Tips & Advice

Serums, Ampoules & Essences, Oh My!

Serums are very popular in Western skin care, but what the heck are ampoules and essences? If you are not familiar with the Korean skincare routine these products might be foreign to you, get it? Bad joke. But in all seriousness, what the heck are they and why should you care about them? Well, my friends, you are in luck, that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you.

Serums are a lightweight skin treatment that tends to be very concentrated in their active ingredients. They are meant to target and treat skin issues such as dark spots, dullness, wrinkles and fine lines, etc. Serums tend to have a more viscous texture than essences and ampoules. They are most effective when used after an essence and before your heavier creams.

Ampoules are a more concentrated version of a serum. They contain a higher concentration of active ingredients than serums and are meant to be used for a limited amount of time as a booster (i.e. in the middle of that pre-big day skin crisis). Due to the high concentration, a little goes a long way. Ampoules do not need to be used as often as serums or essences. Therefore, they tend to come in smaller packaging and at a higher price. I like to use an ampoule after my toner and before my essence and serum.

Essence aka the heart of the Korean skincare is a liquidy light-weight boost of moisture. Hydration is extremely important in Korean skin care, as it not only gives the skin a glowing healthy look, but it also prevents issues such as irritation and wrinkles. Essences can also contain many antioxidants and nutrients to help nourish and prep the skin before the main treatment, your serum.

If you’re new on the skin care wagon, or like a low maintenance routine this could all be overwhelming. But this is your skin we are talking about, and it’s so important to take care of it. In addition, raise your hand if you’re all about aging gracefully! I recommend at least using a serum as it contains very beneficial nutrients to fighting skin concerns.

Not all brands make products with the same consistency as the next brand. Therefore, as with all skin care products, you should apply your essence, serums, and ampoules in order from thinnest to thickest in texture to ensure maximum absorption.

1 thought on “Serums, Ampoules & Essences, Oh My!

  1. I love all of this information. I had no idea what ampoules or essences were, truly ‘foreign’ to me. haha Get it? Anyway, thanks for the breakdown. I’ll be making better skin care decisions now. <3

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