La Mer Creme de la Mer The Moisturizing Creme


1807 reviews

53% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.4

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 3.4

Price: $$$$


Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Lime Extract, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Sesame Seed Oil, Ecalyptus Leaf Oil, Magnesium Sulfate, Sesame Seed, Alfalfa Seed Powder, Sunflower Seedcake, Sweet Almond Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Glyconate, 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, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance (Parfum)

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Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I've tried La Mer on and off throughout the years, and waited about a decade (!) to write this review. My reasons for not buying into the hype:

If you're old enough to remember when La Mer was re-released by EL, there was an in-depth article in the NY Times or LA Times (i can't recall exactly --and this was way before Google existed), that detailed the whole process of trying to replicate Max Huber's formula. Remember, he died and left the "recipe" which EL chemists were left trying to decipher based on his messy crib notes, which involved adding vibrations to the mixing tank, playing classical music to the "broth", etc, etc. After much trial and error, EL chemists finally "got it right" (or did they?) and voila -- mass production began.

However, just like "Mom's chicken soup", simply duplicating a formula is not bound to guarantee exact results. How many times have you tried to match a recipe only to never have it taste as good as the real thing? Of course it helps if Mom or the original chef guides you step-by-step -- much easier, right?

But here is the key point: Huber wasn't alive to guide anyone through the replication process. Worse yet, his notes were like chicken scratch.

Just like the "love" element to a homemade batch of cookies or soup, synergistically there was something more that Huber added to garner miraculous results for his original cream. I truly believe that there was something special about Huber's formula; he was known to give some kind of vibrational TLC to each handcrafted, small batch. But like with any family-held secret recipe, there is always something missing when you try to do it yourself--or worse yet, scale it up industrially for the global market.

Other key factors:

I have met wealthy, older people (women *and* men) who have used Huber's original formula and they acknowledge that EL's version is not the same. (Hang out at enough NYC charity/gallery events for the moneyed Bergdorf's crowd and eventually you'll meet some eccentric characters too.)

I've met people who worked for the La Mer brand, and their skin is totally normal or average. These women have easy access to tubs of this product and with these high expectations, you'd think they'd be the walking fountain of youth, with miraculously baby-smooth skin that makes them look 20 years younger. Nope. Look at the La Mer SA's at the counter. Inspect their skin carefully. Is it smooth, bright, luminous? More often than not, i have met La Mer SA's with average skin, or even sagging, wrinkled skin. Not a good testimony.

As for La Mer's purported "healing" power -- if this product truly "healed" skin or did something so great, where are the clinical trials and quantitative data to support it? Surely the Estee Lauder corporation can afford it, as they do with so many of their other products like Advanced Night Repair, Idealist, etc ---undergone rigorous testing and clinicals (i.e. 28% reduction in fine lines, 57% increase in hydration, 88% improvement in spots, etc). Guess what? There are NO quantitative claims with Creme de la Mer at all. Hmm.

What's left? An amazing story, which EL cleverly bought the rights to. When you spend the $$$ for a jar of La Mer, that's what you're getting. But that's part of the allure --- believing in legend is enough to trigger the placebo effect, and for some people it's enough to get great results.

I'm not saying this cream is bad - it moisturizes well and provides emolliency to support the skin barrier function. Those are the results i had.

125 of 135 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

When someone I knew in the beauty industry (she does PR) gave me a trial-sized jar to try about a year ago, I was THRILLED. This stuff is expensive, all the celebrities or the richy-rich use it, and it's so popular that even fake ones are going on ebay (I wonder what they put in these rip-off creams?)

Excitedly, I went home, smoothed it into my face. It went on heavily, a bit too rich, didn't settle into my skin... I couldn't even lie on my pillow without smearing some of the 'excess' (I didn't put on much at all) on it.

ANYWAY. I woke up and my face still felt oily and sticky... and there were small bumps of irritation on my chin and lower cheeks. =( At first I didn't realise it was the Creme de la Mer which was causing it, and I persisted at it for a few more days before some of these bumps erupted, became inflammed, and became full-on zits!!!!

