Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Science behind skincare

At the tender age of 20 and working in London, I began to develop a taste for all the finer things in life, I started to progress up the skincare ladder and swapped my trusty teenage soap and water/Nivea combo for Clinique.  It seemed like it cost a fortune at the time, but boy did I feel sophisticated!  I was just a tad gutted that the Toner prescribed for my skin type, was too harsh and burnt my skin, so I gave up on that and went on to Clarins which I used for many years.
The brands that I used the most for the rest of my twenties and early thirties were Estee Lauder and Lancome.  I was very impressed with the Estee Lauder Night Repair, after all, if it could heal burns on your hands then surely it would stop me getting wrinkles.  Sadly it didn't.
I had a stage in my life when I was obsessed by Liz Earle, do you remember her daytime programme?  anyway when she developed her own skincare range, I didn't need to be converted and bought into the brand immediatley.  The soft and easily abosobed Moisturiser was easily one of the nicest creams I had used but as the wrinkles appeared to get deeper and deeper a few years back, I began to wonder if this beautifully pure, organic range had been enough for my skin during a time when I needed something really high powered and was thinking that perhaps, I should have been investing in La Pairie or Revive (like Liz Jones).
Most recently, I have used Eve Lom and her cleanser, which along with Liz Earle, remain my firm favourites and although I loved the EL eye gel and moisturiser, I am not sure they have done anything positive to delay the signs of ageing and I am wondering whether I wouldn't just have been better off all these years to have used something like Olay and had more money to spend on clothes!
In desperation (always previously thinking I would "Grow old Gracefully")  I consulted a Botox Nurse at a local Beauty Salon.  I told her that it was the upper lip that needed work, as I understood Botox can't be used for the wrinkles under your eyes and my forehead is wrinkle free (except for one deep line between my brows, but I can live with that) she informed me that I would need "fillers" and that I would have to be numbed up first, as it is quite painful to inject in that area.  She said she would put some in the upper lip (not the actual lip but the bit, hairy people get waxed) and she would use what was left to put some in each side of my mouth as it was "turning down" which is a sure sign of ageing and that would bring the sides of my mouth up.  "Fucking hell" I thought "by the time this bitch has finished with me, I shall look like the Joker from Batman, sod that!".  OK, so now to cost.  Cough, splutter and bear in mind here that the brochure said "Botox from £100 for one area and I am thinking, naturally, that I only need one area, "£290" she says. Oh right that put paid to that then!  I could get a pair of Louboutins in the sale with that money!
Then I read an article about Creme de la Mer, and I got to thinking, that I never actually take a great deal of notice of the science behind the skincare. I usually just see an advertisement in a magazine and if it sounds like a product I need, I buy it, but I have never spent more than £50 on a pot of moisturiser and now I am wondering if I should.  Creme de la Mer has a huge Celeb following and is just about to celebrate its 10th birthday.  It was developed by Dr Max Huber, an aerospace scientist who had suffered deep facial scarring after an accident in his lab (they failed to tell you what the accident was) and after several years of research he created the Miracle Broth from Marine Algaes and minerals, that not only healed his disfigurement but was found to have a smoothing effect on lines and wrinkles.  The brand has expanded to include eye-creams, body creams and a concentrate that can treat super sensitive post surgical skin (no I won't be buying any to sort out the awful scar on Uni girls ear, she can have Bio Oil).  A new addition to the range has recently launched and for £210 you can buy The Regenerating Serum which supports the natural production of youth proteins like Collagen and elastin and contains tiny particals of gold which act as a h-tech skin conductor to Firm.  Sounds great doesn't it and according to most Beauty Editors and the Creams users, it really does work.  Have you tried it, if so what do you think? I may try the moisturiser but I doubt if I would ever pay £210 for a serum, afterall, Fillers and a "Jokers" mouth, would last much longer....
Creme de la mer is available from John Lewis
The very reasonably priced organic skincare range from Liz Earle is available here
and you can check out the Eve Lom Cult Cleanser and full range here


  1. I used Creme de la Mer but got dreadful blackheads on my nose. Classy! It is good but very rich. I would use the serum I think as it would plump up the face, the cream did but I then switched to Environ which is great.

  2. OK, when I was in my 20s I decided to try La Mer - it was THE thing then (moreso even than now) and I spent 200 bucks on a small pot of it and discovered, given my insanely oily skin, that it was entirely wrong for me. Subsequently (years later) I read in a number of credible sources that it was a scam - that it costs about 3 bucks to make and it's all glycerin and chemical (like something you could get at the drug store). It's simply a celebrity cult product - and incredibly well marketed.

    Save your bucks on that.

    PS: My oily complexion - which tortured me till recently (and still does in the heat of the summer) is probably nature's botox! Ha.

