Headphones on a glass of liquid.
Photo: Andrew Zuckerman

This Luxury Skincare “Miracle Broth” Is the Result of Sonochemistry

By Aileen Kwun
February 1, 2020
2 minute read

The luxury skincare line La Mer is known for plenty of things—most notably, its hype and hefty price tag: A single jar of its signature Crème de la Mer moisturizing cream runs for $325 (for 2 ounces) and goes up to $2,400 (for 16.5 ounces). Apparently, there’s even a secondary market for hawking empty La Mer jars, an LOL for aspirational shopping and late capitalism if there ever was one. But what’s a month’s worth of rent, after all, compared to the cost of living in your own visage? So the brand’s diehard cult following—celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Kevin Hart are among the converted—would have you wonder.

La Mer, for its part, markets the mystique of its product around a proprietary “miracle broth.” Developed by German aerospace physicist Max Huber over the course of 12 years and many experiments in the lab, its main ingredient is a nutrient-rich seaweed that undergoes a slow-fermentation process for three months. Scientists have explored sonochemistry—a branch of study that aims to understand the effect sound waves can have on liquid—for nearly 100 years, and audio exposure to a special soundtrack is said to be an important part of Huber’s formula. It’s an origin story that’s led to its fair share of myths and theories, but as it turns out, it’s completely true. According to The Cut, each batch of miracle broth is played a loop of recordings that “sounds kind of like this YouTube video of a stomach gurgling loudly.”