The 7 Most-Wanted Face Creams—and Their Less Expensive Drugstore Dupes

Face creams—and expensive ones at that—are having a serious moment right now in the beauty industry. Cult-loved, holy-grail formulations from brands like La Mer, La Prairie, and Augustinus Bader are favorited and touted all over Instagram by makeup artists and their glowing A-list clientele, and the urge to splurge on a small tub or jar of the stuff has reached current-level pull. But can we just say something? You don’t need to spend a fortune on your moisturizers, people.

In fact, as much as we love a decadent whip of 24-karat-rose-spiked-quartz-spring-water-dew, we’d almost argue that you shouldn’t spend your hard-earned dollars on two ounces of the above elixir. And you certainly don’t need to do so in order to have healthy, glowing, youthful skin (end rant.) What’s more, most drugstore brands and moisturizers are taking nods from the above-coveted formulas and utilizing some of the exact same ingredients and technologies in their own way more affordable versions.

Despite their buzzy allure and admittedly impressive ingredient lists, expensive moisturizers aren’t necessarily doing things for your face that more affordable drugstore blends can’t. And to prove our point, we selected seven of the most iconic, well-loved moisturizers in the business and searched the depths of our favorite drugstores for like-minded compromises. Ahead, we’ve matched seven of the best holy-grail moisturizers with seven equally lovable drugstore options. Keep scrolling! Neither your complexion or credit card will be sorry. 

How they’re similar: Just like Augustinus Bader’s cult-loved face cream, Weleda’s OG formula comes in two versions—light and rich—and boasts equally luxurious and moisturizing results (we see both formulas in makeup artists’ skin prep kits!).

How they’re similar: Both of these moisturizers are excessively glowy, shimmery, and pretty in the absolute best of ways. And while Lindstrom’s fairy-like formula is more of balm to oil and made with organic, wild-harvested ingredients, this drugstore moisturizer from Bliss holds its own thanks to powerful botanicals, advanced shea butter, and loads of brightening vitamin C. 

How they’re similar: Pacifica has some of the dreamiest drugstore skincare formulations, and its impressive range of moisturizers is no exception. Oh, and did we mention the brand is 100% vegan and cruelty-free? Similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s celeb-coveted face cream, this day or night formula features peptides, floral extracts, shea butter, and aloe. It can’t be beaten for just $16!

How they’re similar: Makeup artists love this deeply luxurious face cream from Sisley Paris, which is spiked with a lovely melding of rose extracts and other price-driving ingredients. If you’re on a budget, however, this drugstore moisturizer from Garnier is an exciting compromise. You can use it as a day cream, a night cream, or if you pile it on extra thick—an overnight mask. And yes, it’s infused with rose water for that same floral, delicate feel. 

How they’re similar: Neutrogena’s version doesn’t have quite as fancy of an ingredient roster as Tatcha’s holy-grail face cream (you just can’t compete with 23-karat gold and the brand’s triple-threat mix of green tea, rice, and algae), but both formulas DO have a lovely lightweight texture that’s ideal for normal to oily skin types, and skin-quenching hyaluronic acid plays MVP for both. 

How they’re similar: Okay, so La Mer will always be La Mer. And, rather untouchable in terms of how iconic and beloved it is. That said, La Roche-Posay is one of the most beloved and highly touted drugstore skincare brands in the business, and this formula boasts a semi-comparable ingredient profile thanks to prebiotic thermal water, ceramides, and other plumping skin-saviors. 

How they’re similar: Both are whimsical and jelly-esque in formula. Deeply nourishing, both of these moisturizers feature hydrating ingredients like watermelon to keep skin happy and parch-free. But, E.l.f.’s is half the price! Up next: 7 Iconic Eyeliners—and The 7 Affordable Dupes You’ll Love Even More. This article was published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Comments are closed.