At any Creme de la Mer counter, the staff know it’s expensive, and they know most people aren’t going to stroll in and spend £200+ on a moisturiser whether or not it has a glowing reputation. Make sure you start with one of Creme de la Mer's generous sample pots first – you can request this at any Creme de la Mer counter, and the pot lasted me three weeks when using the moisturizer once a day and fairly liberally - so you have plenty of time to trial, test, and make sure it works for you.
La Mer is an experience that has a few tricks to be experienced properly. The crème itself is very thick crème with a light floral scent. Properly used, you place an amount (about the size of 1-2 peas) on the pads of your middle fingers then very vigorously rub your hands together to warm it up. The crème will liquify, becoming a clear liquid. Truthfully, I did have a hard time mastering this, so went back to Harrods and asked for a quick lesson, which they were more to happy to give. Make sure you practice the technique with the staff so you are fully confident to go home and replicate it.
Once properly emulsified, Crème de la Mer will really be clear and will have more of a thick liquid consistency. When applied to your skin you can immediately feel it start sinking into your skin. For me, it really takes about 10-15 minutes to sink fully into my skin, making this more of a night time treatment since I don't have time to wait for makeup application. But, the time really is well worth it. It is very hydrating, leaves glowy skin, and quickly heals any winter dryness without turning my skin into an oil slick.
The Crème was developed by NASA scientist Dr Max Huber, who set out to repair his skin injuries after an experiment exploded in his face. The lotion is a fairly basic moisturizing lotion, but with added ingredients of sea kelp (harvested twice a year and then processed for months), calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, lecithin, Vitamins C, E and B12, oils of citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa and sunflower.
La Mer has been touted also as an anti-aging product, and while I can't say there is a lot of evidence regarding the Miracle Broth, there are antioxidants in the sea kelp as well as the antioxidant properties of several of the other ingredients. Another part of looking younger is having properly moisturised and hydrated skin, as the outer layer of the epidermis will swell with moisture, improving the look of fine lines/wrinkles. I’m not looking for an anti-aging cream – I’m 24, and whilst various people will say we should start early, I’m not ready to start just yet! However, Crème de la Mer is an intensive moisturiser with key hydrating properties, so I was very keen to give it a go.
My skin is noticeably softer, with less blemishes sprouting, and when I do get blemishes (AKA spots) they heal much quicker than previously which is a pleasant surprise. I have less dry patches that were caused by the higher-pollution levels in London and the depths of winter, as my skin is infinitely more hydrated, and I finally feel I have found the perfect moisturiser for my skin. A little back story here – for years (yes, years) I’d been using Germoline antiseptic cream (similar to Savlon) as a ‘moisturiser’. It wasn’t the fact that it was moisturizing (it really wasn’t), but it was thick, creamy, sunk into my skin near-instantly, and didn’t leave my skin shiny and oily after application. I also thought the antiseptic qualities might help my ‘blemishes’. I more recently moved onto the Clarins Hydra-Quench cream after deciding my skin was screaming (peeling) for some hydration, which has received excellent reviews (and at £35 doesn’t require a second mortgage), but I was still looking for a thicker, butter-like texture.
All in all, is la Mer worth it? I definitely liked it as a stronger moisturizer, and despite my oily complexion it was not ‘too much’ of a good thing. My skin seems more radiant, smoother, and healthier looking, and my winter dry-patches have disappeared completely.
I know there are probably people reading this and weeping… whilst telling their screens that Vaseline works just as well. However, I do feel that there are a lot of additional ingredients beyond the basic moisturizer that are worth the added expense, although I might have to stock up on a few pots of it if I ever decide to leave my job - and ditch the discount!