The first time I decided to treat myself to some special skincare was – you would not have guessed – in the Aldi checkout line. I was quite young, 21, and had a pretty basic routine mainly consisting of a foaming cleanser, an alcohol based toner and some Nivea moisturizer. While waiting in line to pay for my weekly groceries a set of anti-aging ampoules caught my eye. They were expensive (or what I considered expensive back then) and promised intense anti-aging benefits. I picked them up.
One word: Horrible. Way too rich for my skin, giving me breakouts and a day long greasy feeling. Needless to say I never touched ampoules again.
Until recently, that is. Now, 17 years later, they are back in my rotation. But before I talk about my experience with the M. Asam Dormacell Ampoule Beauty Treatment (PR-Sample) in detail, I will answer the most important question first: What is the difference between an ampoule and a serum and do I actually need them in my routine?
Well, an ampoule is basically a serum, but with a much higher concentration of the ingredients and, because they are individually packaged, less need for preservatives. Ampoules are great to use as a treatment when your skin needs a special something, whereas serums are your everyday workhorse. This is, of course, the theory, and as with anything beauty related, the label put on the bottle does not always reflect the product inside.
So how about the M. Asam Dormacell Ampoule Beauty Treatment (PR-Sample)?
What M. Asam claims:
This 14 day ampoule treatment combines Calcium, hydrating ingredients like panthenol and narcissus extract IBR-Dormin extract for daily care of face, neck and décolletage before applying your usual moisturizer. The treatment fights sagging skin, lessens fine lines and wrinkles, improves skins resilience and leads to youthful and even looking skin. The high concentration of dormine smoothes and awakens the skin. Let your skin glow and indulge in this rejuvenating cure.
Prize and size
The set contains 14 ampoules at 2 ml each. You are not supposed to keep them open for more than 12 hours, so you should either use them morning and night or, like I did, share them with someone like your mother. One set retails for 29,75 € on the website
Texture and smell
Milky white in appearance and with no noticeable scent the product is a little runny and spreads easily on the skin. It feels rich and nourishing, richer than your usual serum, but less than an oil.
Application and effects
As mentioned above half the ampoule was enough to cover my face, neck and décolletage. I applied it in the evenings and shared the remaining product (It was too rich for me to be used during daytime). My mother on the other hand, someone with dry skin, did use it in the mornings under makeup without problem.
After 14 days I did notice my skin was less dehydrated, it was plump and slightly smoother. Not in the dramatic way the before and after pictures on the website would suggest (see here), but looking fresher.
- Glycerin: Humectant, draws moisture to the skin
- Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract (IBR-Dormin): Antioxidant, claims to reduce cell proliferation and thus reduce mottled pigmentation and hair growth
- Hordeum Vulgare Extract: Moisturizing, antioxidant
- Soybean Oil:Rich in Vitamin E, B complex and linoleic acid
- Glyco(sphingo)lipids: Strengthening lipid barrier, thus helping to retain moisture
- Panthenol: B 5, humectant, penetrates into deep layers of skin, moisturizing, antiinflammatory
- Calcium Ketoglutanate: Stimulates production of hyaluronic acid and elastin in the skin
- Allantoin: Soothing irritated skin
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Hydrating, smaller form of hyaluronic acid with better penetration
- Tocopheryl Acetate: More stable form of Vitamin E, antioxidant
- Serine: “silk protein”, aminoacid, aids in collagen production, boosts elasticity and replenishes moisture
- Urea: Humectant
- Sodium Lactate: Salt of lactic acid, mild exfoliant
- Lactic Acid: AHA, exfoliant
- Tocopherol: Vitamin E, antioxidant
- Proylheptyl Caprylate: Emollient, helps skin to retain moisture
- Dipentaerythryl Pentaisononanoate: Emollient, creating a protective layer that seals in moisture
- Sorbitol: Moisturizing
- Citric Acid: AHA
- Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate: Emulsifier
- Carbomer: Thickener
- Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
- Sodium Hydroxide: pH adjuster, can be irritating
- Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: Stabilizer
- Hydroxyethylcellulose: Lubricant, thickening
- Sodium Chloride: Table Salt, thickening
- Ethylhexylglycerin: Preservative
- Alcohol (at the end of the ingredient list)
The second ingredient on the list, Pentylene Glycol, is widely used as a humectant, but has been reported recently as potential trigger for contact dermatitis. Evidence is still low, as there are only case reports published, but you may want to keep that in mind.
Does it live up to its claims?
Truth be told, the claims on the website including the pictures: No. They are really exaggerated. But the claims on the box? Yes. It was hydrating, plumping and made my skin look refreshed and youthful.
Would I repurchase?
Simply because now, at the age of 38, it is a little more than my skin needs. It really is targeted at the 60+ women that need some serious hydration.
Who do I recommend it to?
Mature ladies (and gents) that want serious hydration and something to repair and strengthen the skins own protective barrier.
Or younger people after a sinful summer with sun, salt water and maybe lack in discipline when it comes to food and drinks. We have all been there.
So do you need ampoules in your life? I´d say yes. Like a face mask opposed to a night cream they offer a higher concentration of ingredients and thus are a cure more than a regular step. Just make sure to pick the right ones for your skins needs. Because even if those weren´t perfect for me, I have another ampoule review coming up next week. Maybe those were perfection? Come back and see for yourself!