Is Luxury Skincare Really Worth Paying For?


Luxury, translates to expensive but I’m guessing you already knew that. Skincare is no exception to that rule.

As someone who blogs about beauty, It’s certainly a question I’m often asked. Fortunately, I’m able to try all kinds of skincare from various brands, including drugstore to high-end and pretty much anything in between. Plus, “newsflash” – I do buy it myself too so I like to think I’m well versed when it comes to skincare.

Any savvy beauty buff knows there’s no such thing as a time-stopping or reversing miracle cream, and it’s highly doubtful there ever will be. Ageing is a natural process and nothing, nout, nada is going to stop it. However, If we develop a good skincare routine and make informed product choices we can do our bit to slow the ravages of time.

I love the idea of luxury skincare but, all too often, it’s not ethically produced and/ or, I can’t afford it.

You may not be surprised to learn that there are actually creams available out there which will set you back an obscene £1,000 plus, per pot. I prefer to keep my feet firmly on the ground with the most expensive pot of cream I’ve used costing £163.

I’m not in a position to repurchase at this price point, but, I have to admit when I see that the product is used (but not endorsed) by both royalty and celebrities I’m immediately drawn in. With its consistency of semi-softened butter, a quarter of gold venom (from the queen bee), no less, and a delicious all-natural scent, I’m intrigued and want to know more.

The packaging looks and feels luxe, it’s chunky and unusual in appearance which I believe may account for some of the cost. My luxury product is skincare extraordinaire Deborah Mitchell’s award-winning, signature Black Bee Venom Mask. What’s more, Deborah’s brand Heaven skincare is cruelty-free and use only natural, organic ingredients which for me, is the all-important factor.


What makes it special?

Black bee venom is so rare, only 500 Black Bee Venom Masks are produced annually. With that in mindI wanted to delve a little deeper into the subject of luxury skincare costs so I asked the founder and owner of Heaven Skincare Deborah Michell what she could tell me about why her iconic product is so costly.

This is what Deborah had to say:

“If you’ve ever tried my Silver Bee Venom Mask you’ll know it’s one cream that totally transforms your skin. Relaxing lines, similar to injectables such as Botox because the skin believes it’s been stung. As a reaction, the facial muscles relax preventing the bee venom from travelling further through the skin’s tissues. Simultaneously, the skin goes into survival mode and lucky for us, this is anti-ageing collagen and elastin – the pillars that hold the key to that youthful glow.

So why make a stronger version? The answer is – you go to the gym once a week to start prepping your body, you see improvements, but now you want more. This is what my clients asked for – more bee venom in the form of my patented Abeetoxin. More glow in the form of moisture molecules contained in the bodies sting reaction to the venom. With a cost of £27,000 per ounce, you want to see every result possible.

Ok, so now you want to know why gold venom is so great? To explain how gold works, I have to first explain how a bee lives. In its first three days of life a queen bee feeds royal jelly to her babies, she protects them from harm and disease by stinging around them, this contains antibiotics to help and heal. To create a new queen royal jelly is fed longer than three days.

Black bee venom is so effective there’s no need to buy a moisturiser or an eye cream. If the skin is sensitive to such a strong venom you’d think you might have to be careful, but no, it improves sensitive skin by treating and re-boosting skin cells. It’s quite simply is a Miracle cream” – Deborah Mitchell – founder, Heaven Skincare.

Deborah Mitchell is an official “guardian of bees” she also donates a portion of her revenue to bee charities. No bees were harmed during venom extraction. If you’re interested in how venom is extracted read my Heaven skincare Bee Calm Kit post to find out more.

Unfortunately, all too often our luxury skincare purchases are funding product promotion, celebrity endorsement and so on. If a brand showcases clinical tests, trials or studies (none of which come cheap), it all adds to the overall cost. Luxury packaging or a combination can also hike up the cost.

Should we choose a “salon strength” over high-end products you might find on a beauty counter in Boots.

The answer for me is yes, you should. I don’t claim to be the oracle but writing a beauty related blog for over two years has given me insights into the industry which I wouldn’t otherwise have. Did you know some well-known beauty counter brands, (better-known for their makeup over skincare) may use lower strength active ingredients than salon branded products? Worse still, some brands don’t contain any actives at all so there’s no lasting improvement to our skin. This may well be for the purpose of reducing the chance of contact allergic reaction en masse –  fuelled by the theory that the majority won’t bother patch testing a product.

Choosing a naturally active alternative

With the majority of high-end skincare brands being less than ethical, you may want to consider a natural alternative. If you like results but are put off by vivisection, or unsustainable production then, of course, there are many beauty brands available that will not only give good results but also, peace of mind that your money isn’t supporting unethical practices. Read about why I started Leaning Towards A More Ethical Approach To Beauty.

