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As two of the biggest luxury brands in France, it should come as no surprise that they each boast equally luxurious ranges of skincare. But how do they compare? And which is best for you?

Previously, we took a look at two French pharmacy titans: La Roche Posay and Caudalie; today, we will be comparing Dior vs Chanel - and more specifically their respective Hydra Life and Hydra Beauty lines (as well as Capture Youth vs Le Lift) - to help you figure out which luxury brand better suits you!

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Dior vs Chanel Moisturizer

Over the course of the past year of comparing the biggest names in skincare, we’ve found that one of the best ways to judge a skincare line at a glance is by beginning with their moisturisers. Not only will it set the tone for the rest of the comparison, but also we seriously just couldn’t wait to start telling you about these holy grail crèmes.

Best hydrating moisturizer

As far as hydrating moisturisers go, it doesn’t get much better than the Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme and the Dior Hydra Life Sorbet Creme. However, although confusingly similar by name, they have a few key differences that make for a tricky decision between the two. Keep scrolling to learn more!

The biggest similarity between the two brands is their use of exotic botanicals as active ingredients.

The Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Crème has the iconic camellia flower to thank for its inimitable hydrating powers. Not only does this potent little extract immediately help to infuse the skin with water (with a +40% hydration boost after just 4 hours), but it also helps to regulate and maintain optimal moisture levels at a cellular level. Speaking of skin cells, the second active ingredient - Blue Ginger - helps strengthen the cellular self-defence system, further reinforcing your skin’s ability to retain moisture (combatting nasty TEWL [Trans-Epidermal Water Loss]).

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The Dior Hydra Life Sorbet Creme instead utilises the power of a Nobel Prize-winning discovery - aquaporins - to enable it to boast an almost 100% satisfaction rating. In one clinical trial, 98% of women found that their skin was more moisturised, 95% found that their skin was soothed, and 93% found that their skin looked radiant; all after just a single application. The secret ingredient? Mallow. A pure marvel of the Dior gardens which deeply boosts the aforementioned aquaporin synthesis to invigorate water circulation within your skin.

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Both are in the form of a lightweight gel-creme, which lends themselves to almost serum-like absorption. Having said that, we found in practice that the Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Crème absorbed slightly more easily than Dior’s, and as you can probably imagine, with greater absorption should come greater effectiveness. I can anecdotally confirm this to be the case, as I consistently wake up in the mornings with glowing, dewy-looking skin after using Chanel’s moisturiser overnight, but not so much when using Dior’s.

Further differences of note are that the Dior Hydra Life moisturiser is free of fragrance, whereas Chanel’s Hydra Beauty comes with a very pleasant floral scent, and the Dior moisturiser comes in a substantial glass pot whereas the Chanel moisturiser comes in a travel-friendly plastic container.

There’s not really anything bad to say about Dior’s moisturiser, it’s just that there’s so many great things to say about Chanel’s. So, on balance, and despite a slightly dearer price tag, Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Gel Creme is our overwhelming favourite. And just between me and you, it’s very quickly become my new secret weapon for keeping my skin glowing even in the middle of this harsh winter season.

Hydra Beauty Gel Creme by Chanel, Chanel's best-selling luxury hydrating gel cream.

Hydra Beauty Gel Creme by Chanel

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Chanel's best-selling luxury hydrating gel cream.

What makes it special? The essential moisturising step for the comfort of normal skin. The Hydra Beauty Gel Crème deeply hydrates and protects the skin against free radicals. Its light, fresh and velvety texture delicately melts away to reveal subtle fruity notes.

Which skin types? Normal to dry skin.

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Hydra Life Sorbet Creme by Dior, Dior's best-selling fresh hydration sorbet cream.

Hydra Life Sorbet Creme by Dior

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Dior's best-selling fresh hydration sorbet cream.

What makes it special? Infused with mauve and haberlea leaf, this sorbet creme moisturizes, nourishes and rebalances the skin while helping strengthen its natural defenses. Its celadon blue creme-gel texture offers a breathtaking refreshing effect. Hydrated for 24 hours, the skin is plump, radiant and enjoys long-lasting freshness. Every day, healthier and stronger, it is so naturally beautiful you will prefer it bare.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Best anti-ageing moisturizer

When it comes to anti-ageing, there are two main approaches: prevention, and restoration. Chanel’s Le Lift Crème is more in line with the latter, helping to diminish visible signs of ageing, whereas Dior’s Capture Youth Creme definitely leans more towards the former, helping to keep skin youthful-looking for longer.

