Meet The Natural Beauty World’s Creme de la Mer

Hold the phone. This piece from Well+Good had our jaws on the floor. We LOVE the Marie Veronique Organics line but had yet to hear of this new luxury brand Pacific that they’ve launched. In a way, we like to see a naturals line pulling out the big guns and competing with a perennial fave like La Mer. But that price tag is just wild! Did you ever use Creme de la Mer? Would you consider using this? (Our truth: We don’t have the disposable income for this, but if anyone wants to send us a sample… ahem…)

From the Well+Good piece:

Natural beauty innovators, Marie Veronique Organics, recently launched a luxe line called Pacific. The star product is the Topical Marine Treatment—and it costs $375.

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.

To 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.

You can keep reading the rest here.

36 Responses to “Meet The Natural Beauty World’s Creme de la Mer”
  1. Audreiana says:

    Wowzers! I’d love to try this but $375? I often have trouble shelling out $80 for a serum or eye cream so I could never see myself buying this one. But samples are always welcome here as well lol xo, Audreiana from True Beauty By Nature

  2. linda says:

    Oooh, I don’t wanna go into that route again, the old self who thought that the more expensive the products the better they arer. So far I am so happy to be part of the clean-cosmetic society, who thinks that all producers are (and should be) honest, environmentally friendly, far from greedy, and care for the people from whom they source their materials — until this! I hope this, highly-priced & appealing-to-vanity-products won’t become a trend!

    Going into clean products is a huge step for me. My skin has not even stabilized yet. But I believe that I am doing myself and environment good if I treat it more kindly with organic products now. I am now a true believer that everyone’s skin condition is so unique. And unlike what I see in the dirty-cosmetic business who spent resources on research on how to make our skin looks brilliant in the short-run- giving a little to no care for the risk of health damage in the long run, I do hope and pray we can be a true organic community, serving (not abusing) or lying to each member of the whole supply & business chain. Because that’s the true meaning of “organic” is according to father of organic farming: Masanobu Fukuoka.

  3. Rebecca Bailey says:

    Buh. It’s annoying. Maybe I’d feel better if it was like, use this for one month and the rest of the year you’ll maintain the results…but they don’t really say that in the article (or on the website). Does it really cost so much to make this product? Or are they simply making it expensive to compete with things like La Mer, just to hit that particular market? It’s not vegan (or, I think, gluten free) anyway, so I wouldn’t try it regardless of price. But my biggest question is, is it really clean? I looked at the ingredients, and I’m not sure…there are some I don’t recognize.

  4. Lolly says:

    Uuuuughh… I just don’t know, you guuuuyss! Was that whiny enough? But seriously, this does my head in, and here’s why. I am pretty much the target audience for this serum. Yes, before I went clean, I used Creme de la Mer, as well as La Prairie, ReVive, etc, etc. I mean, the head sales lady at the Saks La Prairie counter still remembers and adores me and I haven’t shopped there in years! I am also 35, which means that although I love my lovely oils and butters and what not, I am also feeling the need for some heavy hitters that will save me from jowl-face.

    And yet, and yet… For starters, my disposable income is nowhere near what it used to be when I was single and working in a big law firm. Now that I am paying for a Manhattan private school for my kid, I am far, far more careful about spending money. Frankly, that is one of the reasons I went clean with my skincare: I got tired of dropping wads of cash on frankenchemicals, empty claims and ad budgets. And it’s the empty claim thing that I worry about with this serum. Ultimately, there isn’t such a thing as a fountain of youth. There are only good genes and, barring those, there are (strong) retinoids and a couple other well-proved ingredients like Vitamin C, which still won’t give hugely dramatic results. Oh, and of course there are the ole’ peels, lasers, injectables and surgery, but… Let’s not go there. Anyway. I am juuuuust not sure I believe in “miracle products”, be they from the sea or from the ocean. So I don’t know that the $375 price tag is justified. Now, I am planning on investing in the normal Pacific serum and the Vit C Treatment. But those have specific, clearly-identified ingredients that have been proven to work (including retinoids), rather than some magical mystery sea sludge. And they together cost less than half of this serum. So yeaaaah… I think I’ll pass.

