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Creme de La Mer is one of the most popular brands in the luxury beauty space and for good reason: it actually works. Their signature Crème de la Mer moisturizing cream has long been a favorite of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Blake Lively, thanks to its ultra-rich formula derived from a mineral-rich kelp and seaweed extract. The actual process involves fermenting the Pacific Ocean-sourced kelp for several months to bring out its efficacy, drawing on the natural properties of the seaweed to lock in moisture, reduce redness and calm stressed-out skin.
But La Mer doesn’t come cheap: it starts at $100 for a half-ounce jar at Nordstrom (where it’s on sale for 15 percent off for a limited time), Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sephora, and it typically retails for about $300 on Amazon’s Premium Beauty site.
Fortunately, skincare junkies have found an affordable La Mer dupe with Mario Badescu’s Seaweed Night Cream, which is more than 75 percent cheaper than the luxury French beauty brand’s smallest moisturizer jar. Badescu is best known for his namesake line of skincare products, which he first developed in Vienna before opening a lab in New York in 1966. After launching in the U.S., Badescu famously offered facials out of his Manhattan apartment, and customized products for his clients.
Related: The Best Winter Moisturizers for Every Skin Type and Budget
Now, Badescu’s expertise is available in an entire line of products that includes everything from toners and exfoliants and serums and lip care, and stars including Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and others have sworn by his bestselling products.
The Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream is also one of the best-reviewed La Mer alternatives online, with a 4.5-star rating (out of five) on Amazon (one of its official selling partners). Reviewers praise the cream for being “extra moisturizing,” while another says the seaweed-infused cream was “almost miraculous in helping my skin recover” from the dry winter air.
Using a similar seaweed ingredient as the pricey La Mer moisturizer, Badescu’s Seaweed Cream delivers many of the same results for just $22. In addition to being a great moisturizer, the cream helps to calm redness, leaving skin feeling soft and supple. The oil-free formula also helps to plump and firm the skin with the addition of ingredients like hyaluronic acid and collagen.
Though it’s designed as a night cream, we’ve used Mario Badescu’s Seaweed Cream as a daily — or looked — better. While La Mer can be quite heavy and greasy sometimes, this affordable “dupe” glides on super easily and absorbs quickly into the skin. At just $22 online and available with free Prime shipping, it’s easy to pick up to add to your skincare routine. Find it here on Amazon.com.
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