If you’re a skincare addict, a beauty enthusiast, or you just like when your skin looks nice, odds are you’re in the know on the newest beauty trends in Korea and China. Asian skincare has often been heralded as some of the most effective, gentle, and soothing on the market. Among the popularized 10-step skincare routine, two products have become clear front runners in Asian beauty trends: essences and ampoules. So, what are essences and ampoules? How do you use them in your skincare routine? And, most importantly, how do they affect your skin? Here’s what you need to know about Asian beauty superstars, essences and ampoules.
What Are Essences and Ampoules?
Essences and ampoules, though similar in some function, provide different uses in skincare. Essences come in two different formulations, each with their own directive. One type, the treatment essence, is actually what it sounds like— it is intended to be a first treatment for your skin after you cleanse. It typically contains a high concentration of fermented ingredients that will balance your skin’s pH and optimize it for future skincare steps. The other type of essence is a more watery formulation intended to increase skin’s hydration level. This type of essence has a consistency similar to a toner or serum.
Ampoules, on the other hand, are more similar to serums. However, they are often regarded as a “supercharged” version of serums. Ampoules have a high concentration of skincare actives, like AHAs and BHAs. They should be used sparingly and built up until your skin gets used to them in order to avoid over-exfoliation.
Where Do I Use Essences and Ampoules in My Skincare Routine?
Essences should be used directly after your cleanser in the case of a fermented treatment essence. If using a hydration essence, that can be used after exfoliation, before moving on to moisturizer or other serum or treatment steps. Ampoules should be used when you normally use your serums, though they should be more sparing at first as your skin develops tolerance. Ampoules may sometimes come in capsules, which help you control the amount you apply to your skin.
What are the Skincare Benefits of Essences and Ampoules?
As with serums and treatments, the skincare benefits of essences and ampoules vary product by product. Many essences and ampoules are geared toward hydration and moisture barrier repair, two key tenants of the Asian skincare ethos. Others provide balancing, brightening, and glow-giving properties to the skin. Ampoules give your skin a powerful dose of chemical exfoliation with actives like AHA, BHA, glycolic acid, and more.
Given the benefits and uses of ampoules and essences, it’s easy to see why these two products are must-haves in many parts of Asia, including skincare capitals of the world, China and South Korea. If you’re curious about these two elements of a full beauty routine, give them a try and experience healthier, more balanced, and more hydrated skin.