If you’re a long-term reader of this blog, you’ll know I don’t generally post negative reviews; if I dislike something, I just don’t post about it. I make exceptions for things that cause severe pain and physical harm. What is this product? La Mara face cream.

I bought this back in March at Aldi, and never actually got around to trying it. Well, after my shower last night, I got a mad notion and decided to give it a go– but boy, I wish I hadn’t. I had said at the time that I was a little leery of it, and my suspicions were correct.

On application, it felt very thick and much heavier than I’d expected. I hate that, but I can put up with it if it’s going to do my skin a solid. As I continued to get ready, I noticed my face felt a little hot. That’s nothing new; plenty of masks and various other treatments have that effect, so I paid it no heed. Then I took a look in the mirror and noticed that I had wrinkles and lines in places I never had wrinkles and lines before: around my mouth and eyes and jaw. I was horrified– a moisturiser shouldn’t have that effect, surely?

Then my eyes fell on my hairline, and I’m not ashamed to tell you that I actually screamed.

I’m 31 years old. In that time, I have put all manner of terrible shite on my face. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, but I am prone to spots, so in an effort to beat them into submission, I’ve tried a lot of different things. Mustache bleach as a mask. Covering my whole face in eggs, and vinegar, and porridge (independently). Mud masks. Scrubs. Peels. Some of them have left my skin feeling a little worse for wear, but none of them had the same affect as this.

This stuff takes the cake. The only other thing which has had the same effect on my skin as this is several hours on the beach without sunscreen:


Red, blotchy, hot, itchy… This hurt, and I also look like I’ve been jogging on the face of the sun.

I immediately tried to wash this stuff off, with limited success. Half a bottle of micellar water and ten cold flannels later, my skin had finally begun to cool down and was no longer the raw red of a baboon’s bum, but it took a full two hours for it to return to its normal Nezness.

I plastered on the Hydraluron, layered some Creme de la Mer over that, and covered it with Bio Oil. When I woke up this morning, both the wrinkles and redness had disappeared, although my skin feels far more dry, tight, and sore than it usually would, and I suspect I’m going to need another intensive moisturising treatment tonight to try and get it back to normal.

I usually say you can’t expect much from budget offerings, and I will forgive a cheap option a lot: limited pigmentation, shoddy quality packaging, limited impact, etc., but what I cannot forgive in any product is making my skin feel like hot sandpaper and giving me the countenance of a hitch-hiker who’s just come through Death Valley.

On the plus side, I guess it has drawn my awareness to the fact that I don’t apply my facecreams right to the root of my hair, which is something I should look at? Other than that, there are absolutely no positives to this product whatsoever, at any price. My recommendation is not to buy it– but then again, when it managed to give me sunburn, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

It’s possible I’m just allergic to it, but I’ve never had a reaction like this before to anything else, and I don’t have any known allergies, either. In any case, I’m not taking any chances: I won’t be passing this on to my family members (as I would usually do with beauty items that didn’t suit me).

What skincare horror stories do you have? Have you ever had a reaction like this one? Or have you tried this product and found it to be fine? Drop me a line and let me know!



  1. Posted November 15, 2014 at 02:30 | Permalink | Reply

    Whoa ! That’s some crappy product … I hope your skin gets back to normal soon … To get the skin to cool off try applying some plain curd, it usually helps ..

    • Posted November 15, 2014 at 20:38 | Permalink | Reply

      I know, right? I was so horrified. I wasn’t even going to take pics, but then I thought maybe nobody would believe how bad it had been without them, and I was right. When I mentioned to Mum that I’d had a bad reaction she didn’t pay much attention, but when I showed her the photos, she was aghast.

      I didn’t really know what curd was, so I had to look it up– definitely didn’t have any of that in the house, but will remember it for next time! Fortunately this was gone by the following morning, but gosh: it was an unpleasant experience.

      Thanks for the comment and advice! ❀

      • Posted November 22, 2014 at 01:41 | Permalink | Reply

        There is a blogger in Asia.. Japan or singapire something .. I fogot .. She had such a bad reaction from this beauty spa on her face .. It took her months !!! I am sincerely glad yours got fine soon .. Curd is yougurt πŸ˜€

        • Posted November 22, 2014 at 02:37 | Permalink | Reply

          For a minute I thought you meant the same thing as I’d used! I wondered if they had Aldi in the Far East.

          In any case, I feel for that poor girl– I got lucky, I think, in that I washed it off in time. Quite honestly, if I hadn’t been able to see the line around my forehead where my normal skin was, I would probably have thought I was just flushed from the shower and not realised how much trouble I was in! Terrible moisturizer application skills save the day, lol. ❀

  2. Shygirl
    Posted November 15, 2014 at 21:39 | Permalink | Reply

    You poor thing, your skin had a major reaction. Sometimes when your skin reacts like that to a product, it’s nearly better to avoid using too many products and not wear make up until it’s back to normal. I used an Aldi face serum before. The first bottle I used gave me no problem. I got a second bottle of it a few months later, and it gave me really bad breakouts, so I threw it out.

    • Posted November 15, 2014 at 23:05 | Permalink | Reply

      It was all a bit intense, all right! I have a different Aldi product (the Lacura orange face treatment thing) which my skin seems to like well enough, so I’m not writing off their range in full, but this is definitely a not for repurchase for me.

      I had to put something on it at the time because it felt like paper– so thin and dry, it was scary! But I don’t wear makeup most days, so my skin has had a nice breather and is back to normal now, thankfully. Not an experience I care to repeat, though!

      Thanks for commenting. ❀

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