5 Cheap Alternatives To Tatcha's Water Cream Moisturizer


To know Tatcha Water Cream is to love Tatcha Water Cream. The Tiffany-blue pot, the dainty golden spoon, the literal 23-karat gold folded into the formula like vanilla bean in meringue — this is peak luxury. So, too, is the $68 price tag, which leaves many of us merely lusting after a pot of our own. There's hope for us yet: The best alternatives to Tatcha's Water Cream behave similarly to the best-selling, prohibitively expensive original. These gel-cream hybrids are deeply hydrating, absorb quickly, and leave behind zero greasy or sticky residue, while plant-based ingredients work to balance, calm, and soften skin. In short, that means they work on virtually every skin type, including oily, dry, reactive, and acne-prone.

But to know a good alternative to the Tatcha Water Cream is to know what’s in the real Tatcha Water Cream. First, the water base (plus hyaluronic acid) gives this cream its signature weightless feel and refreshing effect. Then there’s a raft of antioxidants, courtesy of red algae, green tea, and rice for brightening, purifying, and aiding water retention. Layer in more naturally derived ingredients, like soothing camellia leaf, Japanese wild rose to curb excess oil, and radiance-boosting gold, and there’s your miracle worker.

The Tatcha Water Cream alternatives listed ahead are similarly formulated to soothe and replenish your skin. Some even share Tatcha’s “water-burst” technology, which is exactly what it sounds like. What they don't do is cost nearly as much as the original, or contain gold (sorry). But I promise they’re equally lovable.


A Korean Water Cream

Reviewers with literally every type of skin — sensitive, combination, oily, dry, acne-prone, the works — rave about this cult-favorite water cream. Like Tatcha Water Cream, this is formulated to “burst” when it comes into contact with your skin. Once it breaks, it delivers a ton of lightweight, hydrating ingredients, including plant-based squalane and panthenol, a vitamin B derivative. The formula is also heavy on the skin-soothers, most of which are botanically sourced and rich in antioxidants for more suppleness and brightness.


A Drugstore Moisturizer

This Neutrogena water gel contains fewer plant-based ingredients than the other products on this list, but at $15, it’s one of the most affordable. With a near-perfect rating from over 8,000 Amazon reviewers, it’s absolutely beloved, too. Hyaluronic acid delivers and seals in tons of moisture without oil or grease, and the unique gel-cream formula is both refreshing and deeply moisturizing. Softening, balancing, super-absorbent: There’s not much not to love about this drugstore pick.


A Water Cream With Probiotics

If long-term results are what you’re after, try working probiotics into your skin care routine: These healthy bacteria work to balance your skin’s microbiome and strengthen its protective barrier, resulting in better hydration, fewer breakouts, less inflammation, and generally firmer, brighter skin. This Pacifica water cream has a Tatcha-inspired (coconut) water-based formula, but it’s also spiked with powerful vegan probiotics. Hydrating hyaluronic acid, soothing allantoin, and strengthening amino acids round out the vegan formula. This $13 moisturizer gets enthusiastic reviews, too: One fan said it “saved” their acne-prone skin from breakouts. Try it on your face and body.

Editor's note: Check out more of the best skin care products with probiotics, here.


A Gel Moisturizer

Go for this boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer after a hot shower, if you live anywhere near a desert, or if your skin is otherwise in need of calming down. While all the moisturizers here are gel-cream hybrids, this one leans much more toward the former: One reviewer likened the consistency to aloe vera gel. And there is a healthy dose of aloe in here, as well as other refreshing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, like turmeric and basil extracts. Cactus water quenches dry skin and balances excess oil, as well. Store it in the fridge for some extra cooling action.


Another Top-Rated Options

Not only is Bliss the best place to get waxed, in my unshakeable opinion, but the spa also makes some of the best premium skin care products you can get on Amazon. Their Drench & Quench moisturizer is another “bursts-when-opened” formula, in the Tatcha tradition: Once you massage it in, it’ll flood your skin with marine-sourced micro-droplets that are designed to deliver steady hydration for a full 24 hours. Vitamin C adds brightening and protective benefits, and chamomile soothes redness and irritation. Much more pleasant than a wax.