Unpopular opinion: I’m not a La Mer hater. Numerous individuals have a number of issues to say about the way it’s overhyped and overpriced, and whereas I gained’t argue with the latter, my pores and skin loves the stuff and I simply can’t shake it. RIP my checking account.
Extra standard opinion: there are alternate options. And I’m open to them! In a latest TikTok sew, board-certified dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, instructed Avène (amongst another French favs like La Roche Posay and Biafine) in lieu of La Mer. She didn’t should twist my arm… I love Avène. Alongside my La Mer moisturizer, Avène includes my very favourite, desert island skin-care merchandise.
Nonetheless, I hadn’t tried utilizing the model’s Cicalfate+ Restorative Protecting Cream (the instructed swap) on my face—I’ve really reserved it for accidents and pores and skin irritation. Simply as La Mer was designed for burn therapies initially, Cicalfate+ was additionally designed as a reparative cream; I’ve saved it alongside my Biafine and Homeoplasmine for cuts, scrapes, burns, sunburns, and scar TLC.
So with this new data in thoughts, the showdown started. Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protecting Cream ($28 for 40mL) vs. Crème de La Mer ($380 for 59mL). Milliliter to milliliter, it’s 70 cents/mL vs $6.44/mL, making La Mer 9 hundred and twenty % dearer. This isn’t earth-shattering information, on condition that La Mer’s inaccessible price ticket has been reasonably widespread information for many years, however it’s nonetheless price mentioning.
Each lotions are wildly standard; Crème de La Mer has had a following of skin-care devotees since its debut in 1965. And Avène’s Cicalfate+ is the primary derm-prescribed cream in Europe, with a bottle bought each 5 seconds world wide.
La Mer: Miracle Broth (algae extract)
Avène: Eau Thermale Avène (prebiotic water)
One key differentiator that seperates La Mer from any of its rivals is model’s signature ‘Miracle Broth,’ which is an algae extract (it’s the primary listed ingredient, that means it’s essentially the most extremely concentrated lively within the components). The broth is presupposed to agency and clean advantageous traces and wrinkles, reduce the looks of pores, and heal scarring and discoloration.
Although Cicalfate+ doesn’t use an algae ingredient, it does embody the model’s signature prebiotic ‘fountain of youth’ water, the Eau Avène Thermale spring water from its namesake Avène, France. The water comprises a slew of minerals together with calcium bicarbonate, magnesium, and silicates, and is well known for its potential to calm irritation, scale back irritation, and promote therapeutic for circumstances together with eczema, psoriasis, and pimples.
Each the La Mer and Avène formulation embody glycerin, mineral oil, and waxes, which all help in hydration. “Humectants, like glycerin and mineral oil, ‘moisturize’ the pores and skin by reducing epidermal water loss,” says board-certified dermatologist Alina Goldenberg, MD, MAS, FAAD, Director of Contact Dermatitis Clinic in San Diego, CA. “This protects the pores and skin barrier, reduces dryness and flakiness, offers pores and skin a shine,” she explains, which is why you are feeling ‘glowy’ after you apply one among these lotions.
As an goal third get together—and a derm who focuses on contact dermatitis—Dr. Goldenberg is a fan of the Avène formulation. “La Mer comprises [many] extra identified pores and skin sensitizers and allergens,” she says, pointing to perfume and important oils, particularly. “All of those are identified allergens—they’re a part of the perfume household. Simply because they’re naturally derived from vegetation doesn’t mechanically imply they’re good for our pores and skin.”
“Avène [Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream] is a a lot cleaner formulation, and comprises zinc oxide which helps restore the pores and skin barrier,” she says. “It has one potential allergen (propylene glycol), however it’s a uncommon allergen.”
Whereas ingredient lists are comparable on paper, the precise software and expertise is one other factor fully. So I made a decision to check Cicalfate+ to see if it held up IRL.
For context, my pores and skin is normal-to-dry, however within the wintertime, I expertise a Sahara-like dehydration on my face and physique. As famous, I’ve used Crème de La Mer for years, and expertise zero breakouts, intense barrier nourishment, and a glowier-than-usual complexion. These had been the ‘metrics’ that I used to be evaluating in my check.
I had by no means used Cicalfate+ on my face till these previous few weeks, and to be completely sincere, I used to be nervous about breakouts with a brand new product, particularly such a thick-with-three-Cs product. Even the driest of pores and skin can get clogged pores!
Throughout my trial interval with the Avène cream, I used the La Mer technique of warming it up by rubbing it collectively between my fingers. Whereas it didn’t turn into as translucent as La Mer’s cream usually does, it makes it a lot simpler to use (the product comes out virtually as a paste from the tube, and the warming helps to skinny it out a bit).
I’m joyful to report again that not solely did I not get away, however this cream helped rebalance my offended, parched peau. I used it AM and PM for restoration and safety, and it lived as much as its claims with out aggravating any undesirable unwanted side effects that many worry with waxes and oils.
Avène, as per traditional, lived as much as its claims, did an distinctive job, and didn’t break the financial institution within the course of. Whereas I nonetheless have a smooth spot for my La Mer, Avène Cicalfate+ is a brand new winter staple for me.
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