If you've ever wondered whether it's worth forking out for a pricey moisturiser, a Consumer NZ test has your answer.

In an assessment of nine moisturisers, a $13 day cream has outperformed a product that sells for $520.

The $13 option is Nivea Pure & Natural Moisturising Day Cream, which spiked in popularity after Kate Middleton was snapped buying it. And the pricey product that failed to impress is La Mer: the Moisturising Gel Cream.

Blind tested on women aged 25 to 66 with normal to dry skin types, the creams were measured on their moisturising efficacy after a month of twice-daily use.


While the majority of creams tested did deliver good results, the La Mer product was noted by Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin as "an exception", delivering "only average results."

"If you're looking for a moisturiser, you don't need to splash out on a high-priced product. You can find creams for less than $20 that will do the job," Chetwin said.

And rather than seeking out creams that are "dermatologically tested" or "hypoallergenic", Chetwin notes you're better off focusing on the ingredients list.

"There's no standard definition of these terms. Products carrying the claims can also contain potential allergens such as fragrances and preservatives. If you have sensitive skin or want to avoid certain chemicals, your best bet is checking the ingredients list," said Chetwin.

A full report of the findings can be found here.

Tested moisturisers:

• Avene Hydrance Optimale Legere Light Hydrating Cream, 40ml, $59, ****
• Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+, 50ml, $34, ****
• Dr Hauschka Quince Day Cream, 30ml, $55, ****
• Estee Lauder Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme, 50ml, $96, ****
• L'Oreal Triple Active Day, 50ml, $15, ****
• Nivea Pure & Natural Moisturising Day Cream, 50ml, $13, ****
• Nuxe Creme Fraiche De Beaute, 50ml, $61, ****
• The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet, 50ml, $40, ****
• La Mer - the Moisturising Gel Cream, 60ml, $520, ***

(Source: Consumer NZ. Ratings out of five stars)