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When it comes to finding high-quality skin care, we all know that sometimes the products you pick up in the drugstore or on Amazon can be just as effective as versions with a huge price point. However, there are times when the best luxury skin care brands really beat out the competition. These are the brands and products we’d gladly spend our hard-earned money on, because like it or not, they just work.

What defines “luxury” skin care? Not all of the products from these brands are priced in the thousands–though some of them are! Whether they’re from a designer brand or generally come in at a higher price point, nearly all these brands have more accessible products. So if you’re ready to spend a few bucks to try some A-list approved skin care, here are the 13 brands ELLE’s editors think are worth the price.

La Mer

Celebrities like Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lopez–along with a slew of others–have all raved about La Mer. From their iconic moisturizer to their efficacious serums, this brand remains one of the luxury skin care brands that everyone agrees is wonderful.

What our testers say: “It sounds like an origin story which is too good to be true, but back in the 80s, aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber suffered a burn accident. After numerous tinkering in the lab, with seaweed and fermentation, he developed an early prototype of the cream once loved by Jennifer Lopez and seen as a luxury moisturizer status symbol. Nowadays, the kelp continues to be hand-harvested off the coast of Vancouver Island.” –Kathleen Hou, ELLE Beauty Director

Price range: $$$$

Our favorite products: Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream, The Concentrate Serum, The New Treatment Lotion



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La Mer

nordstrom.com

$600.00

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Kindred Black

You’d be forgiven for mistaking this brand’s trademark bottles for some kind of witchy potion in a children’s book. In reality, this skin care brand believes in using botanical ingredients, plastic-free packaging, and ritual-ready products for a beautiful vanity.

What our testers say: “‘Eco-luxury’ brand Kindred Black takes self-care to new heights with its gorgeous line of skincare products. Each potion is housed in a recycled, hand blown glass bottle that deserves to be displayed and is made with all-natural, time-tested ingredients sourced from around the world. I recently added the Rose Dew Serum to my collection and am already hooked on its lightweight, silky finish and hydrating benefits. Made with organic Bulgarian rose otto oil, cold-pressed squalane and cloudberry seed oil, it helps calm and plump my skin, layers nicely with my other serums and moisturizes, and offers the most exquisite floral scent.” –Sam Peters, Senior Commerce Editor

Price range: $$

Our favorite products: Rose Dew Facial Serum, Hebe Night Oil, Forbidden Fruit Lip Oil



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Kindred Black

kindredblack.com

$145.00

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Kindred Black

kindredblack.com

$145.00

Sulwhasoo

Korean skin care brand Sulwhasoo has gone viral too many times to count, thanks to their gentle yet effective products. With a focus on naturally derived ingredients, you can see immediate results with many of their products, with even greater, long-lasting improvement with time.

What our testers say: “Widely considered the ‘La Mer’ of Korea, this is the luxury skincare brand of Amore Pacific, creator of some of your favorite K-beauty products like the Laneige Sleeping Mask. Its hero ingredient is ginseng, and through science and research, it has sought to answer the question, ‘If ginseng is good for your body, can it also be good for your skin?’ The answer: Yes, because ginseng is packed with antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory properties. The First Care Activating Serum is their hero product of the range, and the newest version VI just launched this year.” –Kathleen Hou

Price range: $$

Our favorite products: Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Rescue Ampoule, Overnight Vitalizing Mask, Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Classic



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Sulwhasoo

sulwhasoo.com

$89.00

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Dr. Barbara Sturm

Dr. Barbara Sturm believes in the classics: simple serums, hydrating creams, and foaming cleansers. But you’d be mistaken if you thought that simple products should only be bought at the drugstore. Her celebrity-favorite line is backed with science, and the results speak for themselves.

