Ampoules: The New Supercharged Skincare Trend from Korea

Detoxes are so 2014. If your skin is in major need of a pick-me-up, target ongoing issues such as fine lines, dullness and rough texture with a Korean staple: Ampoules. Just like Barry’s Bootcamp requires short bursts of concentrated intensity for short periods of time, an ampoule boosts skin with highly concentrated antioxidants and vitamins in just a few drops.

“They tend to come in slightly smaller bottles or one-time-use capsules as they are often used as a two- to three-week booster program for skin,” says Sarah Lee, co-founder of Glow Recipe, the e-commerce website that curates the best natural Korean products on the market.

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Ampoules have similar consistencies to serums, but they’re slightly more lightweight (read: not even remotely greasy, so they work on all skin types) and their ingredient levels are more concentrated. Think serums on steroids. During the few weeks of use, they can replace anything (like a serum or acne gel) in the “treatment phase” of your skincare routine. After using cleanser and toner, dab a few drops onto your skin and finish with your moisturizer and physical sunscreen. They can even be used as a daily highlighter (patted on the brow bones and cheekbones) or as a makeup setting spray (gently pressed over a full face of makeup with a sponge).

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“While many ampoules are multi-benefit, there’s still a wide variety of concerns that various ampoules address, so ideally, you would need to choose a formula that addresses your primary skin concern,” says Christine Chang, the other co-founder of Glow Recipe.

Since no two ampoules are alike, we’ve rounded up the ones that are really worth your time and money. Whether you need collagen, intense moisture or just a touch of glow, there’s a Korean ampoule for you.