Some people will stop at nothing to look forever youthful even if it means forking out thousands of dollars for aesthetic treatments and high-end skincare products. The question is how does an expensive cream stack up against regular over-the-counter drugstore brands?

According to experts, part of the premium price tag goes into the trademarking, marketing and packaging of the product, and the rest go into sourcing for rare and luxurious ingredients married with advanced technologies to help us achieve the complexions of our dreams.

Here, we feature eight beauty products priced over $1,000 (not even the most expensive in the market), created as part of a premium collection in their respective brands to target anti-ageing concerns like dry skin, dullness, fine lines and sagging.

The difference you’re getting with these is the higher concentration of rare and unique ingredients like alpine caviar and black orchid, coupled with pampering textures and scents to elevate your beauty regimen, all sealed in gorgeous packaging befitting of their price tag.

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Black The Cream, $1,997

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The secret ingredient in this intensive rejuvenation cream is derived from a special black orchid, native to the Peruvian Andes. It is very unusual in that it only flowers for three weeks of the year unlike other varieties which flower for two to three months. And, more remarkable still, both male and female flowers grow on the same plant. This peculiar quality has given it the ability to adapt to its environment. When faced with “dangers” such as excess sunlight or insufficient light, for instance, it responds by producing more male flowers, thereby optimising the fertilisation of its female flowers and, thus, the amount of fruit. Guerlain used the orchid’s extract and developed Blackimmune technology which targets 95% of cells involved in the skin’s self-defence to keep it looking youthful. Day after day, this ultimate protective shield helps strengthen the skin and reduce the visible signs of ageing. To up the luxe factor, The Cream is encased in a jet-black jewel-shaped porcelain jar handcrafted by Maison Bernardaud.

111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream, $1,250

Developed by renowned Harley Street cosmetic surgeon, Dr Yannis Alexandrides, this anti-ageing cream contains the brand’s proprietary NAC Y2 formula brimming with antioxidants to keep cellular inflammation at bay. Other essential ingredients include liquorice root to even skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation; hyaluronic acid to elevate and retain moisture levels; and centella asiatica to support collagen synthesis and tighten up wrinkles and fine lines. As a final touch, it is enriched with black diamond particles which help the active ingredients penetrate the skin, delivering more intense results. Ideal for use in harsh climates, the rich formula provides a protective, emollient barrier, while at night it nourishes dry or dehydrated skin.

Sisleÿa L’Intégral Anti-Âge La Cure, $1,350

According to Sisley’s scientific findings, the solution to younger skin is to reboot your mitochondria — a network of batteries in the skin that supply energy to your cells to help them regenerate. In order to do this, the French luxury skincare brand has created a four-week skincare programme intended to restart skin’s cell mechanisms one by one. Each vial consists of a cutting-edge complex of nourishing botanicals that deeply penetrate the skin to heal from within. Gingko Biloba leaf extract combined with Vitamin E acetate protects the mitochondria; Mariposa Blanca rhizome extract reconnects the mitochondrial network; while peony extract paired with a Longevity Sugar Complex eliminates damaged mitochondria. Within the first week, the complexion reawakens and signs of fatigue are reduced. In week two, lines appear diminished, skin looks softer and more toned. In the third week, signs of ageing would have diminished with smoother, denser and more elastic skin. In the last week, wrinkles have lightened and skin looks much more youthful.

Sulwhasoo Timetreasure Honorstige Cream, $1,050

For those who appreciate traditional Asian ingredients in their skincare, look to this behemoth Korean brand for an ultra-luxe cream fortified with Korean red pine, reishi mushroom and Active Ginseng Cell which draws from the revitalising energy of Korean Ginseng. Together their healing powers combined promise to restore the skin and treat visible symptoms of ageing. The fluffy creamy texture of the cream delicately envelopes the skin like cotton releasing a distinctly oriental scent coupled with citrus, herbal and woody notes. Acting as an additional shield for the skin, the cream is also enriched with S-Phytoalexin, a plant bio-synthesiser believed to resist stress in the skin caused by external aggressors. Supposedly with religious application, you will experience a “tightening” of the skin as collagen fibres redensify and skin plumps up from the moisture surge. The luxurious details of this cream even extends to its gilded packaging, which is conceptualised in collaboration with acclaimed French design agency Raison Pure.

Kanebo The Cream, $1,800

According to the Japanese heritage beauty brand, perfectly luminous skin needs to fulfil six criteria: moisture, radiance, texture, smoothness, firmness, and brightness. To do that, Kanebo created its most premium skincare line called The Exceptional, featuring only three items all enriched with a long list of nourishing botanicals. The cream which is the star of the line is a deliciously balmy moisturiser that quickly melts in cocooning the skin with a soft, silky veil and a relaxing fragrance of white blooms. The proof of its efficacy is in the pudding made up of a Clear Botanical Complex — Pear Juice Ferment Filtrate, Watercress Extract, Geranium Extract, Aqua Glucoside — which targets multiple skincare concerns in one step for a supple, unified and glowing complexion. It also has the addition of vitamin E, mallow flower extract, moon peach leaf extract and clove flower extract.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift, $1,090

You deserve the best kind of caviar whether it is on your dish or in your beauty products. Rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, caviar from top-quality sturgeons from the Swiss Alps are extracted and applied to La Prairie’s top-of-the-line Skin Caviar collection. In this updated serum, two kinds of caviar extracts are used: Caviar Premier and Caviar Absolute. The latter is a highly concentrated form of natural caviar rich in oils and proteins which is obtained using a delicate, high-tech extraction process. The former mimics the chemical composition of real caviar through a combination of biomolecules, lipids, proteins and peptides. Housed in two separate chambers for freshness, the iconic caviar beads and milky emulsion are freshly blended with a press of the activation button. The result is a delightfully textured serum that melts into the skin with an immediate tensing sensation. Over time, the skin appears lifted and firmed, and volume feels regained.

La Mer The Genaissance De Serum Essence, $1,190

Target all the signs of ageing and accelerate skin renewal with this highly rejuvenating serum by La Mer. The Serum Essence contains a highly concentrated dose of the brand’s proprietary Miracle Broth, derived from the accumulation of crystals collected from a bottle of the broth, which was discovered by a scientist at the Max Huber Research Labs. That gave birth to the Crystal Miracle Broth — extraordinarily pure and slow-crafted in extremely small batches to reach its ultimate potency. Together with Genaissance Ferment, a cocktail of skin-loving ingredients such as red algae, alfalfa, sunflower, sweet almond and eucalyptus extracts, and formulated without parabens, phthalates and sulfates, the Serum Essence reveals skin that’s more polished, even, resilient and refined.

Clé de Peau Beauté Synactif Cream, $1,890

The glamorous older sister of Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté offers premium products that marry luxury and skincare science and the Synactif Cream sits right on top of the high-end list. A Purifying Beautifier complex of mulberry and cinnamon bark extracts powerfully revitalises the skin to turn back the ravages of time. There is also neem leaf and pine tree extract and inositol to enhance firmness; retinol ACE to address wrinkles and fine lines; and various vitamins and hyaluronic acid to nourish and hydrate the skin. The highly potent anti-ageing cream works best in the night with a lymphatic massage to support purification and regeneration. The souffle-like texture feels very luxurious to the touch and amplified by a relaxing rose scent. Over continued use, your skin will feel firmer, more sculpted not to mention more supple and wrinkle-free.


All prices accurate at time of upload