Beauty Innovation Is Here

When distilled into little capsules, pearls, or spheres, the products we use every day can be more potent than ones in big pumps and heavy jars. These balls of skin-saving goodness are also more hygienic and convenient than their larger counterparts. So is capsule beauty really better for you? An expert sounds off.

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Call them capsules, ampoules, or just plain balls—there's no denying that skin care is looking a little more compact these days. Perfected by scientists, new options are rolling into the beauty scene as brands such as Korea's J. One and timeless favorite Estée Lauder are prioritizing cleaner, convenient, and less wasteful products.

We asked New York-based dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky to be our guide through the new world of capsule beauty. Get her tips for proper capsule use and then stock up on the products you'll need to revolutionize your beauty routine.

What Are These Things, Exactly?

"Capsules are like the individually wrapped candies of skin care," Prystowsky says. "They're single-serving, potent formulas that are kept airtight to maximize freshness." Capsules are produced as dissolvable spheres.

Hana Cream by J. One, $50, glowrecipe.com.
Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, $110, esteelauder.com.
Multi Bean Clean & Care by May Island, $23, memebox.com.
Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum, $76, elizabetharden.com.
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Why Are They Trending?

In a time when convenience and efficiency are a priority, it's no wonder capsule products are cropping up more and more frequently. "I see some big pluses to capsules, like always knowing exactly how much product is in a dose," Prystowsky says. Since capsules are prepackaged, they already have the amount of product that you need. That means it's easier to avoid overmoisturizing or drying out your skin by using too much of a product, and you're less likely to waste an expensive formula.

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"Compared to mainstream pumps and jars, capsules are certainly going to be more hygienic." —Dr. Janet Prystowsky

Capsules also keep products more hygienic for every individual use. "Bacteria, mold, and other nasty things are constantly floating around in the air around us," Prystowsky says. "When we dip our hands into jars, we're introducing those nasties to a big jar of product we will then put on our skin. Capsules are more resistant to bacteria and mold."

Power Bright, $55, olehenriksen.com.
Hydra Life Beauty Awakening Rehydrating Mask Capsules, $42, dior.com.
Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules by Elemis, $105, nordstrom.com.
Hydra-Repair by Emerginc, $93, dermstore.com.

How Do They Affect Skin?

"Capsules and ampoules are just different delivery systems for serums," she says. "But they're going to have more potent ingredients than your typical moisturizer." These tightly packed items all hold a powerful dose to ensure they deliver better results. So use these products sparingly, as applying too many layers of a powerful formula over time can cause irritation.

"The potent serum market is blooming right now, so I think it would make sense to see more capsules and ampoules showing up on store shelves." —Dr. Janet Prystowsky

Capsuled products make it easy to address all of your skin concerns. So if you notice skin looking tired, integrate some anti-aging capsules into your regimen a couple times a week until your natural radiance has been reinstated. Or if you're suffering from dry patches, try some hydrating beads for a week until the dead skin goes away. As always, talk to your dermatologist about your options!

Precious Argan Oil Ayurveda Night Cream Skin Balancing Capsules by Signature Club A, $45, hsn.com.
Time Response Skin Renewal Creme, $450, amorepacific.com.
Daily Ceramide Comfort by G.M. Collin, $30, beautybridge.com.
Perles De Jeunesse D'Excellence by La Thérapie, $115, timetospa.com.

What Does Their Future Hold?

Capsules aren't likely to be a flash in the pan. "The potent serum market is blooming right now, so I think we'll see more capsules and ampoules showing up on store shelves," Prystowsky says.

We have to wonder if that means skin care is going to get even smaller!

Ultimate Miracle Worker Pearl Mask, $80, philosophy.com.
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