Audrey Hepburn once said, “I owe 50 per cent of my beauty to my mother and the other 50 per cent to Erno Laszlo.” The Hungarian born Dr. Laszlo was one of Hollywood’s top skincare experts, working with the likes of Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. He famously created a custom pot of healing cream for Monroe after an appendix operation. Decades later, the Laszlo name lives on in his product line. Here’s a look at what Erno Laszlo sells, what’s behind the products and are they worth a try?
What Is Erno Laszlo?
Laszlo was born in Hungary in 1897, and according to the company, he studied skin pathology with Professor Max Joseph, who is known as the “father of modern dermatology.” The company says Dr. Laszlo helped pioneer many firsts, including the concept of the double cleanse (at the time cold cream cleansing was the norm) and incorporating SPF into products. He also championed the concept of a skincare regimen.
Dr. Laszlo opened his first institute in Budapest that was also home to a lab for creating custom formulations. In 1936 Dr. Laszlo and his wife moved to New York and opened an additional institute there that required a private membership. Some of his clients included Katherine Hepburn, the Archduchess Franz Josef and Greta Garbo. In the 1960s Laszlo began selling his skincare products to a wider audience. Dr. Laszlo passed away in 1973 but his name, and product legacy, lives on.
What is the Erno Laszlo Philosophy?
Dr. Laszlo once said, “Beautiful skin requires commitment. Not a miracle.” The Erno Laszlo approach to skincare is about following a regimen that is suited for an individual’s skin. The products also embrace luxury.
What Does Erno Laszlo Sell?
Erno Laszlo sells cleansers, moisturizers, serums and toners for both men and women. Here’s a closer look.
Erno Laszlo Moisturizers
Firmarine Moisturizer SPF 30 – This day cream is formulated with a combination of spirulina extract, jojoba oil and maris water, which is mineral rich sea water.
Phelityl Night Cream – The Phelityl night cream is one of Dr. Laszlo’s earliest formulations. The cream is designed to be lightweight and matches the skin’s pH.
Erno Laszlo Serums
Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion – Designed for dry skin, the Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion delivers moisture to parched skin, and helps the skin retain it.
Multi-Task Eye Gel Cream – This best-seller is a hybrid gel cream and comes with a unique curved applicator. The gel-cream serum contains algae, apple extract and peptides.
Erno Laszlo Cleansers
Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar – This black bar is another Laszlo icon, even appearing in the film Annie Hall. It contains Dead Sea mud as well as glycerin and palm kernel oil.
Detoxifying Cleansing Oil – Formulated with charcoal, grape seed oil and sea water, this oil is designed to help cleanse the skin without over drying it.
Toners & Masks
Pore Cleansing Clay Mask – The key ingredients in this mask are white and pink clays, which help absorb excess oil and give the skin a deep clean. The mask can be used once or twice a week.
Light Controlling Lotion- The first toner that Laszlo ever made helps exfoliate the face with sweet birch while clover oil gives it a deep clean.
How Much Do Erno Laszlo Products Cost?
Erno Laszlo is a luxury brand, and the prices are steep. Some of the priciest products are the moisturizers. The Transphuse Line Refining Cream is $248, and the heritage Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream, based on Marilyn Monroe’s formula, is $290.The Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar is $38 , and the Hydra-Therapy Refresh Infusion serum sells for $98.00. The Multi-Task Eye Gel Cream is $65 and the Light Controlling Lotion is $68.
Is Erno Laszlo Cruelty Free?
The company states on its website, “While we are committed to avoiding testing on animals we acknowledge that in some jurisdictions both the formulations and ingredients may have been tested by government affiliates.”
What Ingredients Are in Erno Laszlo Skincare?
Erno Laszlo products are formulated with a mix of exotic and more commonly used skincare ingredients. The Phelityl night cream contains glycerin, a humectant; silicone, which helps temporarily fill in fine lines along with Sweet Birch and Clove Oil, which exfoliate the skin and cleanse it, respectively. Other ingredients found in the products include skin soothing comfrey and vitamin B, along with brightening vitamin C and aloe. More exotic ingredients include winged kelp and extracts from peony flower, prickly pear and mugwort.
Where Can I Buy Erno Laszlo Products?
Erno Laszlo products are available on the company website, as well as department stores including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora, the Skinstore, Amazon and the Dermstore.
Does Erno Laszlo Work?
