Every beauty company has its own unique origin story and one of the most famous is Crème de la Mer. This face cream is one of the priciest in the world and is beloved by celebrities as well as anyone with deep enough pockets to buy a jar of it — – a 16.5 ounce jar sells for $2,400. The brand started with one cream, Crème de la Mer, and has expanded to include a range of eye creams as well. Here’s a look at La Mer eye creams, the signature “Miracle Broth” and are the eye creams worth a try?
What Is La Mer?
Crème de la Mer was created around 40 years ago by the German-born aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber. According to company lore, Huber suffered severe burns in a laboratory explosion. Huber was determined to heal his skin, and 12 years and 6,000 experiments later, he created his miracle cream that he says fully erased signs of his burns. The key ingredient was a type of sea kelp that grew near his California home, which was fermented and turned into “Miracle Broth,” which was the basis for the La Mer skin care brand. Huber sold the cream himself and it built a cult following through word of mouth. Estée Lauder purchased the brand from Huber’s daughter in the 1990s.
What is Miracle Broth?
Crème de la Mer’s Miracle Broth is the signature ingredient in every La Mer product. It is formulated from fermented sea kelp hand picked off Vancouver Island. According to Estée Lauder, it must be picked at an optimal time, which is determined by the lunar cycle. Sea kelp is found in many skincare products as its nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It is thought to help boost hydration and reduce redness and irritation, so it is often found in products meant to help ease the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema.
According to Estée Lauder, every La Mer product has a direct link back to Huber’s original formula, as Miracle Broth is created with a starter drop from a previous batch. The sea kelp is also quite pampered in the laboratory. Huber would expose the kelp to a sound recording of the previous batch’s bubbling fermenting sound as well as light, and Estée Lauder continues that tradition today. The fermentation process takes three to four months.
What Are La Mer’s Eye Creams?
La Mer offers four different eye treatments, all of which are based around Miracle Broth. Some creams come with a metal applicator, and La Mer suggests placing the tool on ice for a few minutes for an extra cooling feel. Here’s a breakdown.
La Mer The Eye Concentrate – This hydrating eye cream is designed to help minimize the look of dark circles and soften the look of fine lines. It can be applied twice daily.
La Mer The Eye Balm Intense – The Eye Balm Intense is a super hydrating cream that is meant to penetrate the skin quickly and help reduce puffiness. The Eye Balm helps condition the skin around the eyes and soften the look of wrinkles and fatigue.
Genaissance de la Mer The Eye & Expression Cream – La Mer’s Genaissance collection is an ultra luxurious collection within the La Mer line. It was inspired by the shard-like crystals that form in a beaker of pure Miracle Broth. This cream can be used on the eye area as well as smile and forehead lines. It is meant to plump up fine lines and wrinkles while reducing the look of dark circles and puffiness. The pot’s cover comes with a built-in massaging tool.
La Mer The Lifting Eye Serum – La Mer calls this eye serum “a luxurious ‘mini lift.” This serum helps to lift and firm the eye area thanks to its proprietary Stretch Matrix Complex. The eye serum can be used twice a day.
How Much Do La Mer Eye Creams Cost?
La Mer eye creams are some of the priciest on the market. Both The Eye Concentrate and Eye Balm Intense sell for $225 each while Genaissance de la Mer The Eye & Expression Cream retails for $425. The Lifting Eye Serum is $260.
Is La Mer Cruelty Free?
No. According to Estée Lauder, “We acknowledge our brands are sold in countries where animal testing on cosmetics or cosmetic ingredients is required by law.”
What Ingredients Are in La Mer Eye Products?
The cornerstone of all La Mer products is the Miracle Broth, which the company says is a special biofermented blend of sea kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, iron, vitamins C, E and B12, plus oils of citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa and sunflower. Other ingredients are more commonly found in other skincare products, such as glycerin, a humectant; dimethicone, a silicone and shea butter. The Eye Concentrate contains glycerin, dimethicone and sesame seed oil while The Eye Balm Intense is formulated with shea butter, dimethicone and caffeine, which helps reduce puffiness.
