Treatment Products: Serums, Essences, Ampoules and Boosters

Treatment products – essences, serums, ampoules, boosters – are designed to address the most current condition of the skin. All of those potions are packed with active ingredients (facial acids, vitamins and antioxidants) to be delivered deep into the skin. As such, remember active ingredients are easily perishable and should be packaged in airtight and light blocking bottles.


It is true to say that the number and kind of skincare conditions are numerous. It is also true that certain types of skin are prone to particular skin conditions so some treatment products might include information about the skin type they are suitable for.


Korean and Western beauty professionals seem to have conflicting views on this category of facial skincare products and I will try to cover some aspects of the disagreement. Following are the major products included in this category:

  Essences Serums Ampoules Boosters

What is it?


Skincare product that is less concentrated compared to serum and yet is a wonder potions packed with active ingredients.


Essences are products that are liquid like toners and concentrated like serums


Serums are enhancers. They are the products that leave out all the heavier ingredients (oils, emollients, etc.) and focus on higher concentration of active ingredients to address specific issues like brightening, dark spots, wrinkles, etc



Ampoules are supercharged serums with higher concentration of active ingredients that you should use as a booster or when you are dealing with a skin crisis of some sort


Boosters are supercharged serums that address some particular skin condition


What does it do?


–          Normalize and rebalance the skin through their intense hydrating  action

–          Prepare the skin to optimize the functional elements of serums and product applied afterwards


–          Deliver active ingredients deeper into the skin


–          Help to quickly address a particular skincare issue


–          Enhances the action of serum


Application etiquette




Every day, after cleansing and before the serum



Every day, before the cream


If you have a particular skincare problem to solve.


Wash, exfoliate and tone you skin first. Apply ampoule, serum and follow up with moisturizer.


Be aware that there is a risk of heightened skin sensitivity when you start using ampoules due to the high concentration of the product



As needed / everyday


If you could pick only one?



Korean beauty pros would say that Essences are essential which is why they are the first  pick among the three


According to Korean beauty practice, once you have the essence, you should apply serum


In Northern America, skincare professionals suggest that you should prioritize serum



Thanks for reading,

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