NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Call it a clear sign of a recovery: Sales of luxury skincare have rebounded sharply.
In 2010, sales of prestige skincare products sold in U.S. department stores reached $2.7 billion, according to the NPD Group, an 8% increase from 2009.
"That market has seen as resurgence at the end of the recession," noted Alexis Wolfer, editor-in-chief of online magazine the Beauty Bean.
When Saks Fifth Avenue celebrated the launch of La Prairie's latest skincare product, Cellular Power Infusion, last month, demand was so high that they had to limit customers to purchasing no more than six at a time. The price? Nearly $500 for four quarter-ounce bottles.
"We see a strong customer response any time a new and advanced product arrives in our stores," said Deborah Walters, senior vice president for cosmetics, fragrances and intimate apparel at Saks.
Tracy Brennan, the owner of Los Angeles-based Kalologie Skincare, says her customers have been moving into some of the higher price point products in recent months or buying the entire line instead of just one jar. Some products are constantly selling out.
"As much as we want to keep the shelves full stocked, we have to accommodate people via wait list sometimes," Brennan said.
But unlike other luxury products, the value of a face cream can be even harder to measure. Some of the priciest products on the market -- like Kanebo Sensai eye cream, which costs $320 for half an ounce and is currently backordered, or ReVive's Peau Magnifique which costs $1,500 for a four week supply -- credit complicated ingredients that claim to regenerate skin cells. But that's hard to measure.
"You are paying for this expensive ingredient, but there's not a ton of science behind it," Wolfer said. "There are really few clinical studies; you are really taking a brand's word for it."
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.84%||3.85%|
|15 yr fixed||2.87%||2.92%|
|30 yr refi||3.89%||3.96%|
|15 yr refi||2.96%||3.02%|
Today's featured rates:
These two fantasy football players won more than $100,000 on FanDuel and DraftKings earlier this NFL season. Now they sound off on the cheating scandal rocking the industry. More
A new analysis from the Bipartisan Policy Center estimates the U.S. Treasury will not be able to pay all the country's bills in full and on time sometime between Nov. 10 and Nov. 19. More
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has increased his stake in Twitter, days after the social network named Jack Dorsey as its permanent CEO. More
Smarties, a Halloween candy staple, have been around for 66 years. Three Millennial women are revolutionizing it. More
One of the largest pension funds in the country says it needs to cut benefits for 273,000 current and future retirees as soon as July. Otherwise, it won't be able to pay any benefits after 2025. More