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 /  Grooming /  Skin Care

8 Luxury Skincare Products That Are Actually Worth the Splurge

Because your mug has earned it.

David has been covering men's style and grooming topics for The Adult Man as a writer and photographer since 2020. We asked David to sum himself up in four sentences, and here it is. Serial learner. Aspiring wordsmith. Bourbon enthusiast. Jack of some trades. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 7, 2024
11 min read

If you’ve ever browsed the internet for skincare solutions and felt lost in a sea of products, you’re not alone.

So many products that claim to do the same thing, yet some cost ten times as much. And for what?

Does a moisturizer with sea kelp that was hand-harvested while thinking nice thoughts about the Earth and tickling a sea lion really do more for your skin than the $6 bottle of moisturizer you find on Walmart’s grey shelves?

Some do and some don’t, which isn’t helpful, but the good news is that I’m here to shed light on eight luxury skincare products that are actually worth your time and money. 

Want to get bang for your buck that you can visibly see, rather than just an empty bank account? Read on.

Geologie Clear System

Geologie Clear System Mix on TAM wrapping 1

Good for: Clearing up acne, reducing redness, and smoothing skin tone.

Geologie is a  30x- award-winning skincare company featured in the likes of GQ, Men’s Health, and AskMen. I’m a big fan of their products because they often come in easy-to-use sets that let you get to better skin quickly, without having to become a skincare expert on what products to include in your regimen.

Their newest product set, The Clear System, is designed to clear acne, improve your skin’s tone and texture, and keep acne from coming back.

Geologie’s Clear System does its acne-busting work through the use of clinically-proven and healthy acne fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, retinol, and azelaic acid.  

Best of all, these ingredients are combined in a gentle formulation that doesn’t include benzoyl peroxide, which is often harsh on skin and causes redness, irritation, itching, and burning. In fact, recent 2024 reports suggest that benzene can increase the risk of cancer and alarmingly, it’s used in many readily available topical acne products.

Ugh. No thank you.

Geologie wanted to prove that their acne-fighting formulation was just as powerful without the benzoyl peroxide, so they had The Clear System clinically-tested against a benzoyl peroxide product. The trial found that participants’ skin was more clear, more hydrated, and softer after 28 days than 78.5% of the participants who used benzoyl peroxide.

And that’s been the case for me too. I used BP products in my younger years and beyond the health risks, despised how much it’d stain all my clothing and linens.

How Geologie Clear System Works over 3 Months

The Clear System is designed with a patent pending Leveling up System which starts you off at low ingredient percentages to ease you into your skincare and gradually gets stronger over time.  The first and second levels gently clear away acne with a low dosage of retinol, and the third level ramps up the retinol to keep acne at bay and promote collagen production, which keeps your skin looking young and healthy.

A pimple is a small thing (unless you watch a lot of Dr. Pimple Popper), but the way it affects your confidence is not. That’s why I think splurging on Geologie’s Clear System is worth it. I’ve found it to be gentle and effective, to clear away blemishes and pesky acne, and to nourish and hydrate my skin to look healthier than ever.

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Geologie Clear System
(Get 30% off your first time purchase on Clear System with code TAM30)

I’ve found this system to be gentle and effective and I love that it doesn't have any nasties like benzoyl peroxide. It's consistently cleared away blemishes and pesky acne and nourished and hydrated my skin to look healthier than ever.

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Lumin Dark Circle Defense Balm

Lumin dark circle defense

Good for: Removing dark eye circles and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.

Let’s face it, there are few things that wake you up quick like walking by a mirror and thinking you saw Frankenstein, only to realize it’s your haggard self with giant dark circles around your eyes.

Dark eye circles really do a number when it comes to making you look older and more tired, so it’s important to get an effective eye cream in your skincare regimen that can counteract your body’s affinity for looking like a raccoon.

Lumin’s Dark Circle Defense Balm is great at this. Formulated with niacinamide, caffeine, and lemon extract, it serves as a jolt for sleepy under eyes in the morning but also deeply hydrates and smoothes the skin. 

The lemon extract helps to improve uneven skin tones, which is great for reducing the severity of dark eye circles. Caffeine extract reduces puffiness in the skin, and niacinamide smooths wrinkles and fine lines.

All together these ingredients lighten dark eye circles, smooth the skin around your eyes, and reduce inflammation and puffiness so you can look more like a human, and less like you just rolled out of bed. 

I get less sleep than I should, and my dark eye circles would normally reflect that, but the skin under my eyes has kept an even skin tone and not darkened to make me look like a raccoon ever since I started using Lumin’s eye balm. 

