La PrairieWhite Caviar Spot Treatment
0.14 fl. oz. for $155
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

This is a skin-lightening product whose formula contains some potentially helpful ingredients, but enough problematic ingredients (and a prohibitive price) to make it not worth a second glance. The amount of alcohol (it’s the second ingredient) is cause for concern (see More Info for details), as is the inclusion of irritating plant extracts such as ginseng and horsetail.

The chief ingredient that can help lighten brown spots is a vitamin C derivative known as ascorbyl glucoside. You can find this and other forms of vitamin C in dozens of other products that not only cost less (a lot less), but also have superior formulas. White Caviar Spot Treatment also contains a novel ingredient, listed as dimethylmethoxy chromanyl palmitate, a peptide (its trade name is Chromabright), with limited but intriguing research on how it interrupts the pathway that synthesizes melanin (skin pigment). There’s not much research to go on, but it appears promising (Source: www.healthestatejournal.com/Print.aspx?Story=4710). Even so, the problematic ingredients in this product don’t warrant a thumbs up, and without question you can find more effective, research-supported skin-lightening products in our Best Skin-Lightening Products.


  • Contains some intriguing skin-lightening ingredients.


  • Shockingly expensive.
  • Amount of alcohol is irritating.
  • Contains plant extracts and fragrance ingredients known to be irritating.

More Info:

Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,” Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).

Last Updated:09.29.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Community Reviews

Choose the spots that trouble you most on your face, neck, décolleté and hands. White Caviar Spot Treatment help them appear to fade away. A sleek treatment wand delivers anti-pigmentation power to target the exact darkness you want to conceal without lightening surrounding skin. White Caviar Spot Treatment is the most powerful brightener in the White Caviar Collection, helping to reduce the appearance of dark spots at the source.


Water, Alcohol Denat, Sorbitol, Pentylene Glycol, Nylon-12, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Arginine, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Xylitylglucoside, Soy Isoflavones, Yeast Extract, Anhydroxylitol, Carbomer, Dictyopteris Membranacea Extract, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Caviar Extract, Xylitol, Disodium EDTA, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Oligopeptide-68, Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Leontopodium Alpinum Flower/Leaf Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Panthenol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Citrate, Propylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance, Linalool, Citronellol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Titanium Dioxide

Brand Overview

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 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.

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