The 1 Surprising Product You Should Be Incorporating Into Your Skin Care Routine


Along with bees’ more famous byproduct (that would be honey), propolis has been used for centuries, and in many cultures, to treat both topical and internal medical conditions. In our modern era, this powerful ingredient can more commonly be found packed into ampoules, which are essentially a more concentrated version of a serum. The best propolis ampoules will have a high concentration of propolis — if the product doesn't list an exact percentage, just make sure the propolis is listed near the top of the ingredients list, rather than towards the bottom — which means you'll be more likely to experience the benefits of this skin-repairing ingredient. Beyond that, shopping for a propolis ampoule is fairly straightforward, since just about any skin type can benefit from one.

The only downside to propolis ampoules is that they’re not vegan. If that’s a concern for you, there are lots of other ampoules infused with plant-derived ingredients that can accomplish similar results (check out a few of the best ones, here). But if you’re getting on this propolis train, here are four of the best ampoules to try (plus one propolis essence). Scroll on to shop them now.

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The Overall Best Propolis Ampoule

Propolis ampoules purport to do it all, but this Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule really, truly does. The formula contains an impressive 83% propolis extract, making it one of the most concentrated propolis ampoules on the market. Despite its incredible concentration, its lightweight, non-sticky feel is perfect for layering under the rest of your skin care products, whether during the day or at night. Fans swear by this best-selling ampoule for “saving” their skin from dryness, dullness, and flakiness, but it’s equally beloved for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties — one Amazon reviewer said it even helped alleviate their hormonal breakouts.


The Best Budget-Friendly Propolis Ampoule

You’ll notice that ampoules are relatively affordable, especially considering that their serum cousins can fetch price tags into the hundreds of dollars. Still, why not get an ampoule that’s about a third of the price of the usual? This best-selling ampoule is just as powerful as the other propolis ampoules on this list, and it costs about $9 on Amazon. Along with 82% propolis, this ampoule contains niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3), an ingredient often deployed in serums for its brightening and skin-evening effects. Because the price is so reasonable, this product offers a low-stakes way to see if propolis works its wonders on your particular face — but keep in mind that you're only getting about half the amount of product than with the Cosrx ampoule.


Another Popular Propolis Ampoule

Another favorite among K-beauty devotees is this CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule. In this formula, propolis' moisturizing benefits are supercharged by the addition of humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, while allantoin and centella asiatica work to soothe (and further hydrate) dry, aggravated skin. It's a safe bet for just about any skin type, and it'll instantly make your face feel rejuvenated and soft.


The Best Value

This Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule is packed with 80% propolis extract — not quite Cosrx’s 83%, but a formidable concentration nonetheless. But where the Cosrx ampoule comprises propolis and not much else, this Tosowoong ampoule, which is equally adored by K-beauty fans, is infused with lots of other botanical ingredients that do even more amazing things for your skin, like brightening citrus oils and exfoliating eucalyptus. Altogether, that makes for a powerful antidote to everything from acne and hyperpigmentation to run-of-the-mill dryness and irritation. But perhaps this ampoule's top selling point is that it comes in a big, 100 milliliter bottle (as opposed to Cosrx's 30 milliliters and CNP's/Elensilia's 15 milliliters), so it'll last you much longer.


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Along with 63% propolis extract, this Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence contains 10% royal jelly extract and 10% honey extract (more good things from bees!) to soothe, heal, soften, and balance your skin. Essences tend to be less concentrated and have a more watery consistency than ampoules, but — bear with me here — they’re both more concentrated and thicker than toners. And along with toners, essences prep your skin to more effectively absorb your serums and/or ampoules. Alternatively, you can forget all that and just put this on before your usual moisturizer.