I tossed it promptly (needless to say, I cleared up after that), especially after I went online to do more research since the GWP didn't list any ingredients. I was shocked...

If you favour rubbing pore-clogging, even probably toxic substances into your healthy skin cells like: MINERAL OIL, PETROLATUM and PARAFFIN on your face (plus some questionable microcrystalline wax - I did a search on Britannica and it's another petroleum-derived PLASTIC (!) material that's used in adhesives and industry-grade polishes and drying, harsh alcohol), then by all means do so, perhaps your skin is designed to take such harsh ingredients as these. And I don't understand why such cheap by-products are being put into such premium skincare at such a mind-blowing price. If it works for you, then, great. If you haven't tried it before and are thinking of splurging, please be aware of the above ingredients. Only if you're comfortable with such stuff in your creams (and creams that you leave overnight on your face for hours), then it's your final choice to invest.

But really, with all those fake creams going on ebay, it's hard to know if you're getting the real thing as well. It's a predicament for the newbie on how badly they want to try this thing...

Interestingly, if you go to La Mer's website, there's no list of ingredients either. Instead, they go on and on about the 'Miracle Broth'. Product transparency? I don't think so. And with so much info available online these days, I can't help finding it suspicious and rather dodgy... people are paying huge amounts of money for this product, they should be expected to be given BASIC info such as this, which is lacking. Tsk...

97 of 130 people found this helpful.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Now...come on! You are all smart people and know better than to believe fairy tales about a burned NASA scientist and his miracle cream. I have a doctorate degree in microbiology and am employed by a large pharmaceutical manufacturer in the US. You all know that if in his free time this Max What-Is-His-Name found a formulation that healed burns, he would have not sold it to Estee Lauder! Every drug company would be offering him billions for the rights to it. If he had all the data to back this BS up he would have sold to the highest bidder, and I doubt that would be Lauder. No, no you say! He started making so we all could have healed, lovely skin. Well certainly such a humanitarian would have given his work away with his creams so burn victims all over could be healed. Not just those with a few hundred to spare. And the bull about "warming" the cream. Really...why? Oh, to deliver it into the skin. No! Not a chance, anything that goes beyond the top layer is no longer a cosmetic, but a drug here in the States. And our good friend the FDA would involved. I did try a sample jar given to me by my sister, the dermatologist, so we could both have a laugh. It was fine. I tend to like heavy hitters with clinical data on file with the U.S. Gov. to back the claims, so I will stay with my tube of A. And those ingredients!!! A great lay persons guide is A Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter. Hell, look them up on line. See what happens when these people play fast and loose with the names. I write this not at all to criticize anyone happy and loving it. If you can swing it and it makes you feel good, right on! But to those that really are thinking "I could pay my car note, or buy this product line". And I know other companies charge more for other creams and they are just as full of it! My sister and I always say if there is ever a miracle cream/pill for anything, the entire world will know it, no one will be able to afford it, and there will be a lifetime wait for it. And one last thing, if the scientist did this work at NASA, it would belong to the feds, they would hold the intellectual property rights to it!I was well aware La Mer was a Lauder company. The point I was attempting to make is, if the stuff was really a miracle, drug companies would be interested in owning it and would pay far more than Lauder could to have it. My theory would be the data and the hype are incongruous. But I am not a doctor of theory, just science. What the hell would I know?

