La Mer Cream Review 2019 - The Dermatology Review

La Mer Cream Review 2019

Skin Care Reviews

09.28.18 AD DISCLOSURE

In the beauty world there are products which have achieved cult favorite status, and then there are products which have entered the stratosphere to become legends. Arguably the most famous face cream in the world is also one of the priciest– Crème de la Mer. It’s a firm celebrity favorite, whose fans include Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and Kate Moss. Fans say they not only want to apply it to their face, but they want to bathe in it. But what is the story behind it, and is it worth the high price tag?

The Story Behind La Mer Skin Care

The story behind the creation of La Mer is equally legendary. According to the company, the cream was created about 40 years ago when its founder, the German-born aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber, suffered severe burns in a lab explosion when he was working on a rocket. Determined to heal his burns, he devoted the next 12 years working with Macrocystis pyrifera, a type of kelp found in the ocean near his California home. The cream worked so well that it healed his wounds and treated his scars, until there was no evidence of the accident. The fermented sea kelp was dubbed MiracleBroth and it is the foundation of the La Mer skin care brand. Huber sold the cream himself and it became a word-of-mouth sensation. After his death in 1991, Estée Lauder purchased the brand from Huber’s daughter and turned it into the blockbuster billion dollar brand it is today.

What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2019?

Is Max Huber real?

The La Mer creation story is so juicy that many people have questioned whether it’s true or just a very creative branding myth– and many wonder if Max Huber himself even existed. Elle magazine and The Cut concluded he is real, and some of the stories swirling around Huber make equally good reading. One story recounts Huber’s selling tactics when he made the rounds of New York beauty editors to introduce them to the product. To demonstrate how pure the cream was, he would eat it and even stick some in his eye. According to some accounts, Huber would regularly bring some vials of Crème de la Mer to dinner parties and encourage guests to eat some. He apparently was a fan of mixing it with applesauce.

La Mer Cream Review 2019

What is MiracleBroth?

Crème de la Mer’s MiracleBroth has also achieved mythic proportions. It is the signature ingredient inside every LaMer product, and the golden colored liquid comes from fermented sea kelp that has to be picked at optimal time, which depends on the lunar cycle as well as tides. So why sea kelp? It is a nutrient-rich plant and is known to be hydrating and anti-inflammatory. When applied to skincare products, it is thought to reduce redness and irritation.

Estee Lauder says that new batches of MiracleBroth are created with a starter drop from a previous batch – creating a link back to Huber’s original batch, in the same way that a sourdough starter can be traced back for years. The sea kelp receives special pampering in the laboratory. Huber would expose the sea kelp to particular sound and light waves, including a recording of the previous fermentation’s bubbling sound. He found that the sound and light exposure increased the kelp’s potency, and Estee Lauder continues to adopt the same practice today.

What does Crème de la Mer do?

Crème de la Mer is considered the Holy Grail of face creams for many reasons. It’s supposed to be deeply hydrating and nourishing, and the company says it visibly plumps up skins and fills dry lines, while soothing and calming skin. It is also supposed to help improve skin texture.

The cream also has its own “application ritual.” Scoop out a pea sized amount of the cream, and warm it up between the fingertips until it becomes transparent. If you skip this step, the cream can feel very tacky and even sticky. Once the cream is warmed up, which the company says “unleashes the benefits of the MiracleBroth,” it should be pressed onto the face and neck.

What does LaMer sell?

Today the La Mer brand has expanded to include a full range of products for the face and body, along with eye creams and masks, body lotions and a sun protection line.

The original product, Crème de la Mer face cream, is meant to be ultra nourishing and promises to transform the skin by improving texture and radiance. A 0.5 ounce jar is $85 while a 16.5 tub is $2,160.

Other best sellers include a lip balm ($60), The Eye Concentrate ($215) and The Treatment Lotion ($95), a super hydrator that is meant to be applied before a serum.

There are also body lotions, and a sun protection line.

What ingredients are in Crème de la Mer?

