When it comes to cosmetics we’re always on the lookout for some wondrous potion that can magically sort our beauty needs, and so when we heard about a “Miracle Broth” we just had to know more! (No, it’s not your granny’s chicken soup designed to cure all maladies under the sun). This “Miracle Broth” is at the heart of all Crème de la Mer products, including their Moisturising Cream. The Crème de la Mer Moisturising Cream retails from a steep £105 and promises to deliver a rejuvenated and renewed complexion, with fewer visible wrinkles and pores, for even the driest complexion. Let’s take a closer look at what’s inside this cosmetic cocktail…

Seaweed – it may be green and slimy but it can have glorious effects!
This moisturiser contains seaweed (algae) extract. Algae are extremely diverse organisms that have adapted to living in all sorts of harsh conditions by producing a wide range of compounds that can withstand heat, cold and UV radiation, amongst other stresses. Avid Beauty Geeks will know that the skin faces these stresses too, and so came the dawn of algae extracts in skin care!

Red algae produce special amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that can absorb UV light and so act as sunscreen. Green algae extracts have been found to regulate water distribution in the skin to prevent it drying out. Polysaccharides (long chain molecules) from brown algae are antioxidants and have structures that can be modified by other ingredients to be used to maintain structure in skin cells, potentially helping to keep wrinkles at bay. The type of algae used in the Crème de la Mer Moisturising Cream is not specified in the ingredients list, so we can’t pinpoint its exact benefits but algae overall seem to be useful!

Next up: mineral oil!
Mineral oil has high emolliency, which means it makes the skin very soft. It does this by trapping water in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the skin) and reducing transepidermal water loss (water loss through the skin). This method of moisturising works very effectively, as it tackles the problem of dehydrated skin head-on, rather than simply masking it. Mineral oil is made up of long chain molecules that are all straight and of the same length. This means they can form a tight woven network of molecules that help prevent the passage of water by forming a film-like layer with low permeability (that means it doesn’t let things like water pass through it!).

One advantage mineral oil has over many other oils (particularly vegetable oils) is that it isn’t easily degraded by things like light and exposure to air, which is particularly good news for products that come in pots and are exposed to air!

This oil sounds pretty good – got any more?!
Certain natural oils can be a godsend, having moisturising, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Sunflower seed oil is one of our old favourites, and it makes an appearance in this moisturiser. It has been shown to hydrate the skin and improve its general condition. A key component of sunflower seed oil is the fatty acid linoleic acid, which has been shown to improve the skin barrier function by boosting skin repair and development.

And finally in the line-up, we have beta-carotene!
Beta-carotene is a substance that the body converts into Vitamin A. Although there’s been debate about whether this is true in the past, studies with skin samples show that enzymes do exist in the body for this reaction (good news!). Vitamin A does a lot of good for the skin, including increasing collagen synthesis to help support the skin’s structure (especially as it ages). There are some reports around the web that vitamin A can help boost skin circulation to improve the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the skin, but we couldn’t find any real evidence to back this up.

Beta-carotene itself is also an antioxidant, helping protect skin cells from damage by bothersome reactive oxygen molecules that can result in skin wrinkling, loss of elasticity and even inflammation.

So what do we think? 
So there we have it: an array of key ingredients that we’re convinced lead to happy, smooth, thirst-quenched skin. There’s only one question on our minds – is it worth the price? Although this moisturiser looks like it has the ingredients for success, we really must point out that there are other moisturisers out there that have similar ingredients and similar effects! And many of these are a little lighter on the bank balance! We’d certainly want more specifics on the algae extracts used here so we can do more digging and see if this product is really worth its salt!

If price is a factor for you (it certainly is for us!), then this product probably isn’t for you. If you’re happy to splurge on a staple, this is one product that ticks the boxes, but we’ll be saving our pennies for a rainy day!

If you like the sound of this, and would like to try it for yourself, click HERE!

Exploring the potential of using algae in cosmetics. – Bioresource Technology
A review on the extensive skin benefits of mineral oil. – International Journal of Cosmetic Science
Effect of Olive and Sunflower Seed Oil on the Adult Skin Barrier: Implications for Neonatal Skin Care. – Pediatric Dermatology
Topical beta-carotene is converted to retinyl esters in human skin ex vivo and mouse skin in vivo. – Exp Dermatol
Image (thank you!): http://www1.bloomingdales.com/shop/product/la-mer-creme-de-la-mer?ID=455091