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Serums Vs Ampoules: What's the difference?


When it comes to skincare, the beauty industry is flooded with an overwhelming array of products, each claiming to be a magic elixir for flawless skin. Among the most popular skincare products are serums and ampoules. While they might seem similar at first glance, these two products have distinct differences in their formulation, concentration, and usage. In this blog post, we'll explore the dissimilarities between serums and ampoules, helping you make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your skincare routine.

Definition and Purpose:

  • Serums: Lightweight, highly concentrated liquid treatments formulated with active ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. They are designed to target specific skin concerns such as wrinkles, dark spots, and dehydration. Serums have smaller molecules that penetrate deeper into the skin, making them effective in delivering powerful ingredients to the targeted areas.

  • Ampoules: Ampoules are also potent, concentrated solutions containing active ingredients. They are highly concentrated version of a serum, and act like a booster or a shot. Meant to be applied as a short-term, intensive treatment to address immediate skin issues or for a boost of radiance and hydration. Ampoules are ideal for use during periods of skin stress or when preparing for a special event. 


  • Serums: These products generally have a high concentration of active ingredients, typically ranging from 10% to 70%, depending on the formulation. Their potency allows for long-term use to achieve significant improvements in the skin over time.

  • Ampoules: Boast an even higher concentration of active ingredients, sometimes surpassing 70%. However, since they are intended for short-term use, the high concentration is aimed at delivering visible results in a shorter time frame.

Texture and Absorption:

  • Serums: With their lightweight and fluid texture, serums are easily absorbed into the skin, leaving little to no residue behind. They work well for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin, as they don't feel heavy or clog pores.

  • Ampoules: Ampoules often have a thicker and more viscous texture compared to serums. While they are also absorbed relatively quickly, some ampoules may leave a slightly more noticeable residue on the skin due to their higher concentration.

Usage in Skincare Routine:

  • Serums: Versatile and can be incorporated into both morning and evening skincare routines. They are usually applied after cleansing and toning, just before moisturizing, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate deeply into the skin and address specific concerns effectively.

  • Ampoules: Typically used as a short-term treatment, so they are incorporated into the skincare routine for a specific duration, often lasting one to two weeks. They can be used as an intensive treatment, replacing or supplementing the serum step during that period.

Recommended Products

The Ordinary "Buffet" Multi Technology Peptide Serum (30ml)

SKIN1004 Centella Ampoule (100ml)

SKIN1004 Tone Brightening Capsule Ampoule (100ml)

SKIN1004 Poremizing Fresh Ampoule (100ml)

Final Verdict:

Serums and ampoules are both potent skincare treatments, but they differ in their concentration, usage, and formulation. Serums are more suitable for long-term use, while ampoules are designed for short-term, intense treatment. When choosing between the two, consider your specific skincare needs and whether you prefer a long-term targeted approach or an immediate, intensive boost for your skin. Remember, it's essential to consult a skincare professional or dermatologist to determine the best products for your unique skin concerns.