“‘Why ampoules?’ This is what people always ask me,” says Dr. Timm Golueke, a Munich-based dermatologist and the founder of Royal Fern skincare. The medicinal-looking vials pack a higher percentage of ingredients than serums, he explains, and require fewer stabilizing ingredients.

“With a serum, you open and reopen it, so you need a higher percentage of preservatives,” says Golueke, whereas ampoules are broken open and used immediately.

We love the illuminating formula, which combines brightening niacinamide and vitamin C with lizard’s tail, a plant extract that’s used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is popular in Korean skincare for targeting discoloration.

Bend and snap. 

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.