If we’re going to leave a large dent in our bank balance for a considered skincare purchase we expect great results.

Sadly, it’s not always the case, plus, aside from bee venom products – where you’ll see an instant result (and long-term improvement as collagen and elastin production is stimulated). Skincare containing actives can take around a month before you’ll notice any changes. Our skin renews over a twenty-eight-day cycle so be mindful of your choices.

Ingredients to look out for:

Actives (plant-based, or otherwise) – these will help stimulate your body’s ability to produce those all-important building blocks – aka collagen and elastin needed for firmer, smoother skin.

Antioxidants. We should all know about free radical damage. In simple terms, free radicals are incomplete atoms. They are unstable with an inherent need to complete themselves. Our healthy, or normal cells are a target and once an incomplete atom (free radical) has stolen an electron or “piece” of our healthy cell it becomes inflamed, dysfunctional or even dies. As this process continues more normal cells have “pieces” stolen wreaking havoc on our skin, accelerating the ageing process. Vitamin C is your weapon of choice; neutralising free radicals and donating an electron to the incomplete atom which in turn reduces or stops the cycle.

If your skin’s appearance is important to you, Use vitamin C topically every day. Eat a diet rich in citrus fruits or at least include a vitamin C supplement in your diet.

Retinol is the king of skincare ingredients, known for speeding up dead skin cell turnover. However, if you choose to use Retinol within your skin maintenance routine it’s paramount you use a good sunscreen daily as Retinol can affect the skins natural ability to fend off UV radiation by removing the invisible film which protects the skin. Have a read about a new launch Retinol Serum which I tried recently. It’s by one of my favourite brands skinSense and is a gentle formula and a great place to start.

Sunscreen. This is a NO BRAINER. UV rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage the DNA of our cells. This accounts for the majority of visible ageing. As time passes, you’ll also notice a “leathery” appearance to your skin and deeper lines forming – all telltale signs of sun-worshipping. Wear sunscreen every day, regardless of weather conditions. I use once-a-day Face Fluid SPF 50 by UltrasunUK.It’s super-fast absorbing and the perfect makeup base.

Remember… This year’s suntan is next years’ wrinkles.



Essentially, my advice would be to leave the celebrity-endorsed, overpriced pretties on the shelf and choose products containing some, or all of the above ingredients – for best results. Read more about my thoughts on the Black Bee Venom mask here.- Is it really natures botox?

Do you insist on luxury skincare? Or, are you happy with the results you find from drugstore products? Maybe you mix it up? What are your thoughts?


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  1. February 14, 2019 / 8:28 pm

    I’m all for drugstore products! For me buying luxury skincare products isn’t worth it since there’s no guarantee it’ll actually work even if the product is highly reviewed & used by people with the same skin type.

    • Samantha
      February 14, 2019 / 10:20 pm

      That tends to be the general consensus and it’s such a risk spending a fortune and being disappointed. For me, it’s all about ingredients, I can get drawn in by packaging but I’m quite at resisting! Drugstore is ok as long as there are active ingredients! x

  2. February 15, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    Okay so I’ve never actually thought about luxury skincare, but now that I’ve read this post I’m oh so intrigued… That bee venom mask sounds incredible and I’ve actually never heard of it before! I’m definitely going to look into active ingredients from now on…

    Becca / becc4

    • Samantha
      February 15, 2019 / 9:55 pm

      I thought it would be an interesting subject to write about. The best thing you can do is to look at the ingredients on any skincare and check for actives on the list. Bee venom is a wonderful natural ingredient and has so many benefits for our skin – glad you found it intriguing! Thanks for stopping by x

  3. February 16, 2019 / 3:07 pm

    This black bee venom mask is very interesting… I’ve never tried products like this. Have a beautiful weekend!

    • Samantha
      February 16, 2019 / 11:35 pm

      It’s definitely an interesting one! You can really feel tingles when it’s on the skin, literally like being gently stung! Have a lovely weekend too! x

  4. February 16, 2019 / 7:13 pm

    Oh wow, I’ve never even heard of black bee venom and I’m so intrigued- the mask sounds absolutely amazing. Honestly I’m so torn right now because despite being someone who definitely believes in investing in high-end skincare, £163 is definitely more than I’ve ever spent on one product- but I want it! Your ‘ingredients to look out for’ list is super handy as well.

