Splurge or Save: Walmart Edition

There are few moments in life more intimidating than standing at the end of a drugstore skincare aisle, white knuckling your shopping basket as you face the seemingly endless rows of products promising to tighten, brighten, and smooth every inch of your body.

How can a lotion make me look radiant? What even is a toner?! I didn’t know you could buy wipes for that area…

What’s worse is tackling the ultimate decision: do you want to walk out of there confidently with familiar name-brand products and empty pockets? Or are you willing to take a chance on the generic brand and save some cash?

Generic brands historically have a bad rap because they aren’t always aesthetically pleasing like their name brand counterparts. But turning your nose up at store brand products could be burning an unnecessary hole in your pocket. How do you know when to splurge and when to save? We’ve got you covered.

Today we’re investigating Walmart’s store beauty brands Equate and Equate Beauty. We know, we know--skincare from a Walmart brand?! We were feeling iffy too…but hear us out because some of our discoveries will save you some serious dough. And others will save you from wasting money on strange scents, sticky sprays, and greasy gunk…

Splurge or Save?

The who's who in the Walmart skincare aisles;

Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes vs. Equate Beauty


If you're particular about the ingredients you put on your face, tread lightly because these are different. These two products have a shocking 4% ingredient match and only a 48% overall similarity rating. Despite the $3.50 price difference, it might be worth forgoing your afternoon caffeine fix for Neutrogena-level cleansing. But, if packaging tips the scale for you, you’ll love the plastic enclosure on the Equate Beauty wipes.

Our verdict: splurge


Eucerin Intensive Repair Rich Feel Lotion vs. Equate Beauty

This dupe is another don’t. Eucerin typically stands out as a winner when it comes to hydration, and this rings true for their Intensive Repair Rich Feel Lotion. These two products have only a 31% ingredient match and overall are rated 33% similar. Eucerin is preferred among users for its better smell, consistency, and absorption rate. So to avoid some stink and grease, stick with cult favorite, Eucerin.

Our verdict: splurge


Clean & Clear Continuous Control Acne Cleanser vs. Equate Beauty

With an impressive 94% ingredient match and 92% overall similarity rating, these two products are basically indistinguishable. The Clean & Clear cleanser has a slightly stronger scent, but it’s nothing to write home about. With such similar quality, save over a dollar and try out Walmart’s brand.

Our verdict: save


Olay Fresh Outlast Purifying Birch Water & Lavender Body Wash vs. Equate Beauty

Another practically identical duo. These two body washes have a 99% ingredient match (woah!) and a 92% similarity rating. Our reviewers even preferred the scent of the Equate Beauty version. With such similar functionality, this is a great opportunity to switch and save up again for that mid-afternoon latte…

Our verdict: save


Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion vs. Equate Beauty

If you are looking to save on some lotion, this one’s for you. The Equate Beauty Stress Relief lotion is currently our most reviewed product. It stands at a 99% ingredient match and an 83% overall similarity rating compared to the Aveeno lotion. While there is some slight difference in scent and consistency, the Equate version will still have you saying "ohmmm" in no time. Identical ingredient panels, a cheaper price tag, and a bigger bottle make this dupe a no-brainer.

Our verdict: save


Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector vs. Equate Beauty

If you’re looking for a product that will actually do what it says it does (aren’t we all?!), stay far, far away from the Equate Beauty Dark Spot Corrector. This product has the one of the worst reviews of all our products- a 24% ingredient match and an appalling 11% overall similarity match. Reviewers preferred the Garnier version on every metric, despite the price difference. In this comparison, Garnier is clearly the way to go.

Our verdict: splurge

Want to know more? Check out our demo to hear about the dos and don’ts of other Walmart products. Download our app to compare even more brands.

Kathleen BurnsComment