Luxury Skincare from Korea: Sulwhasoo
I seem to be hearing about a lot of new luxury skincare lines debuting from overseas. The latest is Sulwhasoo, a Korean brand. While the name may not be the greatest for English speaking consumers, the products themselves are pretty fancy. Based on the aesthetics of Sangseng (like yin and yang), this products use traditional Korean herbal medicine as the basis for their skin balancing cleansers and creams.
I tested out some samples from the Basic Line along with the ultra-luxe (read $220!) Concentrated Ginseng Cream. The difference between the lines is in the Poje method, or processing method to extract natural ingredients. The Basic Line combines the active ingredients with honey and then bakes them in clay pots. Other methods combine the ingredients with salt, germinating seeds or steaming with alcohol. The Concentrated Ginseng Cream uses ginseng that is steamed and then dried in the sun.
From the Basic Line, I tested out the Revitalizing Serum, Balancing Water and Balancing Emulsion. All of the products have a light, earthy, botanical scent and are designed to help add moisture to the skin. (There are lots of botanical ingredients and traditional reasoning behind why they are used, that I won’t go into here, but be sure to check out their website for a wealth of information.)
The Serum is typical in texture – a light weight, gel-like serum that is applied after washing your face, morning and evening. Next comes the Balancing water which is a gel-like toner, applied all over. The Balancing Emulsion can be used morning and night and is a lightweight moisturizer. Even though it added to the length of my skincare routine, I like the ritual of using all of the products in order. And because they were all light weight, my skin was left feeling lightly moisturized and refreshed.
The Concentrated Ginseng Cream is the moisturizing big gun. They say this about it:
Formulated with Korean medicinal Herbs, this revitalizing cream delivers nutrient-rich ginseng to the deepest layers of the skin to revive damaged, depleted skin.
– Nutrient-rich extracts from the root and fruit of Korean Ginseng promote renewal and revitalize the skin from deep within. Membranous Milkvetch and White Mulberry strengthen skin’s defense against signs of aging and restore clear, radiant skin.
– A luxurious textured cream promoting healthy looking skin while delivering nourishment to the deeper layers of the skin.
This was definitely a heavier cream, although it absorbed quickly and didn’t wear heavy on my skin. I used this at night in place of the Balancing Emulsion.
After a week’s worth of this twice daily routine, my skin that has been very dry and flaky had gotten very well moisturized – to the point that I started getting a few blackheads. I backed off of the Concentrated Ginseng cream, using it only every other night and that seemed to help strike the right balance for my skin.
I was very surprised that after battling dry skin for the last 6 months or so, trying many different moisturizers, that this one finally seemed to un-dry my skin, rather than just put a moisture band aid on it. And this isn’t even the heavy hitting line when it comes to moisturizing – the Hydro-aid is touted as delivering deep moisture! Maybe the balancing Sangseng was what my skin needed.