The Lip Balm

by La Mer  
Price:
$50 - 0.32 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Lip Products (Including Lip Exfoliators) > Lip Balm Without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
9/23/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

The Lip Balm ranks as one of the most expensive lip balms sold, and the first ingredient is Vaseline. Amazing! The seaweed and plant seeds may make this seem like more than it is, but the amount of eucalyptus oil is not lip-friendly, and it also contains the menthol derivative menthyl PCA.

Softens roughness, relieves dryness and flaking and helps heal seriously dry lips and helps to prevent further damage. An essential protein found in the arctic helps insulate vulnerable lip skin from extreme conditions of heat and cold. Mint comforts the lips and enhances the balm with a cool, refreshing flavor. Like Crème de la Mer, the results are immediate – lips look and feel smoother, softer, plumper – yet long lasting.

Petrolatum, Octyldodecanol, Microcrystalline Wax, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaoleate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Seaweed Extract, Malachite, Algae Extract, Tourmaline, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Fish (Pisces) Protein, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Phytosphingosine, Trehalose, Polybutene, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol, Glyceryl Distearate, Water, Glycerin, Menthyl PCA, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Sodium Saccharin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Fragrance, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, BHT, Propylparaben, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake

The original Creme De La Mer was launched by Estee Lauder as a miracle product for wrinkles based on research from Max Huber, an aerospace physicist. How does space technology relate to wrinkles? Well, it doesn't, although it may lend an air of expertise (if you can do rocket science, the assumption is you can do anything). Huber at one time suffered severe chemical burns in an accident. Then, according to the Max Huber Laboratories, after 12 years and 6,000 experiments, he came up with a special cream. The company refers to its key element as "miracle broth," and it's said to take months to concoct and ferment. In this case, the process that goes into making La Mer products gets as much talk as the product itself. So be prepared for formulary information that sounds a lot like alchemy.

Huber's experiments took place over 30 years ago. Given that none of his self-experimentation was ever documented or published, there is no way to know what Huber was using before, what was unique about this formula, or what went wrong with the 5,999 or so other experiments that preceded the final discovery. It turns out that the original Creme De La Mer was, and still is, almost exclusively algae, mineral oil, Vaseline, thickening agents, and lime extract. Not very exciting stuff, but most of it will make dry skin look and feel better, although the jar packaging doesn't provide much hope for the algae. The notion that anything in this product can be a miracle for burns—or any aspect of skin care—is strictly folklore and has nothing to do with rocket science or even cosmetic chemistry for that matter.

Given the cult status the original Creme De La Mer enjoys, it's hardly surprising that Lauder has spun an entire skin-care line out of a product that was initially sold as the be-all and end-all antiwrinkle solution (in jar packaging, no less, which would have the effect of rendering the algae—the cornerstone of the product—unstable). In the world of skin care, if one product sells well, then other related products that carry the same name will experience increased sales, too. With today's expanded range of La Mer products, Estee Lauder has added a slew of hocus-pocus ingredients to the continuing list of concoctions that were never in Huber's original formula. So much for the credibility of that mythic story, because it obviously wasn’t good enough to be repeated.

These supplementary products contain malachite, a range of other minerals, diamond powder, something called "declustered" water, and another semiprecious stone, tourmaline (which is now being downplayed in favor of the semiprecious stone du jour, malachite). It's almost too outlandish to even begin explaining, but the declustered water deserves some elucidation. Before reading on, keep in mind that if these products were the ultimate for the Estee Lauder company, why are they still selling all those other anti-aging products in the dozen or so other lines they own and retail just around the cosmetics counter next door?

