Unpopular opinion: I’m not a La Mer hater. A lot of individuals have plenty 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 in style opinion: there are alternate options. And I’m open to them! In a current TikTok sew, board-certified dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, urged Avène (amongst another French favs like La Roche Posay and Biafine) in lieu of La Mer. She didn’t must 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 urged 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 stored 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 p.c dearer. This isn’t earth-shattering information, on condition that La Mer’s inaccessible price ticket has been reasonably widespread data for many years, however it’s nonetheless value declaring.
Each lotions are wildly in style; 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 around the globe.
La Mer: Miracle Broth (algae extract)
Avène: Eau Thermale Avène (prebiotic water)
One key differentiator that seperates La Mer from any of its opponents is model’s signature ‘Miracle Broth,’ which is an algae extract (it’s the primary listed ingredient, that means it’s probably the most extremely concentrated energetic within the formulation). The broth is presupposed to agency and easy fantastic strains and wrinkles, decrease the looks of pores, and heal scarring and discoloration.
Although Cicalfate+ doesn’t use an algae ingredient, it does embrace 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 widely known for its means to calm irritation, cut back irritation, and promote therapeutic for situations together with eczema, psoriasis, and zits.
Each the La Mer and Avène formulation embrace glycerin, mineral oil, and waxes, which all assist 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, provides pores and skin a shine,” she explains, which is why you are feeling ‘glowy’ after you apply certainly one of these lotions.
As an goal third celebration—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 routinely 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.”
The Take a look at
Whereas ingredient lists are comparable on paper, the precise utility and expertise is one other factor completely. 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 take a look at.
I had by no means used Cicalfate+ on my face till these previous few weeks, and to be completely sincere, I used to be frightened 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 grow to be as translucent as La Mer’s cream usually does, it makes it a lot simpler to use (the product comes out nearly as a paste from the tube, and the warming helps to skinny it out a bit).
I’m blissful to report again that not solely did I not get away, however this cream helped rebalance my indignant, 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 standard, 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 mushy spot for my La Mer, Avène Cicalfate+ is a brand new winter staple for me.