Image: George Ong
May 06 2011
Lucia van der Post
Crème de la Mer has long been a cult name in the beauty world, its fans ready to pay its lofty prices, secure in the belief that it’s worth it. There was a time when the original Moisturizing Cream could be bought only in the US; some early adopters were so addicted to it that friends and acquaintances were leaned on to bring back a pot when they ventured across the pond. These days Crème de la Mer is available in most good cosmetics departments and its array of products has grown – but each still has at its heart the original Miracle Broth, famously created by Dr Max Huber to help heal his burns after an accident in his laboratory some 40 years ago now.
But while most of Crème de la Mer’s products are much promoted and talked about, there is a rather special intensive treatment that is never advertised, little marketed, but which ardent fans are talking about among themselves. It’s called The Essence (pictured) and it’s aimed at the woman who already loves the Moisturizing Cream but whose skin is looking depleted and needs something even more active.
Unlike serums, which are intended to be used every day in conjunction with a moisturiser, The Essence is a one-off 21-day intensive programme which is designed to revitalise and renew the skin. It takes the original Miracle Broth, distils it into its purest form and incorporates it in much higher quantities than are found in the daily creams. On top of that, it includes two ferments which make it even more effective. There’s the Dormancy Ferment, which uses essence of narcissus, a bulb that hibernates in winter and which is used here to insulate vulnerable cells, allowing them to rest while the skin focuses on renewal. And then there’s the Mariponic Ferment, made from sea parsley, known for its ability to store energy, which is used to boost the broth’s healing properties.
Part of what I love about it is its absolute simplicity. For 21 days, morning and night, you use nothing other than The Essence. At first I was worried that my skin wouldn’t feel properly nourished – its texture is rather like that of a milky lotion – but in fact it was beautifully moisturised.
You will need to ask for it at a Crème de la Mer counter, where one of the consultants will talk you through all its benefits. If you already love the Moisturizing Cream and are prepared to part with £1,530 for the 21-day course, then this could be the treatment for you; I was seriously pleased with the added glow and the firm texture.