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What Is an Ampoule and How to Use It

Discover what an ampoule is, plus what ampoule skincare can offer for your skin. Also, learn the differences between ampoules vs serums at Lancôme.

Discover what an ampoule is

You may know (and love) moisturizers and serums, but if ampoule skincare hasn’t made its way onto your radar yet, you’re not alone. In the United States, ampoules are a relatively recent category in skincare by way of Korean beauty — in fact, Korean ampoules were among the first to come on the market. And these highly concentrated skincare formulas are designed to deliver potent ingredients and visible results with just one capsule. Here’s what you should know about ampoule skincare.

What Is an Ampoule?

An ampoule is a type of treatment that contains highly-concentrated skincare ingredients. It’s designed to deliver small, targeted dosages in order to address a particular skin concern, such as skin dryness, discoloration and dark spots, dull skin or wrinkles and other signs of aging. In many cases, you might have seen ampoules delivering a single ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol or collagen. Ampoules often come in a one-time use container — usually a capsule, vial or a tube – that protects the ingredients and that you throw away afterwards. Because these tend to be super-tiny — again, it’s high concentrations of key ingredients in there — they’re also ideal for travel.

Why Do You Need an Ampoule?

With such concentrated ingredients, an ampoule is able to deliver results more quickly than other skincare formulas. Also, ampoules are strategic: Focusing on just a few potent ingredients allows you to target skin concerns more intensively, whether that’s to brighten, firm or deeply nourish skin with hydration. For those reasons, ampoules are a great addition to the skincare routine at any age. You may want to amplify your usual skincare routine with an ampoule before a big event, to address a specific, stubborn skin concern or anytime you just want glowing skin, stat.

Ampoule vs Serum: What’s the Difference

Think of an ampoule as an extra-powerful serum or skin booster. First, it delivers more immediate results: A serum may take a week or more to show improvements, whereas an ampoule’s effects are usually visible within hours or days. For that reason, you might also choose an ampoule vs serum if you’re experiencing a skin SOS, whereas serum is great for daily maintenance and long-term skin results.

Also, unlike serums, a little goes a long way when it comes to ampoule: They offer those targeted benefits in just a few drops of the formula — in fact, the typical ampoule capsule or container is designed to make it simple to dose such a small amount each time you use it, hence the typical capsule or break-open-and-toss container.

How to Use an Ampoule in Your Skincare Routine

Ampoules can be used once or twice daily; it largely depends on the ampoule formula in question and your personal preference and skin sensitivity. Use an ampoule after cleansing and toning, but before using your essence, face serum and moisturizer. Apply the ampoule on all facial areas, or spot-treat specific areas of concern. Also: Certain ampoule formulas may only be used for a finite amount of time — so, for example, you’d get seven ampoule capsules to use over the course of one week. Others are for more regular use. They’re all factors to take into consideration when you’re shopping for an ampoule.

Coming Soon: August 2020

Coming soon in August 2020, Lancome Absolue is launching its very own Ampoule innovation. The Absolue Overnight Repairing Bi-Ampoule harnesses the fast-acting, supercharged powers of ampoule skincare in a unique bi-phased formula to restore the skin barrier overnight and deliver 24-hour hydration in just one drop.


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