While celebrities like Monroe and Hepburn may have turned to Laszlo for their skincare needs, when it comes to finding the right products for your skin, a little trial and error is always necessary.
Erno Laszlo holds a particularly fabled place in the skincare world, largely due to its celebrity clientele from Hollywood’s golden era. Laszlo created pHormula 3-9 just for Marilyn Monroe, and Harrod’s held an exhibition of Monroe’s vintage Laszlo products in 2012. There’s also a certain nostalgia associated with the brand. In an 2017 essay in Allure, the magazine’s founder Linda Wells recounts how her first skincare purchase was Clinique’s three step system. “From there, it was Erno Laszlo black sea-mud soap and Mario Badescu facials…”
Jackie Kennedy was allegedly a fan of the Dead Sea Mud Cleansing Bar, and decades later the brand is still generating press about the product. Harper’s Bazaar named the bar one of the “7 Best Facial Bars to Thoroughly Cleanse Skin” in 2019. In 2019, Allure named the Pore Cleansing Clay Mask one of the “The Best New Skin-Care Launches Hitting Shelves in February.” The magazine’s deputy beauty director called the Dead Sea Mud Cleansing Bar one of her top picks. “When I started using it, I noticed my skin felt smoother and — the biggest benefit — my occasional break outs all but stopped.”
What do actual customers think?
Influenster has hundreds of Erno Laszlo product reviews, and one of the most reviewed is the White Marble Translucence Cream, a brightening moisturizer. More than 300 reviews give it a 4.7 out of 5 star rating. Satisfied customers loved the texture and the scent. “I wish I could use it on my whole body! My face does feel hydrated and the exfoliation was really great!” write Cardi M. while another user wrote, “My skin looks and feels smoother, less dull and more radiant.” Customers that gave the cream a low rating simply weren’t impressed by it, or wrote that it made them break out, like Megan G. “I loved this peel at first, but the second time I used it my face broke out horrendously and took me months to get it back to where it is.”
The iconic Sea Mud Cleansing Bar has a 4.6 rating on Influenster as well as Sephora, based on 114 and 80 reviews, respectively. Fans call it “the best soap ever” and point out its withstood the “test of time.” Whitney A. wrote, “I love how it makes my face feel. I think it is a great value for the amount of uses you get with this item. I mean, it was good enough for Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, why would it not be perfect for my combination skin too?” Customers who gave it low stars found it to be too drying, or simply too messy. “I had high hopes for this as Erno Laszlo was Marilyn Monroe’s go-to skin care brand.. this cleanser left my skin feeling stripped and dull,” wrote Kellocopter.
The new Pore Cleansing Mask has a handful of reviews on Sephora and influenster. Sephora’s customers give it a 4.7 star rating while it gets 4.8 on Influenster. Many customers noted that they liked the mask’s pink color. “My favorite clay mask EVER! you can feel how well it works (compared to the cheap/drugstore masks I always get) and it leaves my skin sooo soft and smooth as well as purified WITHOUT feeling stripped at all,” wrote Kay F. One user, Crystal M, was neutral about it. “Doesn’t dry too a hard mask either. I’ve used a few times but I haven’t seen a change in my skin.”
The Hydraphel Skin Supplement Lotion, a toner, has 3,000 “loves” on Sephora and gets a 4.7 star rating from 14 reviews. Mlmkit calls it “an oldie but goodie” while others say simply “love it.” Texasgirl82 wrote, “I don’t know what’s in this…but it’s amazing. I just put it directly on my skin with my fingers, and skip the cotton ball. It’s so light…but there is a 180 difference in my skin before and after. I. Love. This. I hope the formula never changes!!”
What Are Some Alternatives to Erno Laszlo?
Although Erno Laszlo is a fabled skincare brand, perhaps you tried it and it did nothing for your skin, or the steep price tag is a turn off. There are a few other brands to consider.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin. Formulyst’s Pro-Collagen Serum contains a highly concentrated mix of peptides and proteins, as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid formulated for aging skin. Apply a few drops of this hydrating serum to help skin look smoother and fresher.
Formulyst’s Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer helps keep skin hydrated and dewy looking. This oil free formula is packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.
Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream does a little bit of everything. It gently exfoliates the skin to reveal a fresher, smoother looking complexion, while soothing the skin. It is gentle enough to be used every night, and also helps to visibly brighten dark spots and soften fine lines. Skin looks softer, smoother and radiantly revived when you wake up.
Fans of skincare kits, which take all the guesswork out of creating your own regimen, should try Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.