• Jenny Tai

The skincare industry is worth roughly £2.6 billion. TWO POINT SIX BILLION. That’s an almost incomprehensible amount of money and it goes some way towards explaining why there are so many skincare brands, products, and ingredients. It’s overwhelming. Whereas makeup typically (but not always) comes in a little cheaper than skincare and is based more on colour theory, which makes it easier to mix and match palettes, foundations, and concealers, skincare is a more precise beast.

You can’t just swap moisturisers in and out in the same way as makeup because you need to give them time to settle into your skin. Mixing up your skincare routine too frequently can cause flare-ups, skin purging, and more, not to mention the fact you could be throwing money down the drain.

The positive thing, though, is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the best results. In many cases, you can find a cheap skincare product that contains very similar ingredients to more expensive, luxury items. These are known as skincare dupes and we’re going to be listing the best cheap alternatives to luxury skincare on this page over the coming weeks and months.

We’ve previously done the same for the best makeup dupes in the UK – at the time of writing, you could save yourself more than £320 by swapping premium makeup for our as-good, cheaper versions.
THE ICON: Possibly the most famous face moisturiser on Earth – and one that costs a pretty penny – is the La Mer Crème de la Mer Moisturising Cream (from £230). The smallest pot (THE SMALLEST) costs £230 but if you buy the 500ml version, it will set you back £1,550. Nope, that’s not a typo. The reason it costs so much is that it uses the highest quality raw materials that give real results. The all-day moisturiser helps give your skin natural radiance, while the texture of the cream is lightweight while rich, making it perfect for all skin ages. Helping your skin feel hydrated, plump and not to mention it blurs fine lines. It’s like a little pot of magic.

THE DUPE: This was a tricky skincare dupe to find and while we haven’t found an exact like-for-like La Mer dupe, we’ve found an incredibly close second. The Liz Earle Skin Repair Rich Cream Jar (£23) offers remarkably similar quality raw materials, like Borage, Shea Butter, and Avocado Oil. The texture is a cooling gel that glides beautifully on the skin. It gives up to 72 hours of hydration, helps balance shine and oil on the skin too. This cream leaves a dewy look and a lovely natural glow to the skin.
THE ICON: One of the most-loved and bestselling serums, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£82) helps supercharge your skin at night while you sleep. This serum uses ingredients that combat signs of ageing. It has a rich consistency but absorbs quickly and if you’ve lost firmness to the skin, the formula will help lift sagging skin and reveal a healthier looking appearance. This serum helps blur fine lines and wrinkles, giving the skin a radiant complexion while leaving an even tone and texture to the skin. The price shown is for the 50ml version because that’s like-for-like on Missha’s serum, however, you can get a 30ml bottle for £60.

THE DUPE: Our Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair dupe is the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair (£28.90) Not heard of Missha before? It’s a Korean beauty brand that wants to help you discover healthy, flawless skin. This serum’s texture is just like the Advanced Night Repair and is packed with 10 probiotics of different functions that work together to improve the natural strength of your skin. It moisturises, improves wrinkles, and boosts elasticity. Korean skincare believes nature produces the best ingredients and each bottle of Time Revolution Night Repair are five energy components – purple carrots, plum cabbage, eggplant, beetroot, and blueberry. Purple rooted and leaf fruits are said to give the skin energy which will keep it healthy and smooth. Granted, this isn’t a super cheap dupe but you’ll be saving a significant amount versus buying the Estée Lauder version.