Apart from the signature MiracleBroth, other key ingredients in Crème de la Mer include lime tea, mineral oil and oils derived from sesame, sunflower and eucalyptus. The creamier version of Crème de La Mer, The Moisturizing Soft Cream, also contains shea butter. The Cleansing Foam is also packed with plenty of oils (eucalyptus and sesame) as well as tourmaline.

Where is Crème de la Mer sold?

Crème de la Mer is sold at department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, Sephora and

Does La Mer work?

Crème de La Mer is one of the most well known face creams in the world and when people talk about it, it’s always in gushing, glowing terms.

All of the celebrity endorsements also help keep the aura and myth around Crème de la Mer; Blake Lively once told Allure, “It’s extravagant, but it’s the best.” It’s safe to say that the fans don’t just like it, they love it. There are countless La Mer reviews that claim skin has dramatically improved after using the brand’s signature Creme de la Mer and supporting products. On the Neiman Marcus website, reviewers rave “This is the only product where I’ve been able to see dramatic results,” and “Enough said, simply the best…….”

Of course, anything that has achieved cult status is ripe for criticism and a healthy dose of skepticism. The main critiques surrounding Crème de la Mer is that the customers seem to expect miracles, which no product can deliver. Allure magazine suggests its best for mature skin as younger users may find it too rich.

One of the major criticisms aimed at the product has to do with its ingredients. The first ingredient is algae extract, and the second ingredient in Crème de la Mer (and remember that ingredients are listed in descending order) is mineral oil and the third ingredient is petrolatum (which is basically petroleum jelly, or Vaseline).

In 2010 The Daily Mail asked a cosmetic chemist to examine the ingredients in Crème de La Mer, and he deduced he could create a similar product for about $13 using mineral oil, petrolatum, glycerine and eucalyptus leaf oil.

In 2013, the Daily Mail had a writer use Nivea on side of her face, and Crème de la Mer on the other for 30 days. Her skin was examined at the beginning and end of the 30 days at a clinic using the Visia, which measure wrinkles, sun damage, redness and pore size. Guess which side had more improvement at the end of the month, in terms of hydration and reduction of redness? The side that had been treated with Nivea.

The Babe & Beauty blog, written by the aesthetician Dana Murray, also takes a hard look at Crème de la Mer as the writer says she is often asked about it by her clients. Her take on it? She believes that its comedogenic, meaning it can clog pores and cause breakouts. The waxy ingredients in the cream, namely petroleum, mineral oil, and paraffin wax act as a skin barrier –they are not absorbed in the skin but sit on top of it.

But as with any product, what works for one person may not work for another- but for many people, Crème de la Mer is more than just a face cream. It’s also a potent status symbol. It’s the cosmetics equivalent of a Birkin bag or a Hermes watch and for some people, that is a huge draw.

What are alternatives to Crème de la Mer?

Crème de la Mer’s big price tag is not for everyone but there are plenty of other products which can help boost skin’s hydration and improve texture. Consider Formulyst, whose philosophy is long-term and effective skincare.

To keep skin plumped, hydrated and dewy looking, one of the most effective ingredients is hyaluronic acid. It occurs naturally in the body (including eyeballs and skin), and it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturize is an oil free formula packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.

For even more moisture, try Formulyst Intense Hydrating Serum. Think of it as a long, cool drink of water for your face. The lightweight serum sinks into the skin and is loaded with good-for-you ingredients such as antioxidants and moisture magnets like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. To improve the skin’s texture, try Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum which contains gentle but effective alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to gently dissolve dead skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin.

If you like the idea of a skincare kit, consider Advanced Dermatology. The Advanced Dermatology line includes everything you need to address the signs of aging. The system can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The regimen also works to minimize redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. The kit includes a cleanser, serum, anti-wrinkle treatment, moisturizer, day cream and eye cream- in other words, everything you need for glowing, beautiful, healthy skin.