Supposedly, the La Mer products are worth the money because most of them contain declustered water. Declustered water is water manufactured to have smaller ions, which supposedly makes the water penetrate the skin better. There is no proof that this synthetic water does what the company claims, but even if the water could penetrate better, is that better for skin? There is definitely research indicating that too much water in the skin can make it plump, but that could also prevent cell turnover and renewal, and inhibit the skin's immune response. Either way, skin likes taking on water—it plumps to a thousand times its normal size just from taking a bath—and it doesn't need special water to help the process along, nor would that be good for skin in the long run. Moreover, if the declustered water were indeed capable of carrying La Mer's miracle broth further into skin, that would only make matters worse because some of the components in this broth are documented irritants.

Other gimmicky ingredients La Mer products contain are fish cartilage, algae (explained in the Creme De La Mer review), and the rarefied blue algae, which La Mer claims can "biologically lift" skin due to its nutrient-dense nature. While all of these may have some water-binding properties, the fiction that any of them could have an impact on wrinkles is not substantiated in any published scientific study.

For more information about La Mer, owned by Estee Lauder, call (866) 850-9400 or visit www.cremedelamer.com.

La Mer Makeup

Sold as Skincolor, La Mer's small but tidy makeup collection carries over the major miracle claims that their flawed skin-care products espouse. If you stop by the counter to explore these products, you'll hear all about their powers to "transform the complexion" with a special blue algae ferment and optical-diffusing gemstones (a concept Aveda and Estee Lauder also play up, but not to the extent La Mer does). We wouldn't count on algae or gemstones for any amount of transformation, especially given the small amounts of each included in the cosmetic products below. What you will find are two foundations with excellent sunscreen and a few more skin-care perks than are typically seen in liquid makeup. Does that make them worth the money? Not from my perspective, because you can find similar products that perform just as well. However, if you're already sold on La Mer, most of the items below won't disappoint and the shade selection is mostly impressive. Still, for the money, your face won't look any better than if you had applied makeup that's available at a fraction of this cost.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Monday, June 23, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    The only LIPBALM
    • Great taste, great slow, great results! This works for me after trying at least 30 others. It maybe expensive but I'm not compromising its results for anything. I keep one in my bag, one in my bath and one at my dresser. Just can't leave home without it! It can be applied on its own and you will have dewy moist lips! Works perfectly under my chanel lipsticks too! Enjoy using it! Love it!!!

  2. L
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 11, 2014
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Nah.
    • It isn't awful but it certainly isn't great. I started off keeping it on my night stand to apply thickly at night as a lip mask of sorts. I'd wake up with balmy lips but the product had no long term effects or benefits. Also, I started to notice flaking of my lips after time. Then it went to my vanity: I'd use it as the balm I primed with while applying the rest of my makeup. Nope. Lips were white/flaky/dry by the time I got to lipstick. Now it's on my coffee table and I use it when I'm bored.

  3. Pop
    Reviewed on Sunday, May 11, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Miracle
    • I've been using la Prairie Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection À Porter, and although it was nice at first I felt I had to reapply often. I used a lipscrub from LUSH Cosmetics and may have taken too much of it because my lips felt sore and thin. Then my underlip split open and started to bleed. I tried pure Sheabutter from L'Occitane, then aloe vera, then Vaseline. The last thing I tried was this balm. It immediately solved the problem. The split disappeared in two days. Goodbye dry lips! ^_^

  4. Carol H
    Reviewed on Sunday, April 20, 2014
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Wonderful Lip Balm
    • I have been battling dry lips for years! Not able to wear reds because of the dry cracked lips was so frustrating, no to mention painful at times. I tried exfoliating followed by numerous different lip balms professing to eradicate my dry lips. Not so much. I found La Mer, definitely pricey and not for the faint of heart! But the wonderful results that I achieved with La Mer in just 24 hours were incredible!!!

  5. Jeanne
    Reviewed on Saturday, January 11, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    La Mer Lip Balm
    • The only lip product that works for my dry chapped lips. Jar lasts me probably 8 months and I use it frequently. Have it in my purse, by my bed, at my desk. Smells and tastes wonderful. Feels wonderful. Worth every penny.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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