88 of 116 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

Okay, so I have read EVERY single review up to about October 2012. That's eleven years' worth. And I will finish them all. I just want to throw mine in.
A sizeable number who rated it poorly never used it. They looked at the ingredients and decided it was no good. These, I suppose, are the same people who decide they don't like Kelly because of what they heard about Kelly despite not actually having interacted with Kelly at any time.
Those people can be written off entirely, frankly.
Another large chunk of negativity comes from people who used it for three days or two weeks ( two weeks being commonly cited as adequate to know whether anything does or doesn't work).
These, i suppose, are the same people who diet or work out for two weeks or a month and then, when they still don't look like Kate Moss or Ronda Rousey, decide the diet sux or exercise didn't work, they must just be genetically cursed.
Those people can almost all be written off, except the ones who actually had bad reactions. No sense slogging through something you're clearly sensitized to.
Lastly, a significant percentage of the leftover negatives are from people UNDER THIRTY who had fairly normal skin.
You lucky things, you! This product, despite the hype, is not for you, though it's not your fault you got starry-eyed on the hype.
But if you look at the reviews from people over thirty-five and/or who had REAL problem skin, they account for the majority of the rave reviews.
I am in both these groups. I'm 38 this year and I've always had dry skin. Like, medically worrisome dry. On my forehead and the cheeks under my eyes/side of nose there develop red patches that sting. And I mean they get RED, like someone burned me with a curling iron. And that's almost how much they sting sometimes. They then turn into patches of dry scaly skin that flake away, and I mean big flakes, some the size of my pinky nail. You can't put makeup on that, it looks even worse. I can peel them off with tweezers and hurt myself or I can wait for them to dry up and fall off, at which point I look almost normal until the cycle is mysteriously triggered again.
I have used EVERYTHING. CeraVe and Cetaphil burn the living hell out of my face. SkinFix? Burns. Olay? Worse. Every single 'drugstore' brand burns me, with the one exception of Nivea and ONLY the plain one in the blue jar. It doesn't burn me, but it doesn't fix it, either. It just keeps things moist and nice between flare ups. Cortisone doesn't work. I've used a dozen LUSH products, Full of Grace being the only semi-success. Coconut oil, jojoba, sea buckthorn, argan, kukui, you name the oil, I have it. I LOVE oils. And they keep things okay in between but don't soothe flare ups in progress, especially coconut oil.
Raw cocoa butter? Nope. Raw shea butter comes close, and I do use it. Chamomile and lavender oil and such, sting when I add them to things. I'm telling you that I try everything and it's demoralizing to still hurt and know I look like a leper when the patches are acting up.
This product DOES make them less red and scaly. I don't care what you want to claim about how all-hippie ingredients are 'best'...I'm telling you I have all the raw organic stuff you do and then some. They do not perform equally.
It doesn't even make sense what you're claiming, that there's no way X can work for anyone because it didn't work for you.
Tylenol doesn't work for me. Advil doesn't work. Aleve is what works on me. But you don't see me telling you that Tylenol is scamming you and if you say Tylenol works you must be God's prize idiot. Some of these reviewers are way too angry and actually are claiming anyone who got any benefit is dim or too stuck-up to admit it's 'just Nivea'.
Not every molecule or compound elicits the same effect on every human body. Sorry.
(I own both North American and German Nivea,?btw, and they are not the same. Yes, many of the ingredients are shared, but that's like saying a piece of toast is the same thing as a slice of cake because they have a lot of the same ingredients).

I don't know what they do to the ingredients that's different but the patches on my face say it IS different. I do not care that the ingredients aren't 100% hippie-approved, because it works and the other stuff usually doesn't. Do I want to feel self-righteous that i avoid petroleum products or do I want my face to stop burning??
I fully support the argument that this is not for anyone who doesn't have a real injury or truly dry skin ( I can put Aquaphor or Vaseline on my face and not be greasy in a couple of hours) but if you DO have a real skin problem do try it.
It IS shamefully expensive so do get a sample but get it FROM a counter or someone you trust got it at a counter. Do not buy it on eBay or Amazon no matter how tempted you are. This is one of the biggest counterfeit magnets there is. Yeah, you MIGHT luck out. Or you might get God knows what. I have had fakes from both venues, some in real jars, and I only knew because I'd had the real thing. Thank the stars I don't have to use it daily but if you do, you truly do only need the teeniest dot. A smudge the size of a Q-tip head is enough for my whole face if it's warmed up so it is clear and liquids. I do not know that I believe the hocky about activating the broth that way, but it's totes the case that you need a LOT LESS if you do it their way and that it seems to soak in faster.

Sample it if you have really troubled, injured skin. But try it for awhile, not a week. Best of luck.

