Is La Mer’s New Serum Essence Worth the $800 Price Tag?


The makeup and skincare brand La Mer is known the world over for its luxuriously hydrating, lifting, and soothing products—especially the Crème de la Mer moisturizer, which consistently makes it to the top of “Best Face Creams of All Time” lists. Earlier this month, the French label released the Genaissance de La Mer The Serum Essence—a serum within the antiaging Genaissance Collection. So…how was it? Four W magazine editors of various ages and backgrounds gave their honest opinions about the product.

Maryam Lieberman, Contributing Beauty Editor

What is your opinion of the brand La Mer?

La Mer has been a top skincare brand for decades—and its staying power is remarkable. It’s been almost 40 years since Estée Lauder bought the line from rocket scientist Dr. Max Huber and La Mer is still legendary in the beauty space. People who use La Mer products are not sporadic fans, either; they are full-on, hardcore devotees. And if there’s an event with a La Mer gift at the end of it, the girls will sit through cocktails, dinner, speeches, and whatever else just to secure the bag.

Were there any particular skin concerns you were hoping to address with the La Mer serum?

La Mer’s new serum-essence uses the brand’s proprietary Miracle Broth formula in its composition—so I hoped it would help regenerate my skin.

Please describe your experience using the La Mer serum.

I used it morning and night for over a week, and I’m still using it. The results were very good, I must say. My skin was firm, I had less wrinkles—even when I couldn’t sleep the whole night through, which always affects my skin.

Did the serum work? Would you purchase this product again?

It does work—it feels very nice on the skin and I think it’s a great serum for La Mer devotees to incorporate into their regimen. But would I recommend this product? I’m not sure. It’s expensive and there are many serums out there for half the price that will work as beautifully. Don’t get me wrong, the whole La Mer line is fantastic. Ultimately, however, there are options that are less expensive and can help stimulate your hydration levels and radiance. Also, if I had my choice, I would honestly spend the $200 or $380 on Crème de la Mer.

Ashley Peña, Digital Designer

What’s your skin type and which products do you typically use?

My skin is normal with occasional hormonal acne—it reacts well to hydrating products, no matter the season. But if I start breaking out, I just try to be patient and not overload it with products. I’ll throw in Paula’s Choice BHA Exfoliant a couple of times throughout the week… and pray.

What results, if any, did you hope to achieve with the La Mer serum?

I wanted to work on the brightness and texture of my skin. I’m aiming to have glass skin this year.

How was it?

When I first applied the serum, it felt silky on my skin but had a slightly harsher scent than I’m used to. The product also seemed to absorb all the hydration I’d gleaned from the other layers of skincare I had applied beforehand. I tried it day and night the first night, and my skin became a bit dry the next day; I switched to once a day for the next few days. After 3-4 days of use, I could tell my skin was much firmer than before.

After about a week of use, my skin felt and looked more firm and plump, but the product dried out my skin and created a bit of texture. I am curious to see how this serum works during the warmer months, when my skin isn’t fighting for its life against the dry winter air.

Is it worth the price tag?

I don’t think any skincare is worth spending almost $800 on just one product.

Che Baez, Associate Visuals Editor

How’s your skin looking these days?

My current skin situation could be described as: dire. I am dealing with the worst hormonal acne I’ve had since high school. When my skin is troubled, I use products by La-Roche Posay. They tend to help my skin calm down, and their acne spot treatment has been saving my life.

Because I’ve had hormonal acne, the acne scars have been ever-present (even though I don’t pop pimples). No matter what, I feel like my skin doesn’t look fresh and bouncy because the scarring is so prevalent on the lower half of my face. I was hoping that La Mer’s serum would rejuvenate my skin and lighten the scarring.

What was your experience with the La Mer product?

I began by testing the serum on my arm since my skin is very sensitive. Once it passed the test, I began using it only at night to see how my skin would tolerate it. I was a little bit nervous about the fragrance I smelled when using it for the first time, because my skin isn’t super tolerant of fragrances. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my skin didn’t react negatively. I used 4-5 drops each night, and spread it evenly across my skin, but mainly focused on the lower half of my face (my forehead and cheeks don’t really need help right now). I do feel that it began to even out my complexion in the problem areas after about a week—I even joked to my partner that I should’ve taken “before and after” pictures because I was so impressed.

Would you use this product again?

Because my only skin concern at the moment is acne and scarring, I believe it worked for the scarring issue, and I would use it again—especially since I’m interested in whether or not it will help my skin completely turn over, and get rid of this scarring for good. Also, if I was attempting to get rid of fine lines and obtain more luminous skin, I would use this serum again. I noticed that my scarring was lighter after a week, and I’m curious if I use the serum on those areas for another month whether every single dark area would be cured.

Oona Wally, Associate Visuals Director

Had you heard of La Mer prior to this assignment?

I had heard of La Mer, and have used their products before—I love them. I regard the brand as luxurious and efficient. Sadly the price point on most of La Mer’s products is too expensive for me.

Do you change your skincare routine according to the seasons?

I have dry skin year-round, so in the winter I definitely have to bulk up on extra moisturizing products. I tend to add an additional moisturizer or serum step to my skincare routine during the colder months.

How did you like the La Mer serum?

I used the serum for three days, but sadly had to stop using it completely after that. The first day of use, I loved this serum. My skin felt so plump; the Miracle Broth layer helped keep my face more hydrated with the use of other products. Pores and fine lines were less visible and the texture of my skin was satiny smooth. I noticed my skin seemed a bit red and irritated upon application, but I thought that may just be some “miracle” action happening. I should’ve known better.

After the first full day of morning and night use, I woke up to find my skin dry and flaky—there was also a bumpy texture that replaced my typically smooth surface. I kept using the product for the next two days in the morning only, hoping my face would get used to the formula and go back to that first day of excellence. Unfortunately my skin made it very obvious she was not feeling this product, which was such a disappointment.

Did it work?

I wish my experience had been different with this serum, but the product did not work well for me. I still love the brand and Crème de la Mer—and I won’t hold it against the label that one of its product didn’t agree with my skin.



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