Find out how the two stack up in ingredients and price.

By Renee Cherry

Algae is kind of a big deal in skin care. Entire lines-e.g. La Mer and Algenist-have been founded around its benefits. Why? It hydrates and firms and protects skin against environmental damage. Those anti-aging benefits typically come at a high price, but you don't have to resort to shelling out to get in on marine-based skin care. Mario Badescu makes a $22 seaweed night cream that's gained a reputation as the best dupe for La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream.

To be clear, this isn't an identical ingredient list, made-in-the-same-lab scenario. La Mer's notorious cream contains the brand's "miracle broth," a combination of kelp, calcium, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, iron, vitamins C, E, and B12, and citrus, eucalyptus, wheat germ, and alfalfa, and sunflower oils that's fermented over the course of three to four months. While the Mario Badescu product isn't quite so stacked, it shares the soft cream's hero ingredient: seaweed extract. That tradeoff comes with a nice $153 difference in price. (And FWIW, Khloé Kardashian uses products from both brands.)

Besides seaweed extract, the Mario Badescu moisturizer also contains collagen and elastin, two proteins in the skin that break down with aging. In addition, it has sodium hyaluronate, a salt derived from hyaluronic acid that holds 1,000 times its weight in water. The oil-free formula is best suited for combination, oily, or sensitive skin, according to the brand. (Related: The Best Anti-Aging Moisturizers to Use Every Morning)

At least one customer who's tried out both thinks the two are worthy of comparison. "This product is AMAZING," reads one Amazon review titled ‘HEAVEN IN A CONTAINER.' "By far the best facial moisturizer I have ever used. I previously used La Mer which broke the bank at $175 a container. This product works just as well if not better."

If you want to put it to the test for yourself, secure a jar from Amazon, Ulta, Nordstrom, or Sephora.


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