You may have heard of Creme de la Mer, a best-selling moisturizer with a cult following and a very high price tag. As with any top-performing high priced product, you may wonder if there is an effective Creme de la Mer dupe. So today, we’re going to discuss 3 Creme de la Mer skincare dupes that will undoubtedly save you a lot of money.
First, let’s take a look at Creme de la Mer and what makes it so beloved by the skincare-obsessed.
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What is Creme de la Mer?
La Mer Creme de la Mer Moisturizing Cream is a luxe face cream that soothes, smoothes, and moisturizes dry skin. It helps heal dryness with its proprietary Miracle Broth and other actives that repair and replenish the skin. It also helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles, strengthen the skin barrier and improve skin firmness and radiance.
The inspiration for Creme de la Mer was born after creator and physicist Dr. Max Huber suffered burns in a lab accident. Twelve years and thousands of experiments later, La Mer’s proprietary Miracle Broth came into form. It contains fermented Giant Sea Kelp, vitamins, minerals and other rejuvenating ingredients.
The sea kelp is hand-harvested off Vancouver Island, and each batch of Miracle Broth includes a few drops of the previous batch so that every batch will link back to the first and original batch. La Mer uses light and sound energy to improve the activity of the sea kelp and other ingredients in the broth. It takes from 3 to 4 months for the ingredients to undergo fermentation.
Algae (seaweed) extract from the sea kelp is the most concentrated ingredient in the cream, so what’s so special about algae extract?
There are many different kinds of algae extract, and La Mer’s algae extract is what makes this cream so sought-after. While algae extract has been effectively used to thicken and moisturize skincare products, it can also offer anti-aging benefits. La Mer claims that their secretive formula is a cell-renewing elixir that calms redness and irritation.
The cream also contains LaMer’s proprietary Lime Tea, which is said to offer antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radical damage incurred from UV exposure and protect skin from other environmental stressors.
Other notable active ingredients in Creme de la Mer include:
- Mineral Oil: An occlusive that prevents transepidermal water loss and may feel heavy on the skin, so it’s best for those with dry skin.
- Petrolatum: Also known as Vaseline, this is another occlusive that keeps water from evaporating from your skin. It’s non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) but has a very thick and greasy texture.
- Microcrystalline Wax: A wax derived from petroleum to improve product texture.
- Glycerin: An excellent moisturizer that supports a healthy skin barrier.
- Sesame Seed Oil: A plant oil rich in omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and lignans, which are antioxidants that help firm the skin. This oil moisturizes and softens dull, dry skin.
- Copper Gluconate: The copper salt of gluconic acid offers regenerative and healing properties to the skin.
- Zinc Gluconate: A zinc salt with antibacterial and sebum balancing properties, which makes it ideal for acne-prone skin. It is also healing and regenerative for the skin.
- Panthenol: Also known as pro-vitamin B-5, panthenol soothes and moisturizes the skin.
Creme de la Mer also contains Eucalyptus essential oil and additional fragrance, which may be irritating to sensitive skin. (I have somewhat sensitive skin, but my skin loves Creme de la Mer and doesn’t experience any irritation.)
La Mer notes that the cream should be warmed between the fingers to activate it. Once it is translucent, it can be applied to the face and neck.
So why is Creme de la Mer so expensive? La Mer says it’s the quality of ingredients, the complex processes that go into producing La Mer products, and the results seen by their customers that make the price tag so high.
Check out this fascinating 5-minute video if you want to learn more about La Mer and more of the most expensive anti-aging products in the world.
Does Creme de la Mer Work?
Is Creme de la Mer worth it, and does it really work? While Creme de la Mer has its devotees who say it works for them, keep in mind that skincare is very subjective. (Personally, I really like Creme de la Mer and would purchase it more often if it wasn’t so expensive.) So what may work for one person may not work for someone else.
Your skin type and skin concerns will help determine whether or not Creme de la Mer will work for you. One thing that is not subjective is the price tag, which is very steep for most. So in the meantime, consider these alternatives that will surely save you lots of money.
