The Spa Spies try… Ampoules

Mar 23 2023

Scarlet Spy

5 min read

Ampoules header image

Once used to hold oil for annointing French Royalty, ampoules are now the luxury skincare du jour. The name ‘ampule’ comes from the small, single-use vial which is commonly made from glass. Snap each one open to reveal a potent elixir, a concoction of face filtering ingredients such as retinol, hyaluronic acid, diamond particles (and the promise of youthful and glow-y skin).  Ampoules feel a little bit opulent and often with a price tag to match… are these skin boosting beauties worth the splurge? The Spa Spies find out… 
 

111SKIN The Firming Concentrate 
7 x 2ml ampoules, £140

Key ingredients: 
Biomimetic Peptides, Diglucosyl gallic acid, Dextran, Diamond particles

First impressions: 
111SKIN’s The Firming Concentrate come in a super-sleek, magnetic black box with silver writing on the front; rows of black ampoule outlines cover the box. Inside, seven clear glass ampoules contain the blue-tinged active formula; illustrated instructions keep things simple. 

What's it like?  
Pop the plastic opener over the top of the glass ampoule to break the top away from the body with ease. Pour the clear, water-like solution into your hands and pat gently in an upwards motions over the face and neck. Half of the solution was enough but I used the entire ampoule, as advised. 

Does it work? 
The high-strength formula left my skin feeling tighter after the first application. Each dose is packed with Diglucosyl Gallic Acid to inhibit melanin production, Dextran to hydrate and soothe, and Peptides to increase elasticity. The Diamond Particles prepare the skin so the formula can penetrate deeply. By the end of the seven days, I felt confident enough to ditch the make-up.  

Verdict: 
Penned as a seven-day boot camp for the complexion, I have to agree; 111SKIN ampoules may be a splurge but the results are outstanding: brighter, smoother, firmer looking skin. Check. 
 

OSKIA Super-R Retinoid Sleep Serum Capsules
(60 x 0.28ml ampoules, £75)



Key ingredients: 
0.5% retinoid, Vitamin C, Pro-Vitamin D3, botanicals

First impressions:
Oskia’s sleep serum capsules come in an attractive white pot with screw-off top. Open the lid to reveal 60 cute-as-a button heart-shaped ampoules in midnight blue. Made from compostable, biodegradable seaweed, they won’t shatter on opening like the glass versions.

What’s it like?
It's quite tricky to undo the ampoule without liquid leaking out onto your hands – don’t squeeze the heart too hard while twisting the top off (a good mantra for life, surely). The liquid inside is as smooth as silk.

Does it work?
Despite using these for over a week, I still haven’t mastered the art of opening them without losing half the liquid, so tend to use two before bed. That said, I definitely look more awake around the eyes come morning – and that’s before I’ve had my coffee.  

Verdict:
These capsules contain a high proportion of retinol so using them at night feels like I’m doing all I can to protect my skin from further sun damage. I love that they are created using eco-friendly seaweed rather than glass, and that they are shaped like hearts. Hashtag self love. 
 

OTO 7-day Glow Treatment CBD Ampoules  
14 x 0.6ml ampoules (25mg CBD), £99.00

Key ingredients: 
CBD, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalene oil, Frankincense essential oil 

First impressions: 
OTO’s 7 Day Glow Treatment comes in a decadent gold box containing 14 ampoules; open it up to reveal two aesthetically-pleasing rows of 0.6ml vials - one for every morning and evening. 

What's it like?  
Snap the golden ampoule open and use your fingertips to massage in the oil - infused with pure OTO CBD, Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane oil and anti-inflammatory Frankincense - over your face and neck, before continuing with your regular skincare routine. 

Does it work? 
After the very first day my face felt instantly nourished - my dry skin lapping up the thick oil. Despite a slight break-out, which cleared up fast, I persevered and after the full seven days, noticed a lovely plumpness to my skin. 

Verdict: 
Each vial contains the perfect amount of oil for each application; a little goes a long way. I loved the soothing ritual of snapping open the ampoule and stealing a moment to massage the oil into my skin. It may be a little heavy for some, but my tired, stressed-out skin loved it; leaving it deeply nourished with a post-spa glow. 
 

Comfort Zone Hydramemory Hydra & Glow Ampoules
(7x.2ml ampoules, £35)



Key ingredients: 
Niacinamide, polygutamic acid with hydrating action.

First impressions:
These ampoules come in a long pale blue box with the Comfort Zone logo in white on the top. Pull up the tabs to reveal seven glass ampoules and an applicator, each cleverly housed in its own area to stop the contents from rolling around. 

What’s it like?
The plastic applicator helped me remove the top cleanly without leaving sharp edges around the rim; pop it back on to prevent any spillages after use. The liquid sunk into my dehydrated skin in a flash leaving enough for a pre-bed top up before discarding the ampoule.
 
Does it work?
If the goal is to soften and brighten skin before a major event or celebration – or simply to put the glow back into your face – then yes, it does. The applicator makes light work of opening the glass bottles and preventing spillage between uses.

Verdict:
With enough liquid in each vial for twice-daily use, these ampoules are perfect for creating that post- facial glow at home. At just £35 a box, they are cheaper than a facial, too. I used all seven vials before a summer wedding and was able to ditch the foundation.
 

Natura Bissé Diamond Instant Glow 
(£82)



Key ingredients:
Glycolic acid, AHAs, niacinamide, vitamin E, Collagen and edelweiss

First impressions:
The ampoules come in a sleek silver Natura Bissé box; each clear glass ampoule has a plastic cover that protects your hands while breaking the top off, and acts as a dispenser for the product. The set has ampoules to deliver three stages of treatment, so each is labelled either ‘peel’, ‘radiance’, or ‘lift’.

What’s it like?
Each stage of the treatment looks and feels different on the skin. The peel step is a clear liquid and feels quite tacky on application. Despite having glycolic and AHAs in the ingredients it doesn’t sting or feel harsh. The radiance step - with carob extract, niacinamide, and aloe - is super hydrating after the peel. The final lift step uses Natura Bissé’s Phyto-Lift Complex and high molecular weight collagen to temporarily tighten the skin. All the steps smell and feel pleasant.

Does it work?
My skin looked and felt brighter after using, and the wrinkles around my eyes were much reduced for the first day or so after use. It also provides a great base layer to apply make-up.

Verdict:
The results are excellent – it gave me an extra boost before a very important event. My skin felt nourished and glowing as well as smoother.

Spy142

Scarlet Spy

23rd March 2023

Spy Likes:

Nature-inspired spas, cold water plunges, sound baths, deep tissue massage, delicious food.

Spy Dislikes:

Thin walls in treatment rooms, lounger hoggers, soggy robes, bright lights.

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