At a glance
My detailed review of the Bifida Complex Ampoule from the Korean brand ma:nyo (ex Manyo Factory), and also, is it the dupe of the famous Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum?
I’m sometimes a little bit hesitant to talk about certain ‘cosmetic discoveries’ here. Especially when I find a product that ticks all the boxes of the cosmetic hidden gem but that can be quite complicated to purchase (yes, even online). This is actually what happened to me with the ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule…
This ampoule/serum won’t be unknown if you dabble with the K-Beauty addicts’ circle (this circle is not closed at all, on the contrary, please join us! We’re nice, you’ll see;) ).
The ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule has been around for a few years now (it has changed packaging several times since its launch, which is very confusing, but quite typical for Korean cosmetic brands).
At first, it was best known as a “clean” dupe of the famous Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum (its first packaging definitely looked a lot like the ANR).
In the formula of the Bifida Ampoule Complex, you can find many of the star ingredients that made the success of Estée Lauders ANR. These star ingredients are actually present at a much higher concentration in the Korean serum than they are in the ANR!
Over the years, the Bifida Complex Ampoule has gradually broken away from this image of just an “ANR dupe” and has now become a popular product in its own right in South Korea, where it’s sold in all the good beauty shops!
In the rest of the world, it’s a little more complicated to find it but, given its success in Korea, I think it will become more accessible in the coming months (at least, I really hope so!).
Let me introduce you to this hidden cosmetic gem!
Product presentation: ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule
ma:nyo (formerly Manyo Factory) is one of those “clean” brands that are very popular in South Korea at the moment.
The Korean word “manyo” can be translated as “sorcerer”. ma:nyo products are composed mostly of natural, and even organic ingredients, and the brand likes to compare the process of creating its natural cosmetics to the concoction of magic potions.
The formulas of ma:nyo products are usually quite short and really focus on high concentrations of natural ingredients.
This is the case with the ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule, its formula is literally filled with regenerating skincare ingredients!
It contains 90% probiotic extract (which I wrote about in my Focus article on fermented ingredients), very popular at the moment because they soothe sensitive skin and help to restore the famous microbiome (= the bacterial flora of the skin).
In its formula, you can also find niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, as well as a whole range of antioxidant ingredients… In short, a simple and short but powerful formula!
In summary, ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule is a very complete anti-ageing serum that works on:
– a soothing and regenerating effect,
– the radiance of the complexion,
– a deep hydration,
– and an anti-oxidant (and therefore anti-aging) protection.
I used the ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule serum after I finished my bottle of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair a few months ago. I wanted to compare the two products.
I talk about it all the time, I’ve been experimenting with retinol products for several months now and my skin is more sensitive than usual. So my skincare routine is very much focused on soothing and moisturizing effects right now.
So I introduced it into my evening routine (the moment of the day I use retinol) several months ago now. I usually apply it just before my retinol product, to properly prep and moisturize my skin.
Its texture is very liquid, rather light and it absorbs quickly into the skin, without leaving an oily film. It is perfect when, like me, you like to layer several products and it’s also ideal in this season when you don’t want to use super rich products, even in the evening.
I find it effective on hydration and it’s also very soothing! It’s ideal paired with retinol because it allows me to take advantage of its effects (clearer and more radiant skin) without its cons (retinol can be quite irritating).
As always, regarding its anti-aging effect, it’s complicated to judge in a few months because it’s mainly an anti-oxidant effect, therefore rather preventive and not really visible in the short term.
Value for money:
As often with Korean brands, the price is quite reasonable, especially when you look at its formula!
Depending on the retailers, the ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule retails between $25 and $35 for 50ml.
Unfortunately, this serum is not the easiest to find, even online.
This product is out of stock everywhere at the moment. I have a little theory on this: I wonder if it’s because ma:nyo recently rebranded, and changed all the packaging of their products recently. If so, they should be more accessible in the future. Fingers crossed!
At the moment, eBay is probably your best bet! 😉
Is it really a dupe for the Estée Lauder ANR serum?
For me, the similarities with the ANR are mainly in regards to its formula. Some of the star ingredients of the ANR (Bifida Ferment Lysate, but also Lactobacillus Ferment, hyaluronic acid, peptides…) are also in the Bifida Complex Ampoule. But the big difference is that the ma:nyo serum contains other beneficial ingredients (niacinamide especially, but also adenosine and quite a few antioxidant ingredients), all in a relatively short formula compared to the ANR and without purely cosmetic additives as you can find in the Estée Lauder serum (in the ma:nyo, there are no silicones, nor colorants in particular).
The feeling between the two products when you use them is quite different. If you like the silky feel of Estée Lauder serum, you may be a little confused by the ma:nyo which is maybe just a little less nicer to use. It’s a liquid gel, very quickly absorbed, that has no fragrance. For me personally, this is not an issue at all, quite the contrary. But I’m not sure that the hardcore fans of the ANR will find it as pleasant to use.
