Whether you're looking to smooth, hydrate, plump or bestow radiance, finding the perfect skincare to suit your derma needs isn't always easy. With thousands of creams, serums and oils to choose from, it can be overwhelming, which is why many of us will make our selection based on the formula we can afford at that particular moment.
While there are countless amazing affordable skincare buys out there, many of which are staples in our editors' respective routines, that doesn't mean you should disregard luxury skincare altogether.
As with every purchase we make, we don't take investing in luxury skincare lightly, but there is some truth to the saying "you get what you pay for." Between us, we've tried our fair share of products from luxury skincare brands, most of which promise instantaneous results. Of course, some fall short on that promise, but others? They're a skincare revolution!
So whether you're looking to up your skincare ante or you're keen to see if the cult product you've been reading about for years is truly worth the hype, we're here to help. Keep scrolling to see our edit of what we consider to be the best luxury skincare brands to spend your precious earnings on.
1. LA MER
No luxury skincare roundup would be complete without La Mer. The beauty brand's origin story is as epic as they come. It was initially developed by scientist Max Huber to treat burns sustained after a lab accident. La Mer's signature sea kelp formula has seen its moisturiser become one of the most iconic products on the skincare scene and counts many an A-list celebrity amongst its fans. Today, the range has expanded to serums, balms, and body products, all of which deliver seriously impressive results.
2. AUGUSTINUS BADER
The work of world-leading stem cell research expert professor Augustinus Bader, this skincare collection has been 30 years in the making, and it’s undoubtedly been time well spent. Augustinus Bader’s groundbreaking skincare uses a unique, patented Trigger Factor Complex (TFC8) to help visibly reduce lines and wrinkles, as well as damage caused by environmental stressors. Victoria Beckham has previously professed her love for this brand (so much so that she actually collaborated with Bader for her own line), and we all know how glowy her skin looks.
While naturally derived beauty products are all the rage right now, Sylvie Chantecaille recognised the potential in botanical ingredients over 20 years ago, when the idea was less commonplace. She created a company that tapped into plants, flowers and ground-breaking science for its game-changing, high-performing skincare products. Today, Chantecaille is a family-owned, independent business that is committed to making healthy, clean beauty products as well as protecting the planet through philanthropy collections to support wildlife conservation.
Upon hearing the words "Harley Street," chances are the words "plastic surgery" swiftly follow suit. The area in London is known for its industry-leading procedures, carried out by the world's most-skilled surgeons, one of whom is Yannis Alexandrides, MD. Recognising the gap in post-treatment skincare, Alexandrides set out to develop the perfect skincare collection for his patients. What he ended up creating was the renowned luxury skincare brand, 111Skin. Designed to protect skin against environmental aggressors, the products' potent healing ingredients promote a youthful and radiant complexion like nothing you've seen before. If you're new to the brand, we recommend starting with its face masks. They're the best we've tried.
Another brand that brings science and beauty together is 3Lab. This technology-led range has been rigorously developed to tackle your every skin concern, from combating environmental damage to smoothing and hydrating. Expect surprisingly lightweight formulas that stretch way beyond what you might expect—a little goes a long, long way with 3Lab's creams, serums, and toning sprays.
6. SARAH CHAPMAN
As one of London’s most sought-after facialists, Sarah Chapman’s Chelsea Skinesis clinic has become a mecca for skin-savvy celebrities, editors and skin obsessives—all of whom were beyond delighted when she finally launched her eponymous range. Her products deliver results at a cellular level and on the surface, so you can apply your serums and creams confident in the knowledge that the results will be anything but fleeting.
Some of the best luxury skincare brands surpass all expectations, and Albiva is one of them. Albiva blends more than 50 high-quality active ingredients, which seek to stimulate and support the skin's cellular healing. The products are free from chemicals‚ synthetic compounds and fillers, so the impressive results you see entirely, down to its potent blend of sustainable ingredients. Owing to the active properties found within its bottles, Albiva products are best kept in a fridge (even though the wooden packaging would look stylish sitting on your bathroom shelf).
