Creme de la Mer – Review – Does it work? Are there any affordable alternatives?

Creme de la Mer – A Luxury Cream

Creme de La Mer is a cult classic high end brand in the beauty world, but does it work? Are there any dupes and affordable alternatives? Keep on reading to get the answers!

Crème de la Mer is the most popular product from la Mer and it has been loved by women and men all over the world for countless of years.  It’s a pricey luxury cream. A cream which make us ask one key question. Does it work? Do you have to pay more, to get more? Is Crème de la Mer moisturizer special? Does it have something other moisturizing creams don’t?

This iconic cream is full of mystery. It has rave reviews and it has some negative will-never-buy-again reviews.

Is Crème de la Mer worth spending that much more more money on than a drugstore moisturizer? 

The Story Behind Creme de la Mer

Crème de la Mer has quite an exciting backstory. It was the life’s work of a rocket physicist known as Dr. Max Huber.

During his routine lab work Dr. Max Huber sustained extreme burns to large areas of his skin. Determined to heal his burns, he spended the next 12 years to create a solution and worked with Macrocystis pyrifera, a type of kelp found in the ocean near his home. In 1965 Crème de la Mer was invented. The cream worked so well that it healed his scars, until there was no traces of the accident. Not only did he cure himself, but he also invented what fans swear is the best face cream of all time.

The fermented sea kelp was named MiracleBroth and it is the foundation of the La Mer skin care brand. Huber sold the cream himself and it became a big sensation. After his death in 1991, Estée Lauder purchased the brand and turned it into the billion dollar brand it is today.

What is MiracleBroth?

Crème de la Mer’s MiracleBroth is the signature ingredient in every LaMer product, and the golden liquid comes from fermented sea kelp that has to be picked at optimal time, which depends on the lunar cycle as well as tides.

Sea Kelp is a nutrient-rich plant and is known to be hydrating and anti-inflammatory. When applied in skincare products, it is supposed to reduce redness and irritation.

Huber exposed the sea kelp to sound and light waves, including a recording of the previous fermentation’s bubbling sound. He found that the sound and light exposure increased the kelp’s potency, and Estee Lauder continues to adopt the same strategy today.

The Claims

Crème de la Mer is considered the Holy Grail of face creams for many reasons. It’s supposed to be deeply hydrating and nourishing, and claims to visibly plumps the skin and fills fine lines, while soothing and calming skin. It also helps improve skin texture and makes pores appear less visible.

The cream also has its own “application routine.” Scoop out a pea sized amount of the cream, and warm it up between the fingers until it becomes transparent. If you skip this step, the cream can feel tacky and sticky. Once the cream is heated up, which supposed to release the benefits of the MiracleBroth, it should be pressed onto the skin to absorb.

What ingredients are in Crème de la Mer?

Apart from the signature MiracleBroth, Crème de la Mer is formulated with some other key ingredients like lime tea, mineral oil and oils derived from sesame, sunflower and eucalyptus. The creamier version of Crème de La Mer, The Moisturizing Soft Cream, also contains shea butter. 

Creme de La Mer Does it Work?

Crème de La Mer is one of the most iconic and well known face creams in the world, but does it actually work? There are countless La Mer reviews that claim skin has dramatically improved after using Creme de la Mer.

But there are also some negative reviews. The main criticism is that the users seem to expect miracles, which no product can deliver. The cream is best suited for mature skin and younger users may find it too rich.

One of the other major criticisms has to do with the ingredients. The first ingredient is algae extract, and the second ingredient in Crème de la Mer is mineral oil and the third ingredient is petrolatum (which is basically petroleum jelly, or Vaseline).

Is Mineral Oil Comedogenic?

Based on the new findings, skincare-grade mineral oil is not a comedogenic substance. A comedogenic substance is anything that can clog your pores and cause comedones, which are what we call blackheads and whiteheads.

This “list” of comedogenic substances was created a long time ago to help people identify problem chemicals and ingredients that might make their acne worse. But when it comes to mineral oil in skincare, the ingredient shouldn’t be on the list.

In fact, mineral oil is often found in the ingredient list of noncomedogenic products. These are skin care products that do not contain any pimple or acne-causing ingredients. That being said, mineral oil isn’t a cure for acne either.

Mineral oil works as a barrier between the skin and the air. It doesn’t penetrate the skin due to the large size of its molecules. It acts as an occlusive agent, which means it prevents water loss through your skin. It will not dry out your skin or cause premature aging. 

My thoughts of Creme de la Mer

In my opinion Creme de la Mer is one of the best hydrating and nourishing moisturizers on the market. And believe me, I’ve tried a lot. 

I have sensitive, combination to dry skin but my skin tolerates this cream so well. It doesn’t break me out and it keeps my skin plumped and hydrated. My fine lines and wrinkles appears less visible, even during the cold winter months.

I noticed a big difference when I realized that the application technique was important for the result. When I started to warm the cream between my fingertips before application and press it in to the skin I was able to see a huge difference on the level of hydration in my skin as well as my fine lines appearing less visible.

I also noticed that my hyperpigmentation decreased which may be a result of using Creme de la Mer in combination with my actives like AHA and BHA.

Cream de la Mer is for sure a splurge but you get what you pay for and for me it’s worth every penny for the obvious results it delivers. I will always have a jar of this magic cream in my cabinet.

You should only use a pea size amount of product so the product will last you a really long time which makes the cream a good value for money. But as with all skincare products it’s individual what’s workning and not.

Down below I have listed some great dupes for Creme de la Mer if you prefer some more affordable alternatives.

Creme de la Mer is available:

Worldwide – Here

Sweden – Here

Crème de la Mer Ingredients

Seaweed (Algae) Extract, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Petrolatum,Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, 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, 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.

Substitutes and Affordable Alternatives to Crème de la Mer?

Creme de la mer dupe

There are plenty of other dupes and more affordable alternatives to Creme de la Mer which can help boost skin’s hydration and improve texture. 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – the top ingredient colloidal oatmeal helps form a barrier on top of your skin. It works like mineral oil, but in a natural way. It also soothes, protects and hydrates. There’s antioxidant green tea extract, skin repairing ceramides and skin tone improving liquorice root extract. 


Worldwide – Here, 

Sweden – Here

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Squalane, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and vitamin E lock in moisture to deliver deep and continuous hydration. Glacial Glycoprotein derived from sea glaciers is a great moisture locker and skin condition booster. Another great La Mer alternative.


Worldwide- Here

US – Here,

Sweden – Here

Aveeno’s Daily Moisturising Cream – A great La Mer drugstore option, that also is formulated with mineral oil and paraffin, contains antioxidant vitamin E and skin protecting colloidal oatmeal.


Worldwide – Here,

Sweden – Here


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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. My opinion, and review of the product are completely honest and unrelated to any affiliate relationship. I’ve bought the products with my own money.


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