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!
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
ma:nyo (ex Manyo Factory)
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,