There comes a time in many skincare addicts’ lives when we look at our stash, consider our current routine, and breathe a sigh of ennui. The sense that there’s something missing, something even better for our skin than what we have, takes hold.
It’s normally around this time when we start shopping for the next amazing thing. But that’s not always necessary. Sometimes we simply haven’t extracted all we can from what we have, like that rotation of serums and ampoules already in the skincare basket. Here are five ways to get more out of the ampoules in your life.
If you’re pretty new to K-beauty, the terminology may be confusing. You’re floundering in a sea of skins and toners and lotions and packs; where do ampoules go in your routine?
Stick with it, and the terminology will soon become second nature to you. For now, what you need to know is that ampoules are serum-type products marketed as highly concentrated and targeted at specific skin concerns. Typically, they go after lighter toner, essence, and serum steps and before heavier cream and oil steps in a multi-layered skincare routine. But that’s not the only way to use them!
A multi-layered routine is a lovely thing in theory, but we don’t always have the time to pat on multiple products one at a time, or the patience to wait for them to dry. I find layering especially problematic in the morning. I like sleeping as long as possible, which causes me to need to rush through my morning skincare.
On days when I need to cut my mirror time but don’t want to skimp on my skin, I dump my hydrating toner into my palm, add a few drops of whatever ampoule I’m finding important at the moment, and mix them together before applying. That way, I get a layer of basic skincare and the benefits of my ampoule without adding an extra step to my routine.
Climate, lifestyle, and sometimes the temperature of shower water can change skin’s moisture needs from day to day. Not everyone has a cream and gel for every purpose, though.
Mixing a few drops of an ampoule into your moisturizer is an easy way to customize the weight of the moisturizer, and far more economical than buying a whole new one. If your moisturizer is too heavy for your skin’s current condition, add a bit of a lighter, water-based ampoule to your daily dose to thin it out. If your moisturizer is too light, a heavier ampoule that contains some oils will provide richness to get your skin through a dry day.
There’s regular daily skincare, and then there are Treat Yo Self nights, when you want to go all out with a nice sheet mask or modeling mask to really pamper your skin. It’s tempting to think of the two types of routines as separate, but combining your ampoule with your masking session can really amplify the results of both.
When used under a sheet mask, an ampoule benefits from the penetration enhancers in the sheet mask essence. Beneficial ingredients sink deeper and more thoroughly into skin. The occlusion of a modeling mask (like my favorite 23 Years Old Aqua Bab Modeling Masks) also helps push the ampoule deeper into skin. Used immediately before a modeling mask, an ampoule has the added benefit of helping the modeling mask peel off more smoothly.
Are you a fan of jade rollers and gua sha tools or facial massage in general? These practices are beloved by fans for their ability to stimulate circulation, de-puff bloated faces, and temporarily slim down cheeks and jawlines. They supposedly even firm and tighten skin. And they’re even better when used in conjunction with your favorite ampoule.
The next time you do a facial massage, start by applying an ampoule to your skin. Rollers and gua sha tools will glide more smoothly over skin; so will fingers. As you massage, you’ll gently work the ampoule into your skin for more intensive effects and radiant results.
So all that ampoule-mixing and under-mask prepping and diligent massaging has left your skin in the best condition of your life. Starting to feel like your foundation or BB cream is a little too heavy and a little too dull for your skin?
When you’re ready to let the natural beauty of your skin shine through but not quite ready to go bare-faced, a couple of drops of a radiance-boosting ampoule can help sheer out the coverage of a too-heavy foundation and transform a cakey finish to natural-looking dewiness. Mix on the back of your hand and apply with a cushion puff or other blending tool for the softest and most skin-like results.
Ready to mix it up with your ampoules? Tell us your fave ampoule hacks and what your favorite ampoules are in the comments!