10 Luxury Skincare Swaps

There are some luxury skincare items that Cassandra actually likes, but in light of current events, I’m sure we all want to save money. And when we do save money, let’s make sure we spend it in good places. In this blog, we’re going to talk about luxury items that are and are not worth the cost and likewise skincare comparable swaps/dupe. If you don’t want to spend luxury prices, but you want luxury results, here are a few products that give comparable results for a fraction of the price. 

The first brand we’re going to start with is La Mer. First of all, the ingredients in the $500  Creme de La Mere are algae, petrolatum, and mineral oil. Secondly, if you don’t know the brand’s unconventional story, you can read morehere.  

Luckily, we’ve got some products that are a fraction of that. And regardless of price, Cassandra would even recommend the following product over La Mer.

Luxury swap #1: What are good swaps for the Creme de la Mer

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream ( 1 FL OZ) -$22

This is probably the closest thing to the Creme de La Mer.  The Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream has very similar if not almost comparable ingredients. While there are a couple of differences,  the seaweed glycerin, and humectant ingredients, all create an extremely comparable skincare product. So, if you used La Mer before, and now you want a similar but less expensive product, this is the closest you’re going to get. 

The Seaweed Bath Co. Body Cream (6 FL OZ) - $12.99

While ingredient-wise, this doesn’t offer the similarities that the Mario Badescu one does, Cassandra would definitely recommend this product more as a seaweed cream. This bladder wax seaweed is the type of seaweed that La Mer and Mario Badescu use. This is technically a body cream with argan oil and shea butter, but upon looking at the ingredients, you could use this for the face. Moreover, this one is fragrance-free, but if you like fragrance, they do have a eucalyptus-scented one which brings it close to swapping for the Creme de le Mer. On the other hand, be careful using this around the eyes because it is thick. 

Luxury swap #2: Alternatives for Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden Anti-Aging Ceramide Capsules Serum (180 count)  -  $184

These are encapsulated microdoses, but they cost like $180. Cassandra loves these capsules, but she’s found products from BeautyPie for a fraction of the price. 

Beauty Pie Vitamin C Capsules (60 capsules/ 1 FL oz per capsule) -$18

If you are looking for something that helps with brightening the skin, these capsules help with evening the skin tone, color, and a little bit of help with uneven pigmentation. 

Beauty Pie Ceramide Capsules (60 capsule/ 1 FL OZ per capsule) -$18

These have ceramides which we know are essential to supporting the skin. They have glycolipids and sphingolipids which help to create a protective barrier on the skin. These lipids could potentially even help with wound healing. If you are someone like Cassandra who gets a little pimple on her forehead and subconsciously scratches it when stressed, this could be a great product.  

Further, this goes well underneath sunscreen and provides skin support, especially if you live in a polluted city, these ceramide capsules are for you. You can also use these along with the vitamin C capsules.. 

Both of these capsules are great for travel, and they are probably some of Cassandra’s favorite products from Beauty Pie. They’re inexpensive when you compare them to the other ones. Cassandra says that Beautypie is like the Costco of skincare, meaning once you have a membership, you can buy things at a discounted price. So, this is an excellent deal. Upon having a membership, you can get both of these products for $18 instead of $70 and $65. Each pack contains 60 instead of 30, and plus, they are pre-dosed for your convenience. The capsules are biodegradable. So, you can literally put them in water, and they dissolve. Cassandra believes that these are so effective, fun, and efficient. 

If you would like an additional discount of $10,  use the code CASSANDRASENTME. With an annual membership,  you can use this on any product. 

Rodan + Fields REDEFINE Intensive Renewing Serum - $113 

The other one that comes to mind is the Rodan and Fields. Rodan fields is an MLM, which Cassandra does not support, but she will give credit where credit is due. Dr. Kate Rodan practices in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she knows what she’s doing. 

Luxury swap #3: A cheap swap for SKKN

SKKN By Kim Face Cream (1.6 FL OZ)- $85 

The packaging of SKKN  is vegan, refillable, and sustainable. The product is cruelty-free and fragrance-free. Cassandra likes it, but it’s a very basic cream that has apricot and coconut oil. So, can someone please tell us why this is deemed so extraordinary and cost $85, especially when the Goodal Apricot Collagen Youth Firming Cream is similar and cost much less.

Goodal Apricot Collagen Youth Firming Cream (50 ml) -  $33

The ingredients are very similar to  SKKN, and they feel so similar as well. Plus, this is fragrance-free, K beauty. These are probably the most similar whereas the other ones are great swaps. Both of these products have shea butter, panthenol (vitamin b5), coconut oil, grapeseed oil, and apricot oil. However, Youth Firming comes in greater quantity than SKKN. So, if you want Kim Kardashian products without the Kardashian price, this is it. The only difference is that one has turmeric and the other has carrot. All in all, though, both formulas provide antioxidants, glow, and skin support. 

Luxury swap number #4: Is there a cheaper version of Biossance? 

Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum (1 FL OZ)  - $72

Cassandra has tested every Biossance product so you don’t have to. But,  this is one of her least favorited. This has phyto retinol or bakuchiol, squalane, vitamin B, disaccharides, and sodium hyaluronate which is related to hyaluronic acid. Sodium hyaluronate helps bring moisture into the skin and retain it. This product stings Cassandra’s skin, and she thinks it has an unusual smell. 

