Women are willing to pay just about any price for a “miracle cream”, potion or injection that promises to make them look younger but are the products they are buying worth the price? Do they really work and are they safe to use?
In the 1970’s a NASA scientist, Dr. Max Huber invented a “Miracle Broth™” to improve scaring from burns he receiving during a rocket fuel experiment. Originally developed for his personal use, Huber began selling his cream to the public in small quantities. After Huber’s death Estee Lauder purchased the rights to the cream from his daughter and began developing the brand.
According to the Crème de la Mer website this “miracle cream” contains bio-fermented sea kelp with an array of vitamins and minerals, oils of citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa and sunflower.
Crème de la Mer has been a favorite among celebrities for more than 30 years and sells at Neiman Marcus in Atlanta for $160 an ounce. However, in recent years many beauty experts have questioned whether the high price is justified.
Cosmetic chemist, Will Buchanan was hired by Britain’s Daily Mail to analyze the price of a jar of Crème de la Mer based on it’s listed ingredients and his own experience with product formulations. Mr. Buchanan’s calculations valued the ingredients of a 100ml jar that costs $320 US to cost approximately $20. Buchanan did acknowledge that other costs such as PR, Marketing and transport may be reflecting in the final cost of the product.
Paula Begoun, a beauty expert who is renowned for her in-depth research of cosmetic products and their ingredients and reviews thousands of products did not review Crème de la Mer favorably. “It’s just a really dated formula, 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.”
The second and third ingredients in Crème de la Mer are Mineral Oil and Petroleum. Most makeup and skin care companies are going “oil free” in both their make up and body products as mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum and will clog pores, not allowing skin to eliminate toxins which encourages acne and other disorders. It can also cause photosensitivity and strips the natural oils from the skin causing chapping and dryness, also premature aging. Untreated and mildly treated mineral oils are known carcinogens according to the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP). Skincare manufacturers use mineral oil because it is cheap.
Petroleum, most commonly known as petroleum jelly is a translucent jellylike mixture of semi-solid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. It is used in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams, wax depilatories, make-up and baby creams, as an emollient. It may be contaminated with carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
The Environmental Working Group hosts a site, Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database which lists the ingredients of cosmetics and risks associated with ingredients (if any). Each product is given a hazard rating on a scale of 1-10. Crème de la Mer is given a hazard rating of 7 on a scale of 1-10 with 85% of anti-aging crèmes on the market having lower concerns. For More Information click here to go to skin deep cosmetic database.
La Mer’s global president, Maureen Case, told Britain’s Daily Mail, “I believe that Crème de la Mer offers value for money because it is a luxury product made in artisanal fashion that performs brilliantly and delivers what it promises. Do we make money from Crème de la Mer? Of course – we’re a business. But do we gouge the consumer? Absolutely not.”
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