Creme de la Mer Dupes
Nivea Creme is one of the most popular La Mer dupes. It is formulated to provide rich moisture to the skin and be used on the face, hands, and body, including dry areas like the knees, feet, and elbows, all at a very affordable price.
It shares many of the same ingredients as Creme de la Mer, such as mineral oil, petrolatum, glycerin, and 12 other ingredients. The main difference between the two is that Creme de la Mer contains Miracle Broth (algae extract) as its primary (most concentrated) ingredient, and Nivea Creme contains water as its most concentrated ingredient.
So that is why this Nivea cream is so incredibly cheap and why La Mer is not, as it doesn’t contain the elusive La Mer Miracle Broth.
Nivea Creme moisturizer is thick and rich, so although it is formulated for all skin types, it would work best for those with dry skin. It is very emollient, occlusive, and excellent for dry skin types at a small fraction of the price of Creme de la Mer.
Please note that there is fragrance in this Nivea moisturizer, which even smells similar to Creme de la Mer.
Mario Badescu Seaweed Cream is a deeply moisturizing oil-free night cream that works overnight to improve radiance, skin tone, and skin texture.
This Mario Badescu cream is formulated with Bladderwrack extract. Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed used to treat different conditions in the body as it offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals such as B-complex vitamins, calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon, carotene, selenium, zinc, Vitamins A, C, and E.
Bladderwrack soothes and heals the skin and even offers anti-aging benefits as it helps to improve skin elasticity and firmness. The cream also contains hydrolyzed elastin and soluble collagen to hydrate the skin.
Sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, hydrates and helps skin retain moisture, providing a temporary plumping effect.
The cream is formulated to hydrate and replenish the skin without using pore-clogging oils, so this cream is ideal for those with combination, oily, or sensitive skin types. It also helps to reduce redness and itchiness associated with dryness, acne skin, or eczema flare-ups.
Don’t let the oil-free green-hued formula fool you. It is rich and deeply moisturizing. This cream has its own seaweed extract, and while different from La Mer, it can also offer anti-aging and healing benefits. If that doesn’t convince you to give it a try as a dupe for La Mer, then the affordable price just might.
Please note that there is fragrance in this Mario Badescu night cream.
Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream is Weleda’s best-selling product and that is almost 100 years old (it launchd in 1926)! The title says it all as it is a very rich face cream that nourishes dry and very dry skin with its plant based formula.
The thick cream contains sunflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, and beeswax as a base and viola tricolor, calendula, and chamomile extracts to soothe the skin. Glycerin and arginine moisturize the skin, while rosemary extract provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Like the rest of the creams in this post, this moisturizer contains fragrance. This Weleda moisturizer offers a similar feel to La Mer but is even richer and thicker in consistency. The super thick texture (it’s also a little greasy) makes it ideal for use overnight.
There are no algae extracts in this cream, but there are plant extracts to soothe the skin and promote healing.
In addition to your face, you can also use this cream on rough and dry areas of your body like your elbows, hands and feet.
If you are looking for a dupe for La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream, consider Weleda Skin Food Light Nourishing Cream. It has a similar formula to the original Weleda Skin Food but is lighter in consistency, just as The Moisturizing Soft Cream is lighter in consistency than the original Creme de la Mer moisturizer.
Final Thoughts on Creme de la Mer Dupes
Creme de la Mer moisturizing cream is a cult-favorite luxury face cream since it helps to smooth wrinkles and fine lines and heal and moisturize the skin. While none of these skincare dupes in this post are exactly like La Mer in formula, feel, or experience, you just might get similar results at a fraction of the price and find a new favorite to add to your daily skincare routine.
Of all the dupes, I think Nivea Creme is the closest to La Mer. It has a similar look, feel, smell, and ingredient list, minus the algae extract.
What’s your favorite La Mer dupe?
Thanks for reading, and until next time…