Can I Use An Ampoule and Serum Together?

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Remember the good old days of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer, and you were done? Ampoules are just one of the latest products to hit the market and are all the rage at the moment.

Ampoules are the mini, one-use packets of super-concentrated serum that target specific skincare concerns. Sounds a lot like a serum in cute packaging! So it’s not surprising that so many people are asking for clarification. Can I use an ampoule and serum together? Do I really need both? Which one goes first? Aren’t they the same thing?

In this article, we are going to answer all of those questions.


What’s the difference between ampoules and serums?

COSRX Ampoule

It’s easy to see why people are confused when it comes to ampoules and serums. They are both light, easily absorbed, oil- or water-based liquids.

They are both designed to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients to target specific skincare concerns.

They also both use a lot of the same ingredients; like Vitamins A, E & C, Hyaluronic acid, Retinol, peptides, and other botanicals.

Now although you can find the same ingredients in serums and ampoules, it’s because of the packaging, or ampoule, that allows for a much higher concentration of the active ingredients in an ampoule than you would get in a serum.

The reason why the single-use ampoule is so significant is that there are a lot of the active ingredients in ampoules that you might also find in serums, that are highly unstable. A good example is Ascorbic acid, which is the pure form of vitamin C.

Because of its instability, serums with Vitamin C either need to use a Vitamin C derivative or have to mix it with other ingredients in order to keep it stabilized, which makes it less concentrated and therefore less effective.

With single-use ampoules, on the other hand, there’s no need to worry about stability or oxidation (as long as you use them promptly). With every ampoule, you get the highest concentration of the active ingredient in its purest form, in a sterile format at just the right amount you need for one treatment.

Can I use an ampoule and serum together?

Time Stop Ampoule

You can most definitely use a serum and ampoule together. However, serums can be used twice a day; morning and night. Because ampoules are so super concentrated, it’s recommended to use ampoules only once or twice a week.

Think of your serum as the daily fitness routine for your face, and the ampoule as the intense training that targets specific areas.

If you’re working out daily, it wouldn’t be ‘leg day’ every day.

Which comes first, ampoule or serum?

So while you can use serums and ampoules together, remember you should not be using ampoules every day, as you would serums.

On the days that you do use them together, ampoules go first – after cleansing and toning, and before serums and moisturizers.

Do I need serum and ampoules?

Okay let’s get real for a minute… You don’t have to use one or the other, or either.

Skincare product marketing often makes you feel like if you are not using a certain product, then not only are you behind the times and out of the loop, but that you need to “up your game” if you haven’t included this or that in your skincare regime.

Celebrities and social media influencers aren’t helping either.

The thing you have to remember is that, just like anything else, it’s a business. Product manufacturers want to sell products – what better way than to try and convince you that you simply CANNOT live without it. All those celebrities and influencers often get endorsements to push products, too.

No matter how effective a product is for one person, we all have different body chemistry, different skin types and can react differently to products.

That’s not to say products like serums and ampoules aren’t legit and may not be able to help you rectify your skin concerns. We’re just saying that no one knows your skin better than you.

There is certainly no harm in trying a product that may turn out to be something you love if you feel there is something that your current skincare routine isn’t addressing. But if you’re okay in the skin you’re in, don’t feel pressured to use a product just because it’s on-trend.

On that note- here are a few popular serums and ampoules getting pretty good reviews that you may just want to check out!



Take Away

Serums and ampoules, although seem very similar, are different in that the active ingredients in ampoules are more concentrated.

So if you were wondering – Can I use an ampoule and serum together? The answer is yes.

Just remember because ampoules are so concentrated, they should be used only once or twice a week, whereas you can use serums twice a day.

On the days you want to use them together, cleanse, tone, apply the ampoule first, then the serum and you can follow up with a moisturizer.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).