Ampoules and serums are two skincare products you might be considering adding to your routine. The two are often assumed to be similar or even mistaken for each other. There are subtle yet significant differences between the two. Ampoules have a more concentrated formula than their serum counterparts, which have a viscous texture.
Ampoule vs. Serum
If an ampoule is a booster shot, your serum is a nourishing glass of water. Both serums and ampoules are a staple in Korean skincare. Read on to find out more about the differences between serums and ampoules for the face.
What is an ampoule?
An ampoule is similar in consistency to serum and is packed full of active ingredients, with a higher number than what you’ll find in a serum. You can consider an ampoule to be the older sister of your everyday serum. It’s got a turbocharged formula with a higher concentration of active ingredients. It acts as a booster for your skin instead of being a long-term product. An ampoule is what you want to turn to when your skin is having a freak-out.
How and when to use an ampoule
While serum is something you’ll use every night, an ampoule is a temporary addition to your skincare routine. You might add an ampoule before a big event and when your skin needs some extra TLC. As an ampoule for the face has more active ingredients and a higher concentration, you don’t have to use it as often to get the same results.
Just like a serum, you’ll use your ampoule at the ‘treatment’ stage of your skincare routine. It should be used after your skin is freshly cleansed and toned. You’ll follow it up with a moisturizer to seal in the active ingredients and hydrate your skin.
You should only use an ampoule for a few weeks at a time. Most ampoules will have a suggested usage time. It’s best not to exceed this because of the active ingredient concentration.
What does ampoule do?
An ampoule is essentially a face serum that you should use for a finite amount of time to address a specific concern. They’re more potent than your usual face serum and can deliver amazing results within a short time frame. Just like a serum, you can choose an ampoule to address a specific skincare concern. Whether you want to brighten, hydrate, or rejuvenate your skin, there’s an ampoule out there for you.
What is serum?
Serums are the part of your skincare routine where you’re able to target specific concerns, whether it’s acne or anti-aging. A serum has several active ingredients (less than an ampoule) that are more concentrated than what you’ll find in your other skincare products. Serums are a long-term addition to your skincare routine. You can usually expect to wait at least four weeks to start seeing visible results from using your serum.
How and when to use serum
Serums typically come in a glass bottle with a dropper for easy use. You only need a few drops dispensed directly onto your skin or hands to use it. You can incorporate multiple serums into your skincare routine, but it’s important to get a grasp of which ingredients you should avoid layering together. Using two serums that don’t get along could irritate your skin.
If you’re using both a face serum and an ampoule, you should use your serum after the ampoule. When you’re layering these products, you can target them at specific areas of your face. If you’re using a serum to tackle hyperpigmentation, you can limit it to the areas of your face you want to treat instead of using it all over.
What does a serum do?
Serums act to address a specific skincare concern, with hundreds (if not thousands!) for you to choose from. The secret to using serums is to research the active ingredients and choose ones that help you tackle your specific skincare concern. Most people use a mixture of serums in their routine. You might use a vitamin C serum in your morning routine and a retinoid serum in the evening.
While your moisturizer is a multi-tasking product, a serum usually has one goal in mind. Everyone should be incorporating some form of face serum into their routine. Serums are often intended to prevent damage instead of repairing it.
The main difference between your everyday face serum and an ampoule sits in the concentration and active ingredients. Ampoules and serums are skin treatments that set out to help boost your skin and allow you to tailor your routine to fit you.