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 18 ampoules too.
What is the difference between an ampoule and a serum?
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 18 of the best ampoules on the market and grouped them according to their benefits.
LaCabine Dark Spots Corrector Ampoule
First off, how unique are the slim glass capsules that are used to house LaCabine’s Dark Spots Corrector ampoule? While most ampoules are housed in dropper bottles, LaCabine’s come in compact glass packaging and are in just the right amount needed for your skin.
Instead of worrying about whether you’re using enough or too little formula at one go, all you need to do is shake and break the ampoule to release a dose of powerful skin-brightening ingredients onto your skin.
At the same time, the hermetically-sealed topaz glass packaging prevents the highly-concentrated active ingredients from oxidising or degrading, allowing your skin to see immediately visible and long-lasting results.
Brimming with star actives like vitamin C and niacinamide, LaCabine’s Dark Spots Corrector is also spiked with lesser-known azelaic acid, known for fading dark spots left by acne, and phytic acid, an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) used to exfoliate and lighten skin tone.
That’s right, these are the ampoules to turn to to fade dark spots and even out your skin tone for the ultimate skin glow-up!
Shop LaCabine’s Dark Spots Corrector Ampoule for S$39.90 (10 x 2ml). You can also find LaCabine’s other award-winning ampoules exclusively at Guardian. Its Eye Contour has won Best Newcomer and Anti-Aging Reviving Elixir the Influencer’s Choice at the Guardian Awards 2022.
Click on the link below for the most updated prices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Soothing & skin-strengthening ampoules
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.