Crème De La Mer – Myth Or Reality?

Crème De La Mer – Myth Or Reality?
Photographed by Veronika Gulyaeva for SAUCE

Photographed by Veronika Gulyaeva for SAUCE

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CULT CLASSIC CRÈME DE LA MER – Here's everything you need to know 


There are some beauty legends that inspire adoration and suspicion in equal measures. And none more so than the original cult classic – and seriously pricey – moisturiser, Crème de la Mer.

The literally named ‘cream of the sea’ is the queen of all moisturisers and go-to for many celebrities and society beauties (it’s said that a New York socialite attempted to purchase 120 jars of the cream!). Based on myth and legend, it seems to have stood the test of time, remaining firmly on the bestseller and must-have lists of beauty aficionados around the world.


The legend of Max Huber

As legend goes, it was invented by a German-born aerospace physicist, Max Huber who suffered severe burns in a lab accident while building a rocket stabiliser. He spent 12 years trying to find this elusive elixir of youth that would miraculously heal his burns; and he finally found Crème de la Mer. It healed his skin and gave him such a youthful complexion, that he sold his secret elixir to a select group of contacts. Estée Lauder then bought the brand from his daughter after his death, and the rest is beauty history.

Seriously, you could not make this stuff up.


La Mer scientists play songs for the cream (TRUE STORY!)

6,000 experiments and 12 years of search led Huber to a fermentation processed that transformed sea kelp a.k.a. the miracle broth. While each batch is fermenting (which takes about three months) technicians play the broth a tape of carefully selected sounds. Yup, you heard right. 

Andrew Bevacqua, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at the Max Huber Research Labs was just as surprised he was first introduced to it, “We tried it without the sound waves, and the data showed that when it had sound waves, the broth was much more active.” in an interview with The Cut. He concluded, the sound waves created an impact on chemical reactions.

Science can be magical, right?


The technique 

There is a very specific technique to putting this stuff on. Negative reviews seem to come from people who tried rubbing it in, just as they would a normal moisturiser. Rookie mistake! 

You have to warm it in between your fingers, before patting it or pressing it into the skin, almost like you would do with a good foundation.

There is an almost evangelical wonder to these reviewers, as they update their status after realising their mistake and swear they are now converted to the church of the sea.


Here’s the million-dollar question – does it actually work? 

Let’s face it, we all have eye-wateringly expensive things in our makeup drawer that make us feel intensely guilty every time we look at them. But Creme de la Mer is one of those elusive beauty unicorns – we know it exists, but can we take the plunge to see if it’s really real?  All you have to do is type in ‘Crème de la Mer review’ and your screen is flooded with people who swear it made more difference to their skin than any plastic surgery.

Sauce's Editorial Director Zeenat Wilkinson swears by it, "My aunt has been using it for over a decade, and her skin is still so luminous and glow-y. Also, I have been religiously using it all winter, and it's the only thing saving my dry flaky skin! Créme de la Mer has been my saving grace"

So have you tried Crème de la Mer? Did it work for you? I would love to know!


Helen Easson is a self-confessed beauty addict, with a particular weakness for beautiful perfumes. An international freelance writer and author. Helen’s debut novel, The Legend of Jack Riddle, was published by Capstone Publishing (USA) and Raintree (UK) in 2018. She is currently writing my second middle-grade fiction novel, find out more about Helen’s work here

Helen is based in Auckland, New Zealand