Skin Care

By Charu Suri


A paycheck needs to be elastic. Stretched to the max like lycra. It needs to give you everything you need (and then some). So I’m sure that your perfectly arched eyebrows arches even higher when you look at creams that are priced $200, $300 and north. How do you know they’re worth the big bucks? Surely you’d rather plunk that change into a Nanette Lepore or Betsey Johnson dress instead.

The new 3LAB WW Cream retails for $400.
BeautyNews thinks it’s worth every penny!

We asked some dermatologists what they thought of this trend.

“The issue of price can mainly be attributed to the quality and quantity of ingredients,” says Dennis Gross M.D., whose famous line MD Skincare has helped millions of women achieve great skin. “The technology of skincare products has become so advanced, meaning that complex ingredients, advanced delivery systems and unique formulations can provide better results than we ever dreamed of. These advanced ingredients are often times more expensive, which will cause the overall price of certain items to increase.”

In January 2006, Consumer Reports published a product review on wrinkle creams. The report found that Olay Regenerist, a product available in the aisles of drugstores and which retails for around $19, performed the best. The runner up was the pricey Lancôme Paris Rénergie, retailing for about $176.

Korner Skincare’s new “Loaded The Anti-Ager” retails for $240. It has bio-technical pomegranate extract and anti-wrinkle pseudodipeptides

Obviously price does not equal quality. Dr. Gross concurs. “It is important to know that more expensive does not always mean better,” he says. “Consumers should look for products that contain multiple active ingredients because a combination always works best to solve skincare problems.”

Annet King, Director of Training for The International Dermal Institute says, “The price of luxury creams has reached an all time high! Some product companies found in high end department stores can’t justify their high prices, they will claim that it’s expensive due to the rare algae growing off the coast of a mineral rich sea, picked by natives etc. But as we know this is hype and storytelling, the product cost is minimal and the money goes into paying for the PR campaign and the advertising using the famous movie star and of course the elaborate packaging!”

Power Rich from Dermalogica retails for $165 for a 35 day supply and promises to repair sun damaged skin and hyperpigmentation

Both Ms. King and Dr. Gross advocate that consumers do their homework and find out what’s in the creams rather than look at price points and attractive packaging. When you buy a cream, you should consider the following:

1. Are there multiple active ingredients in the jar? “A combination always works best to solve skincare problems,” says Dr. Gross
2. How do the ingredients work on a cellular level?
3. What scientific studies have been done to determine the efficacy of the product? “Before and after pics can be easily doctored and just lighting makes a huge impact to how skin evenness and wrinkles look!” says King.

Also, look for multifunctional products, advises Dr. Gross. For example, a cleanser and toner in one. Why? “Because the skin is exposed to fewer preservatives,” he says.

Try to give the cream a sample test before buying. Several companies will allow you to take samples home before you commit to debiting your bank account. “This is the best policy before buying a one ounce cream that costs the same as a great pair of shoes!” says King.

Originally published March 2007



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