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Oceana Magazine Winter 2009: Ocean Advocate: Andy Bevacqua

As chief scientist for La Mer's Max Huber Research labs, Andy Bevacqua has nearly 20 patents for his achievements in cosmetic chemistry. He has spent years working on the Miracle Broth in Crème de la Mer, which is made via bio-fermentation from sea kelp, vitamins and minerals, citrus oil, eucalyptus, wheat germ, alfalfa and sunflower. Bevacqua is the newest member of Oceana's Ocean Council.

What is the crème capable of?

It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Anyone with skin that is not performing at its optimal level can use Crème de la Mer. We don't make any claims about it except it makes your skin perform younger, optimizing the skin. Most of what is said is a testimonial. People say, ‘I had a burn scar and I used the crème and it helped my skin heal.'

The Crème has developed a cult following because people see the results for themselves when they try it. I have heard from several dermatologists that their clients with the best skin are faithful devotees of La Mer.

Where does the kelp you use come from?
It's the giant sea kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera. Our kelp is from the Pacific Coast, where it grows abundantly.

Are you concerned about the health of sea kelp ecosystems?

Absolutely. When I met some of your scientists in Valencia, Xavier Pastor and Carlos Pérez, we talked at length. This giant sea kelp is very important to sustaining the ecosystem in the Pacific Ocean. Darwin commented that if something ever happened to the giant kelp, there would be catastrophic consequences to all of life on earth. We are careful to harvest sustainably - we only harvest what reaches the surface. When you pick the fronds on the surface of the water, they grow back, just like mowing your lawn.

What do you think is the most urgent threat facing the oceans?

I used to think the biggest threat was pollution before I met with Oceana. But after spending time with Oceana, I think a bigger threat is overfishing and trawling. In the collaboration between La Mer and Oceana, I have come to understand that the only way we will get things done and make real change is if the three prongs - the government, NGOs, and industry - all work together. We all have a common goal. If anything happens to our oceans, it's going to have a negative effect on all of life on this planet.