Not a week goes by without Aldi’s Lacura brand imitating a much-loved, distinctly pricy product (see Jo Malone’s reed diffuser and famous colognes and Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser for some recent dupe examples). The latest beauty heavyweight that the Lacura team are taking on has been in a staple in bathroom cabinets since its invention in 1930: the much lauded Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream , £22 for 50ml. Lacura is marketing their budget ointment as Miracle Cream , and it’ll set you back just £3.99 for 50ml. That’s a steal on paper, but let’s see just how ‘miraculous’ said balm turns out to be…
What is it?
A dark orange sap-like salve that purports to “soothe dry skin, seal in moisture, aid irritation and redness after shaving or waxing , soften chapped lips and dry cuticles and shape eyebrows”, among other uses (it could earn its very small keep as eye gloss too). On first impression, it’s pretty whiffy, but not in the same way as the original- Miracle Cream is highly perfumed but with a strong floral fragrance rather than the instantly recognisable medicinal scent of the classic Eight Hour Cream. The primary ingredient is petrolatum, so same-same in that regard, but you’ll notice that Lacura’s ingredients list is far longer, although there are lots of similarities going on, for example salicylic acid, castor oil, corn oil and linalool are included in both tubes. Both creams are ‘occlusive’, so help to form a barrier against moisture loss, and contain vitamin E to improve hydration and act as an antioxidant.
How does it differ from the real deal?
For the reasons above, and also texture wise it’s thinner and more greasy. I’m not a fan of the scents of either, so I’m on the fence there, but at least the Elizabeth Arden classic is available in a fragrance-free version, which also means that it’s far less likely to trigger irritation. My skin felt a tiny bit itchy and looked red post Lacura Miracle cream application- I have a feeling that my skin didn’t take kindly to the ‘parfum’ element, which is of course ironic for a product that’s intended to ease flare-ups and reactivity. The original Eight Hour Cream feels richer, but Miracle Cream will still help to protect and prevent chapped heels, lips and elbows, although don’t go smothering either all over your face- both are comedogenic to the max. Think SOS spot application for flaky patches.
The original is undoubtedly very expensive for a relatively basic formula, and while both tubes will last you a long time, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream wins out for its reparative powers that didn’t trigger irritation and that have been serving all manner of cuts, scrapes, burns and bruises since the early 1930s. There are hundreds of multipurpose balms and salves on the market these days, many of which do as good a job as Eight Hour Cream and smell of roses rather than very pungent pine, so if you’re after heavy duty rough skin relief for a lower price or with a more appealing scent then there are plenty of options to choose from, but a direct dupe of Arden’s revered lotion probably won’t cut it if you are a die-hard fan of the authentic Eight Hour.
Lacura Miracle Cream , £3.99, launches in Aldi stores tomorrow as a Specialbuy (once it’s gone, it’s gone)
Here’s what we made of Aldi’s Jo Malone inspired fragrances