8. LA PRAIRIE
Skincare stalwart La Prairie utilises the latest scientific breakthroughs to provide true excellence in skincare. Developed at Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland, its products help prolong the youthful appearance of even the most delicate skin. Using the most precious ingredients (think rich caviar, rare platinum and opulent gold), the term "luxury skincare" was practically invented to summarise La Prairie's range of cult products.
Drawing on his expertise as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Gregory Bays Brown developed his luxury skincare brand, RéVive, to help restore the skin with a luminous glow. Inspired by patented and Nobel Prize–winning science, RéVive's groundbreaking formulas help renew and rejuvenate skin by boosting collagen and elastin production for a youthful, glowing complexion. Its Radiance Oil is a great product to start off with. Though, RéVive's anti-ageing serum is fast becoming the stuff of legend.
Epara was founded by entrepreneur Ozohu Adoh, who had long suffered from a condition that made her skin dry and uneven. She couldn't find a product that solved her skincare woes, so she set about developing her own formulas. As such, Epara was born. An edit of high-quality, scientifically proven products, all derived from the rich soils of Africa, Epara skincare boasts potency and luxury in equal measure. The products work to repair and pamper simultaneously, leaving skin moisturised, hydrated and looking its very best.
11. DR. BARBARA STURM
Barbara Strum believes that the secret to beautiful skin doesn’t lie in an exhaustive routine. Instead, she insists that you only need a minimal number of expertly crafted products to see the best results. And that’s precisely what she has created with her namesake luxury skincare brand. Based on a thorough medical understanding of cells and anti-ageing, her products protect, strengthen and detoxify without overburdening the skin and are gentle enough for sensitive complexions. While her entire range is noteworthy, her most iconic product is undoubtedly her hyaluronic serum.
The expert clinical team at Valmont, another Swiss skincare offering, has been creating top-of-the-line skincare on the banks of Lake Geneva for over 30 years. Utilising pure and natural ingredients and implementing them with unique cellular cosmetic research, Valmont's efforts have resulted in highly effective products that instantly revive and rejuvenate the skin, leaving the complexion radiantly healthy and smoothed.
Sisley might not be the first French beauty brand that comes to mind, but it's certainly deserving of your attention. Founded in 1976, Sisley was one of the first companies to use botanical essences in cosmetology and to this day remains a family business—albeit one with worldwide success. Renowned for its advanced scientific formulas, which combine the best of technology with the best of nature, Sisley skincare is known for its outstanding results and formulas of the highest quality.
This night cream delivers sumptuous hydration that will have you waking up looking (and feeling) like your best, most radiant self.
14. NATURA BISSÉ
Barcelona-born luxury brand Natura Bissé uses groundbreaking technology with high-performance, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients for targeted smoothing results. Natura Bissé's powerful concentration of amino acids works to stimulate skin cells, fight free radicals and erase imperfections, leaving you with glowing, rejuvenated and visibly plumped skin. What more could you ask for?
While we understand that people can be dubious of buying skincare from brands that have their eggs in many baskets, trust us when we say that Dior get it right across the board. The brand's skincare labs, based in France, are at the forefront of cutting-edge skincare technologies—and it shows from the products. If you like your skincare to ooze luxury while knowing your skin is in safe hands, Dior is a great place to start.
Potentially Dior's most luxurious product, this serum feels every bit as good on the skin as it looks in the bottle. Enriched with rose sap, it delivers intensely plumping hydration, leaving your complexion looking unbelievably soft and supple.
SkinCeuticals products might not have the same luxurious packaging and texture as most of the others on this list, but trust us when we say the products work. Formulated to be used in clinical settings, the products are totally no-frills, but are created with science at their core. Do they look luxury no? But you'll soon realise that the hefty price tags are worth it once you try the products.
Considered to be just about the best vitamin C serum on the market, C E Ferulic delivers potent antioxidants to the skin, leaving things looking suitably more glowing and even in tone. If you only try one SkinCeuticals product, make it C E Ferulic.
Beauty buffs love this barrier-restoring cream so much that it's become quite difficult to get your hands on (it's always sold out). With ceramides and fatty acids, it delivers the nourishment and hydration skin requires to function at its prime.