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By now, most of us are familiar with the renowned 10-step Korean skincare routine. After years of research and testing, we’ve made room for serums, essences, and sheet masks in our regimens. Yet, our quest for “glass skin” worthy of a K-drama actress continues to fall short, with dryness and dullness remaining daily struggles.

Enter ampoules, the skincare secret most Korean women swear by. But how exactly are they different from the serums in our routine, and what can they do for our skin? Well, Daily Vanity will be answering those questions ahead. Keep reading, because we’ll be sharing our top 17 ampoules too.

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What is the difference between an ampoule and a serum?

ampoule vs serum

Credit: Ron Lach/Pexels

An ampoule is essentially a supercharged serum with higher concentrations of active ingredients. And just like serums, they’re designed to target specific skin concerns to help you achieve a healthier complexion overall.

Some are meant to be used for a finite period of time as a booster of sorts, and often contain fewer preservatives. This is why they typically come in smaller bottles.

They play nice with the other products into your routine and can make a huge impact on how your skin looks and feels. If you’re trying an ampoule for the first time, we recommend using them after cleansing and toning, before applying your essence and/or serum.

Ready to give ampoules a shot? We’ve rounded up 17 of the best ampoules on the market and grouped them according to their benefits.

Hydrating ampoules

COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule

COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule

A tiny but mighty ampoule, the COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule contains 83% of black bee propolis extract, which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties. Together with natural humectants in the formula, the ampoule delivers radiant, glowing skin with continued use.

COSRX Full Fit Propolis Light Ampoule retails for S$31.17 (30ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price. 

YesStyle
Watsons

MIZON Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule

MIZON Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule

Packed with concentrated snail filtrate, MIZON’s Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Hydrating hyaluronic acid in the formula attracts moisture to the skin and locks it in, bumping up your skin’s hydration levels and elasticity.

MIZON Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule retails for S$19.90 (30ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price. 

Shopee
iHerb
YesStyle

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule

To protect sensitive skin, Pyunkang Yul’s Moisture Ampoule enlists the help of 90% Coptis Japonica root extract, a potent soothing and hydrating ingredient. Its intense moisturising benefits maintain the oil and water balance in the skin. Plus, it minimises excess sebum production – great for dehydrated, oily skin.

DV tip: This ampoule has a viscous, honey-like texture, so mist your skin with a toner first or apply the product on damp skin after cleansing. It should help the product spread much easier.

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Ampoule retails for S$25.31 (100ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price. 

Shopee
iHerb
YesStyle

Sioris A Calming Day Ampoule

Sioris A Calming Day Ampoule

Lightweight and silky, Sioris’ A Calming Day Ampoule provides deep hydration and soothing skin relief. The secret lies in Sioris’ unique combination of essential ingredients, such as omija fruit extract and calendula. They provide ample hydration, calm irritated skin, and control sebum production for soft, healthy skin.

This pink, pH-balanced ampoule balances your skin’s hydration levels without leaving a heavy, greasy residue.

Sioris A Calming Day Ampoule retails for S$39.90 (35ml). Click on the link below for the most updated price. 

Amazon.sg

Missha Super Aqua Ultra Hyalron Oil-Free Hydrating Ampoule

Missha Super Aqua Ultra Hyalron Oil-Free Hydrating Ampoule

This oil-free ampoule from Missha is formulated with 10 types of hyaluronic acid and polysaccharides, which act like a moisture magnet. They replenish the skin’s moisture barrier for a dewy, luminous complexion.

Missha Super Aqua Ultra Hyalron Oil-Free Hydrating Ampoule retails for S$23.18 (40ml) at iHerb. Click on the link below for the most updated price. 

iHerb

Soothing & skin-strengthening ampoules

AMPLE:N Ceramide Shot Ampoule

AMPLE:N Ceramide Shot Ampoule

Recommended by plenty of Korean YouTubers, AMPLE:N’s Ceramide Shot Ampoule is infused with 50,000ppm of Cerafull Complex™ to nourish dry, sensitive skin. Patented arctigenin strengthens the skin barrier to restore its health and radiance, while allantoin wraps the skin in a comforting blanket.

AMPLE:N Ceramide Shot Ampoule retails for S$20.30 (100ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price. 

Shopee
YesStyle

Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule

Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule

This potent mugwort-enriched ampoule strengthens tired and damaged skin fast. Made with 85% of wormwood extract, kava kava root, leaf, and stem extracts, the formula soothes and nourishes sensitive complexions.

Isntree Spot Saver Mugwort Ampoule retails for S$35 (50ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

Shopee
Stylevana
YesStyle

COSRX Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule

COSRX Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule

This lightweight, fast-absorbing ampoule from COSRX was practically made for those of us who live in humid Singapore. This formula delivers a shot of immediate hydration to calm angry, red skin. 42% of centelle asiatica extract and madecassocide compounds soothe sensitive complexions. Its formula is non-comedogenic too – perfect for those with acne-prone skin.

