That makes it one of the priciest natural anti-aging products to hit the market. And by using marine-derived ingredients—and promising huge results—it’s instigated a beauty counter surf-and-turf war with Crème de la Mer, which costs $275.
What do the two anti-aging products have in common? La Mer’s NASA-scientist-discovered “miracle broth” contains biofermented algae, and it inspired legions of women to slather mineral-rich seaweed on their skin. Like many traditional beauty products, however, La Mer contains petroleum-based moisturizers and other synthetics (mineral oil glycerin and isohexadecane), which give it a creamy, appealing texture (and possibly cause an allergic reaction or pore congestion).
Pacific Topical Marine Treatment contains a newly discovered marine-based extract. The propriety ingredient was brought to market by Beverly Hills dermatologist Eric Lewis, MD, in conjunction with a commercial marine biology institute. And Dr. Lewis and Marie Veronique combined forces. The pungent serum is much less cosmetically elegant than La Mer (it’s a bit grainy and smells like eye-watering seaweed on the beach). But there are no synthetic ingredients used—just peptides, ceramides, and other ingredients that do something for the skin.
So what does it do, and why does it cost $375? “The Topical Marine Treatment produces more collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid,” explains Marie Veronique Organics’s CEO Hillary Peterson. These are the building blocks of great skin, responsible for its youthful plumpness, and snap-back quality and resilience, and moisture-retaining ability. “Thanks to sun damage and aging, the ability of our skin to produce these itself diminishes a percentage or two each year,” says Peterson.
To counter this, as she and Dr. Lewis explain it, Topical Marine Treatment stimulates the workhorse skin cells (called fibrocytes) in the dermis that produce collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Meaning 45-year old skin acts like it’s 25 again. In my case, after 45 days using the treatment, my thin skin felt thicker (and my visible capillaries were harder to spot). My skin also lost that tight-and-dry feeling.
Dr. Lewis swears on his white lab coat that a 3-month course of Topical Marine Treatment (cost $750) is all you need to see in the mirror the skin you used to have. He says it’s “more effective than peels and other $5,000 skin-rejuvenation gadgets” at his disposal, and waves around slides of skin biopsies as proof. (It’s rare get this kind of intel from a beauty company.)
In this super-prestige category of beauty, it’s good to know there are natural heavy-hitters to take on La Mer and their anti-aging ilk. Maybe we’ll soon see them take over their counter space at Saks, too. —Melisse Gelula
Marie Veronique Organics Topical Marine Treatment, $375, www.mvorganics.com