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The Korean Alternative To SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

When it comes to beauty products, some of the most talked about, most loved, cult classic favourites usually have one thing in common: a hefty price tag. Everyone loves to splash out on beauty, but it’s not something we can afford to do all the time. 

Skincare is beyond essential to K-beauty, so it comes as no surprise that Korean labels introduce inexpensive dupes – an affordable alternative for a prestige product that’s incredibly similar. The affordable price-points for the same quality ingredients make these dupes hard to pass up! Essences are the heart of a Korean skincare routine, so its important to choose wisely. For the frugal skincare junkies out there, these dupes will scratch your shopping itch without breaking the bank. You can thank us later.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Since its birth, this much-loved and most awarded bestseller is backed with over 90% Pitera™, a key ingredient that has remain essentially unchanged till today. Pitera™ (Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate) was first discovered at a sake brewery in Japan and it revolves around a specific ingredient in a certain type of yeast. After a decade of research, it suggests that Pitera™ carries an abundance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Ingredients like this are generally thought to be helpful for achieving healthy skin as they provide skin with the necessary nutrition to regenerate themselves. Besides Pitera™, it also has Humectants to bind moisture into skin. 

What it claims to do: keeps skin smooth, radiant and moisturized for breathtakingly crystal clear skin.

$195 (was $259), VIIMART.comIOPE Bio-essence Intensive Conditioning

Another cult-classic in Korea, there isn’t a lady in Seoul that hasn’t heard about this holy grail essence. While SK-II has its own trail of beauty awards, this alternative isn’t lacking in the beauty awards factor either. It’s one of those products you could never replace with another and will hoard because it’s that precious. It’s true — it has absolutely no scent or colour to it and feels so incredibly light that you could probably take a huge gulp from the bottle and wouldn’t know it wasn’t meant to be consumed. With Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate at the top of its ingredient list, and other killer moisturizing ingredients such as Niancinamide, this dupe may not be the most affordable, but its quality definitely compensates for it.

What it claims to do: skin condition improves day by day, for visibly and continuously brighter and smoother skin. 

$67 (was $80), VIIMART.comINNISFREE Soybean Energy Essence 

Known for being Korea’s first all-natural brand, Innisfree has been gaining popularity all over Southeast Asia with its widespread of iconic products that aren’t just all about green tea, volcanic clusters nor masks. As one of its bestsellers since its debut, this is yet another odorless essence with 91% of highly concentrated, fermented Jeju Soybeans. Rich in antioxidants, it provides an all-round anti-aging action for naturally radiant skin. The addition of soybean oil also helps to increase skin’s resilience against external aggressors. Boasting of a viscious texture with an extremely quick absorption rate, the essence sinks into skin within seconds so you aren’t left with a greasy nor sticky film on your face. 

What it claims to do: provides a healthy balance of radiance, cleanliness, elasticity and moisture.

$45 (was $57), VIIMART.com