What better way to start off a new year than my very first blog post! Yay! It’s not even necessarily a resolution that I had — I’ve been meaning to get myself on here for a while; the posting just happened to fall during the start of the New Year.
For various reasons I initially thought my blog would focus primarily on K-Beauty products. I remember one of my friends asking me about a skincare set she received from a friend from Korea. She asked me if I knew anything about it, but it was one that I haven’t used before. I told her to look it up online, but of course, she already tried that but didn’t find much on it. At least not in English.
How many times do you make beauty or makeup, or any other purchase, based on reviews that you read online? That’s pretty much how it works for the most part now especially in the millennial community, including decisions made regarding what to have for lunch based on yelp reviews. Of course there are some benefits to this, but it could deter one from trying out something new and discovering what could have been his or her next holy grail product or favorite restaurant.
I encountered this issue before especially surrounding Korean beauty products. While in recent years K-beauty has increasingly been entering the international market, the community around them hasn’t quite been fully integrated into the online beauty forum. You’d have to read about individual products on specialized blogs like this, for example. This is not a food blog nor am I much of a foodie, despite Asian girl stereotypes, so I might not help so much with the restaurant reference I made in the last paragraph, but my aim for starting a k-beauty blog was to contribute to the expansion of the growing western k-beauty database. I’m also fortunate enough to make somewhat regular trips to Korea where I make major hauls on skincare products each time, which include items that are rare or not sold in the U.S. It is those ones in particular that I’d love to feature and try out for the first time on my own.
With all that being said, I chose not to focus solely on K-beauty because I do use quite a fair amount of Western products and can find myself going on about a lot of random things that I love outside the skincare realm. So expect this blog to be about in the most broadest terms, “BEAUTY AND LIFESTYLE.” and dogs.
Anyway, I tend to be an inadvertently prolific writer (long-term established habit from journaling most of my life + writing many lengthy papers in college as a literature major + my generally excitable personality); luckily, I chose a blogging format rather than youtube so it’s a lot easier to skip ahead and scroll down to the important and relevant part of the post! I have updated the title to warn you!!
FINALLY here is a review of one of the best skincare lines I’ve ever used by my currently favorite Korean skincare brand.
THE ACTUAL REVIEW STARTS HERE!
Sulwhasoo is considered a luxury beauty brand in Korea, known for their aesthetic, quality, and unique formulations inspired by traditional Korean culture. Their philosophy is all about holistic and herbal methods in enhancing and creating balance in the skin’s self recovery. What can I say? I am intrigued already!!
For the past six months or so, I’ve been using some products from their Snowise brightening line after moving on from Hera’s White Program. My skin has already been accustomed to using brightening products for a while now, so while I might have already been on a long-term brightening track, I definitely can see that this line in particular has been delivering quality results. I’ve used a range of brightening products and this set immediately stood out to me.
I’m usually most drawn to brightening products because I’ve always envied that “perfect” glowy luminous glow that Korean actresses in particular seem to have. Essentially “brightening” in skincare is associated with reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation, balancing out uneven skin complexion often caused by dark spots, and overall creating a more radiant and even skin tone.
Sulwhasoo is special because it uses natural and herbal ingredients that will allow your skin to harness those benefits.
Most of the ingredients sound super exotic, but here are some more (relatively) well known ones:
Mulberry root (in the brightening water): “cleans skin texture and helps boost the absorption of skin brightening products you apply next”
Green tea extract: “revitalizes the skin and strengthens it for brightening.” I also know green tea to have antioxidant, anti-aging, and skin-soothing properties.
White ginseng: probably their secret ingredient, “achieves hydrating and brightening effect”
I love the herbal scent that these ingredients produce, which I find to be very light and not at all artificial. No matter how good a product is on its own, I believe the scent to be an important element of the whole skincare routine experience. I’m the type of person who treats skincare as an indulgence (apart from days when I’m lazy and exhausted), which is why I let myself splurge on lux products such as this.
The brightening water and emulsion are only two components of both the Snowise line and of my skincare regimen, but if I were to keep only two of the products, these would be the ones. The water generally comes first after cleansing (unless as in my case you add an extra step with Sulwhasoo’s activating serum), which I like to gently pat onto my face with my palms. I find this to be more gentle than the wiping motion of a cotton pad, and better for absorption, but I know some people who apply it this way too.
Despite its name, the brightening water has more of a gel like, pearlescent texture. It feels really nice on my skin, absorbs quickly, and seems to activate hydrating properties already.
If you’re not using a serum or applying a face mask, the emulsion comes next. The moisturizer is very light and has a milky consistency. Emulsions are generally lighter and thinner than creