The product featured in this post was provided for review at my request by Jolse. To learn more about my rules for accepting and reviewing press samples, please check out my sponsorship policy. A list of this blog’s current sponsors is here.
Water! Often it seems like the most basic, boring, bland and banal resource, but we sure do need it. When we don’t have enough, we suffer. And when our skin lacks water, it suffers, too.
That’s why I’m attracted to products that actually feature water as their star ingredient. Just about any skincare product will provide some hydration, so when a product’s claim to fame is hydration, that suggests that its powers of hydration are out of the ordinary. One such product is the Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule. It promises to drench your skin in not just regular old water water, but also sea water and glacier water. By the way, yes, I’ve gotten over my snotty old aversion to “magic special water” and am now willing to admit that mayyyyyybe waters from different sources may provide different mineral and micronutrient contents and benefits, okay? Maybe.
But first, for those of you unfamiliar with this product category, let’s take a look at what the Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule is!
What is an All In One Ampoule?
The All In One (AIO) Ampoule category is a pretty limited one for the moment (by the end of the week, I’m pretty sure I’ll be the proud owner of six of the seven AIO Ampoules on the market), but one that claims to do a lot. AIO Ampoules are capable of standing in for any step of a skincare routine. They’re typically weightless and fast-absorbing enough to substitute for hydrating toners, but they offer enough additional beneficial ingredients to qualify as essences. In fact, they contain so many skin-friendly ingredients that they actually deserve the “ampoule” name. If you apply them thickly enough, they can even work nicely as sleeping packs. Versatility is the name of the AIO Ampoule game.
Of course, I’ve made my feelings about all-purpose products clear before, and Korean AIO Ampoules aren’t off the hook. How well does the Scinic Aqua AIO actually do the things it’s supposed to do?
Review: Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule
When Jolse approached me about sending over some products for me to review, I was really pleased. Not just because I like Jolse a lot, but because they didn’t push any particular product on me. Instead, they asked me to pick what I wanted out of their extensive selection. I’d already noticed the addition of the Scinic Aqua AIO to their new arrivals section, so I jumped on that.
Purpose: Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule claims to provide deep hydration and intense moisturization in a product that can take the place of “skin + lotion + essence” (toner, hydrator, and essence) in a daily skincare routine. It contains ingredients that target whitening and wrinkle care concerns.
Best suited for: Dehydrated/oily, oily, and combination skin types, but also works for normal and dry skin types.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to glycols, plant extracts, triethanolamine, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: At any stage after cleansing and before emulsion or cream, use the included spatula to scoop out a moderate amount of product and spread over face, neck, and upper chest. Pat in until absorbed. Continue with the rest of your normal skincare routine if desired.
Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule ingredients: Water, sea water, glycerin, glycereth-26, butylene glycol, niacinamide, adenosine, glacier water, zea mays (corn) starch, microcystalline cellulose, mannitol, sucrose, CI 77007, tocopheryl acetate, hydrolyzed collagen, laminaria japonica extract, codium fragile extract, gelidium cartilagineum extract, undaria pinnatifida extract, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, centella asiatica extract, polygonum cuspidatum root extract, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, hordeum vulgare (barley) seed extract, cucumis sativus (cucumber) seed extract, nelumbo nucifera seed extract, panax ginseng seed extract, punica granatum seed extract, borago officinalis seed oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, macadamia integrifolia seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, brassica campestris (rapeseed) seed oil, decylene glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexylene glycol, totarol, sclerotium gum, betaine, allantoin, sodium hyaluronate, carbomer, PPG-26-buteth-26, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, triethanolamine, phenoxyethanol, fragrance, CI 42090
CosDNA analysis turns up surprisingly clean for a product with such an extensive ingredients list, but as always, patch testing and slowly introducing the product into your routine is advised.
Notable ingredients: Holy snails would you look at those extracts.
The thing is, more isn’t always better when it comes to ingredients. In fact, it often isn’t. There’s only so much room in any given product for ingredients, and if that room is split between a million different things, the chances are good that you won’t be getting very much of any given one. With that being said, some extracts and ingredients are quite potent even at low quantities. The cumulative effect may be quite powerful even if the individual effect of particular ingredients is not.
Also, the Scinic Aqua All In One really boasts an impressive ingredients list, not just thanks to the niacinamide and adenosine near the top, but also thanks to that litany of botanical extracts and oils. Many of you already know how much I like seaweed in my skincare. The Scinic Aqua AIO boasts a whopping four antioxidant, moisturizing, brightening, and skin-softening seaweed extracts in its formulation, and nearer the top than the bottom of the list at that: laminaria japonica extract, codium fragile extract, gelidium cartilagineum extract, and undaria pinnatifida extract. Those are in addition to the rest of the extracts. The focus of this formulation appears to be on moisturizing, calming, and brightening skin. Many of the anti-inflammatory, anti-irritation extracts are also known antioxidants. It’s a pretty intoxicating blend, if your tastes are anything like mine.
Before we go any further, just a quick note: I tested this product for three weeks before reviewing it. I couldn’t decide whether to put it through my four-week process for serums, ampoules, and actives, or through my two-week process for hydrating toners and moisturizing products, so I compromised. As you’ll see down below, I was able to evaluate its effects well even in the slightly shorter (or longer, depending on how you look at it) testing timeframe.
Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule is a smooth, liquidy pale blue gel with tiny little blue marine collagen capsules suspended and quivering in the product. It has a fresh, clean, generic but pleasant “blue water” fragrance that dissipates quickly upon application.
And it feels just as good chilled as you’d imagine, although refrigeration does turn the smoothly flowing gel into a jiggly jelly.
Over the past month, the cooling and refreshing qualities of this product really saved me. My part of SoCal has been absolutely withering in an August heat wave, making me shrink from long routines heavy on the moisturizing layers and also making me crave anything that can quench my skin when it feels like it’s about to crumble right off my face. I’ve used Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule in just about every way I could think of, just to find more ways to put it on my face (and elsewhere). Here’s what I’ve found:
- As an all-in-one product that combines toner, hydrator, and essence, Scinic Aqua AIO excels at softening and hydrating my skin. According to my digital skin analyzer, an application of this product raises my skin’s hydration levels by about 20%, which is stellar compared to many other serum and ampoule products in my arsenal. Even more surprisingly, that hydration remains steady over about an 8-hour period, indicating that despite its watery texture, the Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule is able to not only add hydration to my skin, but help retain it. It smooths on easily and absorbs quickly. I have noticed, however, that it doesn’t play well with silicone-heavy sunscreens like my Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence unless you add an extra moisturizer on top. Without an intervening layer between the Aqua AIO and the sunscreen, sunscreen and makeup tend to pill up and flake off.
- As a standalone essence/serum/ampoule step, Scinic Aqua AIO provides a moderate brightening effect. My lengthy facial care routine makes it impossible to test products in isolation on my face, so I used this product on the top of my left foot as well. I don’t regularly use any other products besides sunscreen on my feet, and they sport some pretty stubborn flip-flop tan lines. They’re a great testing ground for products that claim to brighten and whiten. Over the last three weeks, the flip-flop tan lines on my left foot have faded noticeably.
- As a body moisturizer, Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule may be my favorite thing ever. I hate putting body lotion on at the best of times, and in the summer it’s torture to smear a slimy layer of lotion all over myself and immediately start sweating. This product comes in such a big jar that I have no qualms about using it literally everywhere. It makes my skin soft and smooth without a trace of slimy or oily residue. Perfection.
- As a sheet mask booster applied immediately before a sheet mask, the Scinic Aqua AIO works nicely to help sheet mask essence absorb thoroughly. My skin always looks especially plumped and hydrated afterwards.
- As a sleeping pack, Scinic Aqua AIO is nice–if used correctly. Because it is primarily a humectant product with only some emollient ingredients, it won’t work well as a conventional sleeping pack. That is to say, you shouldn’t layer it over a bunch of thicker products and expect it to really seal anything in. But it’s a lifesaver on nights when you’re just too tired to deal with a full routine, yet don’t want to dry out like a SoCal lawn while you sleep. Spread a thick layer over a cleansed face. Overnight, your skin will slowly drink in the product, allowing you to wake up to bouncy and happy morning skin.
I’m about halfway through my jar after three weeks, which is pretty incredible considering how much I use this stuff.
Conclusion: While the Scinic Aqua AIO doesn’t provide any single effect powerful enough to qualify it as a holy grail, it’s a really excellent multipurpose product indeed. I’ve used it a number of different ways and been happy enough by what it does to keep looking for even more ways to slot it into my routine. It’s saved me on late mornings and lazy evenings. Perhaps best of all, the product’s reasonable price and generous size make it a very economical choice if you’re looking for a quenching new addition to your routine.
Where can I buy Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule?
I was given my jar of Scinic Aqua All In One Ampoule by Jolse, which sells the 250 ml product for $18.46.
As a final note, I now also own the Shara Shara Aqua Bomb, Honey Bomb, and Berry Bomb All In One Ampoules and have the Scinic Snail and Honey All In One Ampoules on the way. Can you tell I love this product category? More reviews and comparisons coming soon!
Are you interested in the All In One Ampoule concept? Why or why not?