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K-Beauty Skincare Dupes for Best-Selling, High End Beauty Brands

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You get what you pay for”, a phrase we're all familiar with, isn't necessarily applicable to the skincare industry today. The phrase does not hold the same weight with the emergence of beauty brands introducing affordable, and high-efficacy products in the market. The world of skincare and beauty is filled with dupes; affordable, and accessible products with similar ingredients to big name brands. The phrase “you get what you pay for” is no longer a blanket statement used to justify expensive purchases, as the possibility of similar and affordable options continues to increase. Dupes made me realize that I don’t need to pay an arm and leg for better skin, and neither should you. Buying dupes that do the trick saves money and who doesn’t love that?

Aren’t Expensive Products Better?

This should go without saying but a great product is not determined by its price. In this current age, a price is determined by the power of a brand, and its marketing. Fancy packaging, endorsements, and other external variables are considered in the cost of your favorite luxury brands. Premium ingredients used in luxury skincare are another benchmark companies use to set a steep price, so it is important to look into the ingredients list (and reviews) to see if a product has clinically-tested results before you splurge on expensive ingredients and high-end skincare.

I believe that if a product works (dupe or not) for your particular skin concern, stick to it regardless of the price point. Higher-end products might give the placebo effect to make you feel better, and affordable options might make you feel that a product is cheap and ineffective. Unfortunately, there is no quick solution in seeing how well these products react with our skin, as skincare is a game of patience. Before shopping, learn how to separate the packaging and glamorous marketing from the actual product and see what is best for your skin's needs.

Image via Heimish Official Instagram

One of the most expensive brands you'll find at Sephora is La Mer. La Mer's The Eye Concentrate is the luxury brand's best-selling eye cream with a retail value of $245. Designed to reduce dark circles and lines in 21 days, the eye cream features Algae Extract and Lime Tea Concentrate. The dupe that stands toe-to-toe with the luxury eye cream is the affordable Marine Care Eye Cream from Heimish. This budget-friendly eye cream rejuvenates the eye are with its marine-based ingredients such as fermented algae extract, mineral-rich seawater, peptides, and plant stem cell extracts for only $36! Both products have the sea ingredient algae, and it's an effective ingredient in hydrating skin, as well as brightening the complexion and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.


Image via Missha Official Instagram

Estee Lauder, the company that owns subsidiary La Mer, is comparable to South Korea's Amorepacific. The Advanced Night Repair Serum features Tripeptide-32, Estee Lauder’s exclusive peptide which protects the skin during the day and helps increase the skin's ability to repair, renew, and firm the skin and is priced at $105.The K-Skincare dupe for this high-end serum is the Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule from Missha. The ampoule from Missha, uses 10 different non-lactic acids to add firmness and brightening to the skin and is priced at $40. Both products utilize sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) to retain moisture in the skin leaving your skin hydrated and happy.

Image via Missha Official Instagram

SK-II, is the iconic J-beauty corporation known for using naturally derived ingredients and their expensive prices. The Facial Treatment Essence (PITERA Essence), is a potent treatment that softens texture, reduces dark spots and fine lines, and increases skin radiance. Formulated with their PITERA™, a “bio-ingredient derived from yeast fermentation”, it has over 50 micro-nutrients, like amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. The Japanese premium essence doesn’t come cheap, priced at $185. The Korean dupe is the Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX, from Missha. The K-beauty essence is one of the brand’s best-sellers with similar ingredients as the SK-II counterpart. Missha's essence features fermented yeast from Himalayan Purple Barley. The price tag of $40 is an affordable one, as the essence plumps sagging skin, refines rough texture, reduces discoloration, as well as allows for deeper hydration.  


These are just a few skincare dupes that are currently available in the market. We believe a good product is one that is effective and suitable for your skin, no matter its price point. However, I do also know that skincare products are not only for ourselves but also make great gifts for others, which is why we sometimes go above and beyond for a luxury item. Skincare isn't one size fits all and its price point also doesn't measure its effectiveness. There are skincare products for everyone and their personal budget, it's just a matter of knowing where to find them.

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