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In recent years, it seems like skincare companies are in a competition to have the most expensive salve. It’s no longer surprising to see a four-figure cream or serum that promises to solve all of your skincare woes. All are undeniably luxurious, but are they really worth it? We tried one of the latest haute unctions—Valmont’s new Crème Merveilleuse, clocking in at $1,000—to find out.
Valmont is an insider-favorite known for its combination of premium ingredients and advanced science. The Swiss brand’s co-founder and CEO Sophie Guillon is a walking advertisement for the power of its products. On Zoom, she is absolutely radiant. In an interview with Robb Report, she was part scientist, part artist and all luxury as she explained the science behind this groundbreaking product released on the 20th anniversary of the brand’s top-of-the-line l’Elixir des Glaciers collection.
Guillon has always looked to the water for potent ingredients—Valmont has a triple-patented salmon DNA extract that was, until now, its powerhouse ingredient. But for its newest and most decadent cream ever, Guillon turned to something more precious: sturgeon, the rare fish that produces caviar. She was intrigued by this aquatic wonder’s very long lifespan—they can live for over 100 years—and looked to sturgeon DNA to harness this longevity. It took five years for Valmont to develop the cream, first finding a sustainable, high-quality sturgeon source, then combining the ingredients in a stable formula, and finally perfecting the thick yet airy texture that quickly absorbs into the skin.
Sturgeon DNA stimulates the production of proteoglycan, which allows the skin to retain water and stay hydrated, and blocks elastase, which degrades skin’s elasticity. There are two strains used in the cream: Diamond and Siberian sturgeon DNA have high molecular weights, which means they take time to absorb and for the benefits to kick in, while white sturgeon’s low molecular weight DNA has a quicker absorption, showing more immediate results. The caviar’s powers are bolstered by mineral-rich coral algae and pure Swiss glacial water.
What does all of this mean for your skin? The immediate benefits are deep hydration and a plumped texture. With time, the cream can even skin tone, reduce redness and wrinkles, and tighten the skin. After using it for several weeks, I was impressed with the consistent level of hydration—especially in winter’s dry air—as well as the evening of my skin tone. I have very dry skin, so I typically apply two layers of moisturizer or top moisturizer with a face oil. (My favorite is actually Valmont’s Cure Majesteuse, but that’s another story.) But after using Crème Merveilleuse solo, my skin is very hydrated and has a glow to it. It took a week or so for the cream to reach its peak effect, and I’m seeing the benefits continue to improve with time.
Guillon says Crème Merveilleuse is better for men than many unisex face creams, including Valmont’s signature collection, which typically prioritize women’s skincare needs. Men have more active sebaceous glands, so they don’t need as much oil in their products. She tweaked the new collection’s formula to have an amount of oil that’s suitable for female skin, but delivered in a new way that makes it lighter, and even more effective, for all genders.
That’s all well and good, but still: $1,000? Crème Merveilleuse certainly holds its weight when compared to other super-expensive creams out there. La Prairie’s Platinum Rare Haute Rejuvenation cream retails for $1,525 and uses the brand’s exclusive Platinum Multi-Peptide, which includes extracts from the precious metal and focuses on improving elasticity and reducing fine wrinkles. At the top end of Sisley Paris’s collections, the $850 Supremÿa night cream features a signature 12-hour Longevity Concentrate made from plants paired with ultra-hydrating ingredients and is best for very dry skin. All of which is to say: the price checks out. These are proprietary ingredients, developed with no expenses spared, that offer the benefits of a whole skincare arsenal in one supercharged product.
Crème Merveilleuse is available from April 4th and retails for $1,000 for 50ml. Another new product, the Fluide Merveilleux serum, is designed to be used before the cream and will set you back $360 for 100ml.