Toner, essences, serums ampoules - if you are into Korean skincare, you may have heard these terms at some point in time, as K-beauty is all about layering. But sometimes it can be quite overwhelming to know and understand which one to use and when to use it. Essences, serums, and ampoules make such a case. At first, essences, serums and even ampoules may seem the same, catering to your skin concerns treating fine lines, fading dark spots, and helping you get that glow. All three are skin supplementary treatments, used in addition to core skincare which includes, cleansing, moisturiser and SPF. So where does the difference lie?
Let us clear it up and simplify it for you!
What is an essence?
Essences are pretty popular in Korean skincare and have been a staple in K-beauty for quite a long time. Essences are lightweight formulation, runny in terms of consistency that has a very low concentration of actives and are packed with hydrating ingredients. They’re not as heavy as a serum but tends to be thicker than a toner. The main purpose of essence is to keep skin well hydrated and nourished as they are loaded with humectants. After all, hydration is the key to healthy skin! Essences have a more watery texture than the other two i.e serum and ampoules and are used to a skin prep for treatments to follow.
Essences such as Juice To Cleanse Vinegar Kombucha Essence and Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RX work amazingly well to boost your skin hydration, without weighing down your skin with heavy products. You may also wanna try Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist, a multi-purpose essence mist that will provide your skin with much-needed hydration and nourishment and make it bright instantly.
What is a face serum? How to use face serum?
Serums are the most popular among all three. Serums are a little more concentrated in actives than essences and are more viscous consistency too. These are used to address specific skin concerns such as blemishes, wrinkles, acne as they contain key active ingredients at higher concentrations. You may often find active ingredients such as AHA, BHA, Vitamin C, in serums.
Serum such as Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Advance Serum helps to restore dull skin, fade scarring and spots of hyperpigmentation. While most popular among them all Vitamin C serum like Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Serum Plus is a cult-favourite for skin brightening and even tone is one of the best serum for face in India. All you need is to find a product with ingredients that address your skin concern and with a few drops you are good to go.
What is an ampoule? How to use an ampoule?
Ampoules are the most concentrated form of treatment among the three. Although termS serum and ampoule are often used interchangeably, the concentration of actives is higher in ampoules than in serums. These are used as correction treatments for extreme skin concerns. They help to revive troubled skin and are often used as booster treatment. Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule help soothe and calm skin with its anti-inflammatory properties and fades away dark spots.
You don't need to stress it whether it's an essence, serum, or ampoule. They are all skin treatment. Besides, they may vary in concentration but there is no market regulation for the usage of these terms. It is all about the formulation of the product anyways. All skin treatments when layered properly within your skincare regimen – after cleansing & toning and before a moisturiser, does wonder to the skin, you just need a more targeted approach for your skin concern with the right ingredients. For instance, using a vitamin C serum for hyperpigmentation, BHA for whiteheads.
Follow the general rule of thumb of layering to apply lightest to thickest consistency as it allows the product to absorb into your skin better.