74 of 94 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I read reviews on MUA compulsively before I buy anything, but deep down inside, I know that they don't really guarantee a good purchase: what's good for 75% of us might cause 1% to break out, 4% to vomit, and the remaining 20% to turn blue. Still, I read them, and I write them too. I can't start this one without a description of my pathologically troublesome complexion, though. I have extremely dry, flaky skin with rosacea. I react to just about everything by turning flaming fuchsia, getting zits, or peeling like old wallpaper (or, best yet, all three at once). Many essential oils and higher-tech ingredients make my face hurt. In short, it is HELL trying to find beauty products. If you're anything like me, read on. If you're not, don't bother because this review will be meaningless to you. [Insert a paragraph break here] My MUABFF, GillianO, sent me a sample-sized pot of La Mer to try this winter because I was at my wits' end. I prayed alternately that it would work and that I would hate it, because I just couldn't see spending $110 on ONE OUNCE of moisturizer...yet I so longed to stop peeling and itching! Well, keeping in mind that there are much better things to do with money than spend it on my face, I must admit that I LOVE this cream! Within 3 days of starting to use it, I discovered that it didn't lead to whiteheads or pustular acne. It calmed down my rosacea, smoothed my skin, minimized my flakes, and in short gave me no more excuses for not going out and living my life to the fullest. As for the ingredients, they're not miraculous by any means, but they deliver. Mineral oil and petrolatum are indeed cheap, but they are not "fillers." They are derived from natural products (that were once trees and ferns and dinosaurs and so on), and in that way they are much like the green papaya enzyme extract and the expeller-pressed coconut oil that I also use. Ahem...just sayin'. Anyway, the reason that every single store you ever go into sells Vaseline and Johnson's Baby Oil is because these are great moisturizing/barrier products that work for many different skin conditions and don't cause allergic reactions in 99% of the population. So yeah, they're cheap. But when mixed in kelp soup or whatever it is that La Mer keeps so darn secret, they make one heck of a moisturizer. This probably isn't a miracle-worker for anyone with normal, sane skin. It's not a de-wrinkle cream and it won't make you smart. It doesn't exfoliate, shrink pores, or do windows. But it moisturizes skin really, really well, and it does this without the greasy glow of Vaseline or the bothersome greenness of plain old seaweed. I will continue to buy it as long as I can afford it because, simply put, nothing else works this well for me. My caveat is that the preservative used in this cream has only been approved for wash-off products, and even that approval was given back in the 1960s before we started learning that everything causes cancer. But, since I'm desperate and vain, and since I've never heard of any movie stars dying of face cancer, I have thrown caution to the winds. Watch out...your boyfriend is looking at me (though I'll admit it's just because he wonders where all my flakes went).

66 of 77 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Saks gave me a very generous sample (mini-jar) of the classic Creme de La Mer. It looks, smells nice however MINERAL OIL is one of their main ingredients!!! In the cosmetics world, Mineral Oil is one of the lowest, cheapest ingredients (I don't get it). It felt nice although a bit heavy and then I broke out from this cream (w/ no other positive side effects). I tried using it when my skin was chapped (from a cold/flu, harsh winter) and I didn't see a difference. I have asked other women who swear by this cream (frankly, their skin doesn't look better from using it) why they (in their 30's) are such believers and some said, "I like the way the cream feels" and others wanted to boast that they bought La Mer and then asked me, "Do you see a difference?" Honestly, NO. Sometimes their skin looked WORSE after using La Mer (less radiant). My friends who actually have gorgeous skin (late 30's w/ normal skin) were not impresssed w/ La Mer after trying it and saw no difference or benefits after the jar was finished.

I have no issues paying a lot for cosmetics but I am a critical consumer and I don't understand the hype about this product. Some women really love this product and believe in the "broth" so if these people believe, then I'm glad for them (Charles Revson said " we sell hope in a jar"). Yet I just hope to prevent more crazy hype about this product that it doesn't deserve. Moisturizers are important for daily maintenance of your skin but it will NOT give you a dramatic difference in your skin. Drastic/dramatic improvements (besides surgery) can only be achieved through: Retin-A or retinoid products, ACIDS (chemical peels, glycolic, lactic, aha's), vitamin C (more minor than the acids but brings luminosity), peptides maybe (jury is not yet out). To really know if a product is doing wonders for your skin, do not ask people (except your mom or sister) if they see a difference as you'll probably get a polite white lie. Note when people (esp. reserved people) just jump out and say your skin looks amazing (w/o your bait of asking first) b/c that's when you know the product is making a good difference on you.

