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5 Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Dupes

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is a best-selling moisturizer that promises to hydrate and plump skin. It’s no wonder that this cream has such a cult following. It’s an effective product that does what it says it will do.

But Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is not exactly cheap. So I looked at the product formula, texture, finish, and the benefits of some drugstore moisturizers that come close to Kiehls in ingredients and performance but are more affordably priced.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream dupes from e.l.f., The Inkey List, Vanicream, The Ordinary, and Paula's Choice

I narrowed it down to these Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Dupes that will save you money while improving your skin health!

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My Top Pick

My favorite Kiehls dupe? e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream for its:

  • Lightweight texture
  • Rich hydration and moisture
  • Cruelty-free and vegan formula

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream handheld.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is a hydrating moisturizer formulated with glycerin and squalane.

Its lightweight formula hydrates for 24 hours and works to strengthen the skin barrier for a healthy complexion.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Key Ingredients

  • Glycerin: A humectant that attracts water to the skin, glycerin helps keep skin hydrated.
  • Squalane: Kiehl’s uses olived-derived squalane in this moisturizer. Squalane is a non-greasy oil that is similar in structure to the skin’s natural sebum. It’s an effective emollient that can help lock in moisture. It’s lightweight and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores.
  • Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil /​ Apricot Kernel Oil: This plant oil is rich in oleic acid, a fatty acid that helps to nourish and moisturize the skin.
  • Persea Gratissima Oil /​ Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is a plant oil that is rich in fatty acids and vitamins like vitamins A and D and the antioxidant vitamin E. It’s an effective emollient that can help to keep skin hydrated, making it a great choice for dry skin types.
  • Oryza Sativa Bran Oil /​ Rice Bran Oil: This oil is loaded with moisturizing fatty acids and antioxidants that help to nourish, protect, and revitalize skin.
  • Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/​Olive Fruit Oil: This rich oil, like the other plant oils in this moisturizing cream, contains fatty acids plus antioxidants that help to moisturize and protect the skin.
  • Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil /​ Sweet Almond Oil: Derived from almonds, this oil nourishes the skin with fatty acids and vitamins E and B.
  • Tocopherol: This is a form of vitamin E that is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage from environmental factors like pollution and UV rays.

In addition to these ingredients, the cream contains a small amount of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that helps to exfoliate the skin and improve the appearance of pores.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Dupes: Ultra Facial Cream open.

Paraben-free and fragrance-free, this moisturizer is formulated for all skin types.

As you can see from the ingredient list, this Kiehl’s moisturizer contains several plant oils that nourish and moisturize the skin.

While it is an effective moisturizer, the Ultra Facial Cream is lacking potent active ingredients, so if you are looking for a more targeted skin care product, one of the dupes below could be a better option for your skin type.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Dupes: Worth It?

While everyone’s skin is different, and what works for one person may not work for another, these lower-priced alternatives work just as well on my skin as Kiehl’s does.

They contain similar ingredients, replenish moisture like Kiehl’s does, and cost much less.

When you want an effective moisturizer but don’t want to spend the money on Kiehl’s, consider one of these five budget-friendly dupes.

Here are my top 5 Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream dupes:

1. e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream

e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream

E.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream is e.l.f.’s best-selling moisturizing face cream that is formulated with glycerin and squalane, making it an excellent Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream dupe.

  • This e.l.f. moisturizer is also enriched with niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that brightens the skin while supporting a healthy skin barrier. Niacinamide is a favorite of those with oily skin, as it helps to balance sebum (oil) production in the skin and reduce inflammation, which can help reduce the appearance of pores.
  • Sodium hyaluronate, another ingredient in this e.l.f. cream, is a form of hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps the skin by holding onto moisture.
  • Panthenol, or pro-vitamin B5, functions as an anti-inflammatory agent that soothes the skin.

It’s fragrance-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and suitable for all skin types.

The e.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream has a gel-cream-like texture that is quickly absorbed into the skin and feels even lighter on the skin than Kiehls making it ideal for normal, combination, and oily skin.

2. The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA

The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is a creamy but lightweight moisturizer that contains Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMFs).

  • Natural Moisturizing Factors include amino acids, fatty acids, glycerin, urea, sugars, and other compounds that help keep skin hydrated. NMFs are found naturally in the skin’s surface layer and work to attract water to the skin and help to prevent water loss.
  • This dupe for Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream also contains sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), which is a moisture-binding ingredient that plumps the skin and helps to reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines.

This moisturizing cream provides immediate hydration to the skin’s surface and works to lock in moisture for long-lasting hydration.

It’s also fragrance-free and non-irritating making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. Cruelty-free and vegan.

3. Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream

Paula's Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream

Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream is formulated for dry and very dry skin types. This Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream dupe contains several plant oils, just like Kiehl’s, including squalane and jojoba oil.

This Paulas’ Choice moisturizer contains many more actives than Kiehl’s does, including:

  • Brightening magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable vitamin C derivative.
  • Sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of superstar hydrator hyaluronic acid.
  • Ceramide NP and cholesterol, lipids that help restore the skin barrier.
  • Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that brightens skin and improves the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.
  • Avena sativa kernel extract, also known as oat kernel extract, a natural anti-irritant that helps to soothe the skin.

The Paula’s Choice Moisture Boost Hydrating Treatment Cream is also fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin. Cruelty-free.

4. The Inkey List Peptide Cream

The Inkey List Peptide Moisturizer

The Inkey List Peptide Cream contains glycerin, shea butter, and a dual peptide complex to address the signs of aging while moisturizing the skin.

Peptides are amino acid chains that signal to the skin to produce more collagen and elastin, which are two proteins that keep skin looking youthful. The cream also contains:

  • A 2% concentration of Royal Epigen P5 supports natural collagen production for firming-looking skin and helps to reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone.
  • A 1% concentration of Hydrating Peptide Solution helps strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier for a healthier complexion.

This Kiehls dupe has a silky texture that is quickly absorbed by the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and smooth.

It can be used morning and night and is suitable for sensitive, normal, combination, and dry skin types. It is ideal for aging skin and wrinkles. It’s cruelty-free and vegan.

5. Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Ideal for sensitive skin, this Kiehls skincare dupe moisturizes all day for a soft, supple complexion. Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer is formulated with glycerin and squalane, just like Kiehl’s for a similar, hydrating effect on the skin.

  • Hyaluronic acid is another ingredient that helps the skin to better retain moisture.
  • This dupe also features five ceramides that maintain a healthy skin barrier and prevent moisture loss. Think of ceramides like the mortar or glue that holds your skin cells together!

If you have a sensitive skin type and want to avoid potential irritants, you’ll love that this daily facial moisturizer is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and is free of dyes, lanolin, parabens, gluten, fragrance, and formaldehyde releasers.

The moisturizer is lightweight and ideal for wearing under makeup or for use as a night cream.

Related Post: Vanicream vs CeraVe

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