The world of skincare products can be great fun because the options and combinations are endless. Since our skin condition varies according to our hormones, age, habits and even the climate we are living in, there is never a fixed regime we can follow day after day without switching things up to meet the demands of our skin. While we might alternate between different serums and creams, there’s also another product category that is designed specifically to treat specific skin concerns with quick, visible results from the very first application—ampoules.
Commonly confused with serums, ampoules do in fact, share some similarities with serums. For example, both ampoules and serums are usually the most concentrated in active ingredients. Plus, they also tend to be more fluid and lightweight in texture, and both were designed to be applied before moisturiser.
However, there are some key differences between serums and ampoules. For starters, ampoules are designed for single use while serums usually last about two to three months. And while also highly concentrated in active ingredients, ampoules usually contain less percentage of preservatives, which explains why they should be quickly used up to ensure the freshness of the ingredients.
So when should we use an ampoule in place of a regular serum? The answer is simple: Since ampoules deliver fast-acting results, their efficacy are usually instantly visible, so you should switch to ampoules when you’re targeting a specific skincare concern. For example, if you have a big event in a week, try using a set of ampoules daily for a week instead of your regular serum to get your skin in tip-top condition. Alternatively, if you just returned home from a business trip and your skin is experiencing a flare-up, use a soothing ampoule instead of your regular serum to restore balance to your skin. Scroll through the gallery to see six of the best ampoules to try out for all your skin concerns.
Soothing: Babor SOS Ampoules Concentrates Stop Stress Calming + Balancing, about $69 for 7 x 2ml, at Babor.com
Perfect as an SOS treatment for distressed skin, these soothing ampoules are packed with ingredients that relieve parched skin, neutralise redness and alleviate signs of discomfort like stinging or tightness. At the same time, glycerin, panthenol and betaine act as humectants to aid moisture retention to restore balance to sensitised skin.
Brightening: SOTHYS Brightening Essential Ampoules, $89 for 7 x 1.5ml
Based on a two-prong action, these ampoules contain gently exfoliating AHAs which slough away dead skin cells, while brightening ingredients fade existing dark spots and regulate melanin synthesis for a more even-toned complexion.
Skin Detox: Su:m37 Losec Therapy Ampoule, $472 for 4 x 15ml
If your regular skincare regime no longer seems to work, try this ampoule set to reset tired and lackluster skin. Packed with powerful ferments and ancient Korean herbs, these help to flush skin of free radicals and toxins while restoring skin damage and supporting collagen production. It also helps counter inflammation at a cellular level for a healthier, firmer complexion.
Collagen Production: Albion INFINESSE Injector OSK Serum, $133 for 28 x 1ml
Designed to improve skin density in 28 days, this contains OSK, an active ingredient specially created by Albion, to target fibroblasts, the site of collagen synthesis. Thanks to its biomimetic structure, it is able to penetrate all layers of the skin to effectively reach the dermis layer, plumping skin from inside out. It is also enhanced with botanical extracts that stimulates micro-circulation and strengthens the skin’s lipid barrier for a supple and glowing complexion.
Intensive Rejuvenation: La Prairie Cellular Power Infusion, $830 for 4 x 7.8ml
Just like how you go on vacation to recharge and renew yourself, this potent treatment course gives your skin a new lease of life. Thanks to prized energising actives, it rids skin cells of toxins, reactivates sluggish cellular metabolism and accelerates skin renewal to enhance skin firmness and elasticity. For optimal results, complete the entire treatment once every three months.
Hydration: Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Ampoules, about $200 for 7 x 2ml, at Net-A-Porter
Use this plumping ampoule nightly for a week leading up to a big event for the smoothest and most radiant skin. Packed with pure hyaluronic acid with varying molecular sizes, it penetrates deeply into various layers of the skin to replenish and lock in moisture. Plus, it is also enriched with Purslane, a powerful antioxidant that combats free radical damage for healthier skin.
Text: Joyce Cheo