The Ordinary offers effective skincare products at rock bottom prices. These products address skin issues ranging from dry skin, wrinkles, and fine lines to oily skin, acne and hyperpigmentation. If you ever wondered how The Ordinary measures up against luxury skincare products, this The Ordinary dupes post will provide some inexpensive alternatives that actually work.
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The Ordinary Dupes for Luxury Skincare Favorites:
The Ordinary products are different from many skincare brands because The Ordinary formulates most of their products focusing on a single active ingredient.
This makes The Ordinary products much less expensive than other more complex skincare products. But it also makes them harder to compare, because you might have to combine multiple The Ordinary products to dupe another more expensive and complex skincare product that contains multiple actives.
So please keep this in mind when reviewing these dupes, as the entire ingredient list won’t be spot on, but The Ordinary dupe will contain the main active in the corresponding luxury skincare product.
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment Dupe: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
Main Active Ingredient: Lactic Acid
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is formulated with purified lactic acid, a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), that helps remove dead skin and promote new cell turnover to smooth the look of skin texture and reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles.
This award-winning AHA treatment contains licorice and lemongrass to brighten the look of dark spots and prickly pear extract to soothe the skin. It plumps fine lines and gives your skin a glow in as little as 3 minutes.
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% is formulated with lactic acid and a purified Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to soothe the skin (see my complete review of The Ordinary’s lactic acid serums here). This Good Genes dupe also contains hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer). Hyaluronic acid is a natural component in the skin that helps attract and retain moisture, giving the skin a plumper appearance.
Mario Basescu Glycolic Acid Toner Dupe: The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution 7%
Main Active Ingredient: Glycolic Acid
Mario Basescu Glycolic Acid Toner is formulated with 3% glycolic acid, the most effective alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Its small molecule size allows it to penetrate deep into the outer layer of the skin to exfoliate dead skin cells and improve cell turnover. The result is smoother skin, with improved skin texture and tone.
This glycolic acid toner also contains Aloe barbadensis leaf juice to soothe and calm the skin. Grapefruit extract acts as an astringent. The toner is ideal for normal, dry, or combination skin.
The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution 7% is formulated with a 7% glycolic acid to improve skin radiance and clarity. The glycolic acid toner contains moisturizing amino acids (building blocks of proteins like collagen), soothing aloe vera, antioxidant ginseng, and a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to reduce irritation associated with exfoliating acids.
With an additional 5% glycolic acid and a much lower price, The Ordinary Glycolic Toning Solution 7% is a no-brainer dupe for Mario Badescu.
Please note that The Ordinary glycolic acid is fragrance-free, while Mario Badescu glycolic acid contains fragrance.
NOTE: When using exfoliating acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid, it’s important to start slowly and increase the frequency and concentration of acids over time if your skin can handle it.
**Be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, especially while using AHAs (and for a week after) to prevent sun damage.**
Boscia Vitamin C with Caviar Lime Booster Serum Dupe: The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution
Main Active: 3-O-Ethyl-L-Ascorbic Acid, also known as Ethyl Ascorbic Acid
Boscia Vitamin C with Caviar Lime Booster Serum is formulated with 3-O-Ethyl-L-Ascorbic Acid, a vitamin C derivative made by altering ascorbic acid (pure vitamin C) to increase stability and improve absorption. It also contains caviar lime extract, which improves hyperpigmentation, age spots, uneven skin tone, and exfoliates the skin.
The serum contains a 10% Vitamin C Complex, although it is unclear how much 3-O-Ethyl-L-Ascorbic Acid is in the serum.
The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid 15% Solution contains a high 15% concentration of the vitamin C derivative ethyl ascorbic acid (3-O-Ethyl-L-Ascorbic Acid). This derivative acts directly like Vitamin C and has a similar molecular weight. Ethyl ascorbic acid is said to have the same benefits as ascorbic acid: antioxidant properties, skin brightening, and the ability to stimulate collagen production.
