Despite the economy of the past few years, a recent article in The Los Angeles Times reports that high-end skin products and treatments are now being sought more frequently. Patients concerned with premature aging are interested in both high-end creams and other cosmetic facial treatments.
In a study by the product research firm NPD Group, sales of these products have improved dramatically. High-end skin care products were responsible for about $418 million in sales in 2012, representing an 18% increase over 2011. The average price of products in this category (which include all products over $150) was $236.54.
Some of the most interesting treatments currently on the market use exotic ingredients such as snail serum, which plumps and lifts the skin. Other ingredients include organic fruit stem cells, green tea extracts, and even Miracle Broth, which is a mixture of vitamins, minerals and fermented kelp.
However, in the opinion of Dr. Timothy Jochen, who serves as associate clinical professor at USC, many of the expensive creams are not significantly better than inexpensive ones, and the ingredients are important. In his words, “there are platinum, silk, fish extracts, caviar, and some of these ingredients may have some benefits, but the price tag is really more about prestige and status,” also noting that alpha hydroxy acids (used in many anti-aging products), retinoids and glycolic acids have been proven effective.
“But you can find those in more inexpensive products,” he stated. “I would recommend that instead of spending several hundred dollars on a cream, people put that towards a treatment like a chemical peel, where you can really see results. Mostly everything else is just very expensive moisturizing.”
In addition to chemical peels, many patients choose injections, laser treatments, facial fillers and mechanical skin resurfacing techniques such as microdermabrasion to enhance or replace their cream treatments.
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