Are They Dupes?: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum VS Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule

by Gio

a dupe for estee lauder advanced night repair serum

Don’t you hate it when products get reformulated for the worse? That’s what happened to my beloved Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum. The latest incarnation, imaginatively called Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, doesn’t contain any form of vitamin A, that powerful antioxidant that’s been proven to REALLY reduce wrinkles.

But, you know where you can find it, instead? Missha Night Repair Science Activator. It features the same main active ingredient, Bifida Ferment Lysate, as the Estee Lauder serum, too. So, it is a better dupe? Let’s take a look:

Ingredient Analysis

Bifida Ferment Lysate

Both Missha and Estee Lauder have chosen bifida ferment lysate as their star ingredient. It’s a choice that, frankly, baffles me. Both companies claim this probiotic can hydrate skin and help maintain and support skin’s natural microflora, but that’s not exactly true. Bifida DOES help maintain microflora, but in the GI tract. There’s absolutely no proof it does so (or anything else, really) when topically applied on the skin. But, I guess, it makes for a good marketing story *sighs*

Sodium Hyaluronate

I’m much more impressed by the inclusion, in both serums, of sodium hyaluronate. It’s a humectant that attracts, and binds, to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. That means it’s extremely hydrating, and a great help in keeping skin softer and plumper. Oh, and unlike other humectants (I’m thinking of you, glycerin), it works well both in high and low humidity conditions. You could live in the middle of Siberia or the Sarah, and it’d still do wonders for your skin.


Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule also contains retinol, a form of vitamin A that promotes cellular turnover and boosts collagen production. The result? Reduced wrinkles and dark spots. The old version of the Estee Lauder serum used to contain retinyl palmitate, a less powerful, but more gentle, form of vitamin A. But, they took it out, and replaced it with nothing. What the heck were they thinking?

niacinamide molecular structure


Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule contains another of my favourite ingredients: niacinamide. A stable form of vitamin B3, niacinamide has been proven to do pretty much everything, from hydrating skin to reducing wrinkles and dark spots, to soothing rosacea and even treating acne! Any cream or serum that contains more than the tiniest pinch of it gets a thumbs up from me.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

A quick look at the labels reveals that Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule contains way more ingredients than Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. More than twice as many!

One thing I noticed about Korean creams, serums, and ampoules, is their tendency to include all the natural extracts they can find. Although they’re present in small amounts, most of them have antioxidant and soothing properties that can help skin somewhat. Estee Lauder contains considerably fewer of those.

I supposed all those extracts could be a problem for sensitive skin. The more ingredients a product contains, the more likely it is one of them at least will cause irritation to someone. But, most people will be able to use it without any problems at all, and appreciate the more powerful anti-aging properties of this serum.

Texture-wise, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II is lighter, so it absorbs more quickly. Both serums hydrate skin and give it a lovely glow.


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Is Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule a dupe for Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II?

It’s better. Loaded with antioxidants, retinol, and niacinamide, Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule is more effective. And cheaper, which is always a bonus.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recomplex II Ingredients:
Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-75, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Pantethine, Caffeine, Lectithin, Tripeptide-32, Ethylhexylglycerin,Sodium RNA, Bisabolol, Glycereth-26, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Lactobacillus Ferment, Oleth-3, Oleth-5, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Yeast Extract, Choleth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceteth-24, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Mexylene Glycol, Carbonmer, Triethanolamine, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4, Yellow 5.
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule Ingredients:
Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycereth-26, Juniperus Chinensis Xylem Extract, Sorbus Commixta Extract, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Betaine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Disodium EDTA, Silica, Tripeptide-1, Tripeptide-10 Citrulline, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Ceteth-3, Ceteth-5, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sea Water, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Chamomile Flower Extract, Ethyl Hexanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Polysorbate 20. Cyclomethicone, Grifola Frondosa (Maitake) Mycelium Ferment Filtrate Extract, Ophioglossum Vulgatum Extract, Carbomer, Glyceryl Caprylate, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactobacillus/Rice Ferment Filtrate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Saccharomyces/Viscum Album (Mistletoe) Ferment Extract, Yeast Ferment Extract, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Acacia Arabica Stem Bark Extract, Adenosine, Dimethiconol, Xanthan Gum, Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/Leaf/Vine Extract, Echium Plantagineum Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Octyldodecanol, Cyclomethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Dextrin, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Manilkara Multinervis Leaf Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Maltodextrin Crosspolymer, Macadamia Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Retinol, Cholesterol, Beta-Sitosterol, Lecithin, Panthenol, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Ceteth-24, Choleth-24, Glyceryl Arachidonate, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Linolenate, Ubiquinone, Cetyl Phosphate, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Biotin

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Janessa February 12, 2016 - 3:53 am

Wow!!! I’m going to get this and I’ll click through here! I’ve tried the purple bottle EL serum John Hsu recommended once and I loved it. So expensive though. I’ll order it later tonight!

Gio February 12, 2016 - 7:20 am

Janessa, thanks for your support. Estee Lauder makes some great skincare products, but the prices are crazy!

tirurit February 12, 2016 - 3:34 pm

wow this misha serum sounds like a winner! Look at those ingredients and the price!

Gio March 25, 2016 - 10:36 pm

Tirurit, it is!

Allison February 12, 2016 - 8:30 pm

Great analysis! I had heard good things about Missha Time Revolution, but now you’re got me convinced. It has all my favorite serum ingredients in it. I just need to find out the percent retinol coz I’m using a serum I really like that has 2.5.

