You know what they say about why you should treat your body and skin well – you only have one, so make it last. The same thing can often be said about the environment but rarely does the two combine. Unless of course you talk to luxury skin care brand La Prairie, specifically about their Advance Marine Biology range.
Launched in 2007, the Advanced Marine Biology range was a collaboration between the luxury skin care brand and ocean activist and photographer Céline Cousteau. As the granddaughter of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau and an independent filmmaker herself, it was interesting to talk to her about her efforts to save the oceans of the world and talk skin care.
We sat down with her late last year at a penthouse suite at The Darling hotel in Sydney to chat about her work and of course La Praire. Cousteau was elegant and refined just as a French woman are known for, but instead of speaking with a thick French accent, she spoke with a confident and passionate American accent. It was clear when she spoke about the beauty in the ocean and her efforts to document life on the unbeaten track that it was something she cared very much about – and loved doing.
“Within the family of La Prairie products, the Advance Marine Biology range brings in someone who is younger and has an active on-the-go lifestyle,” Cousteau tells us. “It’s for women who want to take care of themselves and use a beauty product that is more environmentally minded, but is also practical.”
Water has always been a part of Cousteau’s life, with her first experience in water being when her brother threw her into the family pool before she learnt how to swim.
“Somehow I got back to the surface, so I’m okay,” she says with a smile. “My first experiences with water were a bit like everybody – at home or at the beach.”
But it was her first diving experience with her grandfather Jacques Cousteau that has stuck with her.
“My first dive was with my grandfather and that was pretty amazing because it is an experience not many people have, I was about eight or nine years old and it was done in such a natural way that it felt normal. I never looked upon the experience with fear because I went with somebody that I trusted and as soon as I was in the water and I started seeing colourful sea urchins and other sea life. I forgot that I was underwater and had a tank on my back, I was just out on a walk with my grandfather. And I think if you do that with children, you don’t teach them fear – you introduce things in a very normal, natural way and it just becomes a part of life.”
The collaboration with La Prairie first came about because the Swiss luxury beauty brand wanted to spread the eco-friendly story behind the Advanced Marine Biology collection, wanting to tell the world about their proactive treatments that utilise the extraordinary protective and regenerative properties of marine plant life to help prevent premature skin aging. Lab-bred ‘aquacultures’ recreates the sea’s regenerative botanicals without disturbing the ocean’s important and diverse eco-cultures for beauty.
The Advanced Marine Biology range is made up of collagen-stimulating red algae extracts, anti-oxidant sea parsley and mineralrich seaweed that are derived exclusively from sustainable, land-based aquaculture without disturbing the delicate balance of the sea.
“When I find people who are doing it right should be, not praised, but they should be supported, because there is a better way to do it,” Cousteau told us as she elaborated more about how simple things like the food, pharmaceuticals and skin care we use are having a disastrous effect on marine wildlife that we are not aware of day to day.
“Look at the food we eat, that would be one very obvious place to look. There are a lot of good for animal seafood guides that are available. We are depleting resources by fishing our sea life into extinction in the Mediterranean, but it’s also in the way seafood is fished – like bottom trolling will scrape up basically everything on the sea floor, most of which is discarded and sealife is destroyed. The cosmetics industry uses a lot of marine ingredients and pharmaceuticals use a lot of marine ingredients in health care, so just knowing that as a consumer we are affecting the sea without realising it.”
“And then everything we do on land ends up in our ocean. You throw something in the river, the river ends up in the ocean and you eat the fish from the ocean and then it comes back to you! It all comes back, it’s full circle – anything you look at.”
A challenge for Cousteau and her fellow marine conservationists is awareness, but it is through her work with La Prairie that she has been able to drive more attention to her cause through the Monaco Blue Initiative and the La Prairie Award for Innovation and Marine Protection that their efforts have been acknowledged and brought to light.
Her partnership with La Prairie is one that Cousteau see’s continuing as well.
“I have been surprised at where we have gone in the past five years, cause we started this relationship being completely open to create a vision together. Looking at La Prairie and what they have done to date is all about continuing to supporting those kind of initiatives and we’re going to continue to push that in the years to come. Our platform hasn’t just been about the development of this collection, but has really been about creating a platform for me to talk about my work in an audience that doesn’t necessarily always come to my direction.”
Our thoughts: The La Praire Advance Marine Biology collection
Last year we were given travel sized samples of the Advance Marine Biology Collection before we went on a month-long trip through Europe and then Hong Kong – plane hopping on at least 9 planes and several different weather conditions.
- Advanced Marine Biology Day Cream SPF20
- Advanced Marine Biology Eye Gel
- Advanced Marine Biology Foaming Mousse Cleanser
Whether it was blowing up a chilly gale in Dublin, Ireland or hot and humid in Hong Kong, my skin always felt like it had the perfect level of moisture thanks to the Advanced Marine Biology Day Cream. It was light and easy to smooth on to my skin, feeling more like a gel than a cream with SPF. It had a light scent that didn’t overwhelm and the SPF level was ok while I was travelling during a non-summer period.
The cooling Eye Gel kept puffy eyes at bay, even when I was hopping off planes at 6am in the morning or stepping out of the hotels at 5am to catch a 7am flight. Tying all the products together nicely was the Foaming Mousse Cleanser for a light clean that removed traces of foundation and powders at the end of the day.
My beauty regime while travelling was a little lighter than usual, but I didn’t feel like I needed any more or less (especially given my luggage limit on some inter-Europe flights!). In my opinion, the Advanced Marine Biology range is a perfect entry level line into La Prairie’s amazing range of beauty products for a younger audience and worked perfectly for my combination skin.