I think by now, most of you are familiar with my love for facial oils. Whilst not new in the beauty industry, and once the main purview of the organic and natural skincare movement, it’s seen a renaissance in recent years, that’s had mainstream brands include an oil or two in their skincare ranges. Not a bad thing, I can assure you.
All that said, I’d never quite pegged La Mer for being at the forefront of things. Sorry! They are a little traditional and stick very closely to their basics, so when I got wind of a facial oil coming out of La Mer, I was off like a shot to get the deets!
I’ve been dipping my fingers (not literally!) into the La Mer The Renewal Oil for the better part of a month, since the press launch (which you can watch in a video below, if you haven’t already seen it) which has given me time to figure out what I think about it, and how it’s fared for me.
The thing about me and La Mer is this – I can’t use their iconic creams. Every single one of them, from the classic Creme de la Mer to the lightest Soft Cream, breaks me out in varying degrees. So, I’ve given up on ever using them. By contrast, my sister has been a devout user for years and loves them, so go figure, really! 😀
That said, my skin tolerates the other products in the La Mer skincare range quite well. A personal favourite that I recommend to anyone who asks, is The Treatment Lotion, which is fairly affordable by La Mer standards. I always have a back up! Another one I quite like, albeit not slavishly devoted to, is the Illuminating Eye Gel. And since I’m such a HUGE fan of facial oils, I was hoping The Renewal Oil would work for me!
Happily… or perhaps unhappily for my (and your) wallet… it does 😀
The La Mer Renewal Oil is La Mer’s first facial oil and what they have come up with, is less of an OIL oil, and more of a serum-0il-elixir thingy. What this means for you, is that this is a much more comfortable product to use, if you generally shy away from oils.
If you look at this close up of the bottle, you will see that this is a bi-phase solution product. The oils, which are lighter, float on top of La Mer’s Miracle Broth and marine-sourced actives. It is a fairly clear yellow solution. So, what you have to do before using, is to shake it up.
You then get something approximating this.
Once shaken, and not stirred, you will end up with this bubbly, light yellow mixture, which you then pump out through the dropper, and into your palms. During the press launch, it was likened to a glass of bubbly champagne, and in some ways I agree – it’s like a bloody expensive Dom Perignon! LOL! 😀
Let me pause here for you to take a quick look at my quick vlog of the press launch, if you haven’t seen it. Let me know if you like seeing clips like this and I’ll try to make more in future interesting launches 🙂
By making this a bi-phase formula, what La Mer has essentially done, is made this oil a much lighter product, that isn’t oily and yet absorbs easily into the skin. I know a lot of people shy away from using facial oils because of the heavy, oily texture associated with pure oils. So, if you are like that, then you will like this one. It has a thin texture that isn’t in the least bit oily, and sinks right into skin so quickly, just like a water-based serum.
What I didn’t like however, is the rather strong, floral sort of scent. It isn’t unpleasant, but it brings to my mind the smell of scented soap, and while it does dissipate, it’s there and it’s fairly strong. Not many people mention that, so perhaps I’m just being sensitive.
Because this is such a light oil, you can use it in a variety of ways.
- Drop 2-5 drops in the palm of your hands and apply to skin as a serum. Use it after cleansing and toning and before moisturiser. This is how I use it the most, but I’m very generous, and use 5-8 drops each time. This is because it’s so light that my skin seems to drink it all up. If you have oilier skin then 2 drops each time will suffice (and you stretch this further). In the day, I sometimes use about 4-5 drops but at night, it’s always at least 7-8 drops.
- Drop 2-3 drops into your moisturiser/cream. This is what I’d call the lazy way out 😛 To get the benefits of the oils without the layering hassle, drop 2-3 drops into your night moisturiser or cream, mix and apply to skin. This boosts the efficacy of most moisturisers, I find, to help soothe and protect and nourish your skin better.
- 2-3 drops to nourish hair. I didn’t try this because I’m an unconventional beauty blogger and have deliberately cut my hair very short 😛 But if you have longer hair, I’m told that you can actually apply this oil to the ends of your hair to nourish them.
Caroline Hirons has a few more, more expert tips, that you can read if you’d like different ways to maximise the use of the oil.
But what is it that I like about The Renewal Oil?
Well, for starters, it makes for a very nice day serum, that keeps my skin plumped up all day, and comfortable in air-conditioned rooms. I have normal-dry skin so that might be why it works so well. On top of that, the superlight texture means that I have no issues with my makeup sliding around, and if anything, it seems to make my base look better.
For me, after about 2 weeks of using this as my sole serum in my skincare routine (Cleansing -> acid tone -> hydrating lotion/face mist -> Good Genes (sometimes) -> La Mer Renewal oil -> Moisturiser) I noticed that my skin was noticeably calmer, more even-toned, and more hydrated. With well hydrated skin comes less visible lines and tiredness. I’ve had a very rough few months, so anything that doesn’t make that roughness and tiredness show on my skin is a boon.
