When La Mer’s Creme de la Mer hit the market a few years ago, it was an instant success. At $130 an ounce, it’s one of the most expensive luxury skin care products on the market. Women (an men) the world over have been converted by the publicity surrounding the line, and many of them swear by it. So, what is it that makes Creme de la Mer so special?
The truth is that there’s nothing that special about the cream. It has a relatively standard list of cosmetic ingredients. Even La Mer says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is nothing miraculous about its ingredients Ã¢â‚¬â€œ sea kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, lecithin, Vitamins C, E and B12, plus oils of citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa, and sunflower.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Colin, a cosmetic scientist who publishes Colin’s Beauty pages says of the ingredients ofÃ‚Â Creme de la Mer, “Is there anything in seaweed that gives benefits to the skin? Yes there is. Plants maintain their shape using long thin but very strong molecules called polymers. These are used to give the plants structure. The best example is cellulose, the main ingredient in wood. Reduce the polymer size a bit by heating wood in alkali and you can make paper. Reduce it still further and it makes a good wallpaper paste. Even smaller cellulose molecules applied to the skin have a tendency to shrink as they dry out. This has a tightening effect which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This neat trick has been used for years.”
Colin contends that while the cream uses neat tricks and high quality ingredients, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about the product, and he suggests that the ingredients are remarkably similar to Nivea Creme, which is significantly cheaper at about a dollar an ounce.