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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.


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.

Lancome Ampoule

Lancome Absolue has specially formulated its 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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