For some options, I find these beauty creams/potions deliver: 1) DHC's Q10 Cream (moisturizer, $48 for 1 oz): firmer, smoother "velvet" skin, glows, behaves, gets better w/each use! (I'm very impressed). ANY skin type can use the Q10 crm except very oily 2) MD Forte Glycolic Cleanser III (30% glycolic acid), try II if you're new to acids - skin looks visibly brighter, more even w/ smaller pores 3) MD Forte Skin Rejuvenation Lotion III serum ($67 for 1 oz) very efffective w/retinol, aha acids, vitamins (make sure your skin can tolerate aha's & retinol but this is pretty gentle for the effectiveness) 4) Natura Bisse's Glycoline Glyco Extreme Peel ($225 for 1 oz), very expensive but this is considered the best "peel" on the market besides going for a glycolic peel at the Dr.'s. It really does work (gets rid of dead skin yet gentle for the effectiveness) and once I did the 1/2 face test w/ Neutrogena's Advanced Solutions Facial Peel (my next favorite peel after Natura, $21 for 1.7 oz). The Natura B side had less bumps, was a little smoother. Try Barneys or Bergdorfs/Nieman for Natura Bisse samples before you purchase.

My skin products HAVE to be effective as all my life, I refuse to wear skin make-up (foundation in any form). I am Korean, 42 yrs old but most think I'm 28-32. People say my skin is like porcelain but it has good and bad days like everyone else and I have combination skin (dry in winter, slightly oily in summer however prone to plugged pores and occasional breakouts). I use: Natura Bisse, DHC, Jurlique, MD Forte, Clarins.

62 of 67 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Just to clarify some confusing notions of CDLM after the previous review of Clearandsmooth's somewhat unclear points.

As you probably know La Mer is owned by the Estee Lauder Companies (acquired in 1995). CDLM is the only product that had been developed by Max Huber, rest of the La Mer line is newer additions of products. All of them are based (at some degree at least) on the fermented algae that is marketed as the "Miracle Broth" (trademark of the EL Co.).
EL Co. hold several patents on the Broth. If you are interested in the whole process and might want to calculate the amount of the broth used in La Mer products, it is advisable to read these patent-documents.
In short, The Broth is the end-product of the fermentation process of algae (that is sustainably sourced and hand-harvested by the company) and the additional essential oils, vitamins, minerals and different seed powders.
Composition of The Miracle Broth:
Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) 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, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, Panthenol

This is a white-to-yellow clear liquid that is somewhat thicker than water (please see uploaded picture). This will be used as the "water-phase" of the emulsion along with glycerin (humectant).
As the CDLM was developed in the 60s, the whole emulsion reflects the somewhat limited availability of raw-materials. Basically, it is made out of pharmaceutical-grade ingredients (of the more basic type). This is absolutely not a draw-back, on the contrary! These raw-materials are well tried and tested and suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types.
What the rest of the emulsion is made out of is Mineral Oil, Petrolatum and Isohexadecane as emollients Waxes that act as stabilizer: Microcrystalline Wax and Paraffin; emulsifiers as Lanolin Alcohol and Magnesium Stearate. Lanolin Alcohol (pharmaceutical grade) is a purified result of combination of organic alcohols obtained by the hydrolysis of lanolin. It contains up to 34% cholesterol (phytosterols) and is identical to our own skins lipids, hence it is fully bio-compatible with the lipid-barrier. Skin is immediately more moisturized, eventual irritation calmed and skin is protected.
The compactness of the emulsion makes that it will stay stable for many many years without the oil- and water-phase separating.