Also, I should note this. I turned 41 a month back, and to me you might notice better results from this oil if you are in the mid-late 30’s and up. This is when you will likely notice more significant fine lines or tiredness in your skin. Any younger, I think you can get by without, so save your money. I know for a fact I have to put in much more work to get my skin looking good in my 40’s than say, 20 years ago, but I’m also happy to say that I have much better skin now than I did 20 years ago 😀
However, the one thing I’m not so crazy about, is that I can’t use this oil as a mask like I would with other facial oils. It’s just too light for that. So, I sometimes layer a thin layer under a hydrating mask, to boost the efficacy, or sometimes use a little more especially in the evenings.
So, despite its name, I’d treat this more like a serum because it feels that way to me. It makes my skin more hydrated, and feel and look better, my skin feels very much more comfortable in a dry environment, and it doesn’t look or feel oily or turn oily. It’s an expensive product, I will concede, but a bottle can last you a while. I’ve been using this day and night for more than a month, and what you see in the pictures is what I still have left – a lot! 🙂 Besides, considering this is from La Mer, itself a luxury skincare brand, I think the price is par for the course 🙂 Not for everyone, but for devotees, it’s a good addition to their routine 🙂
IN A NUTSHELL
The La Mer The Renewal Oil is a bi-phase product, that blends oils and water that contains their signature Miracle Broth and other marine derivatives. You must shake it up before using, and what you will get is a very light-textured serum/elixir that almost immediately sinks into the skin. I notice an almost immediate boost to hydration, and over a month, calmer, more even-toned skin that doesn’t look as ragged as I feel. I do take good care of my skin, so I cannot boast of any significantly noticeable improvements, but I experienced no breakouts, and I liked using this in the day to help my skin remain more hydrated and supple. Heat and drying air-conditioning can dry out skin more than necessary, and this oil prevents that for me. I also think that those in their mid-late 30’s and 40’s will appreciate this best. If you’ve never used a facial oil because you don’t like the texture, then you may prefer this one, with its very lightweight texture. While the high price is a stumbling block to many, it will last quite a while. But I’d advise taking a sniff first. The fairly strong scent may or may not appeal.
PROS: Very lightweight texture absorbs quickly into the skin, Can be blended with moisturiser for better efficacy, Boosts hydration levels and keeps skin supple through the day, Skin is calmer and more even-toned and looks less tired
CONS: Pricey, Strong scent can smell a little soapy, Not sufficient on its own due to the light texture
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who prefers a lightweight textured facial oil, Anyone who’s already using La Mer products
Here’s the ingredient list for anyone keen to know what’s in there:
meadowfoam seed oil, dimethicone, caprylic triglyceride, water, trisiloxane, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, polydecene, hydrogenated polydecene, butylene glycol, propanediol, glycerin, algae extract, rapeseed seed oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame seed oil, eucalyptus leaf oil, camelina sativa seed oil, cranberry seed oil, olive fruit oil, hippophae rhamnoides oil, alfalfa seed powder, sunflower seedcake, sweet almond seed meal, sodium gluconate, copper gluconate, calcium gluconate, magnesium gluconate, zinc gluconate, tocopheryl succinate, niacin, sesame seed powder, laminaria ochroleuca extract, laminaria saccharina extract, hydrolyzed algin, sea salt, chlorella vulgaris extract, salicornia herbacea extract, st. pauls’ wort extract, laminaria digitata extract, rosemary leaf extract, magnolia officinalis bark extract, yeast extract, crithmum maritimum extract, commiphora mukul resin extract, lime peel extract, molasses extract, sucrose, acetyl hexapeptide-8, acetyl glucosamine, caffeine, tocopheryl acetate, phenyl trimethicone, sodium chloride, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, alcohol denat, fragrance, hexyl cinnamal, linalool, amyl cinnamal, geraniol, limonene, citral, benzyl benzoate, coumarin, citronellol, bht, phenoxyethanol, yellow 5 (cl 19140), yellow 6 (ci 15985), <iln41590>
If you’re sensitive to dimethicone or alcohol, do take note. But it is otherwise, packed with loads of oils and minerals like magnesium and zinc and niacin that is known to be good for skin. While I note alcohol is in there, I didn’t particularly notice it because the product doesn’t feel overly drying. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, it might also be why the texture is such, in that it kind of “dries” on the skin. So, do take note of that, again, if you may be sensitive.
If you’re wondering how this may compare to another oil-serum I blogged about recently from A’kin, know that they’re different. A’kin is an oil. A lightweight oil, but an oil nonetheless and it feels that way. This is much lighter. A’kin, being more natural, needs a much longer period of time before you see results, that I noticed with this more quickly, and this is more hydrating to my skin. It’s not always possible to put products side by side and say that one is better than the other, because a lot of the time, they’re different. Work with whatever is within budget and either way, your skin will thank you for it 🙂
Have you managed to take a look at the La Mer Renewal Oil or tried it? Have you started incorporating oils into your skincare routine?
In many ways, facial oils have definitely turned my skin around. I’m all for using chemicals, which I do, but these oils have come at a time when my skin has been maturing and getting drier and I love them for keeping my skin supple and hydrated. When you hit my age, you’ll understand how important that is! 😀