As the home of skincare technology and innovation, it’s no surprise that there are a ton of skincare brands that draw inspiration from South Korea.
If you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether to spend big on a hero skincare product, chances are there’s a great K-Beauty product that looks, smells, feels and works similarly!
Although they’re great products in their own right, here are our favourite K-Beauty dupes** for 2022.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask ($67 for 80ml) > Heimish Watermelon Moisture Soothing Gel Cream ($35 for 110ml)*
Glow Recipe’s signature product shot to popularity as one of the first sleeping masks to hit Western markets. It is immediately recognisable thanks to its watermelon scent.
If you’re craving that watermelon scent in a light gel texture, Heimish’s Moisture Surge Gel Cream is a great substitute. Heimish’s cream has developed its own cult following from dupe aficionados who describe getting Clinique Moisture Surge and Glow Recipe vibes from it!
For a lightweight, cooling gel moisturiser for bouncier skin, Heimish’s Gel Cream is a STYLE STORY favourite.
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($110 for 75ml) > Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence ($26 for 155ml)*
SK II’s Facial Treatment Essence is famous for containing leftover yeast from brewing rice-based alcohol sake, known as “Pitera”.
For an ingredient packed, wallet-friendly alternative, Secret Key’s Starting Treatment Essence contains a whopping 94% fermented yeast concentrate to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. At a fifth of the price with a higher concentration of brightening ingredients, we think it’s worth giving a go!
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair ($208 for 75ml) > Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule ($79 for 50ml)*
Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair serum contains the active ingredient Bifida Ferment Lysate, and other ingredients that claim to repair, hydrate and aid cell turnover.
Missha’s Time Revolution Night Repair Ampoule 5xcontains 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!
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster ($66 for 20ml) > One Thing Niacinamide 10% ($30 for 150ml)*
This concentrated niacinamide serum from Paula’s Choice is known for pore care and promoting a more even skin tone. For the same niacinamide concentration but over five times the size and less than half the price, One Thing’s Niacinamide 10% makes for a pretty compelling choice.
Using niacinamide with efficacy certified by Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, One Thing's Niacinamide 10% can help with a variety of skin concerns. It helps to regulate oil and sebum, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines as well as strengthen the skin barrier.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($99 for 75g) > Tosowoong Enzyme Power Wash ($25 for 70g)*
Although Tosowoong’s powder wash is a cult K-Beauty product in its own right, Dermalogica’s classic Daily Microfoliant is one of the first products skincare lovers think when powder washes are mentioned.
Both products have a similar, lightly exfoliating texture. They also share a range of ingredients as well, including brightening licorice extract and papain.
At approximately 25% of the cost of Dermalogica, Tosowoong’s Enzyme Powder Wash is gently formulated with an ideal pH of 5.5 for sensitive or blemish-prone skin. This makes a great daily cleanser to boot.
Neogen Real Ferment Micro Serum ($45 for 30ml) *
Lancome claims that this fast-acting anti-aging serum reveals "smoother, more radiant skin in as little as 7 days". The patented formula, which contains Bifidus extract, helps strengthen and protect skin's moisture barrier.
Thankfully, if your budget doesn't quite stretch that far, there's a K-Beauty dupe for it. Neogen Dermalogy Real Ferment Micro Serumdelivers a concentrated boost of nutrients and antioxidants to skin.
With a formula that includes 61% fermented ingredients, this gel-like serum instantly absorbs into skin and infuses it with elasticity-improving bifida ferment lysate and Saccharomyces ferment filtrate. The addition of Betula alba juice provides antioxidant benefits while rice ferment filtrate brightens complexion and balances oil production.
Bioeffect EGF Serum Dupe ($210 for 15ml) - APLB EGF Facial Repair Essence ($90 for 50ml) *
This award-winning, anti-aging serum is made with Barley EGF to reduce the appearance of fine lines, boost hydration, and restore younger-looking skin. If you're looking for those same benefits at a discount, then APLB's EGF Facial Repair Essence is a great swap.
Although it doesn't contain the exact same type of EGF as Bioeffect's version, APLB's product does contain a whole host of ingredients that are also perfect for targeting the same skin concerns!
STYLE STORY - Your Go-To for Kbeauty
* Price comparisons were accurate as at the date of publishing in AUD. For the most up to date pricing information, please check the product pages.
** We do not intend to suggest that any of the products mentioned in this article purposely intended to copy or replicate another product in the market. Rather, we think the products perform similarly on the skin and are therefore a good swap for those looking for similar skincare products.
"If you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing over whether to spend big on a hero skincare product, chances are there’s a great K-Beauty product that looks, smells, feels and works the same."STYLE STORY - Your Go-To for KBeauty
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