I saw the best results after a week and a half of consistent use, and I’ve continued to look more awake than I should after averaging six hours of sleep per night, which is why I think the Dark Circle Defense Balm is worth the splurge.

Proven Personalized 3 Step Skincare System

Proven Skincare Chrome Bottles Lined up on white background

Good for: A succinct, robust skincare system that’s tailored to your needs.

If you’re particular about how you like your coffee in the morning and how you like your t-shirts folded, you should get particular about your skincare, too.

There’s no better way to do that on the luxury skincare front than with Proven’s personalized skincare system, which relies on their Skin Genome Quiz to create custom product formulations based on 47 factors, like your age, skincare concerns, gene expression, zip code, and more. 

They then use their award-winning, in-house AI to select the best ingredients for your skin, out of a list of 20,238 skincare ingredients.

Proven skincare genome quiz screenshot

If you were looking for the Apple of skincare companies, you found it. 

This three step system really is just three steps: a cleanser, morning moisturizer with SPF, and evening moisturizer. And really, you could say it’s a two step system: cleanse and moisturize in the morning, and cleanse and moisturize in the evening. Done.

Proven Skincare 2

When our staff reviewer William tried it, he saw noticeable improvements in his forehead wrinkles and skin tone within four days of consistent use. I’m still yet to come across another skincare company that offers so much personalization to their products, which is why I think Proven is worth the investment. 

Proven Skincare

The Proven Skincare customization process is impressive. After 31 questions, three weeks, and a decent chunk of change, I got the best skincare products I’ve tried to date.

Get Proven Skincare Read Our Review

PATRICKS SL1 Superleggera Moisturizer

PATRICKS SL1 Superleggera Moisturizer on TAM wrapping

Good for: Fighting common signs of aging.

If you’re playing the long game with skincare and want a product that keeps you looking like you’re in your 30s into your 50s, I recommend PATRICKS’ SL1 Anti-Aging Moisturizer.

This premium moisturizer isn’t just sleek packaging. It’s packed with peptides, hyaluronic acid, squalane, niacinamide, and red algae to create a formulation that absorbs excess sebum and deeply hydrates, leaving your skin smooth, even, and looking like porcelain.

Hyaluronic acid penetrates deep through the layers of skin to moisturize from the inside, squalane acts as a barrier to lock moisture in, niacinamide helps to brighten the skin and even your complexion, and red algae promotes a natural skin barrier to keep environmental toxins and dirt at bay.

Perhaps most important, peptides promote collagen production, which keeps your skin elastic, plump, and young. 

You might be imagining that a moisturizer packed with all these ingredients is rather thick and viscous, but PATRICKS manages to keep this formulation lightweight and absorbent. 

Although this anti-aging moisturizer commands a hefty price tag, I found that it offered serious bang for my buck and powerfully hydrated my skin while reducing redness, shine, and irritation.

Oh, it also smells really great. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a compliment on the smell of my face moisturizer before I started using this.

PATRICKS SL1 Superleggera Moisturizer

Although this anti-aging moisturizer commands a hefty price tag, I found that it offered serious bang for my buck and powerfully hydrated my skin while reducing redness, shine, and irritation. Oh, it also smells really great. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a compliment on the smell of my face moisturizer before I started using this.

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Caldera + Lab The Good Night Serum

Caldera Lab the good inside packaging

Good for: Improving your skin across the board with organic, natural ingredients.

Caldera + Lab is a premium skincare company that prides itself in finding the best, wild skincare ingredients that nature has to offer and harvesting them in sustainable ways.

The Good, their flagship night serum, is made exclusively with natural, organic ingredients like fireweed, dandelion, astralagus root, and elderflower. These ingredients help to heal and tighten the skin, smooth it and fight signs of aging, and improve the appearance of dark spots. 

Caldera + Lab was so confident in the benefits of The Good that they commissioned a third-party clinical trial to exclusively study it, which wracked up some impressive stats.

Of the study participants, 96% reported healthier looking skin, 81% looked younger, and 87% showed improvement of fine lines and wrinkles. 

I found The Good to feel slightly heavy on my skin and not absorb quickly, but I definitely noticed that my pores shrank, my skin looked more smooth, and my skin tone brightened overall. 

The Good is oil-based, so if you have oily skin like I did at the time, it might feel uncomfortable. I decided to push through this feeling, though, and The Good and their flagship cleanser balanced my skin to stop overproducing oil, which made using The Good a lot more comfortable.

In short, The Good is aptly named—it’s just good for your skin. 

Is this mutli-faceted serum worth the splurge? I certainly think so.

The Good from Caldera + Lab
(Get 15% OFF with code ADULTMAN)

The Good leaves my skin feeling refreshed and full. My pores shrink, my skin looks vibrant, and there’s an even tone across my face. Best of all, my skin smells like an essential oil diffuser.

