Crème De La mer
By Sarah Scotford
I’m not sure how or when my obsession with wanting to try Crème De La mer started, but it did, and I wanted it bad. I wanted to know just what was so special about this so-called “miracle broth”
It was on a working trip to London and my first time at the world renowned Harrords where I purchased my first jar. I remember feeling the wrinkles melt from my face second the clerk handed over my little miracle jar. I couldn’t wait to get home and begin my application.
But what is it about this cream that has major celebrities and hoards of people flocking after it with huge claims of perfection and a huge price tag to boot.
Crème de la Mers story is this; it was originally developed by NASA scientist Max Huber to treat and cure his severe chemical burns, which he sustained in an accidental explosion during an experiment. Dr. Huber sold and marketed this product himself. After his death, his daughter continued selling the cream until Estée Lauder purchased the rights to manufacture and distribute it.
Interestingly enough, the second and third ingredients in Crème de la Mers Ultra Rich crème (mineral oil and petrolatum) also have a similar “burn” story behind them.
Petrolatum (petroleum jelly) was discovered in 1859, the creator traveled NY demonstrating the product by burning his skin with acid or an open flame, then spreading the ointment on his injuries and showing his past injuries healed. This Creator (Robert Chesebrough) opened his first factory in 1870 in Brooklyn using the name Vaseline.
Mineral oil and petrolatum are known to be efficacious in wound healing, and are also among the most effective moisturizing ingredients available. Their effectiveness in accelerating wound healing stems from it’s sealing effect on cuts and burns, which inhibits germs from getting into the wound and keeps the injured area supple by preventing the skin’s moisture from evaporating.
Interestingly enough, La Mer in the past was affordable and could be purchased from pharmacy stores, until the brand was purchased by Estée Lauder, after which it became a high-end brand.
So is it really worth the hefty price tag?
I must say, I did enjoy using my crème (well, the 20 applications or so that came from that little jar) But I also feel like I could get the same effects by being more aware of what’s inside the jar and how much money I’m just actually throwing away on marketing and branding. It pays to do a little research.
Read skincare labels. The top four ingredients in La Mer are seaweed algae extract, mineral oil, petrolatum, and glycerin. It’s a basic formula and contains none of the gold standard ingredients, discussed here.