Scientific Insights into the Majestic Landscapes of Switzerland

The pure mountain air and the lakes of Switzerland are renowned across the globe for their remarkable beauty, cleanliness, and revivifying qualities. While this celebrated purity is primarily the result of a number of environmental, chemical, and geographical factors, its influence goes beyond that of other natural phenomena. Indeed, the purity of the Swiss landscape has become an indelible aspect of national identity, one which is poised to build a future in mutually beneficial harmony with nature.


Formed seven hundred and seventy million years ago at the collision of three continental plates, a mass of gneiss, schist, and limestone arose from the bed of an extinct sea, creating the monumental landscape that is the Swiss Alps. These mountains, and the glacial valleys which have carved their way between them, have long since played a significant role in Switzerland becoming the world’s most renowned clean air zone, with the mountains’ unique position, topography, snow-capped peaks, and dense forestation combining to purify the air and enrich it with precious elements.

Recent studies into the purity of Swiss mountain air have uncovered no shortage of explanations for its enduring cleanliness and myriad qualities. The positioning of the mountain range allows for the air to maintain a profound level of cleanliness, brought about by areas of low and high pressure weaving their way through the peaks and valleys. This, in turn, is heightened by the presence of pristine glacial water vapour in the atmosphere, a factor resulting from rushing waterfalls and turbulent mountain streams. Furthermore, the lush meadows and treeline capture over fifty percent of carbon dioxide emissions and lend the air its distinctive Alpine freshness, while the fallen snow ensures an ever-present crispness.

Switzerland’s glaciers, which have traversed great swathes of Alpine land for tens of thousands of years, also wield their influence on air purity as they carve their way through the valleys, acting as vast filters and temperature moderators for the entire landscape. Despite their apparent permanence, these glaciers and their impact upon the mountainous climate, air quality, and pure water sources of Switzerland are fragile. Indeed, the encroaching threat of climate change has led to Switzerland’s glaciers becoming ecological bellwethers, and their composition, protection, and the changes they are subject to are the topic of intense study by the Glaciology Department of ETH University. In order to support the preservation of the majestic beauty and environmental importance of Swiss glaciers, La Prairie has partnered with the ETH University, assisting in foundation’s all-important research, and helping seek solutions to the impact of climate change on Switzerland’s most fragile and iconic natural features.

The Swiss Alpes at sunrise. Photo credit ©Gianni Krattli. 
Lake Sils in Switzrland. Photo credit ©Gianni Krattli.

Switzerland’s lakes are equally as renowned as its air when it comes to purity and restorative power, and the source of their properties can be found both above and deep below the ground. While much of Swiss lake water comes from melting snow and glacial runoff, allowing it an unrivalled purity, it was discovered in 2015 that many of them have their source in craters below the surface, causing the waters to be imbued with a complex and precious minerality. The largest of these subterranean craters was discovered in Lake Neuchâtel, where it was noted that volcanic spring water had been filtered through no less than sixty metres of bedrock, before rushing upwards into the lake from beneath the fissure.

Alongside their notable cleanliness and purity, the other distinctive attribute of Swiss lake water is its colour. Many of the most renowned Swiss lakes exhibit turquoise and emerald hues, providing evidence of both their mineral-richness and chemical composition. These colourful tones are the result of rock flour, microscopic mineral deposits carried by glacial meltwater, which reflect the blue-green sector of the light spectrum and which demonstrate the uninterrupted flow of the lakes’ natural sources.

Geologists, hydrologists, and a wealth of other scientists have been researching the chemical composition of Swiss lakes for well over a century, and their findings go some way towards explaining why Swiss lake water has always been held in such high regard. It has been found that the lakes contain several major mineral salts, as well as a varied wealth of precious trace elements, all of which are highly beneficial to wellbeing. When this elemental richness and complexity is matched by the cleanliness that arises from a pristine alpine environment, it is perhaps unsurprising that Swiss lake water is considered among the purest in the world, and possessing a standard of excellence worthy of both pride and protection.


The caviar ingredient selected by La Prairie for the newly reimagined Skin Caviar Liquid Lift is a precious gift of nature, borne of Switzerland’s mountain waters. In the heart of the Alps, a limited number of the finest sturgeon are raised in pure spring water that has been naturally filtered through the rocky landscape, lending a rich and varied minerality to the water. The resulting sturgeon habitats offer the optimal conditions for producing caviar of the utmost distinction and finesse, made in harmony with its serene surroundings, and capable of providing its transformative qualities upon the skin.

The scientists of La Prairie have entered into a collaboration with a Swiss artisanal cultivator that devotes its time, heart, and soul into harvesting this unique caviar. Once the caviar has been sourced, time is very much of the essence, and the short distance between the sturgeon habitat and the Swiss laboratories in which the ingredient transformation process takes place guarantees optimal quality, potency, and purity.