COSRX Hydrium Centella Aqua Soothing Ampoule retails for S$22.90 (40ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

Amazon.sg
Zalora
LookFantastic

By Wishtrend Polyphenols in Propolis 15% Ampoule

By Wishtrend Polyphenols in Propolis 15% Ampoule

Instead of having water as its first ingredient, By Wishtrend’s Polyphenols in Propolis 15% Ampoule uses houttuynia cordata (nope, not Hakuna Matata) extract, which soothes angry blemishes. It’s also infused with 15% of propolis for an antioxidant boost. Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory abilities, the ampoule is ideal for those with sensitive, acne-prone skin.

By Wishtrend Polyphenols in Propolis 15% Ampoule retails for S$27.65 (30ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

Wishtrend
Guardian
iHerb

SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule

SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule

This hydrating, soothing ampoule from SKIN1004 contains 100% centella asiatica extract from Madagascar, which calms and repairs a damaged skin barrier. We love its simple, straightforward approach to barrier care and how it regulates the skin’s oil and moisture balance.

SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule retails for S$20 (55ml) and S$28 (100ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

Shopee
iHerb
Stylevana

Beplain Cicaful Ampoule

Beplain Cicaful Ampoule

Beplain’s nourishing Cicaful Ampoule is chock-full of centella asiatica extract, which reduces visible signs of skin irritation. Along with Roman chamomile extract and a hint of probiotics, this ampoule replenishes skin with nutrients that mend and soothe dermal disturbances. Users have reported a decrease in redness, dark spots, and even acne scars!

Beplain Cicaful Ampoule retails for S$20 (30ml). Click on the link below for the most updated price.

Shopee

Clarifying ampoules

Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule

Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule

When it comes to exfoliation, you may have heard of AHA, BHA, and even PHA. But instead of using those ingredients to target acne, Rovectin’s ampoule features LHA (Caproloyl Salicylic Acid), which effectively unclogs pores and brightens dark spots caused by blemishes.

It also contains 85% of neroli flower water extract to soothe and calm the skin with its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a gentle formula that’s perfect for sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule retails for S$23.92 (15ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

Shopee
Watsons

THEFACESHOP Dr. Belmeur Clarifying Spot Calming Ampoule

THEFACESHOP Dr. Belmeur Clarifying Spot Calming Ampoule

Soothe spots and treat dry, flaky skin at the same time with Dr. Belmeur’s Clarifying Spot Calming Ampoule. Centella asiatica extract calm breakouts fast, while betaine salicylate sloughs off dead skin cells to keep your complexion clear and bright. The formula also contains beta-glucan to hydrate the skin, as well as blue citrus peel extract to control excess sebum.

THEFACESHOP Dr. Belmeur Clarifying Spot Calming Ampoule retails for S$47 (22ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

THEFACESHOP
iHerb

Brightening ampoules

Laneige White Dew Original Ampoule Essence

Laneige White Dew Original Ampoule Essence

Give your skin a brightening boost with Laneige’s White Dew Original Ampoule Essence. It’s enriched with Saururus Chinensis extract and vitamin C, which visibly lightens the appearance of dark spots to reveal a brighter, more even-toned complexion. The soothing formula has a viscous texture that imparts intense hydration, yet absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky feeling on your skin.

Laneige White Dew Original Ampoule Essence retails for S$80 (40ml). Click on the link below for the most updated price.

Sephora

Isntree C-Niacin Toning Ampoule

Isntree C-Niacin Toning Ampoule

Isntree’s C-Niacin Toning Ampoule is packed with 69% of buckthorn fruit extract, which is high in vitamins A, B, C, E, K, as well as various kinds of amino acids. The star ingredient brightens your overall complexion and lightens dark spots. This brightening ampoule is also fitted with the brand’s Moisture Complex to strengthen your skin barrier.

Isntree C-Niacin Toning Ampoule retails for S$23.10 (50ml). Click on the link below for the most updated price.

Shopee
Stylevana

Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis Ampoule

Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis Ampoule

This multi-tasking ampoule is formulated with 50% propolis extract and royal jelly, which provide rich nourishment to the skin. Meanwhile, vitamin tree extract brightens dull skin, leaving it radiant and revitalised. It also smooths the skin’s texture and evens out your overall skin tone for a radiant, luminous complexion.

Dr. Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis Ampoule retails for S$19.50 (15ml). Click on the links below for the most updated price.

Shopee
YesStyle

Tony Moly Vital Vita 12 Vitamin C Synergy Ampoule

Tony Moly Vital Vita 12 Vitamin C Synergy Ampoule

Need some help brightening your complexion? Try the Tony Moly Vital Vita 12 Vitamin C Synergy Ampoule. It contains vitamin C derivatives, which boost your skin’s radiance, lighten dark spots, and enhance your sunscreen’s protection when used in the morning. Niacinamide minimises the look of large pores and reduces sebum production for clearer, healthier skin.

Tony Moly Vital Vita 12 Vitamin C Synergy Ampoule retails for S$19.06 (30ml). Click on the link below for the most updated price.

iHerb

Featured image credit: @skin1004singapore and @rovectin_global

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