Gio February 12, 2016 - 8:38 pm

Allison, I doubt this contains that much. It’s pretty rare to find a serum with more than 1% retinol. But maybe you can alternate them?

Cristina Balan June 17, 2016 - 4:42 am

Another blogger asked the company and they replied it contains 0.0004% retinol.

Gio June 25, 2016 - 5:34 pm

Cristina, thanks for sharing. Retinol is one of those ingredients that works well even in tiny amounts. But, of course, the less there is, the longer it takes to see results.

Carissa March 1, 2016 - 3:10 am

I’m new to this whole serum game but your website has helped me tremendously. My question is, do you alternate serums (one in the morning, one in the evening or alternating days) or can you use more than one at a time? I am using a product right now called HQRA+ and it has been pretty irritating. I’ve started using it every other/third day. Would you use a serum on the days you don’t use the HQRA+? I did just order the Timeless C that you recommended but this one looks fun too and I’m tempted to purchase it! Thanks in advance! Love your blog!

Gio March 3, 2016 - 8:18 pm

Carissa, I’m glad you find my blog useful. 🙂

I suppose you could use more than one at a time, if you give your skin enough time to absorb them all. But, I prefer to use one in the morning and a different one at night.

Or, like in your case, when you’re using a very powerful serum only two or three times a week, you can definitely use another product on the “off days”. I find that serums rich in hyaluronic acid or skin sootheners work very well alternated to retinol serums, as they help skin recover from its harsher effects (at least, until it has gotten used to it).

There are too many good serums around, aren’t there? This one contains retinol too so I wouldn’t recommend it together with the HQRA+. It may be a bit gentler though, so you can give it a go once you run out of it.

Barbara April 16, 2016 - 1:07 pm

Love this article! (Like most of yours) Just checked for it in Spain and it´s ridiculous that it costs twice as much!!! (45,90€).

Gio April 30, 2016 - 11:08 pm

Barbara, glad you enjoyed it. And that’s ridiculous! Why does everything always has to cost a lot more in Europe?

Cristina June 14, 2016 - 5:43 am

Try iherb. It’s almost half that price and the shipping is cheap.

Gio June 16, 2016 - 10:52 pm

Cristina, thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

Sher July 16, 2016 - 10:07 pm

Hello! I was googling for a dupe for Night Repair and I got so very much more than I thought I’d find! Your comments, comparisons, and scientific information is fabulous…I trust that with all the work you put into this answer on your blog that the Missha will be just what I am looking for. Thank you for your detailed comments and I will be ordering it from Amazon…it’s sad that Night Repair has obviously changed its formulation to cut costs…thanks again, Sher

Gio July 23, 2016 - 10:45 pm

Sher, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you found this post useful. If you like Night Repair, you’ll like Missha Time Revolution even more. Let me know what you think of it when you try it.

Min September 18, 2016 - 8:29 am

Hi there, I was recommended Missha night care by my friend but was not that convinced. Thank you so much for your post that I find it very helpful and you really got me totally convinced that I am going to by Missha right away!!!!

Gio September 18, 2016 - 10:00 am

Min, glad this post helped. I’m sure you’re going to love it. 🙂

Janne October 18, 2016 - 11:36 pm

Thank you so much for this! My skin is so dry and the EL Night Repair has been the only thing working lately… But I knew there had to be an alternative at a lower price! Thank you, I’ll try it straight away!

Gio November 25, 2016 - 9:41 pm

Janne, my pleasure! Let me know how you get on. 🙂

bobi January 4, 2018 - 8:44 pm

Retinol is so far down in the list of ingredients. There are far better options if retinol is the ingredient you’re looking for. With all the options out there, both of these are inferior products.The optimal ingredients are in minimal concentrations in both formulas. I’m not sure why even post them, dupes or not, TWICE?

Gio January 19, 2018 - 4:02 pm

Bobi, normally I would agree with you but retinol is one of the exceptions. It works well even at <1% concentrations. In fact, 1% is already huge when it comes to retinol and should be used only by people with resilient skin who have build resistance to it. 🙂

Aaron Samuelsson February 18, 2018 - 6:25 pm

Thank you so much. i recently lost my job and while I don’t want my skincare to suffer, I just cant afford Night Repair anymore. It’s great to see there’s not only a great alternative, but a BETTER one. I was wondering also how you felt about the night repair eye cream and if the Missha version of that is also a better choice?

Gio February 24, 2018 - 1:17 pm

Aaron, glad you found this useful. I wouldn’t say the eye creams are dupes but the Missha cream is a good basic cream for the eye area. However, if you’re on a budget, you may not need an eye cream at all:

Elisa March 31, 2019 - 7:40 am

What is the difference between the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule and the MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Borabit Ampoule, Repair Serum? Would you use it combined with another retinol product as it contains such a little quantity? Thanks

Gio April 4, 2019 - 11:27 am

Elisa, I think they are the same product, it just underwent a name change along the line.

NEVER use more than ONE retinol product at a time. Retinol (even in small doses) is HARSH. You need to train your skin to tolerate low doses before you can increase them.

Astrid January 7, 2020 - 1:29 am

Thank you so much for this article. It is so helpful. I was wondering what is your take on the Ordinary Buffet serum in comparison to the 2 serums listed above. Do you think it could be another dupe for the Ester Lauder advanced night repair serum ?

Also is it better than the Missha serum you talked about in the article?
Thank you☺️☺️☺️

Gio January 17, 2020 - 8:56 am

Astrid, I’m not a fan of Buffet. There’s no much evidence that peptides do much of anything in skincare yet, so I wouldn’t recommend it.


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