I Tried a $300 Face Cream, and Here’s What Happened

Though it may be pricey, I’m actually seeing a change in my skin.
Publish date:
February 11, 2015
shoppables, winter, skin, skin care, face cream, la prairie

Skin care has always been puzzling to me — there are so many products to try and the results differ for everyone. From Allure’s Best of Beauty to Byrdie’s to Into the Gloss, there are so many places to get recommendations! It’s hard to know what will work for your skin and give you results.

One of my goals for 2015 was to focus on getting better skin and stop wearing so much makeup. But I’ve never been the girl who had naturally perfect skin and could just wash my face and go; it’s always been an uphill battle to fight acne and oiliness. It’s a personal goal of mine to look as naturally radiant as Lupita Nyong'o and just put makeup on for fun, not out of necessity. Back in December, a top beauty editor gave me the opportunity try the luxury face cream La Prairie Skin Caviar, and of course I took advantage of the opportunity since it costs $300 per bottle and celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Victoria Beckham swear by it.

The Less Expensive Creams I Tried First

Just to give you some background, I tried everything from Clinique's Repairwear Intensive Night Cream to Diorsnow Moisturizing Lotion to Benefit Cosmetics's Total Moisture Facial Cream to the Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask to Bliss's Triple Oxygen + C Energizing Cream over the last few months. I’m always searching for something to give my skin that dewy look without being shiny since I have naturally oily skin, occasional acne, and scars on my cheeks that haven’t faded as much as I would like them to.

All of these creams are under $100 and do work on some level, but none of them were a 10/10 for me. The Clinique Repairwear Intensive Night Cream felt nice when applied to my skin, but I went through two bottles before I saw results. I love the matte feeling of Dior’s Moisturizing Lotion, and highly recommend if you have oily skin. Still, I like a thicker cream to fully coat my skin, and this Dior product is more slick than smooth. I’m a huge Benefit fan, but its Total Moisture cream was a little too greasy — I was afraid it would add to my already super oily face. And then the staff at a spa I went to recommended Bliss’s Energizing Cream, but it was too lightweight for me. Maybe good for summer? Lastly, the Fresh Overnight Mask was my favorite in this group because it made the scarring on my face less noticeable, but it didn't blow me away.

And Then I Chose from a Set of Luxury Creams

A friend who is a beauty editor gave me the chance to try several top-shelf products: Lancôme Absolue Night Recovery Cream ($192 for 2.6 oz), Yves Saint Laurent Forever Youth Lliberator Cream ($250 for 1.6 oz), Sk-II Ultimate Revival Cream ($385 for 2.6 oz), and La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Cream ($275 for 1.0 oz). La Prairie was the median in price and, from reading the instructions on each, it’s the only one that is recommended to use both day and night.

In reviews about La Prairie cream, you are advised to use sparingly and make it last for a year (not sure if that’s because of the price or because of its ingredients,) but either way I have sparingly applied it on my cheeks, forehead, and chin every morning and night for the past month. I kept the same routine of washing my face every morning and night and not going to bed with any makeup on.

The cream is caviar- and water-based with phospholipids and proteins to boost your skin’s firmness, along with omega-3s that improve your skin’s ability to fight off bacteria, and a mix of marigold and sage to soothe skin. The smell is up for debate — a friend swore it smelled fresh and clean, while I got more of a granny scent. It also comes with a small spatula to ensure that you only use a small amount, which I didn’t use.

The first week of using it, I had to work late — until midnight. Despite my lack of sleep, though, I noticed my skin was more radiant. The texture alone really sold me, since it really moisturized my skin without being too heavy or greasy. The elasticity and firmness of my skin stayed about the same, but by the third week there was noticeable improvement in the tone of my skin. Under-eye discoloration improved, and my skin didn’t feel like a corpse when I went outside without makeup on. Though it may be pricey, I’m actually seeing a change in my skin for the first time.

I've only been using this cream for a month, but I've become a believer in the adage, "You get what you pay for." I could honestly do without all the others I tried. There are 53 weeks in 2015, so hypothetically it costs $5.60 per week, which makes the investment feel a little more realistic. I plan on using it for the rest of year and hope to see more improvements over time.

Has any one cream worked so well for your skin type?