In the realm of face creams, there’s one skin-nourishing elixir that holds a long-time status as being one of the most luxurious you can buy: the Crème de la Mer. But, if you snag a La Mer moisturizer dupe, you can soak up similar effects for less of a splurge.
There’s a good reason so many celebrities — including Kim Kardashian and Kate Hudson — have the La Mer cream in their beauty cabinets. It lives up to the hype. And that’s partially why the rich facial moisturizer comes with a $350 price tag for 2 ounces of the stuff. More specifically, the Crème de la Mer relies on a blend of science-backed hydration-boosting ingredients to deliver its restorative results.
The first ingredient listed in the Crème de la Mer is algae, aka seaweed extract — which does several amazing things to your skin. “Seaweed of all kinds can possess highly concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals as a result of being able to absorb them from seawater,” says Dr. Rachel Maiman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Marmur Medical. That smattering of nutrients can help regulate your skin’s oil production, decrease acne-causing bacteria, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, calm inflammation, deliver moisture, and lessen hyperpigmentation, Maiman explains.
The cream also contains two MVP hydrating staples: petroleum and glycerin. “These both provide moisturization to the skin,” says Dr. Morgan Rabach, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with LM Medical in New York City. “Glycerin is a humectant, so it pulls water into the skin, and petrolatum is an emollient that prevents moisture loss from the skin.” Because petrolatum is occlusive (meaning it forms a physical barrier on the skin), it also protects your complexion from damaging external factors like harsh temperatures and pollution, adds Maiman.
Further solidifying the La Mer cream’s moisturizing prowess is mineral oil, another occlusive that locks hydration into the skin. “It serves the same purpose as petrolatum,” says Maiman. Besides providing moisture, she notes that mineral oil works to soften the skin and support the protective barrier.
Lime tea extract is also found within the La Mer formula, a fermented, antioxidant-rich ingredient that helps protect your skin and neutralize free radical damage. “By doing that, this extract allows the skin to focus on renewal and repair,” Maiman explains.
When shopping for a La Mer cream dupe, the main factors to look for are the moisturizing agents. “Outside of algae extract, the main ingredients in Crème de la Mer are basic things like glycerin, petrolatum, and mineral oil, which are in most facial moisturizers,” says Maiman. Keep scrolling for the best alternatives you can snag for a healthy, hydrated glow for less cash than you’d spend on the famous face cream.
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