The Best Skin Care Lines

Take a look at the very best skin care products of 2019:

Formulyst 
The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Advanced Dermatology
The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond

  • P Leary 05.13.18 Reply

    I’ll start off by noting that I love la Mer. The cleanser is absolute heaven, from function (it DOES the job, & extremely well), to feel (like silk), to smell (is ‘luxious’ a word?). I use both the matte lotion (morning) & the moisturizing cream (evening). Both are wonderful, & the matte cream is perfect in taming the creases to which my primer & cream foundation are prone. (The Moisturizing cream gives my skin that extra boost at night.). I also use the firming serum. The cost ($$$) is high on this one! And I have seen a difference. Lastly, on a semi-regular basis, I use the soft fluid foundation. It is simply lovely when I want that extra (medium) coverage for evenings out with my husband (my daily, light, foundation is Armani Maestro, which is AMAZING, & worth every penny — but that is another review).

    I have sampled the regenerating serum, the lifting eye serum, & the soft lotion. I could DEFINITELY note a difference with the regenerating serum (i used it in place of Roden & Fields intensive renewing serum). It was the perfect accompaniment to the moisturizing cream; they are kindred spirits! The lifting eye serum was so-so, however the sample was so small that I’m not sure if continued use wouldn’t make a difference. It might, but I just can’t afford the addition to my routine right now (but based on my current experiences, i would be willing to give it another try at a later point). As for the soft lotion, it actually did as promised (basically, it’s the cream in a lotion form for those who prefer a smoother application).

    Now for the qualifiers: Yes, it’s expensive, but is it worth it? For the most part, probably. Is it 10 Xs worth the cost of more frugal purchases? Ehhhh…. Almost.

    The matte lotion & cream, while excellent, are a bit of a luxury cost (they are slightly better to equivalent R+F products). I think it’s worth it, but not if you’re on a stricter budget. (Scale of 1-10, if La Mer gives you a 9, mid-cost products, such as Lancome, advanced dermatology or R+F, all of which I tried, give you around a 7-7.5. Drugstore products, such as oil of Olay, anywhere from 3-6 —- Oil of Olay is actually pretty good!)

    I did love the regenerating serum, but I get near-equal results with the R+F renewing serum, which is considerably less expensive. I may switch back & forth to extend my usage of each because I do think La Mer has a slight edge.

    Now the lifting serum. I am on the fence on this one. I see a significant difference in the firmness of my skin, but I don’t know if eliminating the firming serum wouldn’t have the same results by continuing my use with the just other products. I DO NOT think the overall product justifies the cost; if it were a about $100 less, yes, but not at $335!

    (The cleanser, in my opinion, goes above & beyond the cost. Definitely worth it, & then some!)

    The products do last a long time because you need less to achieve (overall) better results. Most La Mer products work best in tandem with their sister products, but you DON’T NEED TO PURCHASE AN ENTIRE REGIMEN that other companies try to convince you of. The trick, of course, is finding the combo that works for you.

    As for the company (e.g., customer service), La Mer is top-notch! I love that they don’t force you to buy ‘whole package’ (I HATED that about advanced dermatology!!!!), & they don’t hard-pressure the auto-replenish like R+F (I have to delay shipments constantly). La Mer does have an auto-replenishment option, but online purchasing defaults to ‘one time,’ not ‘every 3 months,’ like kiehl’s. Plus, if you do prefer a replenishment option, you have 6 options from which to choose (from 30-120 days).

    I do want to make special note of their customer service. In a word, outstanding! I have had need to contact/return a few items over the past year since trying la Mer, & each time they are accommodating, helpful, friendly, efficient (my refunds were immediate, exchanges were delivered within days!) — one of the most pleasant companies with which to work. (In fact, when I needed to exchange my foundation colour for a darker one, the representative refunded my account that minute, shipped my new bottle immediately, & told me that the old bottle need not be shipped back to them; it was mine to do with whatever I chose to do, keep, throw out, sell, or donate to a friend).