On the other hand, if you like the very soothing and moisturizing effect of the ANR, it’s still the case with the Bifida Complex Ampoule. In terms of results, I didn’t see any difference between the two. They’re both doing the job!
Obviously, the price of the ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule is much more reasonable than the Estée Lauder serum, no doubt! $25-35 for the Korean serum compared to $70 for the ANR (in the US and elsewhere, it’s even more expensive).
The Estée Lauder serum is finally much easier to find than the ma:nyo, which is still relatively confidential.
So I guess it all depends on everyone’s priorities, but for me anyway, the ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule serum is not really just a dupe of the ANR, it’s much better! 😉
I’m delighted with this ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule serum and clearly, I think it totally surpasses the product that probably inspired it in the beginning, the ANR.
It’s one of those hidden Korean cosmetic gems of and I really hope it will become more accessible in the future!
The retails between $25 and $35 depending on the retailer, for 50ml.
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule
My detailed review of the Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule serum from the Korean skincare brand Missha.
– the formula is very rich in good skincare ingredients,
– the effective, long-lasting moisturizing effect,
– the texture is really nice to use and pleasant, comfortable but not sticky,
– the packaging is sleek and elegant.
– I don’t find it as soothing as the brand claims it to be, which is a real shame,
– I don’t quite understand why in its latest reformulation, the brand added essential oils that here, have no other use than a fragrance for the product. I don’t see the point, especially for a product aimed primarily at sensitive skins.
– I can’t help but compare it with the ma:nyo factory serum I reviewed earlier, which is a similar product, and I definitely prefer the ma:nyo serum to this one…
ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule
“Bifidalacto Complex (Bifida Ampoule Complex) is a magic anti-aging essence that in 90% consists of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli enzymes, Adenosine and Niacinamide.”
– the formula is impeccable, full of good skincare ingredients, almost no filler ingredients!
– the very soothing effect. It’s a perfect serum if you use acids and/or retinol, or if you have a very sensitive skin.
– the effective moisturizing effect,
– the very liquid (but not sticky) texture, quickly absorbed by the skin. It’s perfect for summer!
– it’s fragrance-free, which is ideal for sensitive/sensitized skin.
– the value for money is great!
– the brand uses very few preservatives in its formulas, so you need to use the product fairly quickly after opening (6 months),
– it’s pretty hard to find outside Korea. The brand is not widely distributed online, unfortunately.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
“Tested and proven, Advanced Night Repair dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of aging. It maximizes the power of skin’s natural nighttime renewal with the brand’s exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology. It’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid, nature’s moisture magnet, to help lock in hydration. Lines and wrinkles look significantly…
“Tested and proven, Advanced Night Repair dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of aging. It maximizes the power of skin’s natural nighttime renewal with the brand’s exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology. It’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid, nature’s moisture magnet, to help lock in hydration. Lines and wrinkles look significantly reduced.”
– the formula is interesting, with good skincare ingredients in high concentration,
– its soothing effect thanks to probiotics,
– its antioxidant effect, always great to have,
– its moisturizing effect thanks to hyaluronic acid,
– it’s very easy to find.
– the price is extremely high, and not really justified in my opinion,
– the formula and ingredients are no longer as revolutionary as they once were (very good dupes are available for a much more affordable price),
– some of the product’s claims are a bit odd (such as “cell purification”, for example, which doesn’t really mean anything).
Product Review in detail
ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule
"Bifidalacto Complex (Bifida Ampoule Complex) is a magic anti-aging essence that in 90% consists of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli enzymes, Adenosine and Niacinamide."
A good product!
$25 - $35
- the formula is impeccable, full of good skincare ingredients, almost no filler ingredients!
- the very soothing effect. It's a perfect serum if you use acids and/or retinol, or if you have a very sensitive skin.
- the effective moisturizing effect,
- the very liquid (but not sticky) texture, quickly absorbed by the skin. It's perfect for summer!
- it's fragrance-free, which is ideal for sensitive/sensitized skin.
- the value for money is great!
- the brand uses very few preservatives in its formulas, so you need to use the product fairly quickly after opening (6 months),
- it's pretty hard to find outside Korea. The brand is not widely distributed online, unfortunately.
Bifida Complex Ampoule
A brown glass bottle with a pipette, very simple and quite "pharmaceutical".
A very liquid gel, super runny, which absorbs quickly without leaving a sticky effect.
– dehydrated skin,
– sensitive/sensitized skin,
– mature skin.
– dehydrated skin,
– redness, inflammation,
– irritated skin,
– dull skin,
– wrinkles, fine lines.
You can use the Bifida Complex Ampoule in the morning and evening, but at the moment I use it more in the evening.
