It’s not like I didn’t believe the hype. When a beauty product’s transformative, miracle-like claims have captivated the entire industry—editors, makeup artists, celebrities, and consumers—since the late 1960s, you assume its not just hyperbolic mumbo-jumbo and truly a breakthrough in skincare science. But never trying La Mer’s famed Crème de la Mer ($170; nordstrom.com) myself, the skeptic in me needed to affirm the praises for myself. We’re all unique individuals and everyone’s skin reacts differently, could this little white, incredibly expensive tub of rich moisturizer really make me look like a new, well-slept, less inflamed human?
I used a pretty penny of a gift card to find out. The cheapest container of Crème de la Mer on the market retails for $88, and it's only 0.5 oz. Your 1 oz. tub jumps to $170, while your still-TSA-friendly 3.4 oz. jar is a whopping $475. Yet even with a price-tag so steep, people mark it magic. It's marketed a moisturizer with the ability to heal dehydrated skin, reduce the appearance of signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, increase firmness, and soothe sensitivities. This is all thanks to the product's potent formula, which includes the signature ingredient compilation dubbed "Miracle Broth," made with nutrient-rich sea kelp. It apparently took 12 years to perfect—because practice makes perfect. It's a fermented, "cell-renewing" mix (that takes four months to create), and it's at the heart of every La Mer product. The idea is to moisturize, but also reduce inflammation to calm and even out your skin tone.
There's also a "ritual" that must be followed to activate the formula—you take a dollop and warm it up in-between your fingers until the white cream becomes translucent. Then, you press it into your skin.
By description alone, this stuff sounds like it's made for me. My skin barrier has become somewhat weak, and keeping moisture at an appropriate level has become a challenge. I have to moisturize heavily twice a day to battle off dry, flaky, irritated patches of skin. Whether or not I actually have rosacea, I don't know, but I'm always rosy and use products that are meant to calm tone to keep my flush down.
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I decided that I was only going to replace my evening moisturizer with the Crème de la Mer. It's definitely rich and sinks into your skin, leaving your complexion dewy, or like you worked up a light sweat. I pressed it into my face (FYI, if you deal with rosiness, press your skincare into your skin, never rub) and went to bed.
To the blaring sounds of my alarm, I woke up and dragged myself into the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I looked in the mirror, my eyes widened because I looked like I hadn't ever been introduced to sugar or wine or the horrible, stressful, all-around frightening year that is 2017. My skin was rosy in all the right places, my skin tone was even, and I still had that little bit of dew that signified my skin wasn't parched. It worked.
I kept up this routine for a week and that's when the compliments started rolling in from my colleagues and friends. I'm near the bottom of the jar, and there is no justification needed for buying another container. It's essential.
They call it a cult-classic and I guess I just joined.