  5. Alexandra says:

    @Rebecca LOL. Ya, I’m not sure how clean it is either (though I inherently trust MV)—just thought this was an interesting convo starter! And I’m sure the markup on this is really high even if the ingredients are incredible.

    @Lolly I hear you big time….

  6. tala says:

    Personally, I find $375 for a mere .5oz to be over the top. And $750 for a 3-month course? Seems excessively and exorbitantly priced. It’s also interesting that neither MV or Dr Lewis really answer exactly why the price point is so high except to state that it is more effective than the $2500-5000 treatments they are comparing it to.

  7. Melanie says:

    I think that’s extortionist.

    I have wanted to try MVO, but they are not exclusively vegan. I have trouble with that. The EU has an immiment ban on animal testing, then companies still use animal products under the guise of “natural” or “organic”. Yes, animal ingredients are both that in the literal sense of the terms, but it seems like a step backwards and it bothers me.

  8. anna says:

    I don’t trust MV (a company that uses animal products), nor do I trust some of these ingredients. I don’t recognize many of the listed ingredients but they don’t look clean to me, so the next question is, why is this being promoted here on NMDL? And yeah, the price tag is ridiculous. S and A, you two used to be the absolute experts on this stuff, but lately I just don’t trust your recommendations.

  9. Rebecca Bailey says:

    @A, def a convo starter!

    Ya’ll interested in the “what constitutes clean”/animal products issue…look for a post in the coming weeks!

  10. Rebecca Bailey says:

    I mean y’all…pardon my apostrophe misplacement

  11. Charlotte says:

    i understand the difference between high and lower quality oils/ingredients (ie: kahina argan oil vs any old pure argan you can buy on ebay) but i dont understand how something can cost so much and how the effects of the $375 product could ever be worth that amount? it just seems excessive to me.

  12. Pepper says:

    Yikes!! After using a sample, I have Tata Harper serum on my super-duper-want list and haven’t bought it yet because it’s $150. I use products from Stark Skincare, Evan Healy, May Lindstrom, Dr. Alkaitis and Kahina and I really consider those to be pretty top-tier price wise and WAY top tier in the awesomeness department. I think they are luxurious and lovely and my skin is killin it lately. I’ve been so, so happy with the way it’s been looking and feeling.

    If people can afford to spend $375 on a cream and they like it and it works for them, then that’s awesome and they’re more than welcome to do so. For me, I think there are some brands that make absolutely badass products that don’t cost a small fortune. I’d hate for them to be overshadowed in any way if this luxury-by-price thing becomes a trend in our clean corner of the market.

  13. Ny says:

    I totally agree with linda and Lolly. I wasn’t even going to bother with looking at the website, but curiosity got the better of me. It’s not even 1 oz, it’s 1/2 oz and that makes me laugh. I’m sure the people in the study/trial did see something positive, but I’m good. I like the results from my current routine and adding pycnogenol supplements has really worked wonders.

    Usually people balk at products that are out of budget, and I used to do that until I made more money and I can’t believe the things I buy now (same things I scoffed at previously). I just don’t get this though, like seriously, I know natural, clean, organic products cost more, but I can’t see how these ingredients warrant such a high price tag. What is this magic “marine based extract”? If it’s that rare, should we really be using it? IF it’s not rare can they at least tell us what it is. It irks me when a made up or trademarked name appears in ingredient lists.

    //End of tangential rant.

  14. Annette says:

    I tried La Mer years ago and found it very greasy. I think I will take my $375 and spend it on things that make me happy because a happy woman is a beautiful woman.

  15. Renee says:

    I just don’t think the price tag makes it worth it. I have a hard time shelling out 50 dollars for Vapour foundation. Don’t get me wrong, if it works, that’s great. But I HIGHLY doubt it truly takes the amount of money, or maybe even half that to produce said miracle sludge. I think I’ll stick with Pai for now. It is the ONLY thing that I have used as of late that is able to calm the weird mountains on my forehead. And they aren’t even red and obnoxious, you can just FEEL them/see them in the right light.