    So enough blabbering, bottom line, most products are awesome, & overall worth it for the products if you can afford. If on a stricter budget, you can probably find other products that can give you ‘close-enough’ results. That being said, the company itself is so easy to work with that if you DO want to give it try, you can easily return/exchange a product if it’s just not up to your expectations.

    Hope this helps.

  • CeeCee 10.18.17 Reply

    A few years ago I had a 9 hour heart surgery, after the surgery my skin was dry and patchy (from the anesthesia and face mask). I did research and read about Creme De LeMer, I went and got samples I cleaned my skin and used the cream…well overnight my skin was healed!! I love this cream I’m 63 and people are shocked and said I look like I’m in my 30’s!! It is expensive, but worth every penny!! The big jars last a very long time…!! Try it you regret it!!

  • Betty 05.21.17 Reply

    I started using La Mer products about four months ago, and already I, my aesthetician and my dermatologist have all commented on how good my skin looks. These products have definitely improved my skin which I have always taken care of. Even though it is expensive, I would recommend it to those who can afford it. I plan to continue using it.

  • Vikki 12.03.16 Reply

    Okay. So I’ve been on and off Creme de La Mer for 20+ years. I use Jurlique Wrinkle Softening Creme generally. It’s just wonderful for my particular skin and it smells great! I have been taking care of my skin since my mid-20’s, so that counts a lot for why my skin is in great shape. Many a facialist think I’m in my 40’s and I’m 65. This long review is to give the plus side of Creme de La Mer. Yes. It’s pricey. But I’ve gone back to it again and again for skin maladies. I had a very stubborn rash that appeared on my lips and mouth. Would NOT go away! I had a little sample of CdLM and, lo and behold, it calmed down the redness and smoothed out the bumps on my lips (not generally intended for lips, mind you) and the rashy dry parts around mouth were totally gone in 2 days. I was in disbelief and denial that this Creme actually was the answer so I stopped it for a few days and the rash started to come back! What in the world!? I used just the tiniest amount of CdLM to spread over the affected arrears and they are healed. I have used practically EVERY high-end skin care product there is ( as I used to work at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus) and had access to samples BUT I do recommend at least getting a sample of this Creme and trying it. There is a reason there is such a cult following. It is expensive but if you are smart and use just a small amount it does last a long time. Many women use waaaaayyy too much product. Probably because when one uses the cheaper brands they do but then buy more often. Do the math on what you are actually spending and if you love you skin. The proof is in your skin. If you care about it. The need for face altering (and generally not in a good way) expensive plastic surgery can be eliminated.

  • Maddie 11.17.16 Reply

    I bought La Mer after trying a month’s supply from a birch box. I am simply stunned at the change in my texture , tone , vibrance and speedy cell turnover ! And I am extremely hard to stun !
    I am and have been for decades , in the medical side of beauty care and La Mer was recommeded by a derm doc years ago . I simply did not believe it warranted the cost at the time, so I did not try it. To prove that I was right not to, when it was include in my Elle monthly box , I used it . Let’s just say, I really regret not using it all those years ago !Additionally , I have been applying it to stubborn small scars for only the past few days and they have responded better than most treatments that I have been using ! IBy this I include , laser, dermapen , prp , a variety of peels , other scar topical treatments..
    I have access to the best . There’s nothing I have not tried .
    La Mer has been incredible for me . One tip, I do use Peter Thomas Roth pads to better prepare my skin for this treatment . At least give it a shot, request a sample from the store.

  • Karen 10.11.16 Reply

    I have always taken very very good care of my skin mainly keeping out of the sun! I have always used mid price or budget moisturisers and despite now being 59 I have very few lines or wrinkles. My husband bought me some Creme De La Mer as he had a cash lump sum on his retirement.
    I have been using it a couple of weeks and frankly am not that impressed that it is any better than the cheaper ones. I have two jars,so enough for several months ,maybe there will be longer term effects but based on current performance I will be going back to a cheaper priced one when its gone

