La Prairie

Cellular Cream Platinum Rare

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 680.00
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Brand Overview

Supposedly, real platinum is the justification for the absolutely insane price tag of this moisturizer. If this really contains any discernible amount of platinum, what a waste of a good metal. What you are supposed to believe, and undoubtedly there will be those who do believe it, is that applying platinum and La Prairie’s “Exclusive Smart Crystals” (now if that isn’t new age mumbo jumbo lingo we don’t know what is) are said to guard your skin’s youthfulness. Next thing you know La Prairie is going to be selling shares of the Brooklyn Bridge at its counters all over the world.

We're tempted to stop here because this doesn’t really deserve a second more of our time, and definitely not yours, but just in case someone really wants to understand what kind of formulation this price tag has affixed to it we'll finish.

First, the amount of platinum powder is a mere dusting. However, even in greater amounts, platinum (despite its use in making exquisite jewelry) has no special anti-aging or any benefit for skin whatsoever. La Prairie simply chose to use it because they were banking that platinum’s jewelry reputation for being prized and expensive would transfer to skin care, thus allowing them to set an extremely high price for what, in many ways, couldn’t be a more basic, ordinary moisturizer for dry skin.

The only possible association of platinum with skin is how it functions in some chemotherapy medications. It’s included in these medications for its cytotoxic (i.e., it kills cells) capabilities when combined with other substances, but that has nothing to do with topical application or with restoring youth (Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology, August 2007, pages 3266–3273). That is, it has to do with killing rapidly growing cells to restore equilibrium and to shrink tumors. In all honesty, you’d be better off buying a platinum ring and rubbing that on skin than using this product. The platinum won’t be helpful but at least you’ll have a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear as compensation!

The amount of mica in this moisturizer is enough to cast a shimmering glow on skin, but that effect is strictly cosmetic and has nothing to do with “smart crystals.” Actually, it would be much smarter to use a lightweight shimmer lotion to revive the radiance of aging skin than this product! This does contain some beneficial plant extracts and antioxidants, but not nearly as much as it should, especially at this price. And the fact that they chose jar packaging is just maddening, so any beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable.

Even if you were undeterred by cost and overinflated claims, this product would still not be recommended because it contains silver oxide. Silver oxide is a germicide composed of silver nitrate and an alkaline hydroxide (a metallic compound bound to a metal atom). Silver nitrate is known to be caustic to skin, while silver itself can cause a permanent bluish discoloration on skin (Sources: www.naturaldatabase.com; and Colloidal Silver: A Literature Review: Medical Uses, Toxicology, and Manufacture, 2nd Edition, Clear Springs Press, LLC, John Hill).

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

The most precious metal on Earth now empowers your most precious asset; your skin. Pure Platinum inspires perfect balance to improve hydration, protection and receptivity to nutrients. Exclusive Smart Crystals help guard skin's youthful appearance, actively reducing the effects of time resulting in noticeable lift, firmness and the reduction of lines and wrinkles. Climate-activated hydration adjusts to changing humidity levels and temperatures, continuously providing the perfect level of moisture. Each Cellular Cream Platinum Rare is handcrafted in a package that combines the grace and power of ancient sacred geometry with space-age sleek minimalism. The accompanying applicator has been crafted using the chemical symbol for Platinum, which combines the Sun and Moon, with Swarovski crystal to symbolize the capturing of light.

Water, Butylene Glycol, C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Myristyl Myristate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Mica, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Tribehenin, Carbomer, Alcohol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Hexylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycoproteins, Hesperidin, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ceramide 2, Carnosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, PEG-8, Lactic Acid, Poloxamer 188, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Tocopherol, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Hematite Extract, Malachite Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Platinum Powder, Silver Oxide, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides

La Prairie At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the makeup categories present at least one good, though needlessly expensive, option.

Weaknesses: Very expensive; overreliance on jar packaging; many products contain a potentially irritating amount of astringent horsetail extract; no effective skin-lightening options; poor options for anyone dealing with blemishes (though La Prairie is concerned primarily with selling wrinkle creams anyway).

La Prairie has been at the forefront in the introduction of expensive anti-aging products for more than three decades. Many of the products in this originally Swiss skin-care line are called "cellular treatment." After a while, it all starts sounding silly. The attempt to align these products with the concept of being able to affect skin at the cellular level is over the top, although when it comes to making the ordinary sound extraordinary, La Prairie excels.

Assuming your skin could improve with these products, the prices alone might cause premature aging! So what do the women who can safely afford these products get for their money? The prestige of knowing they can afford them, period. High-priced skin-care lines attract women who think that the dollars they spend will buy them something special that most other women can't afford. To some extent, they're right: most women can't afford these products. Yet anyone who reads and understands the ingredient lists would find that price doesn't reliably translate into having better skin. What you're really getting from this line is a barrage of look-younger-now claims not backed up by one shred of substantiated scientific evidence, and a group of unimpressive formulations.

A particularly egregious error appears in the number of La Prairie moisturizers (and my goodness, does this company love moisturizers!) that arrive in jar packaging. La Prairie is in-the-know about the importance of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients for skin, yet almost all of their products that contain such ingredients ignore their vulnerability to oxidation. Containers like these ensure that these products will deteriorate shortly after you begin using them. Considering the premium prices, that is an almost unforgivable offense. At least the company gets their facial sunscreen right by including sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients. However, it's interesting to find that a visit to the La Prairie counter involves a lot more discussion about their moisturizers, ampoules, and other "treatment" products, while all the time you know that the only reliable antiwrinkle product everyone needs to use is sunscreen.

For more information about La Prairie, owned by Beiersdorf, call (800) 821-5718 or visit www.laprairie.com.

La Prairie Makeup

The brief makeup section in La Prairie's catalog poses the question "Consider the number of hours a day you wear makeup. Shouldn't the foundation you wear be an extension of your treatment program?" Well, calling most of La Prairie's skin-care products a "treatment" is a bit of a joke as what they seem to mean by "treatment benefit" has to do with the company's Cellular Complex, but that isn't complex in the least. This complex is primarily glycoproteins. Although it's true that glycoproteins are an integral part of the skin's intercellular matrix, they are far from the only element skin needs to look and feel its best. Functioning primarily as water-binding agents, glycoproteins won't firm, lift, or rejuvenate skin cells in the manner La Prairie would like you to believe. Further, of the makeup products below, only the ultra-pricey foundations contain a significant amount of this complex, and they have drawbacks of their own.Overall, La Prairie's makeup leaves much to be desired, especially given the high to ludicrous prices for what amount to ordinary cosmetics. A few of the products have supple, silky textures, but the expense is hard to justify when similar items are available for substantially less from so many other lines. Many of the products below earned happy face ratings, but keep in mind that you do not have to acquiesce to La Prairie's prices to beautify your face.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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