Estee Lauder owns La Mer and has launched another product claiming to get rid of wrinkles. The chemists behind this serum took an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach and then decided what the heck; let’s throw in the sink, too! A cocktail approach of beneficial ingredients is definitely considered essential in any skin-care product making any claim, from moisturizing to antiwrinkle or, in this case, to regenerating. But is there a point of overkill? This serum from La Mer has one of the longest ingredient lists I’ve ever seen—more than 90 ingredients, including lots of fragrance and green dye! Obviously, only so much of any one ingredient can be present given that the 90 ingredients must add up to 100% of the product, and water is the largest amount of the formulation.
Nonetheless, while this serum does have a silky texture and La Mer’s fabled algae broth (which has never been proven to work in any regard for skin in any condition) along with several antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, and some peptides and niacin thrown in for good measure, it isn’t outstanding, especially not in comparison to less expensive Lauder products from Clinique or the Estee Lauder line itself. Many of the best ingredients in this La Mer Serum show up in those other products, which have far less overwhelming price tags. Even more significant is that the best of the Clinique or Lauder versions leave out the problematic ingredients that this La Mer version contains. Shockingly, this serum is loaded with skin irritants, including lime peel extract, eucalyptus oil, and fragrant plant extracts. Irritation is always bad for skin, doing just the opposite of what you want it to do, including hurting your skin’s ability to heal, causing collagen to break down, and killing skin cells. This Regenerating Serum is not money well spent. The anti-aging serums from Clinique give you all of the good this provides without the bad stuff, which no one’s skin needs, and as I said, Clinique’s price point is much more reasonable.
A skincare powerhouse that diminishes the appearance of lines, wrinkles and pores, infusing skin with the look of youth. This transformational serum dramatically diminishes the look of lines and wrinkles and infuses skin with youthfulness. Helps skin trigger the natural production of “youth proteins,” collagen and elastin. Together they work to help radically diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles, as well as pores, revealing a vibrant, smoother and firmer looking complexion. In a day, skin looks rejuvenated, glowing with youthful radiance. Over time, skin appears seemingly ageless.
Water, Dimethicone, Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Caprylic/Capric/Myristic/Stearic Triglyceride, Polysilicone-11, Yeast Extract, Algae Extract, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul's Wort) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, 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, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Selaginella Tamariscina (Spike Moss) Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Juice Extract, Bupleurum Falcatum Root Extract, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Laureth-4, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Micrococcus Lysate, Whey Protein, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Tartaric Acid, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Laureth-23, Butylene Glycol, Sucrose, Coenzyme A, Acetyl Glucosamine, Caffeine, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Linoleic Acid, Tetraacetylphytosphingosine, Alcaligenes Polysaccharides, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Pentylene Glycol, Eryngium Maritimum Callus Culture Filtrate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, PEG-8, Sorbitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Cyclodextrin, Maltodextrin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glycosaminoglycans, Gold, Tourmaline, Linolenic Acid, Silica, Ethylbisiminomethylguaiacol Manganese Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Green 5
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.