Check Price Read Our Review

Malin+Goetz Advanced Renewal Moisturizer

MalinGoetz Advanced Renewal Moisturizer on TAM wrapping

Good for: Boosting hydration and elasticity.

Malin+Goetz is the type of brand you see in every luxury boutique hotel’s bathroom, but it’s not just for show. 

Their Advanced Renewal Moisturizer packs a serious, lightweight punch of hydration with some unique, scientifically-rigorous ingredients. It’s designed to instantly increase elasticity and firmness to plump the skin, keep it looking young, and keep common signs of aging at bay.

The Advanced Renewal Moisturizer does this through the use of moisture-binding and antioxidant-rich ingredients like apple stem cells, meadowfoam seed oil, and squalane. 

If apple stem cells sounds like a sketchy ingredient, I thought the same thing. However, it turns out that plant stem cells have promising results with anti-aging cosmetics, like this moisturizer.

Malin+Goetz conducted a four week study to test the Advanced Renewal Moisturizer and also lined up some impressive stats. Of the study’s 27 participants, 96% showed immediate improvement in hydration and elasticity, and 92% showed immediate improvement in firmness. 

One of our other skincare reviewers, Joe got his hands on some of Malin+Goetz’s skincare products and found that his skin was noticeably softer and more hydrated after just a few days’ use. While he found their Vitamin E Moisturizer to be slightly thick, the Advanced Renewal Moisturizer is designed to be lightweight and absorbs quickly, which left a matte, nourished feeling to my skin.

Malin+Goetz Advanced Renewal Moisturizer

Their Advanced Renewal Moisturizer packs a serious, lightweight punch of hydration with some unique, scientifically-rigorous ingredients. It’s designed to instantly increase elasticity and firmness to plump the skin, keep it looking young, and keep common signs of aging at bay.

Check Price

Hawthorne Papaya Enzyme Exfoliator

Hawthorne Papaya Enzyme Exfoliator on TAM wrapping 1

Good for: Gently and thoroughly exfoliating dead skin cells.

Using an exfoliator can do wonders for rough, dull skin, but finding the right exfoliator can be tricky. They often use chemicals that are too harsh for sensitive skin and cause irritation, or the physical grit causes micro cuts that can just lead to more clogged pores and breakouts.

Hawthorne’s Papaya Enzyme Exfoliator avoids these problem areas by gently cleaning out deep dirt and clogged pores, and promoting skin cell turnover to rejuvenate dead, dull skin.

Papaya enzyme is a natural extract that breaks down dead skin cells that might otherwise clog your pores, and it works in tandem with mango extract to create a healthy, strong skin barrier after cleansing. 

Hawthorne’s Face Cleanser and Face Lotion helped smooth some fine lines I had around my eyes and got rid of dry skin on my forehead, and I had an equally positive experience with their Enzyme Exfoliator.

To me, it’s worth the investment.

Hawthorne Papaya Enzyme Exfoliator

Hawthorne’s Papaya Enzyme Exfoliator gently cleanses out deep dirt and clogged pores, and promoting skin cell turnover to rejuvenate dead, dull skin.

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Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser on TAM wrapping

Good for: Gently cleansing and priming the skin for serums and moisturizers.

Like exfoliators, basic face cleansers can often be harsh and irritating to sensitive skin. If you’re in the market for a premium facial cleanser that gently exfoliates and immaculately cleans, I recommend Aesop’s Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser.

It’s suitable for normal, combination, and acne-prone skin, and uses licorice root, lactic acid, and blackcurrant seed to lightly cleanse the skin of dirt, grease, and impurities without stripping away beneficial, natural oils.

This cleanser is ideal if you live in urban environments that have more environmental toxins floating around, and helps create a clean slate for your serums and moisturizers to be most effective.

It comes at a premium price, but I’ve never used a cleanser that leaves my skin feeling as fresh, relaxed, and ready for serums and moisturizers as Aesop’s Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser.

Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser

It comes at a premium price, but I’ve never used a cleanser that leaves my skin feeling as fresh, relaxed, and ready for serums and moisturizers as Aesop’s Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser.

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When it comes to skincare, you don’t want to be in a place where you wish you’d spent $100 a few years ago to maintain your youthful, collagen-filled skin. 

season 10 grandpa GIF

Across these eight splurge-worthy skincare solutions there’s a product for any guy willing to invest in their mug.

Play the long game with skincare, and make decisions now that your future self (and face!) will thank you for.

If you know someone who needs to pull the trigger on that premium skincare product they’ve been eyeing, share this article with them! They’ll thank you when they look ten years younger than their peers.