I’ve Found The Perfect Dupe for Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair

I discovered and learned about the importance of serums in skincare routines when I was about 27 years of age, roughly around the time I had the opportunity of working with Estée Lauder as one of my main clients.

While the established brand name is not new in my household (like all moms, my mother is and was a fervent Estée Lauder woman), it was my first and formal introduction to the brand’s iconic nighttime serum.

Formulated in 1982, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is a powerful restorative serum that is claimed to repair and reduce the look of multiple signs of aging while restoring skin’s youthful glow. A pioneer in the beauty industry, It is so widely known that it even has its own prominently recognized acronym – the ‘ANR‘.

Fast forward 5 years and 5 full-sized bottles later, it has remained a non-skippable item in my nighttime skincare routine. 

Just a couple weeks ago, a friend told me to give this new K-beauty serum a try – And for the first time in my life, I have replaced the ANR with this newfound magic bottle.

Numbuzin No.3 Skin Softening Serum

The Numbuzin No.3 Skin Softening Serum is a texture-care serum that claims to enhance the natural strength of skin. Targeting enlarged pores, bumpy skin, dullness and dryness, this serum isn’t new in the market but boy would I call it a game changer.

There are some claims online that the Numbuzin No.3 Skin Softening Serum’s main properties comprise of 50%  of the Advanced Night Repair (Bifida) and 50% of another famous product – the SK-II Pitera Essence (Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate). Isn’t that just the best of both worlds in one cheaper alternative?

Besides Bifida being the main similar ingredient in both the ANR and Numbuzin’s No.3 Skin Softening Serum, there are more key similarities in the formula and properties of both serums.

Similarities between Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair and Numbuzin’s No.3 Skin Softening Serum

To start, both serums have roughly 11 ingredients in common, such as hyaluronic acid and squaleneboth of which help with hydrating, smoothening and softening the skin. Numbuzin markets theirs as a morning and night serum, whilst Estee Lauder’s ANR is positioned as a night time reparative serum.

Both serums are meant to help with dull skin, dehydration, the appearance of enlarged pores, fine lines as well as wrinkles. Despite the ANR having a lot more ingredients, Numbuzin’s Skin Softening Serum has the extra ingredient of niacinamide which helps ease inflammation and calm redness.

In terms of how ‘clean’ both serums are, the ANR and Numbuzin’s Skin Softening Serum are both paraben-free, fragrance-free, silicone-free, and fungal acne-free. Numbuzin, however, has a slight upper hand of being completely cruelty-free.

Generally, the “cruelty free” statement means that the brand doesn’t test on animals but it also encompasses non-selling in countries that practice animal testing. To illustrate, Numbuzin is not sold in China.

Estee Lauder also claims that they are cruelty-free. While they don’t test on animals, the statement itself is misleading because the brand is popularly sold and marketed in China.

Numbuzin No.3 Skin Softening Serum Texture

Both serums are relatively lightweight, have slight viscosity, and absorb really easily into the skin. Estee Lauder’s ANR has an orange/brown tint to it, mimicking the hues of its iconic brown bottle. Fans of the brand will recognize its rich, almost coffee-like sweet scent even though it’s technically odorless.

Numbuzin’s No.3 Skin Softening Serum is completely clear (like its bottle as well) but has a distinct, slightly medicinal & floral scent to it. It’s also a bit thicker in consistency.

In terms of tackiness, I would say Numbuzin’s has a more obvious grip to the skin which helps with products being layered on after to absorb much better.

How Does Numbuzin No.3 Skin Softening Serum Perform Compared To The ANR?

I used it for just two days (morning and night) and saw an immediate change in my skin. As the name suggests – my skin was noticeably more supple and softer. It also gives off that ‘glass skin’ effect that has been made so popular in the Korean skincare community, which I don’t really see using the ANR.

I also think Numbuzin’s serum gives off a more bouncy look the skin; this isn’t to say the ANR serum doesn’t have that effect, it’s just more noticeable with the Korean serum.

It also helped with reducing the appearance of tiny bumps and larger pores, especially around the cheeks area and it maintains that way even after prolonged use. The Advanced Night Repair promises the same results with pore control but truthfully, I never really saw its effect as noticeably compared to how Numbuzin’s does.

For the sake of testing and comparing, I tried going off the serum for a while and reverted back to the ANR for a few days just to see if there would be a difference. Unfortunately (and without falsely advertising), my skin started breaking out and I now have pretty troubled-looking skin, which I’ve never experienced before from my previous long-term usage of the serum.

Final Verdict: Is Numbuzin’s No.3 Skin Softening Serum or Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Better?

Maybe my skin has gotten used to the effectivity of the Numbuzin serum (hence the negative reaction to Estee Lauder’s) so my vote definitely goes to this K-brand, especially for a fraction of the price of an ANR bottle ($28 versus $125 for 1.7oz).

This isn’t to say the ANR isn’t good: I do think the ANR is still suited for all skin types, especially those with more matured, dull skin. The serum is potently formulated with antioxidants, is high performance and does help with the appearance of fine lines.

I do believe it’s important to splurge on skincare, but if the price is way beyond one’s means and a highly riveted dupe exists, I would recommend going with a cheaper and potentially better alternative like this one from Numbuzin. And that says a lot coming from a former ride-or-die Estee Lauder girl like me.

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