  16. Sofia says:

    This is absolutely absurd! MV got it wrong to create a half ounce product that is mostly green tea extract and some trademarked ingredient (that’s suspicious to me because you can’t trade mark natural ingredients) and charging almost 400 dollars for it! They should have claimed it worked better than La Mer and charged less to get the actual talk going. Oh and the fact that it smells bad will also be a no for me. I used to buy Skinceuicals before i went completely natural and recently I stopped by Sephora and sniffed it only to think “why was I putting harmful chemicals that smelled like hot dogs on my face.” I’m happy to pay for the expensive products that smell amazing and have been working for me and that I receive compliments from, but only because I believe in them and they are made from pure stuff. This sounds like organic hype to me and I’m not buying it.

  17. Rooney says:

    @Annette: Amen girl

  18. Lisa says:

    @ Lolly: I was that girl, too, except with La Mer and Natura Bisse.

    After I went clean last summer, I had a reaction much like @linda – I no longer bought into the idea that expensive equals better (pun definitely intended). I saw this profiled on Well&Good also and didn’t even bother looking. I am early 30s, in their target market, with lines forming, etc. etc.

    I would much rather spend that money on many other things that will make me look better by making me healthier (organic food, high quality supplements, my gym) than hoping just one cream will do it. That said, if I have one weakness still, it’s product sampling. After obsessively sampling Patyka’s Bioliftin cream through Spirit Beauty (yay for their samples), I bought it. It’s about $145. I only use it at night, sparingly, rotating with Evan Healy’s Blue Day Cream. It works very well, though it too has a couple questionable ingredients, and because of that I may not purchase it again. If anyone has anything tips on Patyka, I’m all ears.

    Ultimately, I’d say if you can afford something and love it (and its not going to melt your face off, etc.) go for it, but I try to always keep in mind that price points are exactly that: a price designed to attract a certain kind of customer, and that the business model including marketing and packaging is built around that price point. There isn’t always a cost to manufacturing the product that justified its price, and if there is, like a fair price for farmers who provide the ingredients or organic/wild crafted materials, then usually you’re told so, as part of the marketing and packaging. Mystifying and vagueness are things I don’t like to see, and make me cautious.

  19. Sandra says:

    Oh, my…No, thanks, MVO! For that price I would rather buy something more useful in my life! I have natural creams for up to $30 USD, and I am perfectly happy with them.

  20. Emma B says:

    This even reminds me of a social psychological concept (I can’t seem to remember the name just now, maybe ‘framing’ or ‘anchoring’). Having an extravagantly priced item makes all the other expensive items seem much more reasonable in comparison, especially if it is presented first because it sets the initial value of the products of the brand.

  21. Emma B says:

    Ha, sorry it’s called the ‘context effect’. More specifically, it expands the range of prices so that middle price product that people often prefer ends up being more expensive, that’s the ‘compromise effect’.

  22. Moksha says:

    Perhaps the people who have the budget to buy products like this should consider other ways to spend their money…like, for example, donating to non-profit environmental organizations that protect marine environments…just a thought ;-)

  23. Courtney says:

    That’s pathetic. ‘Tis all.

  24. Nicole says:

    @ Anna, coming to S and A’s defence here… they didn’t recommend we go out and drop $375 on this product, in fact, they haven’t even tried it, so to say that you don’t trust their recommendations is pretty offside. They asked our opinion. If you don’t read the article enough to get the gist, perhaps you shouldn’t be on the attack.

  25. Helen says:

    I LOLed at “if anyone wants to send us a sample” because the full size product seems to a be sample size at 0.5 oz.

  26. G.Q says:

    Woah, if it cost that much I better get a marriage proposal at the end of the treatment!!
    By the way, Sephora does not sell Skinceuticals.

  27. nancy says:

    No ,thank you.
    Very sad to see clean beauty taking this “miracle” route.

  28. Liz says:

    I mean…. I’m a big believer in the clean movement, but I’m also a believer in economics. If MVO wants to exploit the La Mer corner of the market, they are free to do so, and maybe it’s a gamble that will work out for them. More power to them. I’m not sure I trust a brand that says it’s organic but uses emu oil, mostly because EUGH, EMU OIL? And I have a hard time justifying what I pay for argan oil, which I LOVE, so there’s no way I’d ever drop this kind of money on a miracle serum. But for those who want to, they are free to do so, and MVO is free to profit from them.