    Soph – x

    • Samantha
      February 16, 2019 / 11:34 pm

      Thanks Sophie. It’s such an interesting ingredient with so many benefits. I’m pleased to have highlighted it for you. I agree, it’s really out of my price range too but I was kingly given it to try at a Heaven skincare PR event last year. I thought I’d use it as an example as it’s the most expensive I’ve tried! Plus it’s everything I love – cruelty-free and natural x

  5. February 17, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    I agree with you, I think what matters is the actual ingredient list within the product that will set it apart from others and I do t believe in spending such a High amount of money on products unless it’s fully justified and actually works hahaha! Great post lovely xoxox

    Serene XO

    • Samantha
      February 23, 2019 / 4:50 pm

      Definitely! Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it. x

  6. February 18, 2019 / 9:38 am

    This is such an interesting and helpful post! I’m definitely noting all the ingredients you have to look out for, I never really paid attention to ingredients so now I know what to look for! I can never justify buying luxury skincare products, the price is way too expensive in my opinion. Plus you never really know if it’ll work or not. Fab post as always my lovely x

    New Lune |

    • Samantha
      February 23, 2019 / 4:52 pm

      Thanks lovely! Oh, I’m pleased you’ve made a note of the ingredients to look out for! it’s really worthwhile to get your monies worth. Have a fab weekend! x

    • Samantha
      February 23, 2019 / 4:54 pm

      It’s never easy and it’s a risk as we all have different results with skincare products, high-end or drugstore. Sadly, sometimes high-end products don’t always live up to expectation in terms of ingredients, so it’s definitely worth checking x

  7. February 21, 2019 / 12:39 pm

    This is a really interesting post, Samantha! I never knew luxury skincare could have such high price tags! The ingredients to look out for section is really helpful, thank you for sharing and making it easy to understand. I hadn’t considered using sunscreen in any weather before, but it sounds like sensible advice! Thank you for sharing your tips and really enjoyed learning more about black bee venom too, it’s fascinating! <3 xx

    Bexa |

    • Samantha
      February 23, 2019 / 4:49 pm

      Thank you Bexa. sunscreen daily is definitely something which goes by the wayside for a lot of people, but the long-term damage can still be done, even on dull or overcast days!I’m so glad you found my post interesting – black bee venom is wonderful and so beneficial in skincare. Have a fab weekend lovely x

  8. February 21, 2019 / 3:34 pm

    I’d like to think I mix it up but I certainly can’t be buying anything with a £100+ price tag for my skin! That said, celebrity endorsed products don’t jump out at me. If I am intrigued by a product I would research it as much as possible to make an informed decision on whether I want to buy it…even then I don’t always make the right decision but I do try not to get drawn in as much as I used to!! Great post xx

    • Samantha
      February 23, 2019 / 4:46 pm

      I agree I’ll always do lots of research for pretty much anything over a tenner! I read tons of reviews too, but honestly wouldn’t splurge on expensive skincare very often! Thanks, lovely, have a great weekend x

  9. February 24, 2019 / 8:07 am

    I like to use both depends on whether it’s serum or mask, etc but I would never spend more than 60-70£ definitely this is my limit.:) Regards<3

    • Samantha
      February 24, 2019 / 11:16 pm

      I tend to agree, it’s the ingredients and their strength etc which is the important factor. Finding a balance is always a good idea x

  10. February 28, 2019 / 8:27 am

    I came here after seeing this post advertised because I had a really awful reaction to some skincare (as you know) and I wanted to have a read because I wonder myself if expensive skincare makes any difference! I think it’s all personal preference of course, but some skincare is mad expensive and I wonder what it’s actually got in it! Great post beautiful xx

    • Samantha
      February 28, 2019 / 11:39 pm

      I saw your skin, hope it’s settled now. I’ve used products before which do give an initial reddening to the skin but it settles after a while. If it were a true allergic reaction it wouldn’t be so immediate (in my experience). Some luxury skincare isn’t worth paying for, however, some is, just depends on the actives! x

  11. March 21, 2019 / 6:14 pm

    Loved reading more on this topic since luxury in skincare can be so divisive. Funnily enough, I tend to be more willing to buy luxury skincare over luxury beauty products, but only after doing a deep-dive into the ingredients. I never knew that Bee Venom could be used as a skincare ingredient and could produce Botox-like results.

  12. April 10, 2019 / 1:01 pm

    It’s a tricky one as there’s definitely psychological about luxury beauty – I feel just a tad more pampered using something that I know cost a small fortune and I’m definitely aware that my skincare routine in particular is quite expensive, but I do have tricky skin that needs all the help it can get! Great post xx

    • I'm Samantha
      April 11, 2019 / 9:53 pm

      I agree with what you say about the psychological side when choosing luxury beauty, definitely gives that feel-good factor. Not a bad thing at all, plus, if you find something that works well for your skin it’s worth the investment. Thanks for stopping by x

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