This blend of oils is supposed to be really special – and, therefore, worth the astronomical price tag - because it's made with what La Prairie calls "Swiss Cellular Ice Crystal Complex." Is anyone else besides us gagging at this nonsense, and at this ridiculous price tag?
While this sounds high-tech, this is basically just a blend of extracts from flowers that grow and thrive in the Swiss Alps. La Prairie claims that by including these extracts your skin will be infused with the same sort of environmental resilience these flowers exhibit in their natural habitat. How plants survive in harsh weather conditions doesn't translate to your skin in any way, shape, or form. It's nonsense. For example, many plants thrive in sunlight, but if you were to apply those plant extracts to your skin and then expose it to sunlight without sunscreen, your skin would get seriously damaged. In short, these types of claims are sheer marketing foolishness; they have nothing to do with how this product can potentially benefit your skin, and it certainly doesn't need to cost this much!
Marketing jargon aside, this is a blend of plant extracts combined with oils that include sweet almond, sunflower, and jojoba oils. While these oils are beneficial for moisturizing dry skin, they're certainly not uncommon and are found in other, far less expensive products. On the plus side, there are some antioxidants included in the mix, but again, there's nothing you couldn't find in other skin-care formulas that cost a lot less.
There are some missteps with this formula, as well. Although present in relatively low amounts, there are fragrance components that research has shown can irritate skin. Also problematic is the Arnica montana extract, a skin irritant that's associated with a high incidence of skin sensitization (Source: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, June 1996, pages 94–99). These ingredients have no place in a formula that's supposed to soothe skin!
In the end, for what you're paying, you should be getting so much more. If you are curious to try a facial oil, we recommend the ones rated "Best" or "Good" on Beautypedia.
This sheer, weightless dry oil instantly becomes one with your skin. By helping support your skin’s natural lipid barrier function, a combination of rare and pure oils in the Swiss Ice Crystal Complex seal moisture within your skin longer than ever thought possible. Your skin will glow, look smooth and reborn.
Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet) Almond) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Soldanella Alpina Extract, Saxifraga Oppositifolia Extract, Algae Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Rubus Idaeus Leaf Cell Culture, Ubiquinone, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Alchemilla Alpina Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Silybum Marianum Ethyl Ester, C10-18 Triglycerides, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Tocopheryl Triglyceride, Fragrance (Parfum), Farnesol, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Butyphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol.
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!