  29. Catherine says:

    Just wanted to jump in and clarify that unlike other skincare serums on the market the Pacific Topical Marine Treatment is meant to be a one time treatment. Here’s what Dr. Eric Lewis, the dermatologist that formulated the key ingredient (and yes all the ingredients are natural) has to say about the treatment:

    “No ‘rejuvenating’ product on the market today remotely achieves Pacific Topical Marine Treatment results. Acid peel, dermabrasion and laser resurfacing are the only treatments that can even compare with the tightening and smoothing action of Pacific TMT. The costs of these surgical procedures is between $2500-5000 per treatment. They — and especially laser — harbor the danger of discoloring and scarring the skin. A long term concern is that they accelerate age-related thinning of the skin. Pacific TMT rejuvenates the skin by creating new blood vessels and fibrocytes, which produce significant amounts of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid without the potential complications of surgery.” – Dr. Eric Lewis, Dermatologist

  30. Alison says:

    I’ll put in my two cents and say I recently tried MVO’s Pacific line (based on a recommendation from this blog) and my skin is completely transformed. I’ve tried every clean product on the market, and I can easily say these are the most effective products out there, for me at least. And I don’t work for the company! I’m just a product junkie. So while $375 may seem like a lot, I would go for it based on my experience with MVO. I completely trust them based on my experience so far.

  31. JJ says:

    I shop at Walmart and am on a goverment cheque so this is pathetic to me and is my food budget for the month

  32. Sarah C. says:

    The first time I heard about the MV Pacific line was when 2 products (the Pacific Skin Lightening Serum & Pacific Skin Lightening Vitamin C Treatment) appeared in the 2012 Beauty Awards of Sophie Uliano’s website: Gorgeously Green. The price tag for this duo is $190 which came as a complete shock to me. However I’ve had really good experiences with products recommended by Sophie (I first found Sophie on Open Sky after I started following NMDL product offerings on that site as well) thus far. (The Sunshine Botanicals Pumpkin Power Peel mask she recommended has done absolutely awesome in improving my cystic acne breakouts!!!) While I have not yet forked over the money to try any MV products I’m considering at least purchasing the Vit. C treatment (its $60 on its own) because of the good reviews I’ve read.
    $375 for this MV product is totally out of my price range. I’m typically okay with spending tops, about $80 on a really good high quality product I want to try and have read great things about but beyond that I really just can’t justify it. Maybe a really great friday deal on any MV products could be in the future?

  33. Sarah C. says:

    Hey everyone,

    I forgot to include this on my last post and its kind of off topic but I need the advice now so I’d thought I’d ask.
    I have been using RMS beauty Un-Cover up in “11” and I’m about to run out. I really like this product and would totally buy again but I did want to ask if anyone had any experience or advice comparing un-cover up to Well People’s Narcissist foundation/concealer. Does one provide more coverage than the other? Have more staying power than the other? What shade of the Narcissist would most match the 11 of the un-cover up? Also, is the Narcissist product more of a foundation then a concealer? I typically use mineral makeup but the un-cover up just for spot coverage.

    I really love NMDL and I am really appreciative that you all are a great group to ask advice from!!
    Thanks in advance!!

  34. Marnie says:

    This line does look very interesting. However the price point is out of reach for a lot of people. It’s been seriously marked up in price. Regardless of how great & amazing the ingredients are, there aren’t too many people that will want to shell out that kind of money. Samples would be a good idea to offer, even if the customer had to pay for the samples, they would at least know what they’re getting before paying full price. just my 2 cents.

  35. Helen says:

    @Sarah C. —– I tried both RMS & W3ll People, and I MUST recommend Ecco Bella’s Cover Up stick concealer over them. It’s so much better (and cheaper!) than the previous two.. trust me on this one.

  36. Emma says:

    It is pure marketing as Emma B. mentioned.

    The brand managers sat around a table and mapped out the clean beauty business, saw an untapped niche market and reverse-engineered this “miracle” serum to fit the bill.

    Pure hype and I don’t buy it thank you very much. I would have stayed with Chanel and Estee Lauder if I wanted to pay for illusions.

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