While Boscia’s vitamin C serum is water-based, The Ordinary Ethylated Ascorbic Acid is water-free and oil-free, although the texture may be slightly oily upon application before it absorbs into the skin.
This high concentration of ethyl ascorbic acid in The Ordinary’s vitamin C serum makes it an easy and affordable alternative to Boscia.
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil Dupe: The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil
Main Active Ingredient: Marula Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil is an antioxidant-rich face oil that contains 100% unrefined Sclerocraya Birrea (Marula) Kernel Oil. Marula oil is a plant oil that is excellent for dry skin. It contains moisturizing fatty acids like oleic acid and linoleic acid and antioxidants like vitamin E and flavonoids that protect the skin from free radical damage.
This moisturizing oil balances and nourishes the skin while providing an instant natural-looking glow.
The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil contains 100% unrefined cold-pressed virgin African Marula oil rich in 100% oleic acid and linoleic acid. It also contains antioxidants like procyanidin, catechins, and flavonoids. These antioxidants protect against free radical damage, while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce irritation and soothe the skin.
This is a Drunk Elephant dupe that you shouldn’t pass by, as it moisturizes and protects the skin (and hair!), just like Drunk Elephant, but without the luxury price.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial AHA + BHA Mask Dupe: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Main Active Ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and Salicylic Acid
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial AHA + BHA Mask is an at-home facial that exfoliates the skin with a 25% AHA and 2% BHA blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids. This pro-strength peel retexturizes the skin, reduces the look of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and improves skin clarity.
The AHA BHA mask also contains exfoliating pumpkin ferment, brightening chickpea flour, and a blend of antioxidants to help protect the skin from environmental stressors that cause premature skin aging.
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution contains an even higher concentration of actives: 30% alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) and 2% beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid).
It also contains hyaluronic acid crosspolymer to hydrate and plump the skin, vitamin B5 (panthenol) for moisture and anti-inflammatory benefits, and Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to reduce irritation.
This peel is excellent for oily and acne-prone skin types and a Drunk Elephant dupe that works hard but won’t break the bank.
While both of these AHA/BHA peels are only intended for advanced users of acid exfoliation (definitely NOT for beginners or sensitive skin), The Ordinary Peeling Solution is way less expensive AND more concentrated than Drunk Elephant Babyfacial!
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil Dupe: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane
Main Active Ingredient: Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil plumps the look of wrinkles while reducing the appearance of pores and redness while refining skin texture. It contains a retinoid complex to even out skin tone and improve the look of premature aging, including age spots, dull skin, and dryness.
The retinoid in the oil, hydroxypinacolone retinoate, is a retinoid ester of all-trans retinoic acid that targets wrinkles and fine lines, and supports skin elasticity and cell turnover, just like retinol, but with less irritation and better stability.
Blue tansy and German chamomile essential oils reduce redness and sensitivity. There are several other oils in the formula, including grapeseed oil, blackberry seed oil, chia seed oil, avocado oil, and sunflower seed oil.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane contains the same next-generation retinoid complex, Granactive Retinoid, that is designed to help reduce the appearance of aging by targeting wrinkles, fine lines, skin firmness, and other signs of aging, just like Sunday Riley Luna Sleep Oil.
The Ordinary does not contain the variety of oils that Luna Sleeping Oil contains, only squalane, a plant-derived oil that mimics the lipid composition of skin’s sebum. Rosemary leaf and tomato fruit extracts are antioxidants included in the formula that help reduce the appearance of pores and calm skin for a clearer complexion.
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane is for advanced exfoliation, works well even at low percentages on sensitive skin types. It makes your skin more receptive to skincare products by promoting better penetration and is more affordable than Sunday Riley’s Luna Sleeping Night Oil.
This Sunday Riley dupe contains 5% Granactive Retinoid, while Sunday Riley does not disclose how much of the retinoid complex is in their Sleeping Oil.