What our testers say: “I’ve been using Dr. Barbara Sturm products off and on for years, after seeing them featured in nearly every celebrity routine. As a beauty editor, it’s rare to finish the same products over and over again, but the Dr. Sturm Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a product I will use till the last drop every single time. With her entire line, I’ve never had a breakout or any kind of bad reaction. Just brighter, healthier skin.” –Tatjana Freund, Fashion & Luxury Commerce Editor

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: Hyaluronic Serum, Super Anti-Aging Night Cream, Enzyme Cleanser



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Dr. Barbara Sturm

nordstrom.com

$320.00

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Dr. Barbara Sturm

nordstrom.com

$320.00

111SKIN

As a surgeon, 111Skin founder Dr. Yannis Alexandrides saw firsthand the need for healing skin care. 111Skin developed that would help Dr. Alexandrides’ patients help heal pre- and post-surgery. Now, their line is one of the most luxurious, gentle, and effective on the market.

What our testers say: “Yes, this product is almost a thousand dollars; however, being preventative is much cheaper than being reactive. Delay your face lift with this créme that brightens, tightens, and hydrates—no scalpel needed. If you are looking for a secret sauce to your skin care routine, this is it.” — Danielle James, ELLE Digital Beauty Director

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: Celestial Black Diamond Cream, Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Mask, Repair Serum NAC Y2



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111SKIN

dermstore.com

$995.00

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Skinceuticals

Perhaps no skin care brand is as beloved by celebrities and dermatologists like Skinceuticals. Known for their dramatically effective products and medically-backed science, this brand is best known for their brightening and pigment-correcting products.

What our testers say: “No skin care routine is complete without SkinCeuticals. Backed by science (and dermatologists), the clinical skin care brand offers a bevy of solutions for every skin concern. The brand’s mission is simple: to improve skin health. SkinCeuticals has delivered on this mission since its 1997 founding, courtesy of products like the bestselling (and my personal favorite) C E Ferulic Acid Serum and other antioxidant-rich serums, as well as its facial cleansers and retinol.” –Nerisha Penrose, ELLE.com Beauty Commerce Editor

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier, C E Ferulic



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Skinceuticals

skinceuticals.com

$182.00

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Skinceuticals

skinceuticals.com

$182.00

DIOR

Prestige designer brand Dior is well known for their fashion, but their beauty and skin care line are just as considered, luxury, and high quality.

What our testers say: “Christian Dior’s mother, Madeleine, was an extraordinary garden who was rumored to have over 20 varieties of roses in her garden. Today, her legacy carries on with floral motifs in the fashion, but also with the usage of roses in the brand’s skincare. Dior Prestige uses the Rose de Granville, the first rose ever developed for cosmetic skincare and picked by hand, to capture all of its micronutrients. The Dior Prestige Advanced Serum is particularly loved by skincare fanatics.” –Kathleen Hou

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: Prestige La Micro-Huile de Rose Advanced Serum, Snow Essence Lotion, Prestige La Crème



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DIOR

nordstrom.com

$500.00

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Augustinus Bader

Almost out of nowhere, Augustinus Bader appeared and dominated the luxury skin care space. With several celebrity and makeup artist endorsements, their trademark moisturizers became a staple in beauty lovers’ routines. Now, the line has expanded even further, with each launch cementing the brand as a status symbol.

What our testers say: “This brand has created the new luxury status moisturizer of the past few years. It started as many beauty trends do, with Hollywood. Actresses like Kate Bosworth and celebrity makeup artists like Pati Dubroff continue to rave about ‘the cream.’ The namesake of the brand is Dr. Augustinus Bader, a German doctor whose created an initial hydrogel that accelerated burn healing. That then inspired the development of TFC-8, a complex of over 40 different ingredients, and the hero ingredient now present in all Augustinus Bader products, which allegedly helps ‘activate’ your cells, so that they go into ‘repair mode.’ The brand went from one product (‘The Cream’), to now dozens (even haircare), and is a favorite of fashion designer, Haider Ackermann, who recently worked with them to create a new special edition chrome packaging.” –Kathleen Hou

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: The Rich Cream, The Serum, The Haider Ackermann Set



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Augustinus Bader

dermstore.com

$375.00

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Augustinus Bader

dermstore.com

$375.00

Tatcha

Crafted in Tokyo using Japanese ingredients, Tatcha is one of the few luxury skin care lines that nearly everyone who tries it agrees is worth the price. Alongside their botanical ingredients and genius textures, Tatcha’s products knock it out of the park when it comes to efficiency.