Continuing the previously established theme of unique botanical active ingredients, the ultra-powerful Chanel Le Lift Cream is formulated with botanical alfalfa concentrate. Extracted from a thousand-year-old plant, it is prized for its unique remineralizing and nutritional properties, but more importantly, it is as efficient as retinol for firming, improving skin quality, and smoothing wrinkles. We’ve previously spoken at length about the marvels of the best French retinol, but this restorative anti-ageing cream by Chanel completely blows the competition out of the water.

On the preventative side of things, Dior’s Capture Youth Creme is infused with Iris Florentina extract which works alongside the skin’s natural antioxidant defence system to help strengthen the skin and help fight against the appearance of signs of ageing even before they appear. It’s no wonder that millions of women globally swear by this cream as their daily moisturiser to stave off the natural ageing process.

Both creams are specially formulated to be gentle, and both are composed of primarily natural origin ingredients (~90%). The only downsides are the price tags, but honestly, they’re oh so worth it. When it comes to deciding between the two, it entirely depends on whether you’re looking to reduce the appearance of visible signs of ageing (Chanel’s Le Lift) or if you’re trying to delay the formation of visible signs of ageing (Dior’s Capture Youth).

Capture Youth Creme by Dior, Dior's advanced age-delay creme.

Capture Youth Creme by Dior

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

Dior's advanced age-delay creme.

What makes it special? In an ultra-fine texture offering optimal comfort, the Capture Youth creme is infused with natural origin Iris Florentina extract which works alongside the skin's fundamental natural antioxidant defence system to help strengthen the skin and help fight against the appearance of signs of ageing even before they appear. Combined with the targeted Capture Youth serums, this cream reveals perfect skin quality.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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Le Lift Cream by Chanel, a smoothing and firming luxury anti-ageing cream.

Le Lift Cream by Chanel

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A smoothing and firming luxury anti-ageing cream.

What makes it special? For the first time, Chanel Research has created a new smoothing and firming cream, highly concentrated in naturally occurring ingredients. Le Lift Crème is formulated with a new star ingredient: botanical alfalfa concentrate, as efficient as retinol, and in a formula that is gentle on the skin.

Which skin types? Ageing skin types.

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Dior vs Chanel Cleanser

If you’re looking to splurge on a quality cleanser or makeup remover, you’ll be hard pressed to find better luxury options than Chanel’s Le Lait and Dior’s Hydra Life Cleanser. Allow us to compare and contrast to help you pick the one that is best for you.

First and foremost, the most notable difference between the two are their textures. Whilst Chanel’s Le Lait comes in the form of a milky cream that you massage over dry skin, Dior’s Hydra Life Cleanser is a watery lotion that transforms into a rich and airy foam. Instantly from that nugget of info, we can tell you that if you have combination to oily skin you will prefer the Dior Hydra Life cleanser, whereas if you have normal or dry skin you will prefer the Chanel Le Lait.

As with the moisturisers, these cleansers also boast unique blends of plant-based active ingredients to treat and care for your skin. At the heart of Chanel Le Lait is blue micro-algae and marine salicornia extract which protect cells from micro-stress caused by pollution, as well as moisturise and strengthen your skin. The Dior Hydra Life Cleanser contains natural cleaning agents called Saponins which power the cleanser’s effectiveness by releasing a purifying, detoxifying and softening foam. It also contains white tea leaf extract which tones and refreshes the skin.

In practice, though, we prefer Chanel Le Lait. The sensorial richness of the milky cream and its simple effectiveness is everything you want and more from a high-end cleanser. It leaves skin soft, satiny, and perfectly makeup-free without stripping your skin or clogging pores. Dior’s cleansing lotion felt a little too stripping for our tastes, but as we mentioned earlier, it would be beyond perfect for those with oilier skin types.

Le Lait by Chanel, an anti-pollution cleansing milk.

Le Lait by Chanel

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

An anti-pollution cleansing milk.

What makes it special? Le Lait effectively removes makeup – even longwearing and waterproof formulas – while preserving skin’s balance. In parallel, it frees skin of impurities and pollutants. Massaged delicately onto skin, it envelops the complexion in its creamy texture for a pure moment of comfort.

Which skin types? Normal to dry skin types.

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Hydra Life Cleanser by Dior, a fresh lotion to foam cleanser.

Hydra Life Cleanser by Dior

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A fresh lotion to foam cleanser.

What makes it special? In just one pump, this fresh lotion transforms into a rich and airy foam cleanser. Highly concentrated in natural white tea leaf extract, it effectively removes makeup and deeply cleanses, purifies and refreshes the skin. Instantly free of impurities, the skin is perfectly clean and clear. Toned and refreshed, it is revitalized and naturally beautiful.

Which skin types? Oily or combination skin types.

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Dior vs Chanel Serum

A serum is a lightweight moisturiser that penetrates deeper to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients to the skin. We've already covered what constitutes the best French serums, but keep scrolling to see how Dior’s and Chanel’s fair.

