The history of Crème de la Mer began with Dr. Max Huber, an aerospace scientist who suffered a horrific accident when a routine experiment exploded in his face. He was left with severe chemical burns and the routes to recovery offered by medicine and science proved ineffective. Exasperated but far from helpless, he set out on a 12 year long journey comprising 6,000 experiments before pioneering the product all we beauty junkies know as Crème de la Mer. This so-called ‘Miracle Broth’ was inspired by the Pacific and is a timeless blend of sea kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, iron, Vitamins, C, E and B12, plus oils of citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa and sunflower combined in a 3-4 month process called biofermentation. Since it’s founding Crème de la Mer has been one of the most renowned skincare ranges in the business, so when we heard Dr. Tina Alster, the Crème de la Mer global skincare advisor, was visiting Ireland last week we had to meet her. Joining some of Ireland’s leading beauty writers in the Restaurant on the third floor of Brown Thomas we sampled endless berrie scones and La Mer’s latest delights – the Yanks drop the ‘Crème de’ (and industry people her drop the de la Mer!)– while listening to Dr. Alster talk about what the product means to her and how we Irish girls, and guys, need to take better care of our skin and our faces, what she terms ‘the money shot’. As the Founding Director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and a clinical Professor of Dermatology at Georgetown University Medical Centre with degrees and honours from Duke University and Yale, you can be guaranteed that Dr. Alster knows what she’s on about. Here are some of her top tips:
Use More Sunscreen
Irish weather is what we call moody if we’re being polite. Our summers can either fall prey to an endless St. Swithin’s or round-trip excursions to H&M for sunglasses. Dr. Alster is all about being pre-emptive where the sky gods are concerned. “Most of us, including myself, do not put on enough sun screen,” she admonishes. And even if you are feeling smug about your morning application of SPF you might not be putting on enough. “I always say that maybe you’re getting half the number on the bottle. You should be using one whole ounce – a big shot glass to cover the whole body…you should never have left over sun screen after a week at the shore.” Dr. Alster highly recommends investing in La Mer’s SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid for the months ahead.
Don’t Use Scrubs
You may think you’re doing tired skin a favour with a healthy onslaught of dirt-attacking granules, but be careful. We’re a nation of “way too sensitive” sisters. Scrubs end up causing microcuts, lead to inflammation and if you have a tendency to be sensitive they make things worse. So first order of business regarding cleansing skin is to use a cream cleanser that is gentle on your skin – especially if you’re over 35. Or, if you’re younger, use a non-alcohol, non-irritating alcoholic gel cleanser.
Invest In A Clairsonic
“The Clairsonic is fabulous.” Dr. Alster, along with everyone else who has taken the plunge, is evangelical about the oscillating cleansing brush. “I don’t go anywhere without it,” she claims. She uses it in the shower and not just on her face, but on her neck, her chest and in the winter on her arms and elbows to battle dryness. “Use it everywhere and then your face is set to go.” Our Ellie is a noted fan.
Toner Can Go-Go
“I’m not a toner girl,” Dr. Aster claims, dismissing their scheduled necessity. However if you feel you need toner she advises sticking to the non-alcoholic La Mer one.
The Miracle Product
The Concentrate contains the highest doses of the La Mer Miracle Broth that you can get your legal hands on and everyone who has been lucky enough to try it agrees. It’s basically The Super Serum. Incredibly potent and brimming with the best possible nutrients for your skin this is the one investment Dr. Alster insists you make.
Jeanne Sutton @jeannedesutun