'I'm a skin expert and I love this $25 retinal better than the cult $190 version.'

Whether you love or hate them, dupes have become a new cult favourite treasure hunt for many skincare enthusiasts

Dupes allow us to try current and previously 'cult status' beauty products for usually a fraction of the cost, which becomes a very enticing prospect as everything around us becomes increasingly expensive.

And they've come a long way since they started becoming popular.

Watch: Mamamia's beauty editor tries the viral 10-pump foundation hack. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

In 2024, we are seeing more dupes than ever as skincare popularity continues to boom and social media hype around products is at an all-time high. 

I personally love a dupe. As someone who's always recommending skincare to people, I love that I can give people affordable alternatives to those viral products. Because no matter how much you love skincare, sometimes shelling out over $100 for a moisturiser can seem daunting and downright scandalous. 

However, not all dupes are created equal, and often, you have to wade through the weeds to find the ones that are actually worth your money.


Luckily, I've done the hard work for you. Here is a list of my current favourite dupes, which are all tried and tested for 2024 that you should try if you're looking to save a few dollars in your beauty routine.

The OG: Stila One Step Correct, $62.
The dupe: MCoBeauty All-In-One Colour Correcting Primer, $26.

Image: Supplied.

Praised by rosacea sufferers as the holy grail, the Stila One Step Correct ($62) is a skin tone-correcting and brightening primer. It uses three different colour pigments to reduce surface redness and brighten skin. It is best used as a primer before makeup or just on its own, and it's a fantastic way to even your skin tone with something light and hydrating. 


However, it is now available in dupe form from the ultimate dupe leader, MCoBeauty, with the All-In-One Colour Correcting Primer ($26). The packaging and skin effects of these products are practically identical. At a third of the cost, this dupe will be greatly received by many who struggle with skin redness as a cheaper alternative.

The OG: Dior Addict Lip Glow Oil, $64.
The dupe: Mecca Max Glaze Phase Lip Oil, $17.

The Dior lip oils have had a cult status for years, hailed as one of the best lip oils for their ultra-glossy colour and longevity. The Dior Addict Lip Glow Oils are $64 each, which is very high compared to other lip oils. However, people were often happy to pay the price as the product was far superior to others. 

Now, Mecca Max has come out with their Glaze Phaze Lip Oils, which, on application, resemble the Dior oils. With four beautiful shades for just $15, these will quickly become new favourites amongst the die-hard lip oil fans.

The OG: Medik8 Crystal Retinal 20, $190.
The dupe: The Ordinary Retinal 0.2% Emulsion, $25.50.

Image: Supplied


Medik8 Crystal Retinal 20 is the brand's top of the Crystal Retinal ladder, featuring stabilised 0.2 per cent retinal. It's an anti-ageing product on par with a prescription retinoid regarding its results, with often a fraction of the side effects due to its high-tech encapsulated technology. For $189, retinoid users can get one of the most advanced retinoid systems on the direct-to-consumer market.

However, now The Ordinary has just come out with their biggest launch yet with Retinal 0.2% Emulsion. This 0.2 per cent stabilised retinaldehyde serum is the same strength as the Medik8 Crystal 20 for just $25.50, which is truly insane. Although it only comes in a 15ml pump, ml for ml, it's nearly half the price. 

The difference between the prices of the two products comes from the fact that The Ordinary product does not have such an advanced encapsulated delivery system as the Medik8 product. However, the cheaper product should still deliver significant and near identical results because of the effectiveness of stabilised retinaldehyde alone over time, so in my opinion — the additional cost is not worth it.


The OG: Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Peel Pads, $36.
The dupe: Skin Control Peel Pads, $11.

Hailed by many as their holy grail skin product, the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Peel Pads are an easy-to-use home chemical peel. Each pad uses a mixture of acids to gently exfoliate the skin's top surface, helping with skin texture and tone. Each pack of 30 peel pads costs $160, a substantial monthly cost if you are using these regularly.

However, at Chemist Warehouse you can now get the Skin Control Peel Pads, which come in a tub of 50 for just $11. Utilising a blend of AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs, these peel pads will give you the same gentle exfoliation to help with overall skin texture and reduce dark spots. It's a fantastic way to easily use a chemical exfoliant and great for travelling to minimise the number of bottles you need!

The OG: Go To Much Brighter Skin, $59.
The dupe: MCoBeauty Glow Boost Vitamin C Serum, $39. 

Image: Supplied.


Go To has started delving into more active skincare recently and one of their first serums, which people absolutely adored, was their Much Brighter Skin ($59) vitamin C serum. This was formulated as a gentle brightening serum with 10 per cent sodium ascorbyl phosphate, a vitamin C derivative, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid. 

MCoBeauty has recently launched their Glow Boost Vitamin C Serum for just $39 a bottle, which also contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate, niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to give you the same brightening and hydrated, glowy skin. This is an easy switch to save money on two products that will provide the same results over time. 

Have you tried any of the above dupes? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Supplied/Amelia Garnter.

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