As one of the most expensive products La Prairie, or any other cosmetic line for that matter, sells, you might be intrigued if you weren’t so shocked by the price. Does it really contain anything that can dramatically change the face of aging skin? Of course not. For all the claims of DNA repair, Smart Crystals, and immediate firming, La Prairie’s formula is mostly water, slip agents, and alcohol. This much alcohol in an anti-aging product that costs more than $600 per ounce is what should be rare. Alcohol causes cell death and free-radical damage, and that’s not something you should be paying even $1 for, let alone $700.
This serum-like formula also contains problematic amounts of plant extracts, including horsetail. What about the platinum powder? Platinum, despite its use in making exquisite jewelry, has no special anti-aging benefit, or any benefit, for skin whatsoever. Platinum is prized and expensive in jewelry, but that value does not transfer to skin care; the same goes for gold and silver. The only association of platinum with skin that we could find was that it is included with other substances in some medications for chemotherapy treatments, for its cytotoxic capabilities—it kills cells (Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology, August 2007, pages 3266–3273). That is, it’s used to kill rapidly growing cells to restore equilibrium and to shrink tumors, but that has nothing to do with topical application or with restoring youth; after all, killing healthy cells is not the goal of good skin care. In all honesty, you’d be better off buying a platinum ring and rubbing that on your skin than using this product. The platinum won’t help your skin, but at least you’ll have a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear as compensation!
Colloidal Platinum maintains skin's electrical balance to magnify hydration and protection. Hesperidin Smart Crystals protect the skin's DNA repair mechanism. Resveratrol, a potent anti-oxidant, protects the skin from environmental pollutants. Invisible tensing agent gives an immediate appearance and feeling for firmness, while a collagen-stimulating peptide firms and diminishes wrinkles. Skin brightening complex inhibits pigment-producing substances in the skin. Kombuchka, the "long-life" mushroom, improves brightness and luster.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Platinum Powder, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Xanthan Gum Crosspolymer, Nasturtium Officinale Flower/Leaf Extract, Zinc PCA, Hesperidin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Niacinamide, Malachite Extract, Disodium Edta, Poloxamer 188, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Carbomer, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, Silica, Centella Asiatica Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hematite Extract, Sodium Bicarbonate,Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Silver Oxide, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Geraniol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, 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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!