Yeah, that’s right. I am banishing the celebrity cult-favorite Creme de la Mer (La Mer Moisturizing Cream) $275 to the bowels of the beauty graveyard after it sat on my shelf for more than a year (simply because I didn’t have the heart to throw away such an expensive product). Like other idiots out there, I figured if J-Lo can fill a swimming pool with the amount of La Mer she uses yearly and Maria Carey allegedly uses it on her babies’ bottoms, then it must be a miracle cream. I don’t remember what specifically made me pull the ‘idiot tax’ trigger and fork out almost $300 for a cream, but I assume it was at a Gift-with-Purchase event during the dreadfully cold winter months in NYC when I was fed up waking up to dry irritated patchy skin every morning.
I mean let’s face it — if I’m in a Gift-with-Purchase environment, very little is restraining me from making bad decisions. I’m pretty sure I bought this during a Saks GwP event and gloriously justified my purchase with the cheesy bag full of samples I got for blowing over $250. I’m getting angry with myself even as I type this recollection of stupidity. I’m telling you I’m like a gambling addict with a handful of chips in a casino or an alcoholic at an open bar when it come to GwP events. You would think at some point I would just learn to avoid them! (I have suggested Beauty Addicts Anonymous but our disease simply isn’t being taken seriously)
My Dreadful Results
So given Creme de La Mer’s reputation you can imagine my shock and dismay when after 4 nights of applying the insanely expensive cream my face was covered with welt-like pimples, yucky whiteheads, and mine fields of ugly blackheads. It was so bad I didn’t leave the house for 2 days. (Yes, I’m vain but I seriously thought small children may be frightened if they saw me pass them on the street)
The Ugly Truth
Obviously after treating my war-torn face I immediately looked up the ingredients to find out what could have possibly attacked my face so violently. It didn’t take a skin detective to figure out the culprit — Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum) is the 2nd listed ingredient!
Here’s what my online medical sources say about Mineral Oil:
WHAT IS IT? An extremely cheap & common petroleum derivative (refined crude oil petrochemical) which is found in 98% of skincare products sold in the US.
HEALTH RISK: Petrochemicals contain neurotoxins which damage the nervous system. Mineral oil forms a film on the surface of your skin that can not be absorbed, thereby blocking the pores and the skin’s natural respiration. It traps dirt and bacteria and blocks the absorption of vitamins/minerals/botanicals that may be in a product. John Hopkins University named mineral oil in cosmetics and moisturizers as the number two cause of aging (first being direct exposure to sun). It may also cause allergic reactions and dryness, as well as promote acne and other skin disorders.
Then, I found that British publication The Daily Mail did an exposé on Creme de La Mer in 2010 that showed according to a cosmetic chemist, the creme’s ingredients cost less than 5% of its total cost. Ouch! To make matters worse, the queen of cosmetics Paula Begoun slammed Creme de La Mer in the article:
Paula Begoun, a beauty expert who is renowned for her in-depth research of cosmetic products and their ingredients, reviews thousands of products – and she is scathing in her assessment of Crème de la Mer.
‘It’s just a really dated formula,’ she says. ‘Something straight out of the Seventies.
‘Product formulations have become much more sophisticated since then. Estee Lauder itself has gone on to develop skincare that is far better than Crème de la Mer, and doesn’t cost as much.’
Needless to say I felt like a total asshole after reading all this research. Perhaps instead of trusting skincare recommendations from US Weekly, next time I’ll actually do a little homework before making such an investment. With that… I banish Creme de la Mer to the dreaded Beauty Graveyard, never to haunt my vanity again!
Janna Posted by janna Tags Beauty Graveyard, Creme de la Mer, La Mer