Is a $3,000 Serum Worth the Price?

For the cost of fine jewelry, these beauty products come tricked out with everything from pearls, gold and all sorts of anti-aging claims.

It seems people will pay anything to look younger. But are they getting their money's worth? Somewhat. The new cutting-edge luxury creams may indeed contain "molecules that affect cell function; also penetrators -- special transport molecules that carry active ingredients to deeper layers," like the tiny particles found in Oro's 24K Gold serum, says Haideh Hirmand, a New York-based plastic surgeon. However, part of the sky-high prices include "marketing costs in a competitive marketplace." And while you may find some of the fancy antioxidants in a night cream stocked at your local drugstore, it's not likely to have the same dosage. Check the ingredients label: The sooner an active ingredient is listed, the more of it the product contains. Look for "high doses of antioxidants and retinoids, which are studied and proven anti-aging agents," says Dr. Hirmand, who adds that beauty companies are experimenting with molecular DNA repair: "Customized skin care will be the way of the future." Does this mean that a $5,000 cream is coming soon?