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Why Luxury Beauty Seems To Be Recession-Proof

Regardless whether the global economy is doing well or badly, the prices and demand for luxury skincare seem to always be on the up and up.

I have always been obsessed with luxury skincare, even as a teen. My first foray into the market was going to La Mer’s Tangs Orchard counter over a decade ago, purchasing my first Creme de la Mer after reading about it in a magazine. At the time, my friends thought I was crazy for spending about $300 for a moisturiser. And while that might not sound like a lot today, it was definitely considered a big splurge at the time.

With an array of products that cost anything from $800 to easily over $1,000 in the market, skincare that cost a couple of hundred sometimes almost seems like the norm to industry insiders. Take Cle de Peau Beaute’s Synactif Cream, for example, which was first launched locally in 2010 and went through a revamp in 2014. At $1,800 a tub, it’s no drop in the bucket. You could easily get a pair of Louboutins or Manolos for that price. La Prairie’s Cellular Cream Platinum Rare is not far behind, costing $1,750 for a bottle.

However, the brands tend to be able to justify the cost of the products. The Synactif Cream is so concentrated with active ingredients that only a half a pea-sized amount is enough for the entire face (it lasted me for four months instead of the regular two since only such a small amount was needed). The Cellular Cream Platinum Rare contains real platinum, which is the most precious metal in the world and is said to be about 30 times more rare than gold.

One of the priciest products I’ve ever come across, however, would have to be Dior’s L’Or de Vie La Cure. The three-month treatment set has about 30 years of research behind it and costs almost $3,000. It uses natural fertiliser composed of white-grape seeds and skin from the Chateau d’Yquem vineyard in Southwestern France. It supposedly helps restore cellular “fertility” by rejuvenating skin cells so they become more productive and work faster. Considered a limited edition product, each set is labelled by the year it is made and the quantity depends on the vineyard’s harvest for the year.