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La Mer flicks the switch to a new illuminated complexion

La Mer products 1

Those of us who are lucky enough to travel know that while adventuring around the world (even in the name of work) is a horizon-expanding privilege, our skin often doesn’t agree. Which is why we are always on the lookout for skin saving treatments to keep our complexions up to global jet-setting standards. Because when you emerge through arrivals to that sea of expectant faces of long-distance lovers/welcome-back families/chauffeurs-with-name-signs, who doesn’t want to look paparazzi ready?

La Mer has a new two-step treatment mask out: Blanc De La Mer Brilliance Brightening Mask which claims to deliver bright, luminous skin in eight minutes.

A quick side note on ‘brightening’ products: although the use of the word ‘whitening’ to describe radiance boosting products is not so prevalent in the beauty industry these days, the idea of brightening still carries uncomfortable connotations for some. The idea that ‘whiter’ skin is better is, of course, an unacceptable notion. It is one of those areas where cross-cultural ideas of beauty can sometimes get a little lost in translation. These days such products are not concerned with whitening skin but rather lightening, in other words, adding radiance and brightness to the complexion and removing discolouration and uneven skin tone.

I once interviewed the late, great Anita Roddick, Founder of The Body Shop when the brand was bringing out a ‘whitening’ range in Asia. I expressed disbelief that someone like Ms Roddick who so strongly believed in the wonderful, life-enhancing diversity of beauty around the world would consider launching such a range. Her answer reminded me that women (and men) wherever they are in the world suffer from feeling that the grass is always greener: People with pale complexions often choose to darken their skin with tanning products while people with darker complexions sometimes choose lightening products. Ms Roddick argued that The Body Shop (or any beauty company) offered a range of products to help each individual find confidence in their look however they personally chose to interpret it. While it’s hard to disentangle whitening from its uncomfortable connotations it pays to remember that the focus now is most definitely on brightening rather than lightening in the literal sense.

The aim of the Mask is to soothe and brighten through a two-step treatment which is gentle enough to be used every day.

And so onwards with our quest to repair our travel-ravaged complexions, whoever we are…

Of course, the Brilliance Brightening Mask contains Concentrated Miracle Broth, the foundation ingredient of the La Mer range and the key to the brand’s origin story. Legend has it that Crème de La Mer was created by an aerospace physicist Dr Max Huber following a laboratory accident which left him badly burnt. Finding nothing that could help improve the appearance and comfort of his scarred skin Dr Huber set out to find his own solution. 12 years and 6,000 experiments led to Miracle Broth a fermentation made from nutrient-rich sea kelp infused with the energies of light and sound. Recent conspiracy theorists have called into question whether Dr Huber ever even existed (although friends and colleagues have subsequently come forward to say he did and they knew him personally) but whatever the truth behind the story, Crème de La Mer, now owned by Estée Lauder, has legions of devoted fans who swear that Miracle Broth really does work miracles on their skin.

Which makes the fact that the Brilliance Brightening Mask contains two brand new fermentations really exciting news:

  • Calming Ferment is a blend of algae, vitamins and nutrients to soothe and prime the skin.
  • Vital Brilliance Ferment which blends sea-sourced actives and marine peptides to work on reducing the appearance of age spots and general dullness.

The aim of the Mask is to soothe and brighten through a two-step treatment which is gentle enough to be used every day.

First, the Brilliance Brightening Soothing Primer, formulated with Concentrated Miracle Broth and Calming Ferment, works as an anti-irritant and primer to calm visible redness and leave skin ready for the second step.

Secondly, the Brilliance Brightening Gel Cream, with Vital Brilliance Ferment and Miracle Broth, hydrates, softens lines and wrinkles and helps to diminish the look of age spots. By infusing the skin with energy and hydration, the Mask aims to bring radiance and clarity to the skin. Lime tea concentrate is also present to protect skin against environmental aggressors and thus stave off future discolouration.

How to use the two-step treatment:

  • Following your regular cleanser, apply two pumps of the Brilliance Brightening Soothing Primer, massaging with upward movements into the skin to boost circulation.
  • Then, using the ‘ultra-soft precision brush’ paint a thin, even layer of The Brilliance Brightening Gel Cream over the face.
  • Allow to infuse for eight minutes and then gently massage into the skin.
  • Follow with your regular moisturiser.

Blanc De La Mer Brilliance Brightening Mask is available from La Mer travel retail locations worldwide. For what it’s worth (and whether Dr Huber existed or not) La Mer is for me a standout brand among the high-end skincare ranges and one which is worth the financial outlay. Personally at least, I find it does have a noticeable beneficial effect on my sensitive skin.

Clare Austin
written by: Clare Austin
With a background in fashion and beauty journalism for magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar Clare is a beauty enthusiast whose pulse quickens whenever a new product hits the shelves.