Reviews,  skincare

The Ordinary DUPES? | Revolution Skin REVIEW

I was browsing around the internet a while back and noticed that Revolution Beauty (also known as Makeup Revolution) has new SKINCARE and I was like yes, please!

I also noticed while shopping their site that a lot of the items for sale were eerily similar to our friends over at Deciem. Even a blood mask! So I snagged up a few of these to try out – and I’m here today to dive into their formulations. If you want to see my thoughts on texture, smell, application, etc – be sure to check out my video below where I put them on my face!



Both companies are cruelty-free, and ship worldwide. 

***February 2019 update – select Revolution Skin items are now available on!

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution DUPE

Let’s kick it off with the most OBVIOUS copycat – the Revolution Skin Intense Skin Exfoliator – 30% AHA + BHA Peeling Solution. (Side note – in order for me to see these first two on the site and purchase them, I had to change my region to anywhere but the US… for some reason. But it still let me buy them and shipped them to me from their US warehouse. So… idk :))  **February 2019 update – this is now available at US!

Both are marketed as a 10-minute exfoliating mask – The AHA/BHA combination work on the top layer of skin to help clear pores and improve overall tone and texture for a brighter appearance.

Looking at the lists compared, a lot of the key ingredients from the TO version appear in the MR Solution. Makeup Revolution’s version, however, is missing the Tartaric Acid the TO version has (The Ordinary’s AHA blend comes from a combo of glycolic acid, lactic acid, tartaric acid, and citric acid.) The MR does have a bunch of fruit extracts that act in place of the missing acid, to bring the AHA full percentage up to 30%

The MR version also doesn’t list the percentage of salicylic acid it contains, and maybe why it is not available on the US site. Salicylic acid is considered an ‘active ingredient’ by the FDA, and concentration must be clearly stated on the packaging.

They both contain Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry, the latter of which is likely what contributes to the color of the products. Carrots are rich in vitamin A (think retinol), and the Tasmanian Pepperberry helps reduce the irritation from all the acids. The Ordinary also contains other soothing ingredients such as aloe and a modified form of hyaluronic acid.

Recommended Reading: The Ordinary. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution | REVIEW

Glycerin is higher up in Makeup Revolution’s formula – which may be why it feels much thicker than The Ordinary’s. (See it in action on my YouTube channel). Water is also higher on the Makeup Revolution list – making it the first ingredient before any acids even come into play.


why is the top on my TO one so disgusting? we may never know.

And finally – Makeup Revolution’s formula contains denatured alcohol, whereas The Ordinary’s contains panthenol. Panthenol is a more beneficial form of alcohol, sometimes called pro-vitamin B5. It actually works to improve the look and feel of skin. Denatured alcohol, on the other hand, is a drying type of alcohol that aggravates and weakens the skin. Paula Begoun says that if it is listed any higher than 5th on the ingredient list – you should be wary. It is listed 12th on the MR formula… but that still makes it higher than other key ingredients in the formula (Black Carrot and Tasmanian Pepperberry).


The formulas are far from dupes of each other, but the main ingredients are there for both. There is still 30% alpha hydroxy acid in both formulas, and that is enough acid to produce the claims of both of these products. I would say this IS a dupe for The Ordinary “Blood Mask” – but as you will see is a common theme – it isn’t exactly any cheaper than The Ordinary. So I guess it all depends on your personal availability and brand loyalties.


The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane DUPE

The next one I picked up to try was the Revolution Skin Skin Tone Correcting Serum – Granactive Retinoid 2%. Why? Well, its because The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane is legit one of my favorite skincare products, um, ever. I did a whole blog post on it, even comparing it to the hella expensive Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil. **February 2019 update – this is now available at US!

I own and have used only The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane – but this would be a comparison to the 2% version. The ingredient deck for The Ordinary’s 2% vs 5% is the same, so I am left to assume the concentration of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate is the only difference between those two.

The key ingredient is the same for both formulas – Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate. But the main difference is glaring based on the carrier oils that are used for this product.

The Ordinary uses a combination of Squalane and Jojoba seed oil. Both of these oils closely resemble human sebum and sink into the skin at an incredibly fast rate. This makes them better for those with oily or acne prone skin types. And, in my experience and opinion, feels much nicer and lighter on the skin.

Makeup Revolution uses completely different oils for their formulation – Coconut oil, Grapeseed oil, Sweet almond oil, and Sunflower seed oil. The fatty acid profile for these oils is all over the place but typically oils higher in linoleic acid are thinner and better for oily skin, whereas those higher in oleic acid have the potential to be thicker, sticky, and pore clogging.

this chart depicts what these oils are highest in.

