The Big Boost: All You Need to Know About Boosters and Ampoules

Ask any spa-goer if she’d be interested in adding a boost to her skincare regimen, and chances are, you’ll get a resounding, “yes.” Who wouldn’t want more anti-aging benefits, more hydration, or more night-time repair? Ampoules and skin boosters provide just that—a way to amp up your clients’ skincare routines with even more benefits. Unfortunately, the jargon can be a bit confusing when it comes to the term “booster,” as brands sometimes have their own interpretation as to what types of products they’re including in the category.

“The concept of a booster is rooted in nutritional trends,” says Krista Eichten, senior vice president of products and services for Sanitas Skincare. “Just like when our bodies feel a little sluggish, we know we can concoct a green juice with a dose of B vitamins and perk right up. The same thought process applies to skin health. If our skin is feeling dull or uneven in tone, we know we can grab our vitamin C booster and apply directly to the skin or add to any mask or moisturizer for an instant skin fix.” Essentially, a skin booster is a product that improves the skin as well as the effectiveness of other skincare products. When defined in that broader sense, an ampoule can be considered a skin booster, as can concentrates, serums, essences, and more. “An ampoule is basically a miniature vial containing a small dose of highly concentrated, fully loaded, super-powerful serum, kind of like a plain little firework shell that harnesses explosive beauty,” says Janel Luu, CEO of Le Mieux Cosmetics and PurErb.  

According to Ben Simpson, senior vice president of marketing at Babor, customization is key among consumers, and ampoules and skin boosters provide another way to address their specific concerns. “Whether used alone or as part of a complete skincare regimen, ampoules are power-packed concentrates that offer instant, visible results,” says Simpson. “Babor revolutionized skincare with the invention of the beauty ampoule.” Although ampoules have been around for years, they’re now experiencing a renaissance of sorts. “You have to hand it to Korea—they know how to create amazing skincare,” says Luu. “Although the popularity of ampoules started in Europe in special spa settings, Koreans are largely responsible for bringing them to today’s consumer. Ampoules are a staple in the Korean multi-step skin regimen, and with the innovation and efficacy of Korean skincare, it was just a matter of time before ampoules started trending here in the U.S.”

IECSC NY March 4-6, 2018

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Want to make sure you’re using skin boosters correctly? Here, some experts share what you and your staff should to keep in mind.

“These products need to be applied on clean and sometimes exfoliated skin before a moisturizer for maximum benefits and sealing into the skin. Also, they need to be applied and massaged into target zones for proper action and best results. The best recommendation is to use boosters two times a day, mornings and evenings, and in some situations, they may be alternated during the day, depending on the purpose sought.”
—Christian Jurist, M.D., director of global education, Pevonia

“Don’t get overly aggressive using any strong product, and don’t try to fix everything in one dose. Remember that one treatment of anything isn’t going to correct an ongoing problem. Most products and treatments are better when done in a series.”
—Kristin Cristiano, director of education, Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare

“Whenever a new product is added into a home regimen, a person should watch for any changes in the skin. If you add an emollient booster and then begin to break out, you may be adding too much oil to the skin. Conversely, if you are using a retinoid for anti-aging benefits and notice the skin has become irritated or dry, it is likely that you need to back off on usage. These types of enhancements to regimens and professional treatments can really add a next-level outcome for patients.”
—Ivana Veljkovic Ph.D., vice president of research and development, PCA Skin

“Boosters should be thoughtfully selected to target specific skin concerns and used strategically to progress the guests’ skincare goals. Boosters typically are formulated with high concentrations of actives without the addition of fillers and emulsifiers, which can be found in other skincare products. This means their ability to penetrate the skin’s barrier is high. While cocktailing boosters can be effective, it is important first to understand what ingredients can play well together and which do not.”
—Krista Eichten, senior vice president of products and services, Sanitas Skincare

“Some ampoules are made of glass, so it’s essential to be very careful when breaking them open so that tiny shards of glass don’t slip into the liquid or get scraped across the face. Also, never tap them against the palm of your hand to get the last drops of product out, as that can accidentally cause cuts or punctures to the hand.”
—Janel Luu, CEO, Le Mieux Cosmetics and PurErb 

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