Invest in Your Skin

In 2012 the U.S. upscale beauty industry generated $10.2 billion, and high-end skin-care sales were up 10 percent. To celebrate, Bloomberg Businessweek’s female staff (and a few lucky helpers) tested 38 of the most expensive face creams, serums, and eye creams on the market. Here are 10 worth buying.



Sulwhasoo Concentrate Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream

“I love this eye cream. I don’t know if it’s really preventing wrinkles, but it makes me feel as if it is. The skin under my eyes feels soft and looks bright. I want more!” $180;

Claire Suddath, staff writer, 30

Chantecaille Nano Gold Energizing Cream

“This was a great moisturizer for me, as I have very dry, sensitive skin. Lots of products irritate my skin, but this one didn’t. Also, the thinner skin on my neck appears not as noticeable in the mirror.” $420;

 — Aja Mangum, contributor, 34

Lancôme Absolue L’Extrait

“This cream has nice balance, not too oily or heavy, but also not too watery. I’m prone to dryness, but my skin feels soft, healthy, and comfortable now. And I didn’t have any breakouts. My husband, who’s not well versed in skin-care vocabulary, says it looks ‘more moisturized.’” $350;

 — Venessa Wong, associate editor, 30

Chanel Sublimage La Crème Yeux

“I normally don’t use eye creams; I used to think they were a sham. But after two weeks of using the Chanel cream, the skin under my eyes is softer and doesn’t look so puffy in the morning. Also, my concealer goes on smoothly without caking.” $225;

 — Emma Rosenblum, Etc. editor, 32

Orlane Hypnotherapy Cream

“At first I didn’t like it — I felt like it didn’t absorb. But after a few days I realized it was actually forming a barrier on my skin to keep the moisture in. Since then I haven’t had any dry skin, even after five days at the beach.” $490;

 — Emily Anton, art manager, 33

Best Anti-Aging

Cle de Peau La Crème

“I started using Cle de Peau on the eve of my 58th birthday. I was surprised — and delighted — at a lunch celebrating my birthday when a friend asked if I’d ‘had work done.’ A week after that, my trainer said he’d also noticed that my skin looked good. What’s different? I’m not exactly sure. But my ninth grader says my face looks tighter and brighter.” $525;

 — Ellen Pollock, executive editor, 58

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution

“I give the Ferulic Acid a thumbs up: An aesthetician didn’t properly extract a pimple during a facial, which left me with a huge blemish on my left cheek. The serum started to fade the dark splotch in a couple of weeks. Normally it takes months for hyperpigmentation to fade using a nonprescriptive topical solution.” $125;

 — Sarah Mangum, contributor Aja Mangum’s mom, 65

Vbeaute Buying Time Everyday Crème

“My skin feels smooth and hydrated at all times, which is crazy considering how dry my radiator-heated apartment leaves it. I normally break out a bit, but since using this cream I feel like my skin is looking nice and normal.” $135;

 — Alis Atwell, photo editor, 28

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream

“This serum isn’t sticky and spreads really well — just two drops per use — and my skin feels hydrated after every application. I don’t think I’d pay $500 for it, but I’m worried my face will crumble and turn into ashes when I run out. This is probably an irrational fear.” $410;

 — Tracy Ma, assistant creative director, 24

Tata Harper Elixir Vitae

“The lines on my face are smoother and less visible after using this every day.” $365;

 — Maureen Eurell, reader, 60


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