skin deep

Lunchtime Beauty Q&A: Why Do I Break Out From La Mer and Other Anti-Aging Creams?

Photo: Richard Pierce/Courtesy of La Mer

Q: I’ve heard such great things about Creme de La Mer, so I saved up and bought it — and now I have a face full of zits. What’s the deal?

A: As a beauty editor, I’ve been asked this multiple times, so I’m answering it now once and for all. It must be noted that the people who ask me this are usually in their late twenties or early thirties. And at that age, depending on how hard you’re living your life (smoking, tanning, living beside a major freeway), your skin is still pretty good at taking care of itself. That is, your body is generally producing the right balance of oil and water beneath the epidermis. 

Around the age of 40, however, skin’s water content naturally begins to decrease. Thicker emollients — such as found in La Mer and other anti-aging products — will help compensate. Dabbed onto mature skin, these creams will usually be absorbed relatively quickly. On the flip side, when youthful skin gets a coating of the same rich emollients, those already well-hydrated pores can become clogged. Whiteheads, blackheads, and blemishes may follow. So, in summary: La Mer’s Creme de La Mer can be great for the 40-and-over set, but for anyone younger, those dollars are best spent elsewhere. Now, go consider putting that $150 toward something else.

Beauty Q&A: Why Do I Break Out From La Mer?