but also her innovative, non-surgical treatments that transform skin, like the iconic “Vampire Facial” that she helped pioneer. So even if you can’t make it to her clinics in Los Angeles, Munich, or Düsseldorf, Germany, you can reap the benefits of her eponymous skincare range.
With a prior medical career in orthopaedics, she is focused on science-backed ingredients and treatments that work without toxic components and is renowned for her anti-inflammatory approach to skincare.
Her products focus on molecular cosmetics, which utilize the body’s proteins to combat ageing. Her Hero products are the Glow Drops, an anti-ageing serum that rejuvenates and hydrates the skin, and the Hyaluronic Serum, with long- and short-chain hyaluronic molecules that sink into skin better at different rates.
La Mer is one of the first brands we think of when we hear ‘luxury skincare,’ but many don’t know it was actually founded way back in 1965 by Dr. Max Huber after he suffered burns in a lab accident. Inspired by the healing effects of sea kelp, which Dr. Huber discovered living by the ocean in San Diego, he created the skin-healing lotion Crème de la Mer.
Today, Crème de la Mer, the cream that started it all, is the brand’s pinnacle product. The sea has been an endless inspiration for La Mer’s ingredients, and the brand has since expanded to include serums, masks, cleansers, oils, and makeup made with marine algae, seawater, kelp, and more. Not only do the products feel ultra-nourishing for the skin, but few product lines also smell more divine.
Is there anything Dior can’t do? We’ll wait. But in all seriousness, Dior’s Capture Totale skincare relies on active botanical ingredients extracted from flowers to transform the skin. Dior’s Capture Totale range focuses on cellular energy, which Dior has been researching for more than two decades. The main ingredient is Longoza, harvested from one of Dior’s gardens in Madagascar (the brand has seven worldwide). One of its bestsellers is the Super Potent Serum, aiming to plump and firm the skin thanks to Longoza and an exclusive grade of acetylated hyaluronic acid.
The French are no strangers to luxury, from haute couture to beauty to art. While French women are known to use pharmacy beauty products, several ultra-luxurious skincare products are worth investing in. One of them is cult skincare brand Biologique Recherche.
The natural skincare brand, developed in the 1970s by husband and wife Yvan and Josette Allouche, is known for its potent (often smelly) ingredients and its effectiveness. What’s lacking in glamorous packaging, the products make up for in their ability to transform skin. Lotion P50 (not actually a lotion, but more of a light exfoliant) is a hero product and one of the most potent chemical exfoliants on the market. Applied like a toner, it gets rid of dark spots, reduces acne, regulates sebum, and gives you a nice glow. Like its placenta serum (made from sheep placenta), its serums repair the skin from acne and even under-eye bags. In contrast, other creams and serums use cellular regeneration technology for anti-ageing effects.
There are a handful of fabled skincare lines out there, and Augustinus Bader is one of them. Augustinus Bader, the 62-year-old scientist who created his eponymous skincare line, is a professor at the University of Leipzig in Germany and has spent decades researching the effects of stem cells, particularly for burn victims. His approach to skincare is completely science-backed with incredibly effective ingredients. All of Augustinus Bader’s products are formulated with the patented Trigger Factor Complex, or TFC8, which combines amino acids, peptides, and vitamins to activate cells and essentially “tell” them to self-regulate.
Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie is a pioneer in anti-ageing cellular therapy. When used correctly, La Prairie’s products have the power to minimize the effects of ageing. The brand is known for its potent formulations using platinum, gold, caviar, and white caviar; the two latter ingredients are rich in nutrients, like amino acids and vitamins, and have been proven to enhance collagen production ceramides.
The brand’s most recent launch, the Platinum Rare Haute Rejuvenation Protocol, has been turning heads for both its price tag and its suggested use of just four times a year. Made with growth factors, which stimulate collagen production and cell proliferation, and peptides, the hefty price tag can be attributed to the high levels of active ingredients. The benefits claim to promote firmness, elasticity, skin volume and tone.
American and European board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides specialized in facial reconstruction and rejuvenation surgery and wasn’t satisfied with any products on the market to help his patients recover correctly. So his line 111 Skin, named after his London surgical practice, 111 Harley Street, is a science-backed luxury skincare brand with more than 20 years of research on its proprietary ingredients.
While 111 Skin features luxe ingredients like a diamond, it’s Dr. Alexandrides patented NAC Y2 ingredient that shines. NAC Y2 is a powerful, high-antioxidant ingredient that improves skin’s resilience, brightens the skin, and protects it from environmental aggressors. Many love 111 Skin’s effective sheet masks for their anti-ageing ingredients, like peptides, which help stimulate collagen production, shield and detox skin from pollution particles, and lift and firm skin.
Another great way to give your skin vitamins it needs is by taking oral supplements, which should always be consulted by a doctor. The brand’s Reparative Beauty Dose has NAC (which products glutathione), vitamin C and A, Coenzyme Q10, cultured greens, and L-Methionine, which can help increase skin’s collagen production, fight environmental damage, and heal inflammation.
MBR Medical Beauty Research
With a serum worth $1,750, MBR Medical Beauty Research deserves to be on your radar—and here’s why. German luxury skincare brand MBR works with aesthetic experts, surgeons, chemists, dermatologists, estheticians, and other skin care professionals to create the most effective products that work to address various skin issues ingredients that help regenerate cells. Everything is made in small batches and rigorously tested by individuals before leaving the facility.
MBR’s concentrated products work to stimulate dermal tissue functions, nourish the skin through effective ingredients, and purify the skin. Plus, the products are made in Europe (specifically Germany), which has stricter ingredient regulations than the United States.
Plant-based French skincare brand Sisley was one of the first brands to use botanical ingredients when it was founded in 1976. The luxury skincare brand uses Phyto-cosmetology in its skincare, which essentially means that each plant extract they use is backed by science, used to harness the energy of plants to regenerate the skin. Not only do Sisley’s products reveal glowy, hydrated skin, but they also come in ultra-luxurious packaging.
The Black Rose Cream Mask is a cult favourite, thanks to its moisturizing yet plumping ingredients. You’d be remiss not to scoop up its lovely, delicately scented floral mists or toners that leave your skin moisturized and refreshed. The brand also released a specific anti-ageing collection, Sisleÿa, that uses Persian Acacia and Lindera extracts with yeast and soy protein complex, Atlas Cedar extract, and pomegranate extract.
For those seeking to clean up their skincare routine without sacrificing on luxury, Tata Harper is for you. The line features naturally derived, non-toxic ingredients that work, like naturally derived BHA; rosehip seed oil, which contains a natural form of retinoic acid from vitamin A, botanical essences, enzymes from pomegranates, clay, and more. Don’t know where to start? Beauty editors and customers swear by the Resurfacing Mask and the wrinkle-reducing Elixir Vitae Eye Serum.