La Mer’s iconic and beloved Crème de La Mer cream has long been touted as one of the best skincare products to ever exist from countless celebrity fans, including Crissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian West. Naturally, it’s also been named a holy grail skincare staple for a laundry list of notable makeup artists and beauty editors who maintain that the luxe formula’s unrivaled performance undoubtedly justifies the lofty price tag.
The $190+ face cream is known for delivering next-level hydration to repair the skin’s barrier while leaving behind a velvety-soft canvas that sits beautifully under makeup. Other loyalists have taken to Reddit to wax poetic about the rich cream’s ability to soften fine lines, heal acne scars, and cure chronic dry patches in just a month or so. Of course, given the luxury cream’s steep price point, the vast number of queries I encountered searching for an affordable alternative to help break the “La Mer habit” is pretty understandable.
Thanks to La Mer’s proprietary concoction of soothing and active ingredients including seaweed extract that undergoes a special fermentation process — also referred to as their “miracle broth” — this “healing elixir” not only offers corrective benefits, but it also soothes topical inflammation and calms redness, not to mention the fact that it softens like a literal dream.
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Frankly, it’d be pretty hard to find an exact replication of this iconic cream, but after scouring the web for skincare junkie-approved dupes, it looks like the budding cult-favorite, Skin Food by Weleda comes pretty damn close. While Skin Food lacks fermented Sea Kelp, La Mer’s all-star ingredient, it is infused with a slew of plant-powered ingredients including Beeswax (a natural exfoliant and humectant), as well as Pansy extract, which helps to soothe redness and boost microcirculation.
Skin Food has a super thick—almost balm-like—texture and a little goes a long way, whereas Creme de la Mer is more creamy and easier to blend. However, once applied, the two products yield a similar finish—a healthy, dewy glow that can be intensified or played down depending on your skin type. Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes even likes to use it as a natural-looking highlight on her clients, adding a touch of the product to the high points of the face. Some find the original Skin Food to be a little too heavy—especially if you have oily skin—but fortunately, there’s a light version to try if you find this to be the case.
There’s no doubt that people seem to love Creme de la Mer for a good reason (myself, included) but you just can’t fathom dropping $200 (you can get the travel size for just $95, but still) on skin cream (and hey, we definitely don’t blame you) this inexpensive, all-natural, and multipurpose product is probably the next best thing.