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Behind the La Mer mystique |

Fashion and Beauty

Behind the La Mer mystique

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau -

What beauty junkie hasn’t heard of Crème de la Mer? When it first came out in the US, this “cream of the sea” was as notorious for its hefty price tag ($110 for one ounce) as it was for its lengthy celebrity fan-girl list: Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall and Nicolette Sheridan, to name a few.

Then there was the mythic back story — the skincare equivalent of a Marvel superhero tale: a brilliant scientist suffers a terrible accident that covers him in burns; no cream on the market can help him so he makes his own cure, fermenting marine ingredients into a “miracle broth” that regenerates and smoothes his skin.

That brilliant scientist was aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber, and his miracle broth (which he invented over 40 years ago) was harnessed by the Estee Lauder Group of Companies as the active ingredient in Crème de la Mer. The crème became such a phenomenon that miracle broth is now the basis for an extensive line of La Mer skincare and cosmetic products.

For those who refuse to take their skincare at face value, the recipe for miracle broth goes something like this: take generous quantities of sea kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, lecithin, vitamins C, E, B12, citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa and sunflower oils, distill and ferment for three to four months. Voila, hope in a jar, tube and pump bottle.

Inspired by the broth’s concept of fermentation, Rustan’s recently issued the latest addition to the La Mer range with a wine-pairing lunch (wine is fermented, get it?) catered by talented young chef Robert Bengzon.

Following on the heels of the successful Radiant Infusion is The Hydrating Infusion, a moisturizing product that is a cross between a serum and a toner. “It’s a new category of product, and it prepares the skin to maximize and receive all the benefits of Crème de la Mer,” says Sandra Lacson, La Mer’s brand manager.

The Max Huber Research Labs claims that if the skin is too dry, the moisture barrier becomes overtaxed, making it even more difficult for skin to absorb the hydration that it needs. Like pre-dampening a sponge, The Hydrating Infusion pre-wets the skin with a readily absorbable burst of moisture to prime it for the crème.

Dispensed from a pump bottle, the infusion’s serum-like texture thins into a refreshing gel upon application. For this product, Huber’s labs have formulated a miracle broth from bio-fermented farmed algae and dark-green sea plants from Japan, Indonesia, France and the United States. There’s also a bit of sea silt involved — yes, we’re talking minerals culled from the sea floor — like iron, manganese and copper to stimulate collagen synthesis; vitamins C, B5, B12 and magnesium to fortify the skin’s outer layer; and magnetized tourmaline to boost the effect of the other ingredients, sealing in moisture and preventing further moisture loss.

Used in concert with Crème de la Mer, The Hydrating Infusion plumps skin and helps reverse the visible signs of aging.

Considering the luxe prices of the La Mer range (The Hydrating Infusion is P6,750 for 125 ml), I would strongly recommend testing first to find the regimen that’s right for you.

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La Mer is exclusively available at Rustan’s Makati, tel. 812-2507.

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