Essences, Serums, Ampoules, And Emulsions


If you are into Korean skincare, you must be familiar with the 10-step Korean skincare routine. While most steps are easy to understand, there are some formulas that can be quite confusing to choose from. From essences to serums, ampoules and emulsions, it is not an easy task to decipher especially for novice users.

Here, we are to look at what each of these formulas are, what they do to our skin and why we need them.


Hydration is the key to a healthy-looking skin. Essence comes in a thin, watery texture that providesa dose of hydration to your skin. They are loaded with vitamins and hydrating elements that work to prep your skin for the next skincare routine. The work of essence is to allow your skin to absorb the next steps in skincare like serums and ampoules and to allow them to sink in.


After the essence is applied to prep the skin, the next step in skincare is Serums. They can be applied before you apply your regular moisturizer or emulsion. Serums are thicker in texture, when u compare them with essences. They do not contain emollients or emulsifiers like the way you find in regular moisturizers.

Serums are made up of tiny molecules and that makes it possible for them to penetrate deep into the skin. They contain some key concentrated doses of actives that are specifically targeted for particular skin concerns like wrinkles, dark spots etc. When applied, serums are absorbed quickly into the skin and are shown to deliver noticeable results much quicker than the regular creams.


Ampoules are formulas with higher doses of concentrated actives that are targeted at a specific skin issue. There are ampoules that are designed to treat skin aging, acne, pigmentation, hydration or to boost the collagen level. You can use the ampoule for a period of time to treat a specific skin concern.

You can apply an ampoule after the cleanser, toner and essence steps. You can either use it before or after applying the serum but depending upon its texture. Apply your formulas in order of its viscosity, from the lightest to the heaviest texture. That way, you will be able to decide whether to apply your serum or ampoule first.


Emulsions are lighter versions of moisturizers that form a moisture barrier and helps to absorb the skincare ingredients.It comes in a lightweight texture and is a great option for those who do not like to use thick and heavy moisturizers. They work great for those with oily and combination skin types especially during the hot, and humid season. Even those with dry skin types can benefit from using an emulsion. They can layer it before applying the cream to get an extra dose of hydration.

All of the above, be it essence, serums, ampoules or emulsions – they all work towards improving your skin texture and to give you radiant skin. You can surely benefit from using any of them, depending on what your skin needs. Pick them according to your particular skin concerns and give your skin the care it needs.

Written By

Khumpila Limi

Khumpila Limi

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