Review: Innisfree – Retinol Cica Repair Ampoule

Where to purchase: Yesstyle: LINK / Stylevana: LINK / Adore Beauty: LINK

Price: £32

Volume: 30ml

Made in: South Korea

What is it and What does it do?: An emollient ampoule containing Cica (and types of Cica) + Retinol to fight blemishes and spots while reducing redness. This product also aims to reduce Skin Hyperpigmentation and Fine Lines (by encouraging the skin to shed).

The Ampoule uses ”Jeju Cica Liposomlogy™” which basically uses liposomal technology (fatty molecules) to ensure the Cica reaches the skin and prevents/reduces irritation and protection to the skin.

Supposedly Good for: People with Sensitive Skin who are using retinol for the first time.

What I think: I would agree! Very gentle product. I do think Dry Skins > Oily Skins due to the Emollient nature of this product, but my Combination Skin enjoys this as a Moisturiser.


Vegan?: No

Cruelty Free?: Innisfree still sell in China, so not yet.

How long does it last after opening?: 12 Months.

Packaging: Ceramic Bottle with a pump (feels weighty in the hand).

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Directions: ”Dispense 1-2 doses of the ampoule and lightly pat on face for better absorption” (From the Innisfree Website).

How I use it: I apply this in the PM as a Moisturiser, due to the emollient (Liquid Cream) nature of this product. I use about 3-4 pumps to be able to cover the face and neck. I can use this in conjunction with other actives as this is quite a gentle product.

Key Ingredients: Retinol (500Iu/​G) – This is a Well-ageing ingredient that quickens the skin to shed (to reveal brighter smoother skin underneath). Retinol help with pigmentation, bumpy skin and elasticity.

Other Key Ingredients: Niacinamide (Anti-acne + Antioxidant + Brightening), Salicylic Acid (Anti-acne). Asiaticoside (Antioxidant + Soothing). Hyaluronic Acid (Hydrating). Beta-Glucan (Soothing). Ceramide NP (Emollient i.e. Moisturising). Green Tea Seed Extract (Hydrating + Moisturising). Mannitol (Hydrating).

Full Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Dibutyl Adipate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cholesterol, Allantoin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Propanediol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Seed Extract, Asiatic Acid, Retinol(500IU), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Hyaluronic Acid, Mannitol, Ceramide NP, Beta-Glucan, Beta-Carotene, Phytosphingosine, BHT, Salicylic Acid, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-11

NOTE: The Incidecoder have a full ingredient breakdown HERE

Texture: This is a liquid gel cream. It’s dispensed by a pump so it’s more on the liquid side (it’s hydrating + Moisturising). It’s easy to spread this around the skin and doesn’t take too long to absorb.

Does this ball up?: No

Greasy?: I wouldn’t call it uncomfortably greasy but this is an emollient product.

Sticky?: No

  • As you can se this is an opaque liquid, that is easy to massage over the skin

  • As you can see, it will run down the hand.
  • This is also hydrating. Not just Moisturising.

Comparison: (The left side has no product)

Does this Sting if the Skin has been Irritated / Sensitised by Shaving/Heavy Retinol Use?: No.

Summer or Winter?: A Great Moisturiser for Oily Skins in the evening of Summer + Dry Skins could use throughout.

Layerable?: Yes

Balls up?: No.


Video Swatch:

Hopefully you can see the emollient (liquid) nature of this product! Moisturising!

Fragrance?: No added Fragrance and/or Essential oils (Doesn’t smell of much either).

Good Under Makeup?: This is fine under makeup but retinoids are advised to be used in the PM.

How long have I been using this?: 2-3 Months

Will I use until Completion?: Yes.

How Long will that take?: Another 2 Months (I do use a lot i.e. 3-4 pumps)

The Effect?: Immediately: Moisturised Skin. Long-Term this has helped reduce the look of fine lines and also helped with the appearance of rough and bumpy skin. Hasn’t stung or irritated my skin.

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What I like:

  • Fragrance + EO Free
  • Low level of Retinol (didn’t irritate/sting my skin)
  • Moisturising
  • Lightweight
  • Didn’t ball up
  • Cocktail of skin-beneficial ingredients included
  • Effect can be seen (with consistent use)

What I don’t like:

  • Could contain a higher % of actives (but I understand that this is aimed at first-time retinol users).

Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – A good first Retinol for first-time retinol users! It’s a little weak (still works with consistent use), but it does mean that I feel comfortable using other actives in the same routine. This is emollient so it’s moisturising too while also being hydrating. I like the inclusion of Cica to try and counteract any possible irritation and redness, and I also like the inclusion of other skin-beneficial ingredients.

Would I repurchase?: Yes (as it’s lightweight).

Dupe?: The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid Emulsion LINK (Same Texture and also gentle). Another Emollient but less liquid Retinol is The Inkey List’s Retinol Serum (Cream), Review HERE.

My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.

Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.

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