creme de la mer worth splurge

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:

What’s In Creme De La Mer?


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?

Related: The Right Way To Get Algae Into Your Skincare Routine


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 propertiesPlus, 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 radicals.

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: 5 Things You Need To Know About Antioxidants


Rich. Can feel heavy on combination skin.


It smells like Nivea Creme. It’s strong, too.

How To Use It

Warm the thick cream between your fingers for a few seconds until it becomes translucent. Then, massage it gently into the skin.

In the morning, apply it before sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

Creme De La Mer works. It’s so moisturising, it can turn dry and flaky skin into a softer and plumper complexion. All that extra moisture fills in fine lines and wrinkles, too.

So, what’s my problem with it? It no different from other moisturisers out there. You can literally use Nivea Creme and have the same results. Do you really want to pay a gazillion times more for the same thing?

If you really do, the cream is more suitable for dry skin. Oily skin? The thick texture can make you breakout.

Talking about texture, it’s on the thick side. Unless your skin is pretty dry, you may feel like it’s just sitting on the skin.

While we’re on the topic, you don’t need to massage the cream between your fingers before application to activate the Magic Broth. That’s just marketing nonsense. You need to do it so the thick texture glides on more smoothly…

review creme de la mer

Who Is This For?

People with dry skin who don’t mind splurging on a luxury moisturiser.

Who Is This Not For?

  • Acne-prone skin
  • Combination skin
  • Oily skin
  • Anyone who doesn’t want to spend a fortune for a fancy version of Nivea Creme


Creme De La Mer comes in a big white jar. It’s the best type of packaging for such a thick texture, but it doesn’t keep the antioxidants inside stable and effective for long…

Does Creme De La Mer Live Up To Its Claims?

This luxuriously rich cream immerses skin in deep moisture, helping soothe dryness.  True.
Skin feels soft-to-the-touch, supple and smooth. True again.
Dry lines appear softened.  True, but any moisturiser does this.

Price & Availability

$160.00 at Net-A-Porter and Sephora

Do You Need It?

Nope. Creme De La Mer is a wonderful moisturiser for dry skin. It’s just very basic. And that’s what bugs me. For the price, you deserve more.


Dupes & Alternatives

Have you ever tried Creme De La Mer? Share your experience in the comments below.


Seaweed (Algae) Extract , Mineral Oil\Paraffinum Liquidum\Huile Minerale , Petrolatum , Glycerin , Isohexadecane , Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract , Microcrystalline Wax \Cera Microcristallina\Cire Microcristalline , Lanolin Alcohol , Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil , Eucalyptus Globulus (Ecalyptus) Leaf Oil , Magnesium Sulfate , Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed , Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder , Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal , Sodium Gluconate , Potassium Gluconate , Copper Gluconate , Calcium Gluconate , Magnesium Gluconate , Zinc Gluconate , Paraffin , Tocopheryl Succinate , Niacin , Beta-Carotene , Decyl Oleate , Aluminum Distearate , Octyldodecanol , Citric Acid , Cyanocobalamin , Magnesium Stearate , Panthenol , Limonene , Geraniol , Linalool , Hydroxycitronellal , Citronellol , Benzyl Salicylate , Citral , Alcohol Denat. , Fragrance (Parfum)