This is one beauty buy that’s worth the price tag.

I’m not one to spend when it comes to the rose gold makeup trends and season’s best red lipstick. I’ll opt for the drugstore versions to get the look so I’m not left with buyer’s remorse once I’ve inevitably moved on. There is one area, though, that I think is worth investing in and that’s skincare. Even with an outlook such as this, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is a splurge at $165, but one that I firmly believe is worth it. They say beauty is pain, though this one may just be more of the fiscal variety.

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is constantly on the lips of beauty editors when asked their number one must have. It gets its name from the serum’s primary ingredients: a potent antioxidant duo of vitamins C and E and ferulic acid. The vitamins work together to protect against environmental damage like UVA/UVB and ozone pollution, meaning they block the bad stuff from soaking into your skin, Ferulic acid intensifies these benefits.

Now, the thing we really want to know about is whether it will improve the appearance of skin—immediately—and it does. After about just a week of using C E Ferulic, I saw a noticeable difference in my skin tone including reduced redness, of which my sensitive fair skin is prone. My skin was tighter, fine lines were reduced, and I found myself venturing out without a face of foundation. Admittedly, it was only to the grocery store, but it’s a start.

As for when this beauty editor is asked her one must-have, my answer usually involves asking how much they want to spend (is that rude?) and if money is no object you can bet I follow the standard beauty-editor answer: It’s SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.