Here at Truth In Aging, we don’t just fall for the latest beauty buzz words (vibrating mascara anyone) or splashy marketing campaigns. We take our skincare seriously and we want to be as certain (well, as much as is humanly possible) that we are about to spend our money wisely. Moreover, the economy has forced us to check into spending rehab – and we are better and stronger for it. But there are some beauty products that give results worth taking the plunge for.

Your Best Face Control ($160 for 1oz in the TIA shop). Darrell Owens, the founder and chief formulator at Your Best Face, listens to the Truth In Aging community. What he heard was that we wanted a product that would address sagging skin. Until now, I replied to emails asking me for a topical skin lifter by saying that I’d never really found one (and they should try out an LED device). YBF Control is what I now suggest. It has been reformulated dramatically – gone are those peptides that inhibit expression lines and in are a ton of ingredients that focus on improving elasticity. I completely jive with Emily’s review, especially when she said “I am finding that it leaves my skin feeling at the same time both firmer and better hydrated, which is a winning combination that nothing else has delivered”. Alas not everything works for everyone, as reviewer Peggy testified. For me though, I find that (especially when used with Ultra Renew) I see an improvement that is a big bang for my buck.

Lumixyl 4-Step Brightening System ($240). The other day, someone wrote in and asked what would really work for treating and preventing hyperpigmentation. Patience is mostly required as safe products take their sweet time. Lumixyl does get results, but it is much more effective to use the entire, four-product system than the Topical Brightening on its own. The cleanser and, especially, the glycolic peel help exfoliate and prepare the skin, and the sunscreen protects from the further damage. The star of the show is the brainchild of researchers at Stamford University, a peptide that restrains the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. (Read more here)

LiftLab Lift & Fix High Potency Solution ($110). If you are usually not disposed to splash out on anything over $50, consider Lift & Fix as it really falls into the good value category. It goes such a long way that I joked with the company’s founder that they should halve the size of the bottle. It lasts for ages and is good at refining the complexion, dealing with fine lines and broken veins. The signature ingredient is a marine active that prevents cell death and another dominant ingredient is the amino acid methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartate and is a protein that controls the elasticity of connective tissue fibers. (Read the full review here)

Hydropeptide’s Complete Eye and Lash Restoration Kit ($120). Hydropeptide has packaged its dark circle eliminating eye cream with its eyelash growth product (that actually works - it was a Truth In Aging 2009 Product of the Year and a serial Five Bester). Good results are consistently reported for the eye cream as it does seem to help tone down dark circles and puffiness. The Lash growth product is still one of my go-tos after trying many others.

Stemulation Rescue Repair Hand & Body Treatment ($96 for 1.7oz in the TIA shop). Made for hands, feet, elbows and knees, I started thinking that this was far too extravagant for the extremities. But my hands have become addicted and my neck likes it a lot too. Although, I wasn’t so sure a few weeks ago, I am going to have to buy a replacement. It has lactic acid and a variety of antioxidant botanicals including one of my favorites, milk thistle and a kind of sedge rich in fatty acids. Read the full review

Lick Your Lip Lines ($185 in the TIA shop). Lip lines are stubborn.  The best treatment I have found so far is to consistently use AQ’s serum with Your Best Face Define. AQ has growth factors that help repair wrinkles and Your Best Face Define is specifically formulated for the lip area to create darker, younger looking lips, with no nasty ingredients that could be ingested and the powerful antioxidants that YBF is noted for.

Skin Nutrition Cell CPR ($170). When looking at the price tag, consider that this product has more than 70 ingredients and almost every single one of them matters. Skin Nutrition’s philosophy is that skin cells are complex things made up of phospholipids, proteins (enzymes, oligopeptides, amino acids), oligosaccharides, oxygen, vitamins and minerals. And so, therefore, is Cell CPR. I got to know this in 2009 and have gone back to it time and again.

BioEffect ($220).  We recently had to rush a bottle of BioEffect over to Martha Stewart’s studio, which happens to be close by our office. Apparently, she really likes it and it is going to feature it in the July edition of her magazine. I like it too  - enough to have bought a second bottle. I found that it smoothed wrinkles (even crow’s feet) and leaves the skin looking plumper. It seems to be more suited to dryer skins, as testers with oilier complexions complained of breakouts.

Another good way to get to know pricey products is to join the Discover With Marta program - every two months, we send you a collection of deluxe samples to try out and members get great discounts on the full sizes. If you have luxury that you can’t live without, or you’ve been dying to try, please share.