The formula for Genaissance de la Mer The Eye & Expression Cream is slightly different, with the main ingredients listed as Crystal Miracle Broth, Filler Ferment, and Genaissance Ferment, followed by ingredients found in the other eye creams, including dimethicone, glycerin and sesame seed oil. The key ingredients in the Lifting Eye Serum are Miracle Broth and Stretch Matrix Complex, along with sweet almond seed extract, sesame seed oil and alfalfa seed powder.
Where Can I Buy La Mer Eye Creams?
La Mer products are sold at department stores such as Nordstrom, Barneys, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, along with Sephora and BlueMercury.
Do La Mer Products Work?
Beauty is never a one sized fits all approach as one person’s miracle product may do nothing for you – or backfire and cause a breakout. When deciding whether to try a new product, it is always helpful to look at editorial coverage and customer feedback.
La Mer is one of the best known prestige skincare brands that has a near mythical aura about it. For many people who buy a La Mer product, they’re not just buying a cream- they’re buying into a fantasy lifestyle. The Eye Creams have received plenty of editorial reviews. New Beauty named the Eye Concentrate one of its readers “16 Top-Rated Eye Creams Help Hydrate, Brighten and Tighten.” The magazine’s readers called the cream “luxury at its best,” and “the only eye cream that has helped diminish dark circles.” Allure magazine’s review said “The price tag may be eye-popping, but so are the results. It dispels shadows and disappears in seconds, so you can get right to work on your makeup.”
Jasmine Seo, the blogger behind Beautémia in 2017, wrote that she was reluctant to try to the Genaissance eye cream “simply because I had found their eye creams rather basic (no offence intended, it’s merely my personal view as I’ve tried many different products on the market).” She wrote that the cream “has that richness and density like the La Prairie one, and the buildable intensity of the hydration and smooth finish from the Guerlain’s.” Her conclusion? “There isn’t much lifting effect, but it works.”
On Sephora.com, the Eye Concentrate gets 10,000 “loves” and a 3.7 out of 5 star rating based on 127 reviews. Kisskimme called it “My Must Have! I can’t be without this product!” User May3749 wrote, “I wish I wasn’t addicted to this stuff, but I am. No other eye cream makes as much of a difference as this one. The price is killing me though!”
AM1991 was not impressed and wrote that it was “La ‘meh’-r… I have been using this cream for about 3 months day and night and have noticed absolutely no difference in my dark circles.” Other customers who didn’t love say it did nothing for them, or caused redness.
The Eye Balm Intense has 33 reviews on Sephora, with a 4 star rating. Steelheart wrote that “a tiny bit goes a long long way.. I‘ve tried both this and The Eye Concentrate…Both produce a visible improvement in fine lines and texture. Both smooth and soften and moisturize all day and feel wonderful.” The texture was a key selling point for MrKeats – “This is the BEST eye cream I have ever used. The texture is light and not tacky and it feels so nice going on. The skin around my eyes has shown a significant softening of fine lines and I believe it is more supple.” For Jessie8, the product backfired on her – “It dried out my under eye area and made faint lines under my eyes more prominent! It does reduce puffiness a little bit, but left me dryer than ever before! Returning.”
The La Mer Lifting Eye Serum has only nine reviews on Sephora, with a 4 star rating and 5,100 loves. LeighGoguen called it an “Eye lift in a jar. Amazing like an instant face lift. Worth every last penny!!” Other customers loved it but had sticker shock at the price, like nmikki- “This stuff is amazing. Can instantly feel the lifting…definitely would buy again. Just hate that it’s so expensive!” For some reviewers, like Makuptak, the cream did nothing for them – “Not worth the price. I did not see any difference after using this product
What Are Some Alternatives to La Mer Eye Creams?
La Mer may not be for everyone, either because of the high price tag or maybe you’ve tried it and it did nothing for your eye area. Consider Formulyst.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin. Formulyst’s Anti-Dark Circle Eye Cream helps reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles with the help of vitamins, amino acids and minerals. The potent cream contains three naturally-derived ingredients – chenopodium quinoa seed extract, caffeine and butchers broom extract – that work together to help leave the delicate eye area looking smoother and brighter.
Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream is formulated to address all the signs of aging in the eye area. Delivering five anti-aging actions in one, this advanced eye treatment soften the look of dark circles, puffiness and stubborn crow’s feet while protecting the delicate eye area from environmental aggressors. The cream is powered by hyaluronic acid, which draws in moisture and helps plump up fine lines, while leaving the eye area looking refreshed.