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Augustinus Bader and La Mer are big brands with equally big price tags. Have you found yourself wanting to try their luxury products, but aren’t sure which one is right for you? Or even worse, fear you might have buyer’s remorse?

Join us as we do a side-by-side comparison of each of the brands' two most popular products: their moisturizers and cleansers.

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Augustinus Bader vs La Mer Moisturizer

We all know that moisturizing is a critical step in our skincare routines. Proper hydration can strengthen your skin barrier, slow aging, increase efficacy of your other skincare products, and prevent acne and other skin conditions. To put it simply, you need a moisturizer, and you need a high-quality one.

Best overall moisturizer

Both Crème de la Mer by La Mer and The Cream by Augustinus Bader have a cult-like following and are used by everyone from Victoria Beckham, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Blake Lively. With thousands of rave reviews and dozens of awards between the two of them, it can easily seem like there’s no obvious winner. Let’s do a deep dive into both products to find out which one is really worth the price tag.

The two moisturizers are both backed by doctors which technically makes them both medical-grade skincare, although that term isn’t approved or monitored by the FDA. They’ve also both undergone rigorous independent studies proving their efficacy. The results are nearly identical in anti-aging and improving skin barrier health.

However, their ingredient lists start to illuminate a front-runner. The Cream is completely clean, i.e., free from sulfates, parabens, paraffins, and other problematic skincare ingredients linked to anything from skin irritations and hormone disruption to known carcinogens. It’s also free of any known allergens. Crème de la Mer on the other hand, contains mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin. Dr. Ava Shamban shares that "creams that combine mineral oil and paraffin can actually damage the skin barrier and increase water loss." As for petrolatum, the European Union classifies it as a carcinogen and bans its usage in skincare since it is often not refined properly and can be cross contaminated with dangerous chemicals. No thanks! Crème de la Mer also contains fragrances and eucalyptus oil which can cause irritation for sensitive skin.

If you’re not already leaning towards team The Cream, let’s talk about their texture, smell, and skin-feel. Many users claim that the very ingredient that gives La Mer it’s superpowers—the algae—causes a smell that some find off-putting. It is also a thicker, richer moisturizer which isn’t always universally tolerated by all skin types. It also means that you should probably wait longer before applying makeup on top to ensure proper absorption and avoid pilling—and if your mornings are anything like ours, every minute counts! Once more, the thicker formulation can leave the moisturizer feeling a bit oiler than it’s Augustinus Bader counterpart. For those reasons, we agree with ELLE’s International Beauty Awards of 2022 and hereby declare The Cream by Augustinus Bader the best moisturizer!

The Cream by Augustinus Bader, a light, refreshing, deeply hydrating daily moisturizer.

The Cream by Augustinus Bader

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A light, refreshing, deeply hydrating daily moisturizer.

What makes it special? Engineered by the renowned Dr. Augustinus Bader, a biomedical scientist and physician at the forefront of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. The Cream contains Dr. Bader’s patented TFC8® technology which “is composed of natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins and synthesized molecules naturally found in skin.” It has been shown to reduce damage caused by sun exposure, improve skin texture, and reduce signs of aging.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Creme de la Mer, renewing moisture meets radiant rejuvenation.

Creme de la Mer by La Mer

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Renewing moisture meets radiant rejuvenation.

What makes it special? his is the product that started it all for La Mer! Born out of necessity when its founder, Dr. Max Huber, suffered lab burns and wanted to heal his skin. After 12 years of research, he invented Miracle Broth; a powerful combination of fermented sea kelp, vitamins and minerals which act as an emollient and humectant while nourishing your skin. Known for soothing the skin after just one use and reversing the appearance of aging with regular use.

Which skin types? Normal to dry skin types; please be wary if you have sensitive skin as it contains fragrances.

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Augustinus Bader vs La Mer Cleanser

As the first step in a skincare routine, cleanser holds an important job of ridding your skin of oils, makeup, bacteria, and environmental factors it collects on its surface throughout the day or evening (gross, I know). It preps your skin so that the next products in your skincare line up can be properly absorbed, and therefore more effective. Let’s take a look at The Cleansing Foam by La Mer and The Cream Cleansing Gel by Augustinus Bader.

Best overall cleanser

Since creating their two most popular products, Crème de la Mer, and The Cream, both La Mer and Augustinus Bader have followed up with complementary cleansers to add to your skincare line up. Keep reading for an inside look at The Cleansing Foam by La Mer and The Cream Cleansing Gel by Augustinus Bader.

Let’s start with the two glaring differences between these products: one is a foam cleanser, and the other is a cream cleanser which acts more like a cleansing milk. What does this mean? The Cleansing Foam requires water to activate and is going to provide much more of a lather, whereas The Cream Cleansing Gel requires less water, produces less suds, and ultimately feels like it’s melting into your skin. Foam cleansers are best for oily, acne-prone skin. Cream cleansers are better for aging, sensitive and dry skin.

Again, Dr. Bader has provided us with a truly clean cleansing gel, free from the major no-no’s like parabens, sulfates, and other known toxins. It’s also fragrance free making it safe for even the most sensitive skin. On the other hand, The Cleansing Foam by La Mer contains methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone which are highly effective preservatives, but they’re only authorized for use in products that are meant to be rinsed off (even though the cleanser fits that requirement, it seems like a bit of a red flag) and they have been found to cause skin irritations like dermatitis. Just like their moisturizer, it also contains fragrances and eucalyptus oil not suitable for sensitive skin.

Finally, we can’t provide a comprehensive comparison without considering user experiences. Users reported that The Cleansing Foam by La Mer can exacerbate problem areas and leave dry spots feeling dry and tight after the wash, while also leaving oily areas feeling oilier and unclean. It seems that users who complained about The Cream Cleansing Gel didn’t understand that they were purchasing a cream cleanser and were put-off by the lack of lather and the texture signature to that type of cleanser. So, if you’re willing to adjust to a cream cleanser, The Cream Cleansing Gel by Augustinus Bader is our clear preference!

The Cream Cleansing Gel by Augustinus Bader, a revitalizing daily cleanser formulated with soothing botanicals.

The Cream Cleansing Gel by Augustinus Bader

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A revitalizing daily cleanser formulated with soothing botanicals.

What makes it special? This gentle cleanser effectively removes dirt and bacteria without stripping your skin of its natural microbiome. Just like their moisturizer, it utilizes their patented TFC8® technology to repair the skin at a cellular level. It also contains rose water which is a natural toner. Overall, it leaves the skin feeling soothed and refreshed.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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The Cleansing Foam by La Mer; delicate foam purifies and revitalises.

The Cleansing Foam by La Mer

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Delicate foam purifies and revitalises.

What makes it special? La Mer denotes this cleanser as one of their best-sellers. It again uses the effective, trademarked Miracle Broth. As well as their Deconstructed Waters technology. “In this exclusive technology the molecular structure of water is broken down and restructured into energy-carrying positively and negatively charged molecular clusters, which deliver vital ingredients and actives to the skin more efficiently and effectively.”

Which skin types? All skin types, but please be wary if you have hypersensitive skin.

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