  • Cristina 09.18.16 Reply

    I started using Creme de la Mer about 10 years ago, I work in the beauty industry and I am exposed to several skin care products. This works! I’m 47 and I’ve been told i look 10 years younger. My suggestion is go to a retailer and form a relationship with a beauty specialist and ask for a sample. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Laurent 09.02.16 Reply

    I can’t use the creme because I break out as I have oily skin. But, I use the oil absorbing lotion from La Mer and it is worth every penny. Not even lasers and cosmetic procedures can do what La Mer does for my skin. Just try it on the back of your hand. You’ll notice a difference right away. The clarity, evenness and glow will be apparent. Even dermatologists who usually do not favor expensive products that have patients using La Mer have said that patients who use this product have consistently better skin.

  • Anonymous 06.30.14 Reply

    I am almost 40 and have hyper-sensitive skin with redness. I am porcelain complected and never go in the sun so wrinkles aren’t an issue but preventing them is. I am an aesthetician and have tried just about every calming moisturizer from expensive to cheap. This is the one creme I can use that isn’t heavy and doesn’t burn. I literally get stopped on a daily basis by strangers commenting on my glowing skin. While I do stay out of the sun, drink a lot of water andfollow a skin care routine, I credit La Mer for my glowiness!

  • Rochelle Dubois 04.05.14 Reply

    My aunt is 79 years old and has beautiful skin on her face and hands. No wrinkles and no age spots. Her face is dewy and tight so I asked her what face cream she used… she picked up a hand lotion sized bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care and said, “this is what I use”. She then proceeded to pump a dime sized dollop onto her palms… rubbed them together and then rubbed her entire face with both her hands. Sure enough her face was dewy and moisturized and had a heavenly glow. The moral of this story is that possibly the more expensive facial cream also makes you feel good in a psychological way and does exactly what the hand lotion does which is moisturize. At 56 years of age… I can tell you for sure that it is about keeping your skin well moisturized and protected from the sun.

  • marion k 03.26.14 Reply

    i used the moisturizing lotion by la mer for 4 years and now all a sudden i developed allergic spots after i used it. i had to discontinue using it. it is a very good moisturizer for a combo skin but get a sample first and try it out to be on the sure side.

  • Pamela Chenault 02.25.14 Reply

    Hello, does the Concentrated have Vitamin E in it? I am allergic

  • Iona 11.17.13 Reply

    My boyfriend bought me la mer cream for my birthday. I am not sure exactly how much this costs but I am sure it is worth a few hundred. I would HIGHLY recommend this product! I am not sure if it is worth what it costs but it definitely has a very nice feel.

  • Runway 10.29.13 Reply

    I had wanted to try CdlM for a while, but had persevered with cheaper products because of the price.

    I truly wish I had invested sooner – my extremely dehydrated (even with drinking almost 3ltrs of water a day) looked a million times better in less than a week and all the smile lines around my eyes have gone.

    The cleanser is lush, the eye creams cooling and effective – and I can’t wait to try the other products in the range.

    Also, you use the tiniest amount so it’s not as expensive as you may think!

  • Betty 10.03.13 Reply

    I was skeptical about Creme De La Mer after having bad experiences with other expensive creams. This one is different. It is very smooth and you will notice your skin will be smoother and softer even just after a few days.

  • Julia 09.11.13 Reply

    Oh my God! I almost had a heart-attack when I saw the cost of La Mer. It must be made of gold or some expensive substance. Does it actually work or does it just make wealthy people feel good buying it?

  • Danny 08.14.13 Reply

    Cream De La Mer makes my skin feel SO smooth. I feel younger again. Your face feels fresh from the moment you apply La Mer. Price is expensive but worth it. It is no big deal for me. I would rather spend my money on La Mer than wasting on handbags. I just a difference from day one and have been using it for 8 years now.

  • Leanne 08.08.13 Reply

    Crème de la Mer is the richest cream I have ever used. I have very dry sensitive skin and I cannot use anything else. Twice per day after showing. I understand the reviews about the price but do not treat it as a miracle cream but a good moisturizer for the well to do. That is all it is, a good moisturizer.

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