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Korea has become one of the leading countries in creating skincare products that give solutions to different skin problems. With an array of different products, many tend to get confused if serum and ampoule are the same. Are they, or are they not? 

Well, of course, they’re not!  

Although both products contain a higher number of active ingredients and are used after cleansing, these two are still pretty much different from one another. That’s why we wrote this blog- to give you a better understanding and to tell these two products apart simply by looking at how they’re used. 

So, avoid the confusion and keep scrolling if you want to find out the real difference between the two.

What is a serum?

A serum is like a powerful beauty elixir with concentrated ingredients that target specific skin problems. This must-have is used regularly in the morning and in the evening, applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. 

Serums have a clear, gel-like, or sometimes a liquid-based texture and have less consistency than moisturizers. There are several ingredients commonly used in a face serum such as vitamin E, vitamin C, Retinol, Hyaluronic acid, Peptide.

What are its benefits?

A serum is made of very small molecules, and that’s why even a few drops of concentrated serum are super-efficient and are quickly absorbed by the skin. There are different benefits a serum can provide depending on your chosen product. Here are the top three amazing benefits you can get from a bottle of serum:

  1. Hydration - Hydrating your skin is a key component when it comes to maintaining beautiful skin. Ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid can help the skin stay fresh, young, and healthy.
  1. Reduces fine lines and wrinkles - Serum with concentrated ingredients like vitamin C and Retinol can help minimize the signs of aging. 
  1. Improves skin’s youthful look - Ingredients like vitamin C and retinol can help retain moisture and give the youthful look you have been aiming for. 

What is an ampoule?

Ampoules have a higher concentrated formula with less ingredients than serums and are applied before the serum. Its main purpose is also to hydrate, promote collagen, and help to restore your skin's health. Ampoules are often packaged in small vials made of glass and act as a super serum. 

What are the benefits?

Unlike serum, not all ampoules are meant to be used in your daily skincare routine due to their high concentration and active ingredients. Ampoules are designed to be used for a small amount of time to help treat or correct skincare concerns.

  1. Hydrates the skin - Ampoules are considered to be a more concentrated version of a serum that gives immediate skin reviving; 
  2. Helps to moisturize - With its intensive ingredient, applying ampoule can boost the moisture of your skin;
  3. Anti-aging effect - Just like the serum, ampoules can help in improving your skin’s fine lines and wrinkles. 

Which one should you use?

Both serums and ampoules are major players in the K-beauty skincare routine. If you have to choose between one or the other, definitely focus on the ingredients and benefits on which step you keep and which one you skip in your beauty routine. Personally, we recommend starting with serums as they're a common 4th or 5th step product to incorporate into skincare routines for newbies to the multilayered skincare routines Japan and Korea are known for. Serums are a great place to start as they are often valuable in both your AM and PM routines. While ampoules, often higher concentrated benefit enhancers do not always need to be used as frequently as a serum. 

The goal of adding these two steps to your routine is to have fun while reaping unique ingredient benefits to achieve our skin goals. While the 10 step K-beauty routine can feel overwhelming, if you're just starting and using cleanser, toner, and moisturizer in our routine, serums and eye creams are the typical next steps added for more intermediate skincare buffs. 

Have questions - check out this blog all about the 5 step K-beauty skincare routine for K-beauty beginners or the 10 steps fully explained here.

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