And the award for most hyped-up, outrageously expensive skincare cream goes to… Creme De La Mer!
Look, I get it. Creme De La Mer has a cool story. NASA scientist Max Huber created it to heal his skin after an experiment blew up in his face.
I mean, how many creams can say they were created by a NASA scientist? I’d shout that from the rooftops too.
But Max didn’t come up with anything special. When you take a closer look at the cream, it ain’t that much different from Nivea Cream. Ahem.
Need I say more?
Ok, I will. Here’s why Creme De La Mer is all hype and little substance:
Seaweed (Algae) Extract
Algae is the probably the only ingredient worthy of mention here. Too bad, it doesn’t mean anything.
Did you know more than 20,000 species of algae exist? Most of them have emollient and antioxidant properties, but… who knows which one Creme De La Mer uses?
It may not matter. Much. Apparently, the “miracle worker” isn’t the algae itself. It’s the fermentation process. Nicki Zevola of Futurederm says it better: “(ultrasound waves) are directed into the cream to ferment the algae, accelerating the rate by which algae produces lactic acid.”
Lactic acid is an exfoliant that dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together, allowing them to slough off. Once they’re off, your skin look softer and brighter.
But… why go through all this trouble (and expense) to make lactic acid when you can buy it directly from a manufacturer?
Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Glycerin
Algae aside, the bulk of Creme De La Mer formula is made up of mineral oil, petrolatum and glycerin. That’s the same base as Nivea Creme.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with mineral oil and petrolatum. I know Auntie Google is convinced they’ll give you cancer, but Auntie Science knows best. The ingredients may be derived from petroleum but they undergo a strict and rigorous purifying process that gets rid of all their toxins before they go into the cream. Phew!
But why use them in the first place? They have wound-healing properties. Plus, they’re super moisturising. They both work by creating a protective barrier on the skin that seals in moisture and slows down water loss.
Talking about moisture, some of that comes from glycerin, a humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, keeping it hydrated for longer.
This blend of ingredients is amazing for dry skin. If your skin’s oily, I’d run away.
Related: Is Mineral Oil Bad For Skin?
Unlike Nivea Creme, Creme De La Mer has its fair share of antioxidants, like alfalfa powder and vitamin E. But the most interesting one is copper gluconate: it helps your skin make more superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant that destroys the worst type of free radical.
The catch? Antioxidants slowly go bad and lose all their effectiveness when exposed to light and air. Jar packaging isn’t the smartest choice for them.
Related: Why You Should Avoid Jar Packaging
The bottom line
Creme De La Mer is a wonderful moisturiser for dry skin. It’s just very basic. It’ll make even the driest of skins soft and smooth but its antioxidants benefits won’t last you long. And that’s what bugs me. For the price, you deserve more.
Have you ever tried Creme De La Mer? Share your experience in the comments below.
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