Beauty Pie Overnight Skin Perfector 2.0 (2.5 FL OZ) -$15

Beauty Pie has a lot of products that are comparable to high-end products. This has bisaccharide gum, sodium hyaluronate, panthenol (B vitamin), niacinamide (another B vitamin), and it has encapsulated retinol instead Bakuchiol. We like bakuchiol just not necessarily in the Biossance formula. This not only gives us retinol, but it is encapsulated retinol. This gentle retinol releases into the skin over time. The products are shockingly similar, but they are not exact dupes. If you’re someone who likes sleep masks, retinol without irritation, and waking up luminous, this is a great product. 

Luxury Swap #5: Why is the SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum so expensive

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum (1 FL OZ) - $169

We love a good vitamin C, but it can actually be somewhat irritating to the skin. Pulse, this is not cruelty-free.

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC + Ferulic Brightening Complex 20% (2 FL OZ) - $159


This vitamin C in this formula is oil soluble whereas most vitamin Cs are water-soluble. Your vitamin As, Ds, Es, and Ks are normally oil soluble. Oil soluble ingredients penetrate into the skin more because our skin has oil and sebum. So, other than that, when you want things to get into the deeper layers of the skin, you normally need to use really acidic products. But, Dr. Perricone has come up with a solution as this is an oil soluble vitamin C ester that penetrates into the skin beautifully and without irritation. It brightens and revitalizes.

Luxury swap #6/7: Is FOREO UFO worth it?

FOREO UFO™️ - $299

This is an LED device that you’re supposed to put sheet masks on it. You’re also supposed to swap out the sheet masks, but the sheet masks are very expensive. And, it gets goopy on the sides, and the bottom side does nothing. Lastly, the LED light thing barely lights up.

SolaWave AdvancedSkincare Wand with Red Light Therapy - $127

What if you want an LED device, but you don’t want to spend $220 plus the sheet masks? Well, you can take a regular sheet mask that has better ingredients, works better, and is fragrance-free, and then use a SolaWave. The Sola wave is a fraction of the price, travel-friendly, and has LED lights that work at the correct wavelengths so it can penetrate the skin. The main difference between the SOLAwave and the Foreo one is that the Foreo gets hot and cold. But, why does that matter when you can masks in a fridge? The Solawave is wonderful. At first, Cassandra thought it was something that wasn’t going to work, but it actually helped heal Cassandra’s burn, and it helps products penetrate into the skin. On sale,  it was like $120.

Papa Recipe Eggplant & Carrot Sheet Mask (10 sheets) - $19.99

You can use any, but these are especially good and better than the Foreo ones

Luxury swap #8: Is there a less expensive and cruelty-free version of Kiehl’s Centella Sensitive Cica Cream? 

 Kiehls Centella Sensitive Cica Cream (1.7 oz) -$44

This is not cruelty-free, but Beauty Pie has a cheaper version that is.

Beauty Pie Happy Face Extreme Relief Cica Cream (2.5 FL OZ) - $15

If you have redness, want to build back your skin barrier,  and want to try centella, this product works very well. It also has multiple ingredients like madecassoside which are phenomenal for the skin. The Kiehls one is $44 for 1.7 fl/oz, and the one from Beauty Pie for 2.5 fl/oz for only $15. Beauty Pie’s ingredients are comparable if not better. These both have water and glycerin which hold onto moisture and madecassoside which is anti-inflammatory. Overall, it’s soothing K-beauty, and if you use the code, it’s even less expensive.

Swap #9: Swaps for the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask Vinergetic C+?

Caudalie Instant Detox Mask Vinergetic C+ (2.5 FL OZ) - $39

This is a very expensive brand based on grapes that blew up on TikTok. This is a good product, but it’s basically grape and clay.

Three Ships Soothe Rosehip Vitamin C Clay Mask (.71 FL OZ) -$17

This one is less expensive, and it’s woman-founded. This has three ingredients. You mix it with water, and it does the exact same thing. Cassandra uses this when she knows she’s going to sweat a lot, and it’s helped tremendously to her mattify her face. It brightens, evens, and it helps reduce oil. 

Swap #10: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (230 ml) -  $229

SK-II is from Japan, it has a patera extract. It’s not cruelty-free, and the ingredients are quite basic. They are galactomyces ferment filtrate, butylene glycol, pentylene glycol, water, sodium bonzoate, methylparaben, and sorbic acid.

Missha Time Revolution The First Essence (150 ml) - $37

This toner is almost identical if you want a dupe, but it’s not cruelty-free. 

JIN JUNG SUNG Soothing Face Moisturizer Essence (5.07 FL OZ) -$20.69


This is a swap for the SK-II essence and helps with fine lines, and wrinkles. Truthfully, Cassandra believes it works better than SK-II. This essence is normally $20, but it is often on sale at Stylevana. If you do buy from amazon, make sure you’re buying from an authorized retailer like credithink. Also, the SK-II one is liquidy whereas this one has more of a gelatinous texture that Cassandra likes more. 

Don’t forget your coupon code, and cheers to affordable and quality skincare!