After applying my essence(s), I take the equivalent of 5 to 7 drops of products and massage my face and neck with it. Once it is almost absorbed, I end up in pressures with my hands and continue with the rest of my routine.
The formula is pretty great! There are almost only good Ingredients that are interesting for the skin. The main ones are:
– Bifidobacteria (Bifida Ferment Lysate) and Lactobacilli (Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate) are fermented ingredients (which I already mentioned in a previous article) that promote the skin’s healing and repair process. They have a regenerating effect for damaged skin, but also for mature skin.
– Niacinamide helps to reduce the visible signs of aging, improves skin firmness, reduces hyperpigmentation, helps to blur acne scars, regulates sebum production… I have talked about it several times, it4s one of my star ingredients in cosmetics!
– the peptides ( Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8) used in this formula are antioxidant, regenerating and soothing ingredients.
– “Forest Yeast” (Aureobasidium Pullulans Ferment), a micro-organism (a ferment) that has an extremely regenerating power on the skin.
– some Ginseng (Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Red Ginseng Extract) and a polyphenol extracted from green tea (EGCG/ Epigallocatechin Gallate) that are powerful antioxidant ingredients.
– low molecular weight hyaluronic acid is a moisturizing ingredient,
– Adenosine increases the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, which has a smoothing effect on wrinkles. It is also an antioxidant ingredient.
Bifida Ferment Lysate, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Copper Tripeptide-1, Aureobasidium Pullulans Ferment, Panax Ginseng Callus Culture Extract, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Glycerin, Physalis Alkekengi Fruit Extract, Caffeine, Hydrolyzed Algin, Red Ginseng Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Methyl Gluceth-20, Epigallocatechin Gallate.
Ingredients not included
– mineral oil,
Thanks for the amazing review! I’m currently looking for dupes for ANR and am thinking about trying this product. It sounds like a pretty comprehensive anti-aging serum! Would it be also good as part of a night routine in the winter? Moreover, is Amazon a reliable seller (seem to be back in stock now)?
It really depends on your skin type, I guess! On me, it’s enough but my skin is combo dehydrated (and I’m using other emollient products in my routine to seal the hydration) 😊
To be honest, I don’t know for sure for Amazon, I bought mine in Korea and I also purchased it from Ebay (and it was legit).
Hope it helps 😉
thank you for the amazing review ❤️ I’m into mid 20s and really interested in anti-aging serums & this review helps a lot! One question please , can I use it together with Vitamin C & AHA/BHA ? Thank you 😊
Thank you very much, I’m glad you liked it! 😀
Yes, absolutely, you can use it together in the same routine. I would use it after these actives though (vitamin C and acids should go first in your skincare routine anyway 😉 ).
Hi Bonnie, thanks for the review! Wondering if the Bifida Complex Ampoule is safe for pregnancy & breastfeeding?
Hi Charlotte 🙂
I don’t know, to be honest. Maybe you could ask the brand directly, just to be sure? You can contact them directly through their Instagram account, they usually answer their DMs 🙂
Hi Bonnie, just add comment, i notice ma:nyo products often use algin which has high comedogenic and irritation rating.
It definitely depends, some people can be sensitive to it, but not everyone. In my experience, I haven’t noticed any breakouts and sensitivity with the products I used from the brand, quite the contrary actually 😉
By any chance would you know if the Manyo Bifida Biome complex ampoule is better than the “non” Biome one that you’ve tried?
The ingredients list on the Biome version is huge.
Just wanted to get your view on this before I go ahead and buy one of them.
I haven’t tried the Biome version and I haven’t look into it in detail, sorry! 🙁
Can I use vitamin C mask after manyo bifida concentrate ???
I guess it depends on the mask. If it’s with a vitamin C derivative, no issue 🙂
Hi Bonnie, thank you so much for the review! I read online that you should not be using an ampoule for an everyday skincare routine and I was wondering if the same would apply to this manyo product. Do you think there are any concerns about using this product daily?
Hello 😊 Oh really? I use my ampoules daily without any issue! For me, ampoules and serums are basically the same thing. It’s true that, at the beginning, they were different products and ampoules were supposed to be used as a treatment, a few times a year.
But its not the case anymore. Brands call their products “ampoules” but they’re basically serums.
And you can use them daily 😊👍
Which ma:nyo skincare products are most appropriate for people in their 60’s and older?
I can’t really tell, I didn’t tried a lot of ma:nyo products to be honest!
But really, anything that suits your skin type is good, regardless of your age 😉
Hi, is it ok to only use the ampoule and not using any cream after? Will it cause any problem?
It depends 😉 If your skin is dry and/or dehydrated, it’s better to lock the hydration with a cream for a long lasting comfort.
If your skin is oily and not dehydrated, you should be fine 😉