What our testers say: “I’ve been a loyal Tatcha user for nearly a decade, and I don’t see that status changing anytime soon. Not only are their products effective, gentle, and created with fantastic ingredients, but their formulations are truly unrivaled in the skin care world.” –Tatjana Freund

Price range: $$

Our favorite products: Indigo Overnight Repair, Indigo Cleansing Balm, The Silk Serum



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Tatcha

amazon.com

$92.00

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La Prairie

When it comes to luxury, no skin care brand does it quite like La Prairie. While their prices may be some of the highest on the market, their formulations are, too. From the packaging, gentle scent, and results, this Swiss company is working with scientists and formulations that are far ahead of their time.

What our testers say: “The caviar you lift to your lips has benefits for your skin too. Back in 1931, Clinique La Prairie was one of the original wellness center, boasting visitors such as Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. The brand continues to focus on skin wellness, and every single product contains real caviar extract, which is alleged to boost the skin’s immune system and help firm and strengthen skin. The brand’s Liquid Lift serum is a new favorite containing caviar-like beads that burst onto the skin to create a silky serum.” –Kathleen Hou

Price range: $$$$

Our favorite products: Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Moisturizer, Pure Gold Radiance Cream, Skin Caviar Liquid Lift Serum



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La Prairie

nordstrom.com

$1066.00

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Sisley Paris

French brand Sisley has made a name for themselves when it comes to their makeup, hair, and skin care formulations. Their products are first and foremost effective, but they also value the experience and rituals associated with skin care regimens.

What our testers say: “When I need a full day of rejuvenating, relaxing, and play-acting like I’m a French woman on a terrace, I reach for my Sisley products. Not only are they gentle on my skin, but the lingering scent of roses acts almost like aromatherapy, calming me down and turning a nighttime routine into something more.” –Tatjana Freund

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: Black Rose Cream Mask, Supremÿa Supreme Anti-Aging Night Cream, Ecological Compound



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Sisley Paris

nordstrom.com

$190.00

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Sisley Paris

nordstrom.com

$190.00

Sublimage La Crème

Chanel is perhaps the most iconic luxury brand, so it should come as no surprise that their skin care products are just as perfectly curated. From rich creams to gentle toners, their products are not just eye candy to display in your bathroom, but science-backed, research-driven items that you will treasure using.

What our testers say: “Chanel Sublimage is one of the most luxurious creams to ever hit a makeup vanity. Made of Vanilla Planifolia, a special type of orchid with alleged regenerative properties and antioxidant benefits, the incredibly silky moisturizer has been used by Michelle Williams and Jennifer Aniston. It now also comes in a new refillable format.” –Kathleen Hou

Price range: $$$

Our favorite products: Sublimage La Crème, Hydra Beauty Lotion, Le Tonique Anti-Pollution Invigorating Toner



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Sublimage La Crème

chanel.com

$445.00

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Sublimage La Crème

chanel.com

$445.00

iS Clinical

If you’re looking for results-driven skin care backed with science and without too many frills, investing in iS Clinical is a no-brainer. From their must-have everyday cleanser to their specialized serums, this California-based company gives professional-level products to the everyday person.

What our testers say: “More and more, I look for skin care brands that put their money into formulations and science rather than adorable branding. iS Clinical is one of those brands where I know every single product was created to solve a problem, and will do its job. When I want results, I know this brand will come through for me.” –Tatjana Freund

Our favorite products: Youth Intensive Creme, Active Serum, Cleansing Complex



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iS Clinical

dermstore.com

$235.00

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