I often find myself recommending the Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream whenever people ask me for a good basic moisturizer that’s moisturizing but won’t leave them feeling greasy. The Laneige Water Bank Cream is my go-to when I just want some good moisture without any fancy ingredients, like when my skin is irritated and I want to dial back on the actives.
The Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream is a mid-range cream, retailing for $32 for a 50ml jar at Target in the US. However, I have never bought the full size version, opting instead to purchase deluxe samples from RoseRoseShop.com, where you can get 3 deluxe samples (10ml each) for $3.34. I mean, you really can’t beat that. The deluxe size tubes are also perfect for travel. I’ve gone through 3 tubes already, and I have 6 sitting in my drawer as backups!
I’ll admit that not having to pay a lot for this product makes me more favorably disposed towards it. I’m not sure I’d splurge on the $32 version, but for the cheap cheap price of the sample tubes I think it’s a no-brainer.
Ingredients for Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream
Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Propanediol, Squalane, Hydrogenated C6-14 Olefin Polymers, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Beta-Glucan, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil, Citrulline, Alanine, Arginine, Glycogen, Glutamic Acid, Glyceryl Oleate, Lysine HCl, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Threonine, Trehalose, Magnesium Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Mannitol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Behenyl Alcohol, Serine, Sucrose, Sucrose Stearate, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Behenate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Calcium Citrate, Cocamide Mipa, Polysorbate 20, Polysilicone-11, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, PCA, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-15 Pentaerythrityl Tetra (Laureth-6 Carboxylate), PEG-40 Stearate Hydroxypropyl Bispalmitamide MEA, Histidine HCl, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance. (via Target)
This is one of those weird cases where if you look at the ingredient list, you won’t find really anything remarkable about it — there are no stellar ingredients other than, say, squalane (an emollient), meadowfoam seed oil, small amounts of mango seed oil and amino acids, and disappointingly, the first three ingredients are water, butylene glycol, and dimethicone, pretty much the most generic and cheapest ingredients you can get in skincare. There are fatty alcohols and stearic acid, so steer clear (har har) if you are sensitive. No ceramides. No niacinamide. Really, not much to get excited about.
However, this really is one of those cases where the product transcends the ingredient list, and to me, proves that the formulation can trump star ingredients. I guess those cosmetic chemists know what they’re doing. You’ll see why below.
Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream: Impressions
It’s no accident that the Water Bank Moisture Cream is one of Laneige’s best selling products. It’s a good, solid, moisturizer that people with dry-ish to normal skin will love. I say “dry-ish” because lacking ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and cholesterol, I don’t think it will sufficiently moisturize very dry skin. If your skin is normal to dry, however, it should provide the right amount of moisture.
I live in a dry climate (Southern California) and my skin is combination-dry. This cream is perfect as a last step after a hydrating toner and a serum or two. I use it all over my face, even on my oilier T-zone.
It’s an opaque white cream with a light consistency. It absorbs into my skin almost instantly. At first it leaves a very slight film but within minutes, all of the cream is absorbed and I can hardly feel anything on my face. I think this is pretty surprising considering that dimethicone is the third ingredient, yet I don’t feel like there’s any residue sitting on top of my skin. My skin is much softer after using the cream.
(Aside) Back before my skincare days, I knew I needed to moisturize my face, but I couldn’t find any moisturizers that were sufficiently moisturizing but non-greasy. Cetaphil and Cerave in the tub felt thick and sat on top of my skin. I ended up using Lubriderm body lotion in the pump bottle on my face! It was the only cream I knew at the time that was very moisturizing but didn’t leave a greasy residue (and was super cheap). I still love Lubriderm for my body, despite being much more interested in Asian skincare these days. The Laneige cream is similar in that it doesn’t leave me feeling greasy, but it’s much more moisturizing. I’ve just graduated to a better product that’s actually designed for your face, haha!
Once absorbed, skin feels soft with little to no discernible film.
I can use this both day and night. It works really well under makeup (perhaps the dimethicone acts as a bit of a primer) and doesn’t make my BB cream melt and slide all over my face. It keeps me sufficiently moisturized all day without any tightness or flaking. It also has a pleasant but subtle scent that reminds me of clean laundry.
At night, it works well as a night cream because it IS quite moisturizing, but I like to layer a sleeping pack on top for some extra occlusion. It’s a great layering cream because you won’t feel like you have a lot of product on your face. I personally don’t like the feeling of a heavy cream, and I find myself reaching for the Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream more often than other, richer creams I own, like the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream, which I find a bit too heavy for me.
The Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream does one thing well: moisturize. If you’re looking for a basic cream that will keep you moisturized for several hours without feeling greasy, this is it. If you’re looking for your cream to do MORE for you, like anti-aging or brightening, well then this probably isn’t the right product. Personally, I have plenty of serums and essences that have a TON of great ingredients, so I’m perfectly fine with just a basic moisturizer.
Pros: Moisturizes well, light consistency, no residue or greasy feel, cheap if you buy samples
Cons: No “super” ingredients, basic, a bit expensive if you buy full size, contains some triggers for people with sensitivities, contains added fragrance
Will I repurchase? Yes, in sample tubes. If the sample tubes become unavailable, I would consider buying the full size, because it’s a convenient cream to have around for basic moisturizing. But I would think about it.
Where to Buy
RoseRoseShop: Three 10ml samples for $3.34 no longer available
Target: 50ml jar $32
Amazon: 50ml jar $32.36 (affiliate link)
Or you could try the trial set which includes the cream, as well as the gel cream, the eye gel and the essence, which I think is a great deal if you throw it into your Amazon order:
Laneige Water Bank Trial Kit for $5.16 (affiliate link)
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy a product through my link, I’ll get a small kickback. This helps me to keep this blog running, to test new products, and to continue providing reviews. Thanks!