When to Use Ampoules in Your Routine

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One of the latest skincare trends to hit the North American health and beauty market are ampoules.

Although they’ve been widely used in Europe and Asia for ages, ampoules are still a relative novelty here. Only until recently did we start to recognize their benefits.

In this article, we are going to take a look at what ampoules are and when to use ampoules. We’ll also look at why (if you haven’t already tried them) you might want to think about adding ampoules as a boost to your skincare regime.


Ampoules – What are They?

Ampoules Babour

The word ‘ampoule’ actually refers to the packaging. This is usually a small glass or sealed plastic capsule or vial. It contains a boosted, highly-concentrated serum that often features one main ingredient or a combination of ingredients that work together to focus on one specific aspect of skincare.

Whether it be a super-charged ampoule of retinol to combat wrinkles and skin aging, a boosted dose of Vitamin C to brighten dull skin, or a highly-charged kick of hyaluronic acid and ceramides to plump, moisturize and increase collagen production, ampoules use different ingredients to target different skin concerns.

Ampoules are designed for one-time use. This design helps to preserve the purity and potency of the product. The ingredients in an ampoule are not exposed to things like light and air that can degrade the ampoule contents, which can occur from repeatedly opening and closing a bottle.

So is an Ampoule just serum in cute packaging?

Ampoules CORSX

Although you can find the same ingredients in other skincare products including serums, ampoules provide a much higher concentration of the active ingredients. You get more noticeable results without added ingredients like emulsifiers.

The difference is all in the packaging.

Ampoules allow the highest concentrations of active ingredients in their purest form. A lot of the active ingredients in ampoules that you might find in other skincare products are highly unstable.

Ascorbic acid, the pure form of vitamin C, is a perfect example.

Because of its instability, skincare products with Vitamin C either need to use a Vitamin C derivative or mix it with other ingredients in order to keep it stabilized. This lessens the potency.

However, with single-use ampoules, there’s no need to worry about stability or oxidation. With every ampoule, you get the highest concentration of the active ingredient. It is sterile, full potency, and just the right amount you need for one treatment.

When to Use Ampoules in your Routine

You might equate higher concentration to better results. This is true, but this does not mean you can just swap out your regular daily skincare products with a couple of ampoules.

Ampoules are meant only for occasional treatment, not daily use. They’re highly concentrated.

Everyone’s skin is different.

Just like it probably took you a while to find the perfect moisturizer for you, you might want to experiment a little.

For example, if you are using a skin hydrating ampoule, you may find you get enough moisture from the ampoule on its own that you don’t need an additional moisturizer on the days you use it.

On the other hand, you may just want to use a moisturizer as the final step to help seal in the moisture. It will really depend on how it works on your skin.

How often can I use ampoules?

It’s recommended that ampoules be used 1-2 times per week.

How to Use Ampoules

If you are using an ampoule with other skincare products, the thing you need to remember is that you should apply your products in order of texture – from light to heavy.

The serum content of ampoules is considered to be on the light end of the range. Ampoules should be applied after cleansing and toning, and before moisturizer, if you choose to use one.

Creams and moisturizers are on the heavier end of the spectrum, meaning they could prevent your ampoule’s serum from fully absorbing into your skin if you apply them first.

And regardless of how excited you are to try out this new product – a word of caution… do a skin patch test first!

Apply a small amount of the product on the inside of your forearm. You never know how your skin will react to a new product, especially since the active ingredients are so concentrated. If you are going to have a reaction – better it on your arm than on your face!

And it should go without saying that if you experience any type of redness, rash, burning or discomfort from your ampoule, you should not use it.

As to where it should be used and how to apply, it will depend on the ampoule and what it’s for.

Some may target specific areas and some may be okay to use all over. Make sure you read the product packaging information for your ampoule.

Our picks for Ampoules

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.9% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Replumping Ampoule

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum Ampoules 7 Day Boost Pure Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Aging Ampoules to visibly replump skin in 7 days, 7 Ampoules, 0.28 fl; oz.
  • Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.9 percent...
  • Formulated with our highest...
  • After using 1 ampoule, skin looks and...
  • After 7 ampoules, skin looks and feels...
  • Expert tip - Use twice daily or bring...

Smoothing, anti-aging, hydrating

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid retains lost moisture and locks in hydration for smoother, fresher, and softer skin, while reducing dark spots and wrinkles, plumping your skin, and improving its texture.

Vichy Laboratories Liftactiv Specialist Peptide-C Anti-Aging Ampoules

No products found.


Key Ingredients: Vitamin C (10%), Hyaluronic acid, and Peptides

With concentrated ingredients like peptides, hyaluronic acid, and pure vitamin C, Vichy Liftactiv Anti-Aging Ampoules give you super radiant and healthy skin when used regularly.

These ampoules reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots while nourishing and hydrating your skin.

ISDIN Isdinceutics Flavo-C Ultraglican Daily Antioxidant Serum

Serum Ampoules Flavo-C Ultraglican, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid
  • YOUR SOLUTION FOR: Wrinkles, dry skin,...
  • ACTION: Protection SPF 50; protects skin...
  • TESTED: The natural form of vitamin C, a...
  • TECHNOLOGY: Contains vitamin C,...

skin firming, brightening, anti-aging

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, Ultraglycans, and Hyaluronic acid

hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and ultraglycans work to restore the skin’s moisture, brighten the complexion, as well as boost the skin’s elasticity and firmness while fading the signs of aging with regular use.

Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule

MIZON Snail Line, Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule, Wrinkle Care, Skin Nutrition (30ml 1.01 fl oz)
  • 🔸 [Snail Mucus] MIZON´s famous Snail...
  • 🔸[One Drop Is Enough] Be smart about...
  • 🔸[Anti-aging solution] Ingredients of...
  • 🔸 [Premium Ampoule] This ampoules...

skin hydrating & anti-aging

Key Ingredients: Snail secretion filtrate, Hyaluronic acid, and Adenosine

Nature works in mysterious ways. The Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule is 80% snail secretion filtrate. Though the idea of snail slime may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the snail secretion forms a protective layer over your skin to prevent moisture loss and promote skin regeneration. It’s a fixture in Korean skincare.

Coupled with hyaluronic acid and adenosine, it also provides intense hydration and anti-aging effects.

Babor Multi Vitamin Repair Ampoule Concentrates

BABOR Multi-Vitamin Ampoule Serum, Anti Aging Serum with Vitamin A, Vitamin E Serum
  • Set of 7 seven (2 mL each) single-use...
  • Antioxidant Vitamin A, or Retinol, is a...
  • Skin appears strengthened and evens skin...
  • For Damaged and Dry Skin

anti-aging & moisturizing

Key Ingredients: Vitamin A, Panthenol, Vitamin E, and Biotin

This plant-based formula contains Retinol is a powerful active agent that reduces visible signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, by strengthening and firming your skin.

Panthenol and biotin protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier and retain moisture.

This potent formulation of seven active ingredients shields your skin against daily environmental factors.

Take Away

When you are thinking about when to use ampoules, just remember when applying with multiple skincare products, go in order from light to heavy. Generally, Ampoules should be applied after cleansing and toning and before moisturizer.

Remember, ampoules are different, have different ingredients, provide different results, and may target specific areas or are okay to use all over.

Read the product information before using.

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).