As you all know by now I am a big believer in talking about ingredients rather than products and I’ve used this initiative find cheaper products that essential do the same thing as their more expensive counterparts.
Well, now SkinSkool will do that for you. SkinSkool is a a massive dupe-finder database that makes finding dupes of you favourite pricey skincare products as simple as a Google search.
The site compares luxury skincare products to affordable alternatives and generates a list of “dupes,” or credible alternatives, users can shop from.
Unlike other search engines that generate results based on keywords, the Dupe Finder discovers comparable products by what matters most when it comes to skincare — a product’s ingredients list.
Of course, different brands can sometimes use different terminology to describe the same ingredient, but the founders prematurely solved this issue by standardizing search terms. In other words, the algorithm is programmed to know “carrageen” means “seaweed,” that “salicylic acid” is sometimes called “beta-hydroxy acid (BHA),” “licorice extract” can also be listed as “sweet root,” and so on.
One downfall, though, is that the quality of ingredients (as in, how pure they are, their concentration, where or how they were sourced, etc.) can’t be compared on Skinskool. So even a 100% match may not necessarily mean you’re getting exactly the same product — there could be some differences in the purity or proportions of the ingredients.
I gave it a go
I wanted to see how this worked and so I looked up a dupe for my all time favourite product Pixi Glow Tonic.
Once you search you get a list of products with a % match score. This number represents how similar the dupe is to the target product. And because the process of finding said dupes is fully automated, new products can easily be added to the system, meaning results can be updated, and closer matches found. They gave me the following list of dupes:
Once you click on the product you want to buy, it gives you a list of places you can buy your dupe:
The SkinSkool algorithm also determines the best dupes for a specific product by an ingredient’s relevance and functionality. They’ll also only be compared to the same types of products (i.e. if you’re searching for a dupe for a luxury moisturizer, your results will only include moisturizers).
According to the website’s Methodology page, it also takes forty other product dimensions and attributes into account when generating your results – what they are is not specified.