La Prairie: History & Skin Care Essentials

When I say Switzerland, you probably think of at least one of these things: chocolate, fancy watches, and beautiful snowy alps. However, there’s one more thing you should think of: a luxury beauty brand called La Prairie. La Prairie has beginnings in Montreux, Switzerland as a high-end health & beauty clinic that serviced celebrities, world leaders, and even religious leaders. Fun fact, Pope Pius XII once received treatment there! You can actually still go to the clinic today - or, you can let the clinic come to you in the form of La Prairie skincare.

Clinique La Prairie

Clinique La Prairie Original Location image

Credit: Instagram/cliniquelaprairie

The story of La Prairie starts in 1931 when Dr Paul Niehans joined Clinique La Prairie, an exclusive spa and laboratory based in Montreux, a resort town on the shores of Lac Leman. At the time, Clinique La Praire was already an established health spa - however, Dr Niehans’ work is what put it on the world map. 

By the time Dr Niehans joined Clinique La Prairie, he was already a well-known medical professional who was willing to try the newest and latest treatments to improve his patients’ well-being. 

He developed treatments based on cellular therapy, and this treatment method became the backbone of almost all Clinique La Prairie treatments. At first, Dr Niehans didn’t have much support for his methods until he was able to dramatically increase one of his patient’s lifespans. By dramatically increase, I mean that she lived for another happy and healthy 40 years when other medical professionals agreed that she didn’t have much time left!

This was a big deal and created support for Dr Niehans’ approach - he would then go on to pioneer the cellular therapy treatment at Clinique La Prairie. At first, these therapies were meant to just improve patients’ health, but over time, realised that more and more were seeking anti-ageing benefits. 

La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence in Lotion image

La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-In-Lotion | $365
Infused with caviar water and La Prairie's unique Exclusive Cellular Matrix, this essence boosts the rest of your skincare routine. 

Exclusive Cellular Complex

La Prairie Skin Caviar jar image
Credit: Instagram/LaPrairie

The focus shifted to developing more techniques and products that slowed down the anti-ageing process, and from this, La Prairie’s proprietary Exclusive Cellular Complex was born. Now, they keep the actual formula and development of this ingredient under wraps to ensure exclusivity, but here are the major benefits of the Exclusive Cellular Complex: 

  • Enhance the skin’s renewal process
  • Improve skin’s ability to retain moisture
  • Boost skin’s repair processes
  • Strengthen skin’s natural defences

Now, clients of the Clinique La Prairie were so happy with the results that they were getting from the clinic treatments, that they asked if there was a way for them to maintain these results at home. From that, the La Prairie brand that we know today was born. The current La Prairie logo is actually an image of the original Clinique La Prairie location!

La Prairie White Caviar skin serum image

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Serum | $805
The White Caviar Illuminating Serum helps to fade uneven skin tone and age spots for flawless skin.

La Prairie Skincare

La Prairie Caviar bead texture image

Credit: Instagram/LaPrairie

While the Exclusive Cellular Complex is *still* a closely held secret, the team at La Prairie kept Dr Niehans’ innovation and pioneering spirit at heart - in 1987, they developed the now-iconic Skin Caviar line. This was a game-changer when it came to cosmetics! Before this, the thought of skincare in an encapsulated delivery system was practically science fiction.

The Skin Caviar line is named for two things: actually containing caviar extract, and for the unique skincare spheres’ resemblance to caviar. The scientists working on this product were said to be inspired by the perfectly round fish roe, and wanted to incorporate the rounded shape as an homage to the original ingredient. This wasn’t any ordinary caviar, either - these eggs were harvested from sturgeon raised in the pure and clean Swiss waters.

Now, caviar might seem pretty normal to us now as a luxury skincare ingredient - but these days, we owe that entirely to La Prairie and their willingness to innovate with the best quality ingredients they could find - something that the La Prairie brand still does to this day! The Skin Cavier is just one of many skincare lines that contain luxurious ingredients, such as gold and platinum, all formulated with Exclusive Cellular Complex for that unique La Prairie touch.

La Prairie SKin caviar liqiud lift serum image

La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift | $800
One of the first products to contain La Prairie's unique caviar beads, this serum lifts and firms.

La Prairie has proven itself to be one of the best skincare brands, using a combination of the best ingredients alongside their own unique ingredient complex - so what are you waiting for? Get your beauty affairs in order with La Prairie!

Need some help putting together the best skincare routine for your skin type? Try our skin quiz!

Beauty Affairs Skin Quiz Image

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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