You may be asking yourself — what is an ampoule? Simply put, they are a more concentrated type of serum. These concentrated liquids are named after the small vial in which they come.
Unlike serums, which generally come in a larger container and contain multiple uses, ampoules generally come in a single-use vial; make sure you use up the whole thing!
However, it’s not just the container that is what makes an ampoule an ampoule. These super-serums are thicker, and more viscous than a traditional serum because they contain extremely high concentrations of their active ingredients.
It is a wonder why we haven’t really started using these miracle liquids a lot more in the West. They have gained immense popularity in South Korea and much of Southeast Asia — you know, where clear, dewy glass-like skin is the norm. That’s what we call #skingoals.
Ampoules are an essential part to get to those skin goals, providing a dose of nutrients and vitamins like no other product has before.
Because they’re a one-shot dose, they’re not usually meant for daily use. They are highly concentrated and your skin will get a great dose of whatever goodness is inside.
They’re great for an at-home spa day. So, light a few candles, put your comfiest pajamas on, and really indulge your skin in some ampoule goodness. If this sounds ideal to you, we’ve compiled a list of the best Korean ampoules for that much-needed self-care sesh.
Best Korean Ampoules for Dry, Oily & Sensitive Skin
1. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
Snail mucin sounds pretty gross, but it’s extremely popular in Korea and much of Southeast Asia. It moisturizes your skin, boosts collagen production, and aids in skin generation. That’s why Mizon has created an ampoule around this hero ingredient.
This ampoule also contains glycolic and hyaluronic acids, which deliver a burst of hydration while offering gentle exfoliation. It’s definitely not something to pass up on if you want hydrated, radiant, and youthful skin.
Additional benefits? Well, it also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making it an excellent addition to any anti-aging routine. This highly-concentrated vial is best used after toner — gently tap it into your face with clean fingers.
2. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule
This Korean cult-favorite company made a night-time ampoule that contains 10 probiotics, hence the name. These probiotics work together to naturally strengthen the skin overnight while you sleep.
Beneficial for all types of skin, you can do double-duty in your sleep and prevent wrinkles and saggy skin. Other ingredients like purple carrots, beetroot, and blueberry provide a reinvigoration to your face while simultaneously soothing it. Anti-aging? Check. Stronger, more resilient skin? Double-check!
Without a doubt, this lightweight, highly concentrated serum has such great reviews on Amazon for a reason. Smoother, younger-looking skin is only a sleep away.
3. Ample:N Peptide Shot Ampoule
Peptides are the key element in this ampoule, but what are they? Essentially, they are amino acids (elements of protein) which, when applied to the skin, can encourage and stimulate the production of collagen.
Collagen keeps your skin elastic, meaning less opportunity for wrinkles and fine lines to appear. A great benefit of this ampoule over others? There’s a patented peptide in this that isn’t available anywhere else.
Thanks to the addition of Niacinamide, your pores will look tighter, smaller and your skin will be more resilient. It will also help combat dullness, redness, and rough skin. Finally, this product can be used both morning and night after toner and before moisturizer.
4. The Plant Base Time Stop Collagen Ampoule
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our bodies. It provides volume to our skin and makes it plump. But as we age, collagen production decreases and the skin begins to lose elasticity.
Adding collagen in through serums, moisturizers, or ampoules such as this one can help to improve skin elasticity. With more elastic skin, you are less likely to form those pesky smile lines and crow’s feet wrinkles.
This ampoule contains three patented ingredients – Inflax, Syn-Coll, and Adenosine that not only help improve skin’s collagen production but also help soothe irritation and improve the overall appearance of your skin.
Highly recommended for people who have dry or sensitive skin, this will give your skin the extra oomph to shave a few years off your face. Added bonus? This plant-based ampoule is free from 18 harmful ingredients, such as parabens and synthetic fragrances!
5. Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule
This liquid may look gold like nectar, but it is a transparent ampoule. Containing the powerful anti-acne ingredient, propolis, your skin will be smooth and clear in no time.
Propolis is excellent for soothing the skin, reducing the appearance of acne, and smoothing out the appearance of wrinkles. Added hydration is a bonus with the plethora of natural fruit oils, such as lime, orange, and lemon, to really give your skin that dewy look and feel.
Boasting a thicker composition, this ampoule is best used after your essence or toner but before any additional serums and moisturizers. Safe on sensitive skin, this product does as it promises and provides that sparkle from within, leaving you with a natural skin-induced glow all day long.