The Ordinary’s formula also contains Bisabolol (soothing) and tomato fruit extract (a powerful antioxidant). Makeup Revolution has no ‘extras’.

Lastly – The Ordinary’s is packaged in a UV protected bottle.


While the active ingredient is the same in both – the oils in The Ordinary version are, in my opinion, far superior. They fit my skin type better and I just like them, ok?? This may be a dupe, but I prefer The Ordinary’s version.

Recommended Reading: The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane | Sunday Riley Dupe?!


I did not purchase the rest of these to try, but I have broken down the ingredients to compare side by side for you!

The Ordinary Retinol 0.2% in Squalane vs Revolution Skin Fine Line Correcting Serum – 0.2% Retinol

Uses: reduce the appearance of fine lines, of photodamage and of general skin aging

Things to note:

The carrier oil, much like the Granactive Retionod comparisons, are vastly different. This will cause a different user experience for each serum, despite them both containing .2% Retinol.

The Ordinary’s version contains the antioxidant Tomato fruit extract – Makeup Revolution has no ‘extras’

BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) & BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) are preservatives. They help keep the formulas and oils from becoming rancid. If you have a particular aversion to these preservatives, then I would not recommend either serum.

The Ordinary’s is packaged in a UV protected bottle.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% vs Revolution Skin Blemish and Pore Refining Serum – 10% Niacinamide + 1% Zinc

Uses: reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion & balance sebum production.

Recommended Reading: Niacinamide Showdown Paula’s Choice VS The Ordinary!

Things to note:

Aside from the water, niacinamide, and zinc – these formulas are pretty much completely different.

At the similar cost – it would be worth a shot to give the Makeup Revolution version a try – I have come to the realization that I, in fact, do NOT like The Ordinary’s Niacinamide. The different formulation might mean that it will apply less sticky and ‘pill’y.

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG vs Revolution Skin Targeted Under Eye Serum – 5% Caffeine Solution + Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Uses: reduce the look of dark circles and improve the appearance under-eye puffiness

Things to note:

I actually think the Caffeine Solution from The Ordinary is one of their best products. I see visible results on puffy under eyes if I tap it on and let it sit for at least five minutes.

Makeup Revolution’s formula appears to contain some key ingredients, however, it is missing the EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside). EGCG is a powerful antioxidant found mostly in green tea, with positive effects on hydration and wrinkle formation.

The Ordinary’s is packaged in a UV protected bottle – this is to protect the EGCG.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA vs Revolution Skin Mild Skin Exfoliator – 5% Lactic Acid + Hyaluronic Acid

Uses: improve the look of skin texture and encourages the appearance of radiant and firm skin.

Recommended Reading: The Ordinary. Lactic Acid 5% | REVIEW

Things to note:

Both formulas contain the same key ingredients – Lactic Acid at 5% and Tasmanian pepperberry, which helps to reduce irritation from the exfoliation.

Based on formula alone, it looks like a tie. I do not know the texture of the Makeup Revolution version, but I do know The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid (both strengths) are very liquidy and sink into the skin effortlessly.

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA vs Revolution Skin Wrinkle & Fine Line Reducing Serum – 10% Matrixyl

Uses: shown to reduce the look of static and dynamic wrinkles

Recommended Reading: The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA | REVIEW

Things to note:

Both formulas contain two ‘generations’ of Matrixyl, at a 10% concentration combined – Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 & Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38. The Makeup Revolution formula, however, lacks the same “Hyaluronic Acid delivery system” The Ordinary has.

I recall enjoying The Ordinary Matrixyl – it’s a nice and easy, every day, skin health serum. I imagine, based on the formula differences, the Makeup Revolution version would feel and absorb differently.

Bottom, BOTTOM Line

These ‘dupes’ could absolutely work for you if for some reason you can’t get your hands on The Ordinary versions, or just don’t want to fuss with Deciem. However, with them being so similar, and The Ordinary’s are all slightly cheaper but with beefier ingredients (also the UV packaging is important!) – I would say just stick to The Ordinary. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke! Or…dupe it…for more money.

ANYWAY – that one was a doozy! If you made it this far, leave me a little 🍕 emoji in the comments.

I also have a whole post coming on Makeup Revolutions dupes for the Insta-famous Farsali Rose Gold Elixir and Unicorn Essence. Keep an eye out for that one!

Are there any other dupes for The Ordinary you have been curious about?