Skincare Review: Crème de la Mer

by PJ on Friday, April 25, 2008

in -Crème de la Mer, skincare, skincare - cleansing/toning, skincare - moisturizing/others

(Crème de la Mer The Cleansing Fluid)
(image from

After the review of the loose powder from Crème de la Mer two weeks ago, today I am reviewing three skincare products from the brand.

Crème de la Mer The Cleansing Fluid

This is basically a cleansing oil, like those from Shu Uemura, DHC, and RMK. However, I would like it more if it were simply a cleansing oil and nothing else.

This cleansing oil contains tourmaline, pearl powder, mica, and titanium dioxide, which act as mild exfoliants in this product. If you like constant exfoliation done mildly on a regular basis and want to save time, perhaps this two-in-one product, which cleanses relatively effectively, might be worth considering. (On a minor note, the texture is slightly on the thick side, somewhere close to DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil.)

However, for me, I am not sure I would exfoliate my face when there is still makeup on. Also, after using this for the third time during one week, my face was a little red after rising off the cleansing oil. If you have sensitive skin that doesn’t handle regular exfoliation well, then this cleansing oil might not be for you.

(Crème de la Mer The Refining Facial)
(image from

Crème de la Mer The Refining Facial

This exfoliator has a dense and creamy texture. The physical exfoliating particles are fine enough not to irritate my skin. (I use extremely gentle large circular motions.)

The creamy texture is mainly down to kaolin, which is often used in deep-cleansing masks for its absorbent properties. After using it, if you find your complexion suddenly becomes much and almost unnaturally brighter, it is not because tourmaline and diamond powder have buffed off the dead skin cells. It is because you haven’t rinsed off the kaolin properly.

The white cast looks like the kind from a high-SPF sunscreen product (with physical sunscreen ingredients). I find that it is not easy to rinse it off completely, and extra care needs to be taken to make sure that it is fully removed. (I use a wet cotton pad for extra help.) I certainly don’t want clay on my skin before applying other skincare products.

Overall, I find this exfoliator satisfactory but not outstanding. Also, please note that it contains spearmint and lime extracts, which can be skin irritants.

(Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Lotion)
(image from

Crème de la Mer The Moisturizing Lotion

This is essentially a lighter version of the original Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream. The texture is definitely lighter, and it goes on and spreads more easily.

But this is still a very occlusive moisturizer, with petrolatum (vaseline) and shea butter high on the ingredient list. Even though it is lighter than the original cream and absorbs slightly better, it is still not suitable for people with normal-to-oily and oily skin. People with dry skin would probably find it more pleasant to use.

This product contains a small amount of niacin (niacinamide), which is vitamin B3 and has shown to increase ceramide and fatty acid levels in the skin. (Please check out the link to see niacinamide’s entry on Paula Begoun’s ingredient dictionary.) However, niacin is far down on the ingredient list and it is after lime extract, which can be a skin irritant.

(If you are interested in what niacinamide can do for your skin, several products from Olay contain niacinamide as one of the major ingredients, including Multi-Radiance Daily Illuminating UV Fluid and Complete Care Night Enriched Cream.)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Allysia-May Saturday, April 26, 2008


Another great review for the La Mer line. I’ve been considering getting their moisturiser as it seems to have rave reviews but my skin in combination/oily and sensitive so if you still think the lotion is too rich then i wouldn’t bother buying it.

How would you compare the texture to Estee Lauder’s moisturising lotion for combination/oily skin?


Riviera_Underground Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hi, have you been to Japan?

Tokyo, and Asakusa?



lyn Saturday, April 26, 2008

it has petrolatum?! i had no idea la mer would use petrolatum cos i was under the impression that it’s a relatively cheap ingredient.


PJ Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hi Allysia-May,

Thank you very much! I am happy you enjoyed this review! :)

The only moisturizer from Estée Lauder that I have used is DayWear Plus for Oily Skin, which I do really like. It is quite suitable for people with oily skin, and it does not have irritating ingredients like alcohol that so many skincare products for oily skin have.

Texture-wise, DayWear Plus for Oily Skin is lighter than the Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Lotion. It absorbs a lot better as well.

Hope it helps a little. Let me know if you have any other question!

Thank you for leaving your comment again! :)


PJ Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hi Naoto,

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Yes, I have been to Japan. I went to Tokyo and I thoroughly enjoyed the city. I am planning to go to Tokyo again next year.

I didn’t go to Asakusa, but I have actually planned to go there next year. :)

Thank you very much for your comment. Hope to hear from you again! :)


PJ Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hi Lyn,

You are right that petrolatum is not particularly an exotic ingredient.

But, as you know, it doesn’t mean that it is not a good moisturizing ingredient. It is very helpful for people with very dry skin.

Another point here is that expensive and inexpensive skincare products often don’t differ a lot in ingredients. Also, exotic and rare ingredients are not necessarily more helpful to the skin. Even if some of them are, the amount in a product is usually so minute that they don’t really have any real benefit to the skin.

I think the bottom line is that prices usually reflect how much cache a company wants to build around a brand and they usually have little to do with either the ingredients (common/exotic, good/bad) and how well the products perform.

Thank you very much for leaving your comment! :)


Allysia-May Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hey PJ,

Thanks for the clarification. I was actually asking because i also use Estee Lauder’s daywear plus for oily skin. I guess i’ll just stick to that then.

Do you know any moisturisers for oily skin that has SPF 30 in it?


PJ Monday, April 28, 2008

Hi Allysia-May,

You are very welcome! DayWear Plus for Oily Skin is a very good moisturizer. But, as you might know, I am using Olay’s Daily Illuminating UV Fluid at the moment. I find that DayWear Plus is not moisturizing enough for me in winter (and the other DayWear Plus ones are too rich for me). I find that I can use the Olay one all year around.

As for a daytime moisturizer with SPF 30 for oily skin, the closest one I know (that I have used) is from the Japanese brand Sofina. It is called Very Very UV Cut Milk. It is very light and has SPF 24 and UVA protection. It actually has alcohol, but I find that I can use it when the weather is very hot (30+ degrees) and humid.

It is not available in the UK or in Australia. But let me know if you are interested in buying it. I can recommend a couple of websites.

Thank you very much for stopping by again! :)


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