Best hydrating serum

Given the above definition of a serum, it should be fairly obvious that serums are the *ultimate* way to provide your face with a big skin-quenching dose of hydration. And when it comes to luxury hydrating serums, there’s arguably none better than Chanel’s Hydra Beauty Micro Serum and Dior’s Hydra Life Sorbet Water Essence.

There are strong parallels between these two serums and their moisturiser counterparts, so much of our conclusion remains the same (i.e. we prefer the Chanel Hydra Beauty Serum for effectiveness). That said, the price disparity between the two (with the Dior Hydra Life Serum coming in at nearly *half* the price of Chanel’s) definitely gives food for thought. Allow us to compare the two to see if you think Chanel’s serum warrants double the Dior Hydra Life Serum’s price tag.

Concentrated in Mallow and Haberlea leaf, the Dior Hydra Life Sorbet Water Essence offers 3 actions in a single step: the ultra-concentrated moisturization of a serum, the radiance boost of a gentle peel, and the toning effect of a lotion. Day after day, your skin becomes more resilient and healthy, and in the words of Dior: “[your skin] becomes so beautiful you will prefer it bare”. A bold claim! In our experience, though, it’s not far from the truth!

The Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum is composed of camellia micro-droplets which, in perfect affinity with the skin, fuses with it releasing precious camellia extract for continuous hydration and an intense plumping effect. After one month of daily application, skin hydration levels increase up to 33%, and after 4 applications, the skin is visibly plumped (with a +32% plumping effect).

Side by side, Chanel’s Micro Serum is far and away the better serum for hydration. But, for half the price, we’re definitely fans of the Dior Hydra Life Sorbet Water Essence’s added toning and radiance boosting benefits despite slightly less impressive hydrating power.

Hydra Life Sorbet Water Essence by Dior, a sorbet water essence that delivers deep hydration.

Hydra Life Sorbet Water Essence by Dior

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A sorbet water essence that delivers deep hydration.

What makes it special? Concentrated in Mallow and Haberlea leaf, this essence offers 3 actions in 1 single step: the ultra-concentrated moisturization of a serum, the radiance boost of a gentle peel and the toning effect of a lotion. Its translucent blue liquid texture offers a splash of freshness that instantly invigorates the skin. Deeply moisturized, the skin is smooth and clarified. Day after day, it is more resilient, healthier and so beautiful you will prefer it bare.

Which skin types? All skin types; especially dry skin.

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Hydra Beauty Micro Serum by Chanel, an intense hydration replenishing serum in the form of a lightweight gel.

Hydra Beauty Micro Serum by Chanel

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

An intense hydration replenishing serum in the form of a lightweight gel.

What makes it special? The first serum composed of camellia micro-droplets is based on an exclusive patented technology derived from Microfluidics, making it possible to create droplets of active ingredients whose purity remains intact until the moment of application. In perfect affinity with the skin, these micro-droplets fuse with it, releasing their precious camellia extract for continuous hydration and an intense plumping effect. The unprecedented texture offers a completely new sensory experience.

Which skin types? All skin types; especially dry skin.

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Best anti-ageing serum

Just as with hydration, since serums are super-concentrated with active ingredients it also makes them fantastic for delivering anti-ageing benefits. As far as luxury anti-ageing serums go, there’s not too many better than Chanel’s Le Lift Serum and Dior’s Capture Youth Serum.

So as not to entirely repeat ourselves from the moisturisers section, we’re just going to reiterate our advice. If you’re looking for a serum that will diminish the appearance of existing signs of ageing, the Chanel Le Lift Serum is the one for you. If, instead, you’re looking to preserve your youthful appearance for longer (and delay the natural ageing process), you will love the Dior Capture Youth Serum.

Le Lift Serum by Chanel, a smoothing, firming, fortifying anti-ageing serum.

Le Lift Serum by Chanel

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A smoothing, firming, fortifying anti-ageing serum.

What makes it special? Le Lift Sérum delivers an immediate tensing effect that lasts for up to 24 hours, as well as a powerful antioxidant action. With wrinkles smoothed, features look firmer and facial contours appear redefined. Skin is more resilient, better protected against external aggressors and looks youthful and more radiant.

Which skin types? Ageing skin types.

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Capture Youth Serum by Dior, a glow booster age-delay illuminating serum.

Capture Youth Serum by Dior

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Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A glow booster age-delay illuminating serum.

What makes it special? A real radiance concentrate, this serum offers skin all the benefits of the Kakadu plum. 100 times more concentrated in vitamin C than an orange, this serum has a glowing action thanks to an exfoliating effect.

Which skin types? All skin types.

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