6. Cosrx Light Ampoule
There are only 11 ingredients in this ampoule. Each ingredient was selected with care — simplicity at it’s finest. Beneficial for all skin types, there are no parabens, sulfates, alcohol, or other icky ingredients that provide no benefit to your skin.
The black-bee propolis extract adds the benefits of anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-redness you need. Basically, it’s anti-everything you don’t want your skin to be!
Truly inspired by honey, this golden-hued ampoule is loaded with propolis. A non-sticky, non-peeling formula makes it easy, light, and comfortable to wear throughout the day.
What’s more, the smoothing effect of this ampoule provides an excellent base for makeup without adding any extra oil or grease.
7. Luthione Vitamin-8 White Jade Toning Ampoule
These little vials are ampoules in the traditional sense — a single shot dosage that you dispose of after use. It contains 8 vitamins that work together to improve the look of your skin.
From anti-wrinkle to skin brightening, it’s hard to find something that this ampoule doesn’t do. It uses cucumber extract instead of water, providing a multifaceted improvement to your skin’s tone and texture.
With a lighter viscosity, this ampoule works amazingly when used before a toner, as the first step after cleansing (or double cleansing).
Beneficial for a wide variety of skin types and concerns, you will see improvement in your skin. Whether your skin is dull, sensitive, oily, or dry, your skin will thank you for adding this Korean Ampoule to your skin regime!
8. SNP Bird’s Nest Aqua Ampoule Mask
A mask ampoule? We get it, sounds a little weird given everything we’ve talked about with reference to ampoules. However, this is one of the best ways to make sure you get every bit of juicy goodness from your product.
You won’t have to worry that there is still some liquid at the bottom of a tube, it’ll all be on your face!
The mask-application isn’t the weirdest thing about this ampoule. It’s made from the saliva of the swiftlet, a literal bird’s nest is the star ingredient in this mask. There is something special about this nest because it contains proteins and polysaccharides that greatly improve your skin’s elasticity and hydration levels.
The other great ingredients help strengthen your skin barrier, improve your skin’s moisture retention while offering a beautiful glow and soothing feel. Don’t let the differentness of this ampoule scare you away!
9. Papa Recipe Eggplant Clearing Ampoule
This pretty-in-purple ampoule contains eggplant! Eggplant extract contains lupeol galore to calm irritated skin while simultaneously balancing oil and moisture contents.
Calendula oil also provides additional relief to soothe sensitive skin. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you will definitely have the most to gain from this purple remedy.
Balance is key, so the ingredients to provide that crucial balance between providing hydration without adding heavy grease to your skin. Gently pat this into your face with clean fingers while it penetrates.
10. Skin1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule
This ampoule has had a facelift. Previously in a white opaque bottle, it is now in a transparent container, letting you really see what you’re getting. This is a great all-around product, providing benefits like replenishment, softening, and rejuvenation of the skin.
Native to Madagascar, Centella Asiatica is a medicinal herb frequently used in Eastern skincare. It improves collagen synthesis, speeds up skin cell production, and has antibacterial properties. Rich in Centella Asiatica, this product will improve the appearance of dark spots, fight acne, and reduce excess oil.
The formula penetrates deep into your pores, so your skin will feel hydrated and nourished all day long. One thing important to note is that the color of the product will vary because of environmental factors. If there is a little discoloration from one bottle to the next, don’t fret!
Ampoules are a wonderful addition to any skincare routine. Providing a highly concentrated shot of whatever you need, you can truly target your skin’s concerns. There are options for all ages and skin concerns. From anti-aging to anti-blemish, Korean ampoules can do it all.
There is a reason why Korean skincare is so esteemed and beloved in the West. They truly care for their skin and the ingredients in their skincare products. Some Korean beauty routines even include 12-steps! As such, ampoules are a staple in nearly every Korean beauty routine.
Some of the ingredients may be a little out of the ordinary for your average American household. Don’t let things like snail mucin or birds nest draw you away from the power and strength, and sometimes miracle-working benefits of ampoules. Start off with something familiar before working your way into more unique ingredient combinations if you’d like.
When selecting an ampoule, it’s important to take your skin’s needs into consideration, but also look at the rest of your beauty regime and fill in any blanks you may be missing. Use your ampoule-day as a way to really treat yourself as if you were at the spa. Play your favorite album, dim the lights, and put on your coziest slippers for an evening (or morning!) of relaxation and luxury.