When it comes to top-shelf skin care products, it can be tough to determine which products can actually walk the walk. Some really are worth the price, while others… well, not so much. That’s why we’ve turned to the experts — AKA dermatologists, who make it their job to deep-dive into skin care ingredients and their efficacy — to find out which products you should be spending your hard-earned cash on.
Most MDs in the field agree that price, while an important factor, is not always the determinant for top-notch skin care products. “Some $400 creams are nothing but a genius marketing ploy, and some pyramid scheme skin care lines sold by your friends may be expensive but lack real results or ingredients at sufficient quantities or concentrations or preparations to be effective on the skin,” says Dr. Melanie D. Palm, San Diego–based dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, and founding director of Art of Skin MD.
Of course, there are some spendy skin care products that really are worth the extra bucks. Dr. Palm’s best recommendation in this regard is to look for cosmeceutical-grade lines, since these brands have generally invested significant time, money and research to create products that are up to snuff (even for the high standards of a well-trained dermatologist). “There is a sunk cost for the development of such products by the manufacturers, and therefore the cost of many cosmeceutical lines are more expensive than over the counter but often competitive with makeup counter products, but with far better ingredients, science and effectiveness,” she explains.
Tyler Hollmig, director of Laser and Aesthetic Dermatology at Stanford Health Care, agrees that price plays a factor, but only to an extent. “Some of the best-rated products are actually quite cheap, however, really elegant formulations are often expensive to produce,” he says. “The savvy consumer instead should focus on the ingredient list and have a product feels on his or her skin.”
Wondering which brands and products are worth the dough? Keep reading for 10 high-performing skin care products that come officially dermatologist-approved.
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This article originally appeared on TotalBeauty.com