Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Banished to the Beauty Graveyard: Creme de la Mer (La Mer Moisturizing Cream)

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 Tags , ,

10 Responses to “Banished to the Beauty Graveyard: Creme de la Mer (La Mer Moisturizing Cream)”

  1. February 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm, Nicki said:

    I am so glad you wrote this! I applaud. I have been an esthetician for twenty years and out of all of the La Mer users never have I seen, with my own eyes, any improvement. They still love it and are hooked! My advice. Dump it and spend your money else where!


    • February 19, 2013 at 10:16 pm, janna said:

      Yeah!! Thanks for reading, Nicki! You know I only speak the truth here on Beauty Binge. Where are you an esthetician?


  2. February 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm, Simone said:

    I don’t understand your (non) action. If after using it a few days, if it made you break out, why didn’t you just return it to the store? You would have gotten a full refund.

    I like La Mer before the Estee Lauder Co bought it and changed the formula.


    • February 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm, janna said:

      Good question. The answer is because I’m a chicken shit. Have you ever tried to return a beauty product to Saks? They are a huge pain. I tried to exchange a Tom Ford lipstick for another color and they wouldn’t let me without a hard copy of my receipt. I didn’t feel like enduring the embarrassment and frustration. Sad excuse, but the truth. And I have heard the original formula was hand mixed and a completely different product. Thanks for calling me out, by the way!


  3. February 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm, Danae said:

    I am really glad you wrote this, as I had recently seen this product highly recommended elsewhere and was contemplating taking the $300 plunge… However, I trust you more.


    • February 20, 2013 at 12:12 am, janna said:

      Thanks Danae. I’ve got your back!


  4. February 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm, Gina said:

    Thanks for the info on La Mer. I have only had one jar of it in my lifetime and since then I always felt I was missing out not having it…so expensive!! I am now cured of my “La Mer Envy”.


  5. January 11, 2014 at 8:02 am, Heather said:

    I am now cured of my Creme de la Mer envy. Thank you very much. It was the one thing that I would have LOVED to try, even with occasional ezcema flare ups. No more. Thank you for your candour.


    • January 11, 2014 at 10:06 pm, janna said:

      Awww… Thank you so much for reading! You can always count on my candor. ;-) Let me know if you need other suggestions…


  6. July 04, 2014 at 6:13 am, Holly said:

    I have purchased obscene amounts of this cream, not that I can afford to but I suffer with pustular psoriasis and this is the only product I have ever found to help. Within a few days of applying this my flared up red scaly skin looks less angry and more flexible. I understand it’s extremely expensive but please if you don’t like it give your honest opinion but don’t force others to feel the same without trying it as it may well help. I don’t use it for vanity I use it for sanity! Psoriasis is very painful/annoying to live with and can drive a person mad!


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