  3. I havent tried Creme de la mer, I did enquire but they didnt have any samples - expensively learnt rule, if they dont have a sample dont buy it! The best moisturise / day cream I have found is Olay multi radiance it gives skin a glow and has sunscrean for about £6. I also use St Ives apricot scrub and Lush toner. I used to use all Clinique but it really did nothing for me, its too harsh. Though I do love their pore minimiser with anti shine. I also love Clarins beauty flash balm. Everything else I use is Chanel, they always give me big trial sizes and I have been blown away by every product I have tried. The best is the eye make up remover it feels just like water but totally obliterates waterproof mascara in seconds.

    P.s New giveaway for Chanel Particuliere on my blog

  4. My twins sister used it and it left her ultra greasy - as its so rich - save your money and get Boots No 7 protect and perfect serum in fact get the whole line and it will be less than le mer - only a good sunblock will be effective on your skin to prevent more damage. Nothing short of surgery can repair damage. BTW twins are fine now big scare but both ok just no eggs for the next 6 months until they mature a bit more and we can slowly introduce it back to them. Just had to experience their allergy the hard way!

  5. You can have botox under the eye and it will remove your wrinkles !
    I havent used the serum but have used creme de la mer and la prarie caviar cream... all the very nice, none as good as my chemist diprobase and a few injections :) Come and see my girl she charges £250 for all areas and is brilliant believe me the best I have had xxx

  6. I have really dry skin and nothing has ever treated it as well as creme de la mer.... I've used La Prairie which is even more expensive but always needed a serum as well as it wasn't moisturising enough. I'm now down to my last ever pot of C De La Mer...which I use a few times a week at night. I honestly think it is money well spent though.
    My skin is terrible at the moment because I can't afford to use it more often. :0(

  7. I'm sorry to hear that others have had bad experience with La Mer. What I have learned is that I only use it in the winter (I have combination skin - oily t-zone)- and use it mainly as a night cream.

    When I had my accident, once I was out of the coma - I asked my sister to get some - to put on my incisions that had closed. The ones where we used the cream healed quicker and have faded much nicer - than does we were not able to use cream on.

    BTW - it was an explosion (fire) that caused his scaring.

    I think you have to play around with products to see what works for you. Check out my blog - I to see what I use, if you like.

  8. Ageing is so hideous! I find it very difficult to watch my youth fading. I have looked after my skin much more religiously in the last five years or so. I was sent a freebie of Creme de la Mer and liked it but it there were no amazing results and there's no way I'd pay that much. Find a serum that suits your skin - I use Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect Intense a lot and Body Shop vitamin E and C, often all together (£19 and £12.50 - at that price you can throw much more on) and all of Lancome's creams are excellent if I feel like spending more. If you always put serum under your moisturiser it really makes a difference and never let your face get the sun again. A bit of fake tan will be enough. Another thing I'm going to try is supplements - Omega 3 and 6 and Udo's oil to put moisture in from the inside. I'll let you know how I get on. If it all goes wrong I'm going to Ruth's lady! xx

  9. I think that the only substance that is *really proven* to help wrinkles is retinoic acid. We have to get a prescription for it here in the US, but you may have easier access to it in the UK.

    I'm contemplating 'thermage' [], but I'm told that the only way to make a real difference is to go under the knife (terrifying, IMO).

  10. Hi there-a really good post and very interesting replies too. I've only sampled Creme de la Mer handcream from the Harrods restrooms, I thought it was gorgeous! I don't really have a rigid skincare routine, mainly because I don't really wear makeup that often.

  11. i love creme de la mer - it feels amazing! thinking if i use it in my 20s mayb the wrinkles will hold off for a while lol xxx

  12. Interesting. Usually I am the first to be victimised by a clever marketing campaign around any new beauty product. But Creme de la Mer? The price made me indeed resist. Could you please test for us and give us an honest verdict? Thanks :)

  13. I have always cared for my skin (right from my teens), with varying products over the years, expensive and cheaper!! I have skin like my mum (fairly dry and some wrinkles) - who didn't bother that much!! I'm never really convinced by very expensive facial products!! However, I just cannot bring myself to use Olay products!!!!

  14. I tried Creme de la Mer a couple of years ago. Loved the texture and smell, but it didn't make any improvement to my skin. Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect serum is my must have now, and also use night cream from the same range. When I first started using the serum I could really see actual real smoother skin.

  15. Have never tried Creme de la Mer but have been tempted. God the fillers thing sounds a little scary and drastic! If you test out the CDLM let us know what you think. Am about to give a new No 7 Protect and Perfect Brightening day cream a go after getting it instead of Clarins this time around. I think short of surgery, nothing repairs that well. But Christina is right - I will be keeping my face out of the sun in Marbella this year and going fake instead! x


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