Thursday, 12 July 2012

La Prairie Cellular Platinum Cream

A while back, NSB read an unbelievable article in the Guardian about pricing of various products.

One part of it particularly caught NSB's attention. It was an interview with Rachel Simmonds who is the skincare training manager at La Prairie, whose 50ml Cellular Platinum Cream is sold for £656. It was the following comments (amongst others) from Rachel that left NSB a little lost:
"The high cost is because of the platinum colloidal water we use. It is magnetically charged particles of platinum, so it has an impact on the electrical balance of the skin. It helps to realign the water molecules so you have a better receptivity to nutrients. But it also stops vital hydration from being lost."

"Because of the magnetic charge each particle contains, it's symmetrical within the product and the way those tiny particles – they're submicrons, so they're really, really tiny – that's how it spreads evenly on the skin, and that's why it is able to shift water molecules and change the electrical balance."

"Yes, it's as simple as opposites attract, because the positive charge of the water molecules in the skin stand up on the right end because they're attracted to the product, and that's how you get your protective buffer zone back intact. Platinum is also classed as a super-antioxidant."

Which resulted in this message to the company:
Dear LaPrairie,
I just read an interivew with your skincare training manager, Rachel Simmonds, in the Guardian which has left me a little confused. I'm hoping that you can answer a few questions about it:
I understand that Platinum is a non-magnetic metal, so I am struggling a little to understand how the particles can have a magnetic charge. Have I missed something?

I'm afraid I don't understand what the "eletrical balance" of the skin is. Can you point me towards some kind of on-line medical resource that explains this?

Sadly, I can't visualise how the cream "helps to align the water molecules" as the cream presumably penetrates the skin to a degree and the water molecules in this penetrated layer will have nano-particles in all directions around them - Could you please advise which direction the water molecules are aligned in?

Do you have any evidence that platinum nano-particles are safe?

Incidentally (and this is not a question, merely a point that I note) I don't know how much colloidal Platinum costs, but 10ppm colloidal Gold costs about £60/litre, so I do rather wonder how colloidal Platinum can be a significant contributor to the cost of a cream that costs £13,120/litre

Update(11 May 2012)
Received a response from La Prairie today, apparently from the "Vice President, Brand and Public Relations (Global Communications)" in New York. Crikey.
It didn't actually answer any of my questions, but did give the name of a researcher who has worked in this area. So NSB bounced back this response to La Prairie:
Thanks for getting back to me, I really appreciate it.
It’s a shame that you couldn’t answer my question asking how non-magnetic Platinum particles can have a magnetic charge as I was really having trouble getting my head round this.
And I’m a little disappointed that you felt unable to point me towards any resources explaining what the “electrical balance” of the skin is.
Also, I guess I’ll have to keep on wondering how the particles can “align the water molecules”.
Lastly, it’s unfortunate that you felt unable to provide any evidence that Platinum nano-particles are safe.
On the plus side, thanks for mentioning that Prof XXX is doing work in this area, that is something I can chase up.
Also sent an email to the Prof asking if he can explain how a non-magnetic element can produce magnetic particles.

Update(25th June 2012)
Recently received a response from the researcher mentioned by La Prairie, who stated (not entirely unexpectedly) that:
"Platinum nanoparticles are not magnetic. If you want to manufacture magnetic platinum nanoparticles, you have to make bimetal platinum nanoparticles with cobalt or iron."

So NSB sent off another, perhaps slightly cheeky, missive to La Prairie:
I just received a response from the Prof XXX who stated (not entirely unexpectedly) that: "Platinum nanoparticles are not magnetic. If you want to manufacture magnetic platinum nanoparticles, you have to make bimetal platinum nanoparticles with cobalt or iron."
Is it the case that your nanoparticles are non-magnetic or is it the case that they contain reactive metals such as cobalt or iron?