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 such as La Mer, La Prairie, and Augustinus Bader are favorited and touted all over Instagram by makeup artists and their glowing A-list clientele. The urge to splurge on a small tub or jar of the stuff is stronger than ever. 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 such an 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 aforementioned highly 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 nor your 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 thanks to their shared ingredient, vitamin C. And while U Beauty’s antioxidant-rich formula is unmatched in its ability to brighten and plump the skin, this drugstore moisturizer from Bliss holds its own thanks to the addition of powerful botanicals and advanced shea butter. 

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 is the MVP in 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. Both feature deeply hydrating ingredients like watermelon to keep skin happy. 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.

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