When I was researching for my Creme De La Mer post, I discovered there is a skin cream that is very similar to the super pricy cult favorite. While Creme De La Mer now costs $125 for a one ounce jar, Nivea Creme only costs 99 cents for a tin of it, or up to a whopping $6.99 for a 6 ounce jar!
Nivea Creme doesn’t contain algae extract, which is what La Mer touts as its star ingredient, but tons of products contain this, so it’s not a special ingredient at all. I stay far, far away from algae extract, since it’s very pore-clogging, so I wouldn’t even use Creme De La Mer if I had the money.
Besides algae extract, the two creams have the same identical main ingredients, in the same order! Creme De La Mer has some extra antioxidants in it, but since it’s in a jar, once air hits it, they will be ineffective. Get this – even the scent of the two products is the same! They both have a floral, Grandmother-y scent – I don’t know how else to describe it.
The main ingredients of the two products are: Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, and Paraffin. This is sort of hilarious, because Nivea Creme has been around since 1911, and it hasn’t changed its formula since then! Not only does Creme De La Mer rip off a company’s product, but they choose a product that has the most basic, cheap ingredients ever, and charge 100 times more for it.
My experience testing the products
I bought a tin of the Nivea Creme, and have to say that I really like it! Despite the fact that it doesn’t have antioxidants, or anything special in it, it works great on my super dry skin, and it works better than most moisturizers for me. It’s a very heavy cream, and I would only recommend it for dry skin. It also works great as an eye cream. After using it at night, I woke up looking great, and it goes fine under makeup. Even though it’s such a heavy cream, it doesn’t clog pores, so it should be okay for acne-prone skin.
I bought the tin version, but it’s not exactly sanitary, since you have to stick your hand in it over and over, so I would recommend the tube version instead. I don’t like the floral scent, but it’s not that strong.
After trying the Nivea Creme, I stopped by Neiman Marcus and swiped a glob of the Creme De La Mer to try. I rubbed it on my hand, and couldn’t believe that it really did look, feel, and smell just like the Nivea Creme! Even though it’s just a moisturizer, Creme De La Mer pretends it’s a wrinkle cream as well.
The safety of the two products
Despite the fact that I like how the Nivea Creme works, there’s sort of bad news. Nivea Creme contains Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone, which are preservatives that are known to be possibly unsafe. Creme De La Mer contains the same ingredient, but it’s labeled Kathon CG instead. I am now torn, because I like how cheap and effective the Nivea Creme is, but it’s sort of dumb to keep using it when there are plenty of products out there that don’t contain these preservatives. I will have to read up more on these ingredients, because I just learned about them this week.