Note that the formula's preservative system has changed somewhere between 2014-2016 and is now protected against microbial contamination by Benzyl Salicylate and Sodium Benzoate. Previously the preservatives Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone were used. (These preservatives are now recommended (and allowed in the EU) only for rinse-off products.)

It is, of course, debatable whether the formula itself or the Broth (or the combination of the two) that gives the legendary "miraculous" healing properties of the cream.
Many say that the original cream has the most effect on the skin and the newer addition of moisturizers cannot even be compared (even though they also contain the same amount of the Broth.)

Bottom line is that if you wish to "buy-into" the craze and fame of the Miracle Broth, this product might be a better investment than the newer products (serums included). (It still won't justify the price!)

What I think of the CDLM.
I have used it on and off since 2001 and had the fortune to try all moisturizers and serums from LM too. I always come back to the original CDLM though.
Although it is somewhat time-consuming to apply (you have to warm it up before application), it is absorbed by the skin immediately. One would think that the product were heavy and greasy with so much mineral oil, petrolatum and waxes, but the truth is that it is everything but. It leaves a very acceptable silky-matte finish on the skin without any oily feel or residue. I have to say that this has absolutely the most flattering finish of all the LM moisturizers (the new Moisturizing Soft Lotion included). Even in the humid summer weather it can be used. Oilier skin-types might not like the richness in warmer weather, but it will definitely not cause break-outs.
In this product you get "only" the Broth (while in the newer additions, you will get additional anti-oxidants and some very good cell-communicating ingredients too).

Here is a link to how the International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) names are generated.

Ingredients list for the 2016 formula:
Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Sulfate, Paraffin, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Water/Aqua, Beta-Carotene, Decyl Oleate, Aluminum Distearate, Octyldodecanol, Citric Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium Stearate, Panthenol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance (Parfume) continued >>

59 of 64 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is one of those legendary products that you see all over the Internet. Usually only found in upmarket department stores or airport duty free. This is clearly a product that really polarises people due in no small part to its exhorbitant price.

There have been numerous stories in the newspapers outlining how the ingredients for a 60ml jar only cost around $5 but a jar costs around $200. Other stories compare it to Nivea creme. I have tried both Nivea and the La Mer and they are not exactly the same. La Mer, if emulsified in the hands and patted gently into the skin has a much more soothing and almost wet / cool effect on the skin that I think would be great if you'd been in the sun all day.

The creme does also almost "over moisturise" or saturate the skin - I'm not sure if this is the high oil content or the seaweed broth but it definitely has a plumping effect and if you suffer from extremely dry skin and need something occlusive to trap in moisture this could be useful to you. But then so could a hyalauronic acid serum followed by a layer of Nivea.

I have bought this product at full retail when it first launched in the uk and also had the now sadly discintinued eye balm ( original - the current one isn't that great). I'm not sure if experienced a miracle exactly but the combo of the original eye balm ( used first like a serum) with la Mer creme on top definitely healed a number of issues including some broken capillaries under my eyes. For this reason alone I can't discount this product completely. I do have a very small sample jar which I use on flakey lips or when I have a cold around the nose to get rid of flakies...

After a long break from the creme - I was an Erno Laszlo user for about 11 years ( until the current buy out) - I was considering maybe buying another jar as it does last and I did enjoy the "cool/wet" sensation that you get when you pat this on. I decided to research the line further.

I won't repeat the much touted Max Huber NASA burns healing story here as everyone's heard that already. But two facts that stopped me from buying this again ( apart from the price which just keeps going up and up as does the number of add on serums / pre serums / boosters - this is truly a cash making machine)

1. when Lauder bought La Mer from the owners family after his death there was no written formula! only a collection of film footage and scribbled notes. Lauder had to try and "guess" the formula and did many trial batches until they got what they thought was the closest to Max Hubers original.

2. When Lauder bought the brand it only had 4 products - a cleanser, toner, the original creme and an eye cream. A 2oz jar of the creme was around $50 ( in the late 80s/early 90s). This is versus the crazy variety of la Mer products we have today.

