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What You Should Be Buying The Skincare Obsessee In Your Life This Christmas

The Korean beauty staple making their way into Western skincare culture.

Where 10-step Korean skincare routines once ruled, now lay pared-back minimalistic approaches – meaning that deciding what you put on your skin has grown more important than ever.

When it comes to hydration – what most of us need more of – serum has long been considered the best port of call, but ampoules, serum's hard-working sister may be just the ticket for your perfect skin dreams.  

Ampoules are highly concentrated active serums that are specifically designed for one-time use.

The higher concentrations of active ingredients inside mean that you're due to use it for a finite amount of time as a booster or when you're having a skin crisis of some sort. 

Ampoule packaging ensures that the product isn't compromised by the effects of being exposed to the environment. And, their small, air-tight vials or capsules ensure that you’re applying the right amount of product to your face.

But, what do ampoules do?

Ampoules offer the purest form of active ingredients at a prescribed amount so the skin absorbs exactly what it needs. Usually, they are marketed to address one specific skin issue at a time; say, dry skin or dull skin.

While they’re all pure and stable, the actual effects of any given ampoule comes down to the ingredients within it. Common ingredients found in ampoules include hyaluronic acid, ceramides, retinol, and vitamin C.

What makes them different from a serum?

Ampoules tend to have a short lifespan as they are often formulated without preservatives. Make sure to use them up before their expiration date.

Designed to be used nightly over a course of one-to-four weeks, most ampoules come in a set of single-use vials, meaning you don’t have to worry about using more product than necessary.

Our picks: 

Granions Magnesium (€8.16)

A little-known French secret, this homoeopathic pharmacy find is a must. Because it's homoeopathic, you can also drink the magnesium supplement, but most apply it topically at night time after cleansing and toning. 

In this 2017 medical journal titled, “The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare”, researchers found lower levels of magnesium in patients with atopic dermatitis (eczema). Their controlled trial found topical magnesium to be as effective in treating eczema as hydrocortisone (steroid) creams. Research also notes that magnesium was found to enhance skin hydration and reduce inflammation. Bottom line: Start using magnesium.

The Ritual of Namaste Firming Ampoule Boosters (€23.45)

Brimming with active anti-ageing powers, this vegan, cruelty-free and silicone-free concentrate supplies skin with an intense moisture surge to plump and visibly reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

The top-notch remedy for condensing loose skin after severe weight loss, Gotu Kala (also known as Centella Asiatica) delivers supreme skin-tightening action, whilst Hyaluronic Acid binds moisture to skin for long-lasting hydration and boosted elasticity. Enriched with Holy Lotus (a symbol of purity, beauty and wisdom) for its soothing and caring properties, the booster zaps mature, sagging skin with its plumping, densifying and age-reversing powers to leave skin refreshed, taut and youthful-looking.

It is also free from parabens, mineral oils, micro-plastics and other harmful substances.

Estée Lauder Ampoules Advanced Night Repair Serum 30ml (€103.45)

The serum within each of these ampoules utilises skincare technology which reduces the appearance of skin irritations, whilst ensuring the face appears uniform. From the first use, the calming treatment helps the skin to feel soothed and comfortable. Expect to wake to a calm and comforted complexion.

Main image by @fingermonkey

READ MORE: Dear Derm: When Should I Start/Stop Facials In The Run-Up to My Wedding Day?