The Difference Between Essences, Serums and Ampoules
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If this is new to you, here’s something we all know by now: when it comes to skin care, it seems that nobody does it better than the Asians. Moreover, the 10-step Asian Skincare System is a bit tricky for any rookie, and even then Korean beauty aficionadas may find  things a bit complicated.

Is Western skincare different from Asian Skincare?

If you’re thinking about switching from Western skincare to Asian skincare (Korean beauty, for more accuracy), be ready to get familiar with all the names of the cosmetics used in the Korean skin care routine. Essences, ampoules, serums, toners are just few of the names that you’re going to have to use on a regular basis.

No matter how experienced you may be when it comes to cosmetic beauty, it could happen that you know nothing about K-beauty (just like the famous movie character). Serums, essences and ampoules may have just one thing in common: they benefit the skin, and may differ on all other levels.

Don’t be ashamed if you’re going to have problems remembering which comes first in the beginning. Many of us wrote down the order, just to keep things on the right track. Any rookie may fall into the trap of thinking that serums and essences are pretty much the same, when, in fact, they’re different on so many levels.

At the expense of sounding know-it-all, getting a better understanding on the cosmetics is going to help you get why, when it comes to skin, K-beauty seems to have been found all the secrets already.

The ABC on Korean Beauty

K-beauty includes an impressive diversity of products that are able to solve many skin related conditions, no matter the skin type. From the serums to the ampoules, K-Beauty is both intriguing and effective and you do need to spend more than a couple of minutes for going through all the steps.

Gone are the days when serums don’t have the same texture as the moisturizers. Serums come now in jars just like any other cream so you need to step up your game and get into the future with the K-Beauty.

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Why give K-Beauty a try?

For starters, Korean products are half-priced compared to the European high-end cosmetics. Additionally, they’re made with higher quality ingredients too. Green tea, Asian Centella, Aloe Vera, Birds Nest extract, fermented soybeans or galactomyces are just some of the ingredients that you’re going to find in Korean cosmetics.

Let’s not forget about the pretty animals and packages that do caught the attention on shelves. From the bat-mask to the pink pig collagen cream, the Korean cosmetics are a lovely and efficient surprise and never cease to outpass the Western cosmetics.

What’s to say about essences?

Credit: Glow Recipe

If you’re already using a toner for your skin, it’s time to start following it with an Essence. Sitting on the 5th step of the Korean Skincare routine, essences and serums are different and yet so very much alike. The essence does have a lighter consistency than a serum and it’s less concentrated than a serum as well. It’s even less concentrated than ampoules and many confuse it with a toner.

What is the essence, anyway? Essences are created to address specific skin related conditions, from clogged pores, to large pores, acne, tired and dull skin, excessive sebum and many more. Unlike a toner though, you may skip it from your daily skin care regimen from time to time and even replace it with a much more concentrated skin care product. Keep in mind though, that you should hydrate more, especially if your skin is dry, dehydrated or it’s summertime.

Why use a serum?

Some think that serums are the most important step in the skin care routine. It’s quite often for many to use more than just one serum at a time and a serum may be the one thing that is always found in the emergency kit for many.

Due to their formulas, you may always refer to a serum as a “concentrate” or “treatment”. The main difference between the essences and serums is the concentration and serums do present a more concentrated formula. Moreover, the serums also present a heavier consistency than the essences, which recommends them for the colder seasons.

Side note! Don’t hesitate to mix 2-3 serums at a time to address various skin related issues simultaneously. Some like to combine vitamin C serum with a hyaluronic acid serum, completing the skin care routine with some Centella Asiatica serum. This cool tip is going to moisture your skin on deeper level, leaving your skin pimple-free and more radiant, reducing the visibility of acne scars as a main bonus.

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What about ampoules?

Credit: TheBeautyBreakdown

Of all of the skin care products that we’re comparing today, ampoules definitely take the lead on the concentration as they do stand out as the most concentrated cosmetics. Don’t fall in the trap that the ampoules also have the heaviest consistency.

Despite what one may think, ampoules typically have a watery light consistency that helps them soak right into the skin. Moreover, the ampoules are even going to need less time to work when compared to serums.

Long story short, even though you’re going to need to go through multiple steps with your skin care routine, you’re not going to need hours until you’re completely done with it.

What’s our final take?

If you never knew how to make a difference between an essence, a serum and an ampoule, it may be clearer for you now. You no longer have to sit on the fence when shopping and, more important, you’re going to be able to decide which steps you may/or may not skip on daily basis.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the list of ingredients when shopping. Anything containing alcohol, fragrance or other harmful ingredients should be a red flag for you. You don’t want any allergens either, especially if you have a history on that.

Even though some recommend using skin care products from the same time, it’s totally up to you and your skin to decide how to mix the cosmetics.

A hydrating toner, whitening essence, anti-aging serum and a lifting ampoule may become your typical skin care regimen. As for the 10-step system that Koreans have, it’s better to take it with a spoon of salt. After all, your skin has the final word on that (and your wallet may have a word on that too). From what we know, 5-step is also enough for a better and healthier looking skin, especially if you’re dedicated to it every single day.