La Prairie recently launched Skin Caviar Liquid Lift and, much to my surprise, this stodgy and overpriced brand gave me a good laugh. First, I was amused by the claims La Prairie makes. Apparently this is a “high-spirited” serum “with a surge of sea-born energy, age antagonist peptides, marine DNA nutrients and oceanic moisture.” Then the $500 price tag made me chuckle out loud. Talking of sea-born energy, this kind of money could buy me a weekend at the Jersey shore.

I am not sure what makes a serum “high spirited.” Sounds like a bit of a party girl to me. And, indeed, alcohol is listed as sixth most dominant ingredient. As for the “surge of sea-born energy,” this could conceivably (I am feeling generous) be supplied by the algin. This is a brown seaweed often used in the fishing industry for packing shellfish. Other industrial processes include tire manufacturing and ice cream. This is a bit of waste since it is a good source of iodine.

Of course, there is a dollop of caviar with omega-3 fatty acids, which we all know are amazingly good for us. Except several research studies insist that omega-3 doesn’t penetrate the skin. Given that it is a signature ingredient of La Prairie’s Skin Caviar range, I am guessing that it must account for Liquid Lift’s “marine DNA nutrients” and “oceanic moisture.” Still, it all smells a bit fishy to me.

As for the “age-antagonist peptides,” here we are back on terra firma. Except that La Prairie lists one here, pentapeptide 31, that I can’t find any information on. Now, there is also palmitoyl tripeptide-38, which it is worth noting is in Osmosis Replenish (a potion that costs a mere $40).

There are helpful botanicals here: horsetail, panax ginseng and acmella oleracea, known as the “toothache plant” and used cosmetically to reduce expression lines. But for a $500 price tag, there are an awful lot of non-actives – around half the formula. To name but a few: isohexadecane (an iso-paraffin emollient), silicones, sodium lauryl sulfate, hydroxyethylcellulose (a thickener), tin oxide, xanthan gum….

If La Prairie’s marketing people weren’t imaginative, it would all be a bit depressing.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Sodium Citrate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Alcohol, Linseed Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Acmella Oleracea Extract, Pentapeptide 31, Centella Asiatica Extract, Caviar Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Palmitoyl TrIpeptide-38, Lactic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer 6, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate, Algin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum Crosspolymer, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Fragrance/Parfum, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, SD Alcohol 40-B (Alcohol Denat), Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Sodium Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Benzoate, Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Iron Oxides (CI 77491).