Get A $125 Wrinkle Cream For 99 Cents!

Categories: Beauty Products
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nivea cremeWhen 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.

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28 Responses to “Get A $125 Wrinkle Cream For 99 Cents!”

  1. Stacy Says:

    Good job researching this! I also like Eurcerin but it’s greasy and Aveeno.

  2. TUPRNUT Says:

    I look forward to what you have to say about the preservatives in these products…. I have a few dry, scaly spots on my face and I’m hoping this would be a good fix for them. Let me know what you find out!

  3. Les Says:

    Argh – I posted my Nivea cream comment on the wrong post… sorry! I highly endorse it, though! Great stuff.

  4. Martina Says:

    You are reading my minds!I have just been testing and comparing both creams for the past few weeks! I’ve known the traditionally good Nivea for years and use it for drier parts of my face and the eye area as well.Haven’t found any better replacement cream than Nivea yet!Few weeks ago I decided to buy CDLM. I like it but have to agree with you that it’s nearly identical with Nivea and much,much more pricey…With CDLM we pay for their pricey marketing but a lot of generations know that Nivea doesn’t need any huge advertisements because Nivea sells itself!

  5. Andrea Says:

    interesting! just the other day i was reading about the CDLM and sorta wanted a jar to myself.

    thanks for letting us know!

  6. The Weekend Beauty Read Says:

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  7. TUPRNUT Says:

    Oh my Word! I just bought this last night at Ulta and used in on those annoying dry spots on my face. I woke up to what I consider sheer miraculous! The dry spots have been healed.

    I could have saved myself a lot of moolah… I can’t even count the amount of moisturizers I’ve purchased the last year or so trying to solve by dry skin problem.

  8. KattG Says:

    Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a common ingredient in shampoos & conditioners. I don’t know about the safety level of it or Methylisothiazolinone but I do know that both my grandmother and my aunt who live in Norway have always sworn by Nivea and have wrinkle-free, baby bottom-smooth skin. Maybe it’s the preservatives? I think there are more harmful toxins in our air that we should worry about.

  9. KattG Says:

    From Wiki:
    In 2004, after receiving additional studies, the European Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers concluded “The SCCNFP is of the opinion that the proposed use of Methylisothiazolinone as a preservative at a maximum concentration of 0.01% (100 ppm) in the finished cosmetic product does not pose a risk to the health of the consumer.”

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), does not list methylchloroisothiazolinone as a known, probable or possible human carcinogen[3], nor have in vivo tests found evidence of carcinogenic activity. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is an allergen.

    So there you go!

  10. Miss Gisele B Says:

    A few months ago, a plastic surgeon told me the same thing…La Mer has a great marketing machine behind it.

    That said, Jeni, I do agree with you in your assessment of the ingredients. You really (REALLY) want to be careful because some of those ingredients are bad news.


  11. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    It was wikipedia.com that I went to to research those ingredients! haha. I think I might have read the info wrong when I read it the first time. Paula Begoun (author of “Don’t go to the cosmetics counter without me”) says those ingredients are “sensitizing” but I don’t know what that means. I just slathered my face in Nivea tonight, so I’m obviously not too afraid!

  12.   Weekend Reading From The Beauty Blog Network by Girl Gloss Says:

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  13. Sarah Says:

    Thanks to you I grabbed a little tin of Nivea at Longs last night to try it out. My skin was super nice and smooth when I woke up this morning! For less than $1 (my friend works at Longs so he got it cheaper) I now have a good night cream for Winter! Thanks!

  14. Best of Temptalia January 14th through January 21st Says:

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  15. L Says:

    Do you have Astral over there? It is similar to Nivea and in the UK costs about the same. Main ingredients: Aqua, liquid paraffin, glycerin, paraffin, lanolin, ozokerite, petrolatum.
    It really smooths out any dry patches and it doesn’t clog pores. It doesn’t have either of the preservatives you mention.
    I haven’t tried Nivea on my face so can’t give a comparison, but I recommend trying it if you can find it.
    I’m glad I have never bought CDLM, it is even more expensive over here.

  16. antiwrinkle cream Says:

    Hi!I got the most relevant knowledge about Nivea Creme, and have to say that really liked 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.Most creams are also used to prevent the appearance of wrinkles due to aging by removing dead skin cells in order to reveal the younger skin beneath.Thanks!

  17. Kay Says:

    Inspired by your post, I went and bought a jar for myself – I live in Sweden but I figured the formula would be the same. But now that I compare the ingredients, “my” Nivea creme doesn’t contain those preservatives – actually, it says “no preservatives” on the jar itself too. Would that change the effect of the cream or is it just a plus?

    (My ingredients list:
    Aqua, Paraffinum Liquidum, Cera Microcristallina, Glycerin, Lanolin Alcohol (Eucerit), Panthenol, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminium Stearates, Citric Acid, Magnesium Sulfate, Magnesium Sulfate, Parfum, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamyl Alcohol )

  18. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I have read how that Nivea Creme doesn’t contain those preservatives in some countries outside of the US. I have read most people prefer the creme that you have (to the one sold in the US) so that’s probably a good thing. But if it comes in a tin, you would think they would need preservatives to keep the product fresh, but somehow it must remain fresh, or they wouldn’t sell it!

  19. naomi Says:

    I love Nivea creme. I have both the USA Nivea made in Mexico and the German nivea. The German nivea is the best in my opinion. It sinks into my skin nicely and gives me a satin look under make up. It also does not have that Methylchloroisothiazolinone stuff. It is way healthier. Luckly, we have a German shop here in AZ and they carry the 400 ml for 14 bucks. I have converted myself to only German made Nivea now.

