The 12 Best Skincare Capsules To Supercharge Your Beauty Routine

From single-serve retinol to brightening vitamin C and hyaluronic acid

best skincare capsules

by Sophie Qureshi |
Updated on

Capsule skincare isn't a new concept (in fact, it’s been knocking around since the early ’90s), but all of a sudden, a crop of teeny-tiny complexion-perfectors are bursting back on to the skincare scene. This isn’t just about the cuteness factor – there’s actually a sound scientific argument for delivering skincare actives in pea-sized pods.

‘Your skincare line-up can include the best formulations on the market but if the packaging isn’t right, you’re wasting your money,’ says Dr Dendy Engelman, consulting dermatologist for Elizabeth Arden. ‘Some of the most proven ingredients, like retinol and vitamin C, are notoriously unstable so if they’re exposed to light and air, they lose their potency.’

As well as safeguarding key ingredients against oxidation, single-serving ampoules also offer foolproof portion control. ‘I find a lot of people either underestimate or overestimate how much of a product they need,’ says Dr Alexis Granite, consultant dermatologist at Mallucci London. ‘If you get a bit too excited about a product and use too much too quickly, it can potentially cause irritation – particularly if the formulation contains potent active ingredients, such as retinol. Capsules provide a pre- prepared dose so you get exactly the right amount.’

Germophobes will take particular comfort in the format’s clean credentials. Infinitely more hygienic than traditional pots and jars (which can house a multitude of bacteria, thanks to repeated finger- dipping), ampoules present the most salubrious of solutions. Simply twist off the top and you’re ready to roll.

The new wave of one-shot wonders cater for just about every complexion complaint, from redness and irritation to wrinkles and pigmentation. So if you’re keen to up your skincare ante, take a pop at one of these...


Best Skincare Capsules And Ampoules 2020 - Grazia

Best skincare capsules1 of 12

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules, £72

Elizabeth Arden was the pioneer of single-serve skincare with its cult Ceramide Capsules, but these retinol-spiked versions are even better. If you've been wary of retinol, slide one of the Retinol Ceramide Capsules into your nightly regime and you will be a convert.

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M&S Formula Absolute Time Capsules, £27

M&S Formula Absolute Time Capsules are supercharged shots of serum that promise to rival injectable intervention. A big ask, in our book, but the wrinkle-relaxing peptides undoubtedly pack a punch.

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Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules, £65

Vitamin C is about as stable as a Love Island romance, so getting your fix in capsule form is a smart move. Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules contain 20% L-ascorbic acid (the most effective kind) to tackle dark spots and dial up your glow.

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L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Replumping Ampoules, £19.90

After an evening of excess, L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Filler Replumping Ampoules are devilishly good at plumping up a parched wine-face. Hyaluronic acid rehydrates while vitamin B5 soothes skin.

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Susanne Kaufmann Pollution Skin Defense System, £218

A 15-day regime for city-stressed skin, comprising three different types of ampoules. Start with Vitamin C for the first five nights, then move on to Ectoin, which helps protect skin from UVA damage. Finally, snap open the Q10 to amp up collagen production and complete your skin-tervention.

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Eve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules, £55

Contained in 100% biodegradable, vegetable-based capsules - these dinky pods remove every last trace of make-up (mascara included) without stripping the skin of hydration. Ideal for weekends away.

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Beauty Pie Superactive Capsules Pure Double Vitamin C & E Serum, £50 (members pay £11.09)

Packed with a stable form of vitamin C to brighten as well as vitamin E to protect - these one-shot wonders boost radiance and glow while evening out skin tone.

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Estée Lauder Ampoules Advanced Night Repair Serum, £89

Pollution, seasonal weather change and lack of sleep can all contribute to stressed-out, irritated skin. To soothe it while you snooze, try one of these micro-sized ampoules and wake up to a calm and comforted complexion.

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Bolt Beauty Vitamin A Game, £50

These single-use pods (made from biodegradable seaweed) are jam-packed with hardworking ingredients, served up in just the right dosage for a daily skin supercharge. Try We love Vitamin A Game to brighten and plump skin with 0.15% retinol and vitamin E.

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Oskia Super-C Smart Nutrient Beauty Capsules, £62

f you're after a skin-brightening boost, vitamin C is the best place to start and Oskia's Smart-Nutrient Super-C Beauty Capsules dish out the perfect daily measure.

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Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules, £75

Another must-have capsule from the originator, Elizabeth Arden. This time, the pods contain Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and plump along with ceramides to seal in the moisture.

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J.One Hana Cream, £23.36

Whereas with most skincare capsules, you twist off the top to dispense the formula, J. One Hana Capsule Cream comes as bouncy white beads which melt right into your skin. Not just a fun gimmick, each sphere is packed with niacinamide to hone skin texture and lessen lines.

READ MORE: What Is Niacinamide And Why Is It Good For Treating Acne?

READ MORE: The 10 Beauty Products Everyone Is Buying On M&S Right Now

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