Happy New Year everyone! As promised, I am doing my Whoo reviews today, starting off with the Gongjinhyang: Seol skin brightening line. I was fortunate enough to try the entire skincare line (not the 2 makeup items from the line). Most of these lasted a month (except the peel off pack, brightening water, essence and cream) – and some of the ones that didn’t I actually ended up buying the full size versions anyway. I snapped pictures of my skin on the first night I tried these – on November 13, 2010, and also, this morning, just to compare.Even though I did not think the progress on my freckles was that big, pictures speak louder than words, and I was pretty amazed by the results. Here is the complete review on every single product in this line:
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Brightening Cleansing Foam
It is a very creamy, soft cleansing foam. The aroma is herbal and refreshing. For my dehydrated dry skin, this foam did not leave my skin dry or moist, the hydration, from a scale of 1 to 10 after cleansing, is about a 7. After cleansing, my skin does look brighter. Is it essential? Actually, I think it is. Considering it’s not that expensive (the price is in the $40s in US/CAD$) and it lasts a long time, you may as well use it with the rest of the line to reap the maximum benefits.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Brightening Water
This is a primer/exfoliator. IOPE’s Whitegen line had one and I had used it before, but didn’t notice much of a difference with or without it. This one I find did help the subsequent products absorb better, and has a mild exfoliating effect. But after this runs out (I used it 2-3 times a week), I did not purchase the full size version and my skin didn’t seem to suffer or show much of a difference without it. Of all the products in the line, I think this one is the most expendable.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Brightening Peel Off Pack
I used this long before I started trying the rest of the products, and gave a review here. This gave me an immediate result after each use, and I have since purchased a full size version!
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Skin Balancer
This is one of the items I ended up purchasing full size, even though the sample still didn’t run out yet. I bought the Skin Balancer and Lotion set, which comes with an extra 8ml of whitening essence, 10ml of the whitening cream, BB cream and sunscreen (these will be reviewed separately). The 20ml sample I have of the balancer still hasn’t run out after a month by the way, and I have finally kicked my habit of using a cotton pad with a toner because of this product! Anyway, this is a toner, and I use it with just my hands to apply. It’s a runny, milky texture that absorbs very quickly. It’s more moisturizing than a regular toner I find. I took a picture of the list of ingredients – you can click to see the full size version of the photo.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Essence
This essence is quickly absorbed without stickiness, and I do find that regular use of this really polishes the skin. I know the Seol line has a distinct aroma which can be an acquired taste for many, but I have largely gotten so used to it that I no longer react to the scent. It’s really not that bad, although not as pleasant as Sulwhasoo’s. Anyway, this essence is an essential product to maintain freckle-free, brighter skin.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Jinaek Program
You don’t need this all year round, but it was good to have this to give your skin an intensive treatment for a month. I consider this the star product of the line. After using this for just a week, I already noticed the tone of my skin had improved, and after a month, it is much more even. I had enough of it in the sample packets to last until last night – that’s one and a half months – and I enjoyed and savored every drop of it! The texture of this is a little more creamy than the essence, and more hydrating.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Intensive
I had a miniature jar of this and after a month and a half, there is still about 15% left. The texture of this is like L’Occitane’s pure shea butter – not at all balmy (the balms I used were slick and oily) and goes on the skin very smooth, leaving a velvety, non shiny but not dry finish. At first I didn’t think it did anything, but after seeing the before and after pictures, it did quite a bit! Not sure if it’s the Jinaek program or the Intensive that did the trick, but I am sure using the entire line like that really has great synergy.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Lotion
A moderately hydrating emulsion, this absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky film on your face. The first time I used this and the balancer was 2 years ago, and just these 2 products alone actually gave me results. I had 15ml each back then. I started out with 20ml bottles for the balancer and the lotion, and after 1.5 months, I still have a little bit left. Initially I only used these at night, but after 3 weeks, I started using them during the day too (and only these two during the day – the rest of the whitening products I reserved for nights only), and I saw more results when used twice daily.
The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang: Seol Whitening Cream
Even though this cream isn’t hydrating enough for me (I still need to top this off with another cream), I think this cream did wonders for my skin. Because for about 5 days, I went without it, and substituted with Hwan Hyun’s cream, which is more expensive, supposedly anti-wrinkle as well as whitening, my skin got more plump, but less brightening results. So I am pretty convinced that this cream is essential! (I used the rest of the products consistently without fail all this time, with the exception of the Whitening Cream)
Now, with all that out of the way, let’s see the before and after pictures! The Before one is quite scary – my freckles were more dense than I thought – and to be fair and honest, the pictures were not retouched or altered in anyway and Â I was not wearing any makeup. Both were taken with flash, except the Before picture was taken the same night before I tried the entire line, and the After picture was taken this morning.
As you can see, in the before picture, I did not only have freckles, but also an uneven skin tone – with redness and yellowness. This is the right side of my face with the most freckles; the left side is almost freckle free after 1.5 months of using Seol. How soon did I start seeing results? With the Brightening Peel-Pack, instantly. My skin tone was much whiter and brighter after one use. But of course, I needed all the other products to keep it that way, and to fade out the freckles.
With the entire line, I can honestly say that after a few days I noticed a difference, and after one month, some of the freckles faded. There are still quite a few freckles left, mind you, but considering I used the whitening products only at night (with the exception of the skin balancer and lotion, which I started using twice a day starting the 4th week), the results are amazing. I don’t believe I had used anything that actually gave me visible results after just one month! My skin tone had improved, much more even, and brighter.
I can’t really say I would recommend one single product to get, because I think all of these products worked together to yield results. If you are on a budget, there are options – you can buy samples on ebay. The essence, lotion, cream and jinaek program are available in packets or miniature size jars and they are much less than the full size versions if you can’t afford to buy the full size products all at once. Â I saw that royalbeautycosmetics.com sells the same starter kit set that I used, for about US$60.
Something you should know: when I went to buy the Skin Balancer and Lotion gift set, the Korean sales clerk told me that the Seol line isn’t hydrating enough for my dry/dehydrated skin, and she is right. She tried to get me to buy the Hwa Hyun line instead, which is much more expensive than the Seol line. It is anti-aging and whitening. I tried the Hwa Hyun cream for a month but apart from the hydration, I did not find Hwa Hyun cream to have any whitening properties. I personally think that multi-tasking products usually end up here nor there, so I will stick to the Seol line until my freckles are all gone, and will probably switch to the anti-aging lines like Hwayun later!
By the way, I received a email from Emma asking where to buy Whoo in the Greater Toronto Area. I tried to email her but it bounced back so I will answer it here. You can get Whoo at the T&T supermarket at Warden & Steeles (close to Pacific Mall), and another one I know is at the P.A.T. (Korean) supermarket on Bloor in Koreatown. If anyone knows about other locations please feel free to post. Thanks!
**Edited to add: Sometimes you don’t even realize the products were working because the results are so gradual, so it’s best to take pictures of your skin before and after for comparison!
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