Skin Caviar Intensive Ampoule Treatment consists of six ampoules each of Solvent and Lyophilized Substance, which you mix together to—what else—“guard against accelerated skin aging.” Neither product has an SPF rating or contains a UVA-protecting sunscreen, and since that’s the only reliable way to prevent accelerated aging with a skin-care product, right away you can tell things are bogus. The Solvent is a lightweight moisturizer that contains some slip agents, emollients, film-forming agent, plant extracts (some are irritating, while most of the others have no established benefit for skin), ceramide, and vitamin E. This also contains volatile fragrance components that may cause irritation. The Lyophilized Substance is a sugar-based powder that contains a salt form of vitamin C along with water, thickener, and the antioxidant superoxide dismutase. There’s no reason those ingredients could not have been added to the Solvent, but I suppose the two-step process makes women think the set is somehow more special or customized. In the end, this isn’t that exciting, and wouldn’t be at even one-fourth the cost.
Intensive firming and line reduction. Intensive brightening and whitening. Guards against accelerated skin aging. Achieves healthier skin.
Solvent (6 0.2-ounce ampoules): Water, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Diethylhexyl Carbonate, Cyclomethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Caviar Extract, Leontopodium Alpinum Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris (Primrose) Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris (Lady's Mantle) Extract, Veronica Officinalis (Speedwell) Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Tocopherol, Ceramide 3, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Lactis Lipida (Milk Lipids), Trideceth-12, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Polysilicone-11, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Dicocoylethylenediamine PEG-15 Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, BHT, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzoic Acid, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben
Lyophilized Substance (6 0.013-ounce ampoules): Mannitol, Sodium Ascorbate, Water, Superoxide Dismutase, Ceratonia Siliqua (Locust Bean) Gum
La Prairie has been at the forefront in the introduction of expensive anti-aging products for more than three decades. Many of the products in this originally Swiss skin-care line are called "cellular treatment." After a while, it all starts sounding silly. The attempt to align these products with the concept of being able to affect skin at the cellular level is over the top, although when it comes to making the ordinary sound extraordinary, La Prairie excels.
Assuming your skin could improve with these products, the prices alone might cause premature aging! So what do the women who can safely afford these products get for their money? The prestige of knowing they can afford them, period. High-priced skin-care lines attract women who think that the dollars they spend will buy them something special that most other women can't afford. To some extent, they're right: most women can't afford these products. Yet anyone who reads and understands the ingredient lists would find that price doesn't reliably translate into having better skin. What you're really getting from this line is a barrage of look-younger-now claims not backed up by one shred of substantiated scientific evidence, and a group of unimpressive formulations.
A particularly egregious error appears in the number of La Prairie moisturizers (and my goodness, does this company love moisturizers!) that arrive in jar packaging. La Prairie is in-the-know about the importance of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients for skin, yet almost all of their products that contain such ingredients ignore their vulnerability to oxidation. Containers like these ensure that these products will deteriorate shortly after you begin using them. Considering the premium prices, that is an almost unforgivable offense. At least the company gets their facial sunscreen right by including sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. However, it's interesting to find that a visit to the La Prairie counter involves a lot more discussion about their moisturizers, ampoules, and other "treatment" products, while all the time you know that the only reliable antiwrinkle product everyone needs to use is sunscreen.
For more information about La Prairie, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 821-5718 or visit www.laprairie.com.
La Prairie Makeup
The brief makeup section in La Prairie's catalog poses the question "Consider the number of hours a day you wear makeup. Shouldn't the foundation you wear be an extension of your treatment program?" Well, calling most of La Prairie's skin-care products a "treatment" is a bit of a joke as what they seem to mean by "treatment benefit" has to do with the company's Cellular Complex, but that isn't complex in the least. This complex is primarily glycoproteins. Although it's true that glycoproteins are an integral part of the skin's intercellular matrix, they are far from the only element skin needs to look and feel its best. Functioning primarily as water-binding agents, glycoproteins won't firm, lift, or rejuvenate skin cells in the manner La Prairie would like you to believe. Further, of the makeup products below, only the ultra-pricey foundations contain a significant amount of this complex, and they have drawbacks of their own.Overall, La Prairie's makeup leaves much to be desired, especially given the high to ludicrous prices for what amount to ordinary cosmetics. A few of the products have supple, silky textures, but the expense is hard to justify when similar items are available for substantially less from so many other lines. Many of the products below earned happy face ratings, but keep in mind that you do not have to acquiesce to La Prairie's prices to beautify your face.