Due to the products withdrawal from the market a waiting list grew anxious for its return. However when Lauder finally launched it many long term users returned it. Why? Apparently the formula is very different. For example the original did not contain any mineral oil and was in fact a natural plant based creme ( Huber famously used to rub it in his eye and eat it with a spoon to prove how natural it was!)

3. Lauder for many years was cruelty free as were their attendant brands such as Clinique and la Mer. But since the brands move into the Chinese market they have to have all their products animal tested ( even my previously loved Aveda shampoo). This is not acceptable to me personally.

in tandem with the above issues my research has thrown up other products that I feel are superior to La Mer including those by brands such as May Lindstrom, Själ and others who really do go all out to create a holistic skincare ritual using only the finest ingredients. Also brands like the Ordinary prove that you can provide hi tech skincare that actually works without having to pay hundreds of $$/££ for a small white pot.

if you do have seriously dry skin maybe get a free sample of this or Embrolisse just to see if it's occlusive properties help. But be aware there are much better moisturisers out there.

50 of 55 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I am Asian and had oily/combo skin when I was young, but as I am going through my menopause with some medical history, I am having noticeably dehydrated skin. Although I still look much younger than my real age, in these recent years suddenly my face is loosening and my chin and jaw lines are less defined. I am desperate about finding something that can help firm up my skin and make me look younger but have had little luck.

After trying various high-end firming products without success, I bought CDLM but was not impressed at all in the first couple of months. It either made me feel oily or was too sticky when I used it with toner and essence together, and not until last month when I went to Malaysia on a 5-day golf trip and played 3 rounds of golf under 32/33 degrees Celsius and hot sun did I rediscover its amazingness ...

I wore short sleeved and shorts and I was burned all over except my face. My friends kept complimenting that my skin was so good and asking me what I was using. I then realised how good CDLM was in its way of healing. Due to small baggage and a large golf bag on short trip, I only brought La Mer with me as the only cream day and night, nothing else. After golf, as usual even with sunblock, my face was burning hot but it calmed me down as soon as I used the cream on my face after shower and I came out from the locker room with a dewy look. I came back from the trip with my face looking healthy as if no sun exposure at all.

Since then I've been convinced and after many tries and errors, I've now found the right way of using it. When I use it everyday, I use it alone on my COMPLETELY DRY face after my face wash without toner and essence/serum. This is most effective as its richness "kisses" my skin directly and plumps it up with the right amount of moisture. Occasionally I add my toner or serum to give that little extra boost.

EDIT: I'm still using CDLM after two years as no other moisturizers can give me the luminosity and I often receive compliments with it. I do look younger, and my skin is plumped! Whenever I try to replace it with other lower priced products, I always go back to it. I know I'll continue to buy it as a doorkeeper, though I'm now also using another cream at night so as to keep CDLM longer to help save my pocket a little bit.

39 of 44 people found this helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Dry, Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I have used La Mer products since the late 90's and at 53 yrs old and a product junkie, I have tried all of them. I have sensitive, not just acne prone, but cystic acne prone skin. I have used the original La Mer consistently since 1998, along with the Moisturizing Lotion and several other La Mer products off and on as well. I have never suffered a break out from either moisturizer and the original has saved my skin on numerous occasions. The original is one of the best treatments post Chemical Peel or Micro Derm that I have ever used. Because I have cystic acne scars, I have had many Peels and Micro Derms over the years, tried many different products for post procedure and always come back to La Mer. My clinician thought La Mer was a big hype until I brought her a large sample, which after using, she also became a La Mer junkie. I am more than a little upset over one of the reviews because the reviewer didn't actually ever use the product, so had no actual personal experience with it, simply reviewed it based on ingredients and price. I read people's reviews for products because I am a product junkie, so I want to know what someone else's actual experience is with said product. Like I mentioned, I have used just about all of the major moisturizers on the market, Kiehls, Bobbie Brown, Chanel, Clinique, Origins, Neutrogena, Oil of Olay, Skinceuticals, Skin Medica, CeraVe, just to name a few, none have ever worked as well as La Mer has for me personally. I hope this helps somebody else.

36 of 42 people found this helpful.

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