Ampoules: The Best From the East and the West

Like many other top-selling Asian skincare ideas, western derms and beauty brands are getting on board.
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Like many other top-selling Asian skincare ideas, western derms and beauty brands are getting on board.

I started using ampoules as a way to boost my routine when I first began experimenting with eastern-influenced regimens and treatments. Ampoules are named such to remind the user of medical preparations that come in single-use snap-off glass tubes. This is how intravenous medicines used to be dispensed before plastic sterility procedures were implemented. The name inspires one to think "intensive" and "therapeutic" dosing of ingredients, and that is pretty much the gist of it.

Ampoules differ from serums in texture and concentration of active ingredients, and are meant to be used as treatments, not everyday items (for the most part), and they make my skin feel delightful.

Eastern Ampoules

L to R: Shara Shara Honey Bomb, Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 100 Ampoule

L to R: Shara Shara Honey Bomb, Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid 100 Ampoule

Glow Recipe and oo35mm showed me their finest ampoule offerings, and one enjoys a permanent place in my product collection. We've chatted about Honey Bomb before, and I love it more than when I last wrote about it. It's flipping fabulous for days when I am using a retinol, because I don't want to mix too many actives on those days. 

This ampoule has a gel-like teture and uses honey, propolis, and royal jelly as its treatment ingredients. This gives skin softness and acne prevention without any conflicts with a retinol at nighttime. It's cooling gel texture is amazing for hot days when I can only stand to put on one product, so it has really lived up to it's all-in-one claim.

Just a dab will do ya!

Just a dab will do ya!

From my fav little corner of Chinatown (besides Kiki's Taverna), oo35mm, I tried their new Mizon Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule. This is where the use-wisely point comes into play: at such a high concentration (50% hyaluronic acid!), you will only want to add a few drops of this potion to your routine, and not every day. 

I used it here to boost one of my fav face lotions, Peter Thomas Roth's Rose Stem Cell Bio Repair Precious Cream. Just a drop or two adds a humectant boost that can take any lotion to the next level, so when you use it with the good stuff, it's amazing.

Western Ampoules

Clinical concentrate boosters

Clinical concentrate boosters

Like many other top-selling Asian skincare ideas, western derms and beauty brands are getting on board with these tried-and-true methods and giving us their take on it. 

Dr. Dennis Gross is such a great brand because they merge the vanity part of skincare with the medical part. They are always evolving and other brands are always catching up. Their Clinical Concentrate Boosters come as a three-pack sampler of damage control tools. No matter what life is throwing at your face, you can manage it with this set.

One way I like to use the Purifying Booster, which is good for unclogging pores and soothing acne, is to mix a few drops into foundation. It's like getting a head start on washing it off later!

Mix 2 parts foundation to 1 part ampoule

Mix 2 parts foundation to 1 part ampoule

Brightness is delivered with retinol and fatty acids, and hydration with our friend hyaluronic acid and watermelon extract, so very humectant and very antioxidant. If you are a special snowflake (we all are) you can use them all at once in different areas.

Other things are out there with the ampoule descriptor, and whether they are makeup items, face masks, serums, or the like, you now know why they are labeled as such. Concentration of actives, whether lab-made or natural, can help you out no matter what is going wrong, and I like to use them like a face pharmacist, compounding all of the goodness precisely where and when it is needed.

Photos: Maria Penaloza