  20. Ricci Bell Says:

    It “. . .is a preservative with antibacterial and antifungal effects.” What’s somewhat scary is that “in high concentrations it can cause chemical burns and it is a skin and membrane irritant.” So make sure you rinse your hair once your done.

  21. mark s Says:

    This is my first comment here , so I hope I do it — and get it — right. I wanted to start with something simple, like a health and beauty aid, and I saw my wife putting the Made from Earth – Vitamin Enhanced Moisturizer on her face this morning (as she’s done very morning for the past 20 years of our married life) and I asked her why she uses it and is so dedicated to this one particular product. She scowled a bit at me and asked, “Can’t you see why?”

    Point taken.

    She looks beautiful and as young as when we first met (Yes, she’s looking over my shoulder as I write this. Ow!)

    But seriously, she is well on her way to 50 and (Ow!) looks fantastic. Her face is soft and nearly wrinkle-free, and many women underestimate her age which, of course, she loves.

    Whatever materials are contained in it, she has obviously benefitted. But even if she hadn’t been using it, and became wrinkled (Ow!) and hard (Umf!) and aged in appearance (Yow!), I would still love her (Awww!).

    Mark Shekens
    (Still happily married)

  22. hayde Says:

    What about Ponds cold cream. that seems to have good ingrediants. I am not crazy about mineral oil. but the rest of the ingrediants seem fine. I was thinking of getting some because I just bought an expensive cream and it smell like my mothers Ponds.

  23. ellie Says:

    When we lived in Stuttgart in the early eighties, I noticed the women (with great complexions) favored Nivea creme. I started using it exclusively – (Why mess with success!) and am so glad that I did – Today I am 60 and my skin looks remarkably unchanged from my “youth”. I love to tell people how I found Nivea……how long I have been using it and how great I think the product is! My son travels to Switzerland for his job and he brings me tins of German made Nivea.

  24. mimi Says:

    I use the german made Nivea creme and it is a terrific moisturizer. Very soothing and much better IMO than the made in Mexico version. I will always use this.

  25. www.facebook.com/tfsdeth Says:

    Darling, Just because creme de la mer & this nivea product share SOME of the same ingredients (most moisturizers
    contain most of the same ingredients as default so you could compare any moisturizer to creme de la mer) doesnt mean that they act in the same way or give the same results on the skin.
    La mer is finer quality ingredients, most of which are natural & then fermented to keep them ACTIVE, nivea DOES NOT have ACTIVE ingredients. That makes a huggggggge difference. Another difference is the quality of the minerals in creme de la mer, the molecule of mineral & mineral oil is to large to sink into the skin, max huber (who created creme de la mer) made it possible that the skin could take these minerals…no other product on the market anywhere has been able to do this.
    all in all the process of making creme de la mer is long, it takes about 4 months to make 1 oz(30ml) of creme de la mer. So i suggest you look into things first before you start to think your a cosmeceutical just because you matched some ingredients & also have a look at the process of creme de la mer, then maybe you can appreciate it more than comparing it to some cheapo drug store brand; cremedelamer.co.uk/10reasons/index.tmpl

  26. Cici Says:

    @tfsdeth: Well “darling”, apparently Nivea has worked fabulously for many women. Regardless of the “quality of ingredients” or whatever special fermenting process they use to justify the price-gouging, the only thing that matters in the end is the look and feel of your skin. Creme de la Mer is a good moisturizer, I’m sure, but it won’t banish fine lines or prevent aging like some want to believe. You can pay $125 for your water/mineral oil/glycerin/etc cream, sure….or you can buy an equally suitable moisturizer for $120 less and save that up for procedures that actually WILL get rid of wrinkles in the future. I’m sorry, but ingredients being “active” will not create the huge difference that you want people to believe. You sound like a La Mer sales associate.

  27. kitty Says:

    I think what #25 is trying to say is you can spend $1 on a bottle of grape juice or $125 on a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are made from grapes but one is priced higher because of the fermentation process and the labor it takes to create it. La Mer uses fermented kelp like SK-II uses fermented yeast from sake they call Pitera. I imagine the fermented product acts as a kind of acid on the skin that removes dead skin cells so the vitamins and nutrients can penetrate the new skin making it incredibly soft and smooth. You may get similar results with a generic moisturizer if you use a gentle exfoliator on the face once or twice a week. Moisturizers do “plump” the skin, reduce fine lines and fine wrinkles. It’s better to use a moisturizer than none at all even if you have oily skin or you’re on a limited budget. Mario Badescu used to be at Saks and Neimans years ago but now he’s at CVS and his products are as low as $10. But depending on your age and the condition of your skin, you may need something more than over the counter if you want to reduce deep lines and wrinkles and lift the skin. For deep lines and wrinkles, you’ll need Retin-A or a chemical peel or a filler like Restylane. To lift the skin, you’ll need botox or a facelift. I hope this helps :)

  28. Susan Says:

    Well, my school of thought is what is the alternative to preservatives in skin care? Grapefruit??? which is what I’ve been seeing lately in some natural product lines. Sorry. It just doesn’t jive with me. I believe the amount of chemical preservatives is so minute and at the end of the ingredient listing that it won’t make any difference to your health. Besides, there is no skin care at the moment that goes INTO the bloodstream. Except the nanotechnology stuff……..which I’m staying away from until there is more studies.

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