Related Post: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion Review
PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum Dupe: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Main Active Ingredient: Niacinamide
PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum improves dryness and skin barrier function while targeting dark spots, uneven skin tone, discoloration, and redness. The serum contains 6% niacinamide (vitamin B3), plant extracts, and glycerin to reduce transepidermal water loss, skin yellowing, and unwanted pigmentation.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is crazy popular and one of The Ordinary’s best-selling products. It contains 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc PCA to address oily skin concerns, blemishes, and acne. It targets clogged pores as it balances sebum (oil) production, making it ideal for oily skin and those dealing with acne.
If you can believe it, PCA Skin’s niacinamide serum is almost 20 times the price of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. No question, The Ordinary’s niacinamide is a dupe that hits it out of the ballpark. For more on The Ordinary Niacinamide, please see my review.
Glossier Super Bounce Hyaluronic Acid + B5 Dupe: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Main Active Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid
Glossier Super Bounce Hyaluronic Acid + B5 contains three molecular weights of hyaluronic acid in a 2% complex, which provides multi-level hydration to smooth and plump the skin’s surface. Pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol) offers long-lasting hydration.
The non-sticky formula is quick-absorbing and designed to be used with moisturizers and makeup.
Like Glossier, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 combines low-, medium- and high-molecular-weight HA at a 2% concentration to hydrate deep into the skin. This hyaluronic acid serum also contains Vitamin B5 (panthenol) for additional surface hydration.
Panthenol is also an anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce irritation and redness while moisturizing the skin and supporting a healthy skin barrier.
It contains the same main actives as Glossier: hyaluronic acid and panthenol. And, you can’t go wrong with the low, affordable price. Why pay 4x more when The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is an affordable Glossier dupe?
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Dupe: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil
Main Active Ingredient: Argan Oil
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil contains only pure, organic, and natural argan oil. It contains Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants to moisturize, condition, and protect the skin.
This oil is a multi-tasker, as it can be used as a moisturizer, cuticle oil, lip salve, eye treatment, and even on your hair as a nourishing hair serum. This best-selling argan oil is ideal for dry, sensitive, and normal skin.
Argan oil contains three essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6, and 9) and has anti-aging benefits that support skin firmness and improve the look of elasticity.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil is 100% pure and organic argan oil that is cold-pressed. It contains vitamins, phenols (including caffeic acid) and carotenes (skin-protective antioxidants), and fatty acids oleic acid and linoleic acids.
This formula supports a healthy moisture barrier repair, skin elasticity, reduces dry, flaky skin, and can also be used on hair for added shine and strength.
The Ordinary is an excellent dupe for Josie Maran’s 100% Pure Argan Oil. Why pay more when you can get the same benefits with The Ordinary?
Related Post: A Complete Guide to The Ordinary Face Oils
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil Dupe: 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
Main Active Ingredient: Rosehip Oil
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil contains pure, cold-pressed organic rosehip seed oil with a minimum of 80% essential fatty acid (omega 3 & 6) and fatty acid (omega 9) content to support a healthy moisture barrier. This luxe oil targets dry skin, promotes skin regeneration, and aids in minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, scars, wrinkles and fine lines.
Rosehip oil is a favorite of those with acne-prone skin as it has anti-inflammatory benefits and contains a high concentration of linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Acne patients have been shown to have low levels of linoleic acid in their skin, so rosehip oil helps replenish linoleic acid levels in the skin.
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is a cold-pressed organic rosehip oil that contains linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and pro-vitamin A. The oil moisturizes and nourishes the skin while addressing the visible signs of aging.
The only ingredient in this oil is Rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil, just like Trilogy. There’s no need to spend the extra dollars when this rosehip seed oil is organic and cold-pressed, just like Trilogy!
Final Thoughts on The Ordinary Dupes for High-End Skincare
There are always trade-offs with less expensive skincare products (like packaging and product texture), but if you’re looking to save some money, these The Ordinary dupes are great alternatives that will be kind to your wallet. Plus, they’re cruelty-free!
Thanks for reading!