BEST K-BEAUTY DUPES IN 2019
K-Beauty products have a cult following in their own right and for good reason – they’re well known for their fantastic results, come beautifully packaged, contain stellar ingredients and are very reasonably priced.
But some K-Beauty products also contain similar ingredients to more expensive skincare products. Which high-end ones can you swap over for K-Beauty favs?
STYLE STORY investigates:
CLEANSING BALM SWAP: Eve Lom Cleanser > Beauty of Joseon Radiance Cleansing Balm
The Eve Lom Cleanser is a rich and oily cleanser containing chamomile oil, eucalyptus oil and more. It works to break down makeup and remove stubborn eyeliner and mascara. Beauty of Joseon’s Radiance Cleansing Balm works just the same, but for a third of the price. Beauty of Joseon’s cleanser is also a much safer choice for acne prone and sensitive skin types, as it contains no silicons, parabens, sulfates or alcohol. Did we mention it’s also fungal acne safe?
ESSENCE SWAP: SKII Facial Treatment Essence > Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence
SK II’s pricey essence contains “Pitera” as its star ingredient, a yeast derived from the sake making process. Missha’s First Treatment Essence also contains a yeast derived the same family as Pitera.
Missha’s beloved essence is packed with 90% fermented yeast concentrate, as well as purple barley, lactic acid and niacinamide for brightening. It is also free from parabens, fragrances, alcohol, colorants, silicon and mineral oil, meaning it can be used on even the most sensitive skin types. Considering it is less than half the price of SKII and contains twice the amount of product, this is a massive save!
SCRUB SWAP: Fresh Sugar Face Police > Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask
Fresh’s Sugar Face Polish is an exfoliating scrub with a brown sugar base that contains strawberry seeds to exfoliate, as well as calendilia wax and fruit seed oils.
Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask contains many of the same ingredients as Fresh’s version, but at a 7th of the price. No wonder it is one of Korean beauty brand Skinfood’s best-selling products and winner of Sure Magazine’s “No 1 Facial Scrub of the Year”.
CLAY MASK SWAP: GlamGow SuperMud Mask > Cosmetea Black Tea Pink Clay Mask
Made on a base of kaolin, a type of clay, Glam Glow’s SuperMud Mask promises to work as a solution for pores, blemishes, oiliness and blackheads to clear the complexion. However, retailing at over $75 AUD for a mere 50g it doesn’t come cheap.
On the other hand K-Beauty brand Cosmetea’s divine Black Tea Pink Clay Mask is also made with kaolin as its star ingredient, as well as bentonite, black tea and camellia oil.
Cosmetea’s mask comes in a whopping 200ml size for only $34.95 and looks good enough to eat, offering skin resurfacing benefits that target loss of firmness and elasticity. This creamy clay mask works to hydrate, tighten and improve uneven skin.
BHA SWAP: Biologique Recerche P50 Lotion > COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Biologique’s Lotion P50 is an all-in-one toner, balancer and exfoliating lotion that helps speed up the epidermis’ natural exfoliating process.
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid is quickly becoming a cult Korean Beauty product for its ability to prevent the formation of blemishes before they even occur. It is an oil-soluble chemical exfoliant that clears dead skin cells from deep within pores to minimise their appearance and prevent breakouts.
SERUM SWAP: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair > Missha Time Revolution Science Activator Ampoule
Estee Lauder’s Nigh Repair serum contains the active ingredient Bifida Ferment Lysate, as well as other ingredients that claim to heal, repair, hydrate and aid cell turnover.
Missha’s Time Revolution Science Activator Ampoule, affectionately known as the “Borabit” Ampoule thanks to its purple colour (“Borabit” means “purple” in Korean), also contains Bifida Ferment Lysate, along with a whopping 9 other fermented ingredients, multiple peptides, plant extracts and niacinamide. Considering Missha’s Ampoule is a worldwide bestseller in its own right, it’s a steal at 1/3rd of the price!
MOISTURISER SWAP: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream > d’Alba Piedmont Peptide No-Sebum Repair Cream
Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream includes a combination of peptides, growth factors, and amino acids in a thick cream that claims to reduce lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. The amino acids act as support by strengthening and fortifying the skin’s barrier.
Luxury K-Beauty brand d’Alba Piedmont’s Peptide No Sebum Repair Cream comes with the same base of low molecular peptides and 20 essential amino acids and minerals, which work to help firm and improve skin elasticity, wrinkles, and fine lines. It’s also formulated with calamine powder and BHAs to help fight acne, gently remove old skin cells, target sebum, and soothe sensitive skin. Both products are also cruelty free and come in a 50ml size.
However, where d’Alba beats Drunk Elephant hands down is in price (Protini Cream is around $95 AUD versus $60.95 AUD) and the potential to cause breakouts. Protini’s thicker texture isn’t ideal for those with from oily or combination skin, whereas d’Alba’s Peptide Cream comes in a lighter consistency (albeit one that doesn’t compromise on hydration).
EYE CREAM SWAP: SKII RNA Power Anti Aging Eye Cream > Benton Fermentation Eye Cream
SKII’s RNA Power Anti Aging Eye Cream is a luxurious eye cream made on a base of galactomyces ferment filtrate. It is packed with skin conditioning ingredients in an easily absorbed texture to moisturise, restore suppleness, and reduce fine lines. However, retailing for nearly $190 AUD it doesn’t come cheap.
Cult K-Beauty favourite Benton Fermentation Eye Cream ranked highly in blind tests on popular K-Beauty program “Get it Beauty“. Made with the same star ingredient (galactomyces ferment filtrate) as SKII’s version, it also works to hydrate, repair, and protect the skin from damage. It also contains other anti-aging superstars like bifida ferment lysate, beta glucan, aloe, and adenosine to soothe and plump skin, and hyaluronic acid and panthenol to hydrate. Plus, at only $34.95 AUD it’s a veritable steal.