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One of the best things about the seemingly never-ending beauty realm of the internet is finding affordable product dupes for your favourite expensive skincare and makeup products.
Because while we all love a Sephora free sample, when you see the price of the full-sized product, your on-sale drugstore version all of a sudden doesn't look so bad.
No beauty category is more guilty of this than high-end skincare (La Mer, anyone?). Brands don't hesitate to ask $130 for a serum, $60 for an eye cream, and in La Mer's case, $460 for a 60 mL jar of their Crème de la Mer Moisturizer.
As far as dupes go, one of our favourites is a $22 gel that’s an alternative to Huda Beauty's Wishful Yo Glow Facial Enzyme Scrub.
SHOP IT: Sephora, $51
The Huda Beauty scrub, which retails for $51, is a gentle yet powerful exfoliant loaded with pineapple and papaya enzymes, BHAs, and AHAs. While it's technically called a scrub, we would argue that the product is more akin to a light peeling gel. Its cream-based formula exfoliates dead skin cells, reduces the look of dark spots, and increases skin clarity.
"I love love love this enzyme scrub! It's a tad bit on the $$ side but definitely worth every penny," said one Sephora shopper. "You really only need a few drops of it. Great for all over face, lips and neck!"
However, for $30 less, Secret Key's Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel offers a very similar experience to the pricier Wishful scrub — and shoppers say it’s just as good. It's formulated with lemon water and lemon extract to brighten the skin, sparkling water to remove impurities, green tea water to exfoliate, and hyaluronic acid to moisturize.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $22
The K-beauty product has a comparably creamy formula and, unlike the Wishful scrub, doesn't contain any skin-drying alcohol.
Secret Key's Peeling Gel is rich in vitamin C, which is great for smoothing out uneven skin tone, and contains sparkling water, which eliminates impurities and tightens pores.
"SO gentle compared to the scrub exfoliators I've used in the past," said one Amazon five-star reviewer. "The benefit of using a gel exfoliator is that you don't create microtears in your skin, and this works amazingly! You can see your dead skin 'peel' off, but it's painless!"
The Secret Key gel has garnered more than 1,800 five-star reviews on Amazon for its renowned gentle peeling formula.
"I was surprised to see how much it lightened my acne scars in just one use," explained one reviewer. "I have combination to dry skin, so peeling gels are a must in my routine. I find this peeling gel really gentle and effective!"
We would love to know: what are your favourite skincare dupes?
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.