Nivea Cream review

Should you use Nivea Cream on the face? Nivea Cream vs La Mer: what are the differences?

People are googling whether there are side effects on using Nivea cream on the face!

Come on, why would that be a problem?

Nivea is just a cream. You can apply creams on all areas of your body.

This got me thinking on how powerful marketing messages are.

A few days ago as I was taking a shower I ran out of body wash. Didn’t want to go get a new one ’cause I was wet. I thought I could use shampoo instead.

Luisa, you know shampoo and body wash have very similar formulations!

Yes, I do know that but for some reason in my mind reading shampoo implied I couldn’t use it to wash my body.

These messages are deeply imprinted in ourselves.

So after all, I understand some people ask whether it’s okay to use the blue Nivea cream on their face.

The reason why beauty companies specify where and when we are supposed to apply a product is that so they can sell 3 or 4 instead of one.

It’s just marketing.

Nothing bad will happen if you use the blue Nivea cream on your face. 

Is Nivea Cream ideal for the face?

Probably not.

Nivea is a very rich cream and unless you suffer from super dry skin it might feel a bit too rich and greasy. This feel is uncomfortable on the face for some people.

For this reason, I recommend you to use it at night.

Nivea Cream: my honest review

A major misconception in the skincare world is that expensive products are better than drugstore/cheap ones (like the Nivea Cream).

Nivea ingredients as listed on their website are:

Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Paraffin, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearates, Fragrance, Panthenol, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Sodium Anisate.

The first thing you notice is the high amount of occlusive ingredients (Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Wax, Lanolin, Paraffin). 

In fact, being occlusive, they form a hydrophobic (=that repels water) film on the skin that cannot be easily washed off. This film prevents water loss, thus increasing skin moisture. 

Therefore, Nivea cream is super moisturizing!

The thing is that unless you have super dry skin, you probably don’t need to apply such a rich moisturizer. 

Same thing if your skin is not dry but dehydrated.

Dehydrated skin lacks water to start with. Using occlusive agents won’t make a difference. The only thing you’ll notice is skin feels soft on surface. 

To summarize:

Dry skin OR normal skin during cold winter months = Nivea Cream okay!

Dehydrated skin: increase water intake and use a hyaluronic acid serum instead

NIVEA Vs LA MER: what are the differences?

The first difference is the price.

While Nivea retails for a few bucks, 1 oz of the Crème De La Mer is $335.

A common misconception in the skincare world is that expensive products are better than cheap ones.

This might or might not be true. 

It depends.

It’s impossible to make such a strong generalization.

It’s instead necessary to evaluate product by product.

I explain this concept in this video (with examples of both worlds)

Even if we can’t generalize, I can tell you that in most cases expensive products are not 100% worth their price.


This is very true with skincare, a little less with makeup. Expensive makeup products usually performs better than cheap ones.

When buying luxury skin care, you are not only paying for the product itself (ingredients, research, manufacturing, etc.) but also for all the advertising, retailing locations, packaging, celebrities endorsement, and research. 

The second difference is the ingredients.

Nivea contains many inexpensive ingredients such as mineral oil, paraffin, waxes, water, and octyldodecanol. While it’s true these ingredients are “old school” and inexpensive, it’s also true they work very well when it comes to moisturizing the skin. 

La Mer instead uses a mix of fancy named ingredients like the Miracle Broth guess? This miracle Broth is 99% made of water and 1% sea kelp extract.

Algae (Seaweed) Extract, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Isohexadecane, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Ecalyptus) Leaf Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Powder, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Seed Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Sodium Gluconate, Potassium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Sulfate, Paraffin, Tocopheryl Succinate, Niacin, Water, Beta-Carotene, Decyl Oleate, Aluminum Distearate, Octyldodecanol, Citric Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Magnesium Stearate, Panthenol, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol Denat., Fragrance.Here’s the deal.

In RED are the ingredients that don’t really contribute to the performance of the product meaning they’re pH adjusters or preservatives.

BLUE are the ingredients that La Mer moisturizer share with the Nivea Cream.

Can you actually believe how many they are??? Unbelievable.Such a huge price gap for two products that actually shares a lot of ingredients!

Yes, La Mer has some additional ingredients that all sound fantastic but…they are added in such low amounts that they cannot justify the price tag. Marketing ingredients being in such low amount don’t make any difference in how the product performs.

TAKE HOME LESSON: there’s no point in having a long list of expensive ingredients if they’re added at 0.001%. Such minuscule amount is definitely inadequate to produce any measurable benefit.

The third difference is BRAND POSITIONING.

Brand positioning is the perception that people have about your brand. La Mèr position is in the luxury skincare space. Nivea is a drugstore brand.When buying Nivea, you’re buying a physical product- a moisturizer.People that spend $325 to buy Créme De La Mer are not buying a moisturizer! They’re buying a status and an experience. Luxury skincare products provide an experience that is superior. You enjoy them more because you paid $300 for that. It’s psychological. 

Earning money takes effort.

I’m not against Crème de La Mer. I just want you to become aware of something you probably weren’t.

Making a purchase decision? You must know the facts. 

At the end of the day, your satisfaction is all that matters.

31 thoughts on “Should you use Nivea Cream on the face? Nivea Cream vs La Mer: what are the differences?

        • Cathy A says:

          It is amazing how people will pay $300++ for some “ miracle broth “ aka seaweed and water fermentation. And claims of miracle . When I was young my mother always had such wise advice for cuts etc “ soak your foot in the ocean, it will heal your cut” she was right !
          It is all with marketing and hype but people buy it . Like the king that sat naked on his throne and all his subjects raved in his beautiful garment. I am just tired of this material world we live in today .

  1. Ayesha Khan says:

    Thank you Luisa for taking the time to explain in such easy to understand content. I definitely appreciate your hard work. I always look forward to hear your thoughts and suggestions about skincare/beauty products. Please also review some shampoo I always struggle with choosing a suitable shampoo.

    • Luisa says:

      Hair care is not my field so I don’t want to talk about things that I don’t know. With that being said, the same principles apply. My favorite shampoo brand is Matrix by Biolage.

  2. Barbara McHale says:

    Great read. Wish there was something we could do with all the extra packaging that the product has. Those jars within jars is so deceptive but more than that wasteful. I contacted one of the companies & their answer was less than nothing.

  3. Attia says:

    Hi Luisa, I love reading your articles, very informative, and will continue to read them. I am not sure if you have ever written an article on recommended products for the 60+ population, you know one of our most upsetting topics is sagging facial skin. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

  4. Helen gawlik says:

    My great aunt just passed away at almost 103. Even as a child I can remember her using nivea cream.
    I also use this product. But my newest purchase.
    I feel that the cream has a different texture. It is not as smooth to put on your face, almost like you have to rub
    it in instead of smooth it on.
    Other than this I really do like yòur product.

  5. Mary Reda says:

    I am 65 and have hyperpigmentation and get tons of white heads. I am on tretinotin 05% which I use every night. I just keep seeing morenamd more of them as the Retin Brings them out. Don’t think my skin will ever stop producing them. I also have large pores My skin is dry combo but moisturizer makes me break out. I use Cerave sometimes when needed. I use Neutrogena hyrdra boost cleanser. Sometimes I use Zo daily power defense which is good but toooo expensive for me. Can you help me with a routine of products I should use? I too was born in Italy!

  6. Whitney says:

    Thank you for taking the time to break it down. I actually reaearched a La Mer dupe and decided to try Nivea Cream. At the end of the day you’re going to get more bang through a serum and masks for those fancy ingredients anyway.

  7. Colleen says:

    Can you use nivea creme with an anti-aging moisturizer with spf? Before or after the moisturizer? Does it make sense to use both?

  8. Kathleen says:

    I used Creme de LaMer for nearly 20 years, well into my 50s, and was convinced that the reason my skin looked good for my age was owing to the product. After reading something online about LaMer vs Nivea, I ordered the German version of the latter, and decided to use the entire container before switching back. That was three years ago, and I would never switch back. After just two months of using the Nivea, I received a couple of compliments about my skin looking so even and “dewy,” even from my college student daughter who came home for spring break from college and hadn’t seen me in some time. Bottom line: I would have been better off investing all those $thousands buying LaMer stock, instead of wasting it on their cream for 20 years. I also use a nighttime retinol cream and Ren Evercalm, and daytime hyaluronic acid, because one of the things that both LaMer and Nivea lack are “actives.” Hope this helps

  9. Georgie says:

    Hi Luisa,
    I’m looking for a good exfoliator, do you have one, if not, please could you point to good reasonable priced ones?


  10. Monika Bialas says:

    My super rich friend always buys a cheap moisturizer from Thrifty Drugstore. She told me that the difference between the Thrifty Drugstore owners and the Lancome owners is that the Lancome owners have a house on the Riviera while the Thrifty Drugstore owners do not. I listened to her advice. She is 97 years old and looks still beautiful.

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