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Why I'm replacing my $70 face oil with this $20 moisturizer

It hydrates my skin without leaving a greasy shine.
Courtesy Katie Jackson
/ Source: TODAY

When it comes to skin care, my priority is making sure my complexion looks healthy, hydrated and moisturized. That might be the reason why I've relied on the same pricey face oil for the past two years. But at $70 an ounce, it eats up a big chunk of my beauty budget.

Recently, I decided to try something a little less luxury but far more affordable: La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer. It's only $20 and is now a must-have in my skin care routine.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer

Thousands love it (and recommend it)

I'm not an early adopter or someone who wants to experiment with my skin. I just want something I know will work. I opted for this moisturizer because it has over 14,000 five-star ratings and rave reviews from verified purchasers. Furthermore, the brand says its formula is recommended by 90,000 dermatologists worldwide.

I also chose it because it's from La Roche-Posay, a French skin care line I actually discovered when I was living in Portugal. It may not be a household name (yet) in the U.S., but in Europe, I learned that it's a trusted brand (sold in pharmacies, not grocery stores) with a huge, faithful following. While I've used other La Roche-Posay products in the past, this was my first time trying one with "thermal water" as a main ingredient.

holding the bottle of La Roche-Posay Double Repair Moisturizer while on safari in Africa
Katie Jackson / Katie Jackson

Its prebiotic thermal water contains minerals and antioxidant properties that help to soothe the skin, according to the brand. It also contains a bunch of skin-loving ingredients like ceramides, glycerin and niacinamide, which are said to be beneficial for restoring the skin barrier and minimizing discoloration. Another bonus, I haven't had any breakouts since I started using it.

It hydrates my dry skin

It's worth noting that I put my skin through a lot. My job as a travel writer means I'm always subjecting my face to different environments. One day I might be in the dry depths of Death Valley and the next, on a volcano in the Costa Rican jungle with 100 percent humidity. Not to mention, planes are notorious for drying out your skin — so, I need a moisturizer that can work in all kinds of conditions to keep it hydrated.

So far, this one hasn't failed me yet. The bottle says this formula provides up to 48 hours of hydration, and it lives up to the claim! It even held up on a recent 41-hour trip (including four planes and a helicopter) to the Kalahari Desert.

wearing La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer on a plane
After 41 hours of flying across the world, my skin is still glowing.Katie Jackson

I also like that I don't need to reapply it during the day. (I carry a small bag as my purse, so I don't have room to pack around a moisturizer for touch-ups.)

It passes the carry-on test

As a result of my job, I can't have many toiletries. I need something that offers good enough results to warrant space in my plastic to-go bag. This moisturizer easily passes the test. While it doesn't give me the same glow that my favorite face oil does, it also doesn't leave me with a greasy shine. My skin absorbs it almost as fast as I can apply it. Plus, it's lightweight, fragrance-free, and keeps my face hydrated and healthy-looking.

my toiletries bag with the La Roche-Posay double repair moisturizer
Katie Jackson / Katie Jackson

For best results, La Roche-Posay recommends applying this moisturizer after using its toleriane cleanser. I'm already pretty attached to my favorite foaming cleanser, but once I run out, I'm willing to give this a try. It's only $15 and has more than 13,000 five-star ratings on Amazon.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser

The only downside of using this moisturizer is it might make your monthly facial moot. I'm currently working remotely from the world-renowned spa, where I feel it's sacrilegious to visit and not get a facial. But thanks to a few weeks of using this moisturizer, my skin has never been better. I can't justify spending money on a facial when my face already looks so hydrated and healthy. I suppose I'll just have to settle for a massage — a worst-case scenario I'm OK with.

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