When it comes to face care, I have to say that Sulwhasoo is, by far, the best brand there is. From its unique, luxurious Korean packaging to the pleasant aroma of Korean herbs, Sulwhasoo exemplifies what prestigious skincare should be – effective, functional and fancy. It’s the kind of brand that is so attractive, you would rather skip a few dinners and movies and splurge to get even just one item.
I have used most of the skin care and cosmetics from this brand – my favorite items are the Herb Soap, Balancing Water and Balancing Fluid. These are the basic products and yet, personally, they outperform their more ‘intensive treatment’ products.
The Herb Soap is, hands down, the best soap I have ever used. Its packaging has also gone through a recent face lift – instead of a fancy soap case, it’s now a beautiful soap plate. The old versionÂ consisted of three 80g herb soaps; the new version contains two 100g soaps. Each Herb Soap is handmade and takes about 40 days to process, and contains 6 year old Korean ginseng extracts. The Herb Soap is also called the royal soap because the same formula was used in ancient Korea by the royal families, that’s how fancy this soap is. As for the aroma, like all Sulwhasoo products, it is a lightly fragranced herbal smell, not pungent or heavy but just the right notes to enhance the experience.
The Balancing Water is a great skin softener. With my dehydrated combination skin, I often find it hard to find a toner that hydrates but doesn’t feel oily, and this one works out just great for me. The Balancing Emulsion is also the best moisturizer I have ever used. It is highly moisturizing but not greasy. While many moisturizers that claim to be non greasy either feel too light or oily, this one really has the texture and feel just right.
The Hydroaid Serum is a rather light hydrating serum that complements the Emulsion. The texture is slightly runny and milky, but I find that the Emulsion is a lot more moisturizing than the Hydroaid Serum, which actually retails at CAD$120. For that amount of money, I personally find it better to just layer up the Emulsion!
The whitening line called Snowise, has gone through several redesigns of packaging too. However, the products are pretty much the same. I do like the Snowise Balancing Water – it does feel very much like the one from the basic step – but I don’t find that it has any brightening properties. The Snowise Balancing Emulsion is less moisturizing compared to the Basic Balancing Emulsion too, but I find that in general, the whitening lines are less hydrating anyway (more alcohol). I think the Basic line performs much better than the Snowise line in terms of hydration, but if you have oilier skin, the Snowise line is probably much more suitable for you.
When it comes to makeup, Sulwhasoo has one of the best loose powder around. The Yebit Powder, a loose powder, is moisturizing without appearing cakey or heavy, and it doesn’t chalk up like most loose powders do. The texture is super fine and slightly moist. It also does not contain any artificial colorants. What’s even better – it is refillable – a big plus if you are environmentally concious. Sulwhasoo’s packaging is so nice, you will want to keep the containers around anyway!
A quick tip: the shades are not the same as the other Amore brands. For example, the #15 in Sulwhasoo loose powder is transparent, #21 is very light and #23 is light. These shades are much lighter than the same numbers in Iope or Laneige shades. When in doubt, go for #23 for the most natural shade (#15 and #21 will appear very white and ghastly if you don’t have very fair skin).
Sulwhasoo has an international website available in 3 languages (Korean, English and Chinese): http://www.sulwhasoo.com. Its website also won best web design award in Korea. One look at it and you will agree.