6 Interesting Facts About La Mer and its Magical Elixir

The 'miracle broth' and other truths that make this skin care brand a cult favorite.

It took over 6,000 experiments and over 12 years to come up with the now legendary product Crème de la Mer.

It all began in the 1950s when Max Huber, a German-born aerospace physicist, had an accident in his lab that severely burned his skin. When he saw that no existing product could cure his chemical burns and scars at that time, he decided to formulate a cure himself. He perfected the first Crème de la Mer–after 12 years and 6,000 experiments–which completely restored his skin and healed his wounds. He began selling the magical elixir to friends in 1965. After he passed away, Estee Lauder bought his company from his daughter in the ‘90s and carried on selling his Crème de la Mer. 

The Miracle Broth’s ingredients aren’t a secret.

Conspiracy theorists have long been suggesting that no one really knows the formula for the brand’s lauded Miracle Broth and that all it contains are huge amounts of ordinary seaweed extract. While using extracts makes the job of making beauty creams easier and quicker, the truth is, La Mer doesn’t contain just “extracts.” Translating to “Cream of the Sea,” Crème de la Mer features a variety of sea kelp called Macrocystis pyrifera. These are hand-harvested from the seas, packed in temperature-controlled containers, and shipped to the La Mer labs on the same day. These sea kelps are fermented; the process of which takes longer and is more complicated, but more beneficial for the skin.


All key ingredients of La Mer skincare products are ferments.

While cheaper beauty brands may banner similar ingredients to Crème de la Mer, the quality and fermentation process of its key ingredients are what sets the brand apart from the rest. The Miracle Broth, for instance, contains a blend of sea kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, iron, Vitamins, C, E and B12, plus oils of citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa, and sunflower, which are all bio-fermented for three to four months, allowing the formula to be extra potent and powerful, easily absorbed, and more concentrated.



It took over two years for scientists to recreate Max Huber’s formula for the Miracle Broth.

Andrew Bevacqua of the Max Huber Research Lab was the one tasked to recreate the formula of the late Max Huber for a bigger production line under Estee Lauder. “I saw all of these small pots, with copper plates in them and wires coming out of them going into an amplifier. And you had this strange noise—bubbling and gurgling—and there were all these flashing lights. It was like The Twilight Zone,” he says in an interview with Elle, describing the moment he walked through the doors of the late aerospace physicist’s lab. Apparently, Huber played sound waves during the fermentation process of his ingredients. This is called sonochemistry. In Bevacqua’s earlier trials, he skipped this step of Huber till he was prompted to go back to the drawing board because the creams he produced just weren’t as effective. When he reluctantly gave in to playing the sound of a batch of fermenting sea kelp to a new batch while it was fermenting–just like Huber used to do–the formula was unlocked and the creams became thrice more potent. The sound waves apparently help speed up chemical reactions in the formula.


A more potent version of the Miracle Broth was recently discovered.

Just when you might have thought it couldn’t get any better, scientists at the La Mer laboratories discovered something to improve the classic formula—crystals that formed in a Miracle Broth beaker. They were discovered by accident, says La Mer vice president Robin Shandler. “A scientist in our lab left a spatula out that had Miracle Broth on it mixed with molasses. When it was found the next day, beautiful crystals had started growing. We analyzed the crystals and discovered that the broth was even more concentrated, and in a pure perfect form,” she says.


The Crystal Miracle Broth is featured in the new Genaissance de la Mer line.

This crystallized version—perfected in over three years and now developed as the new Crystal Miracle Broth—proved to be more potent in refining pores, diminishing lines, and enhancing skin elasticity being the purest concentration of the Miracle Broth. Slow-crafted in limited quantities, the groundbreaking formula is currently featured in three products, the Genaissance de La Mer Serum Essence, which was launched last year, and the new Eye and Expression Cream and Infused Lotion.

The formula for the eye cream features a new Filler Ferment, making it even more special, according to the brand. “We found amber algae with the incredibly hydrating and plumping power of hyaluronic acid. It’s a true craft to harvest–it’s incredibly time-consuming and requires great care. Fragments of the algae create the filler of the ferment that infuses skin with activity. The algae fragments work from the inside out to help remodel lines and fragile areas,” adds Shandler. The Eye and Expression Cream is delicate enough to treat eye area but potent enough for facial lines.

The lotion, on the other hand, features a new ProBio Ferment, a nourishing supplement for the skin. “When you shake it, fresh activity is unleashed for your treatment,” says Shandler. “You feel the benefits and gratification right away. People are amazed by how pores are immediately refined.”


In a gathering of ageless women of substance at M Dining + Bar, Town&Country Philippines and La Mer celebrated life, happiness, and what it means to be truly ageless, while discovering the benefits of Genaissance de la Mer, which helps every woman become the best version of herself.



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About The Author
Nicole Limos
Managing Editor
Nicole’s career in publishing began in 2006. Before becoming Town & Country online’s managing editor, she moved from features editor to beauty editor of the title’s print edition. “The lessons in publishing are countless,” she says. “The most crucial ones for me? That to write best about life, you need to live your life. And another I still struggle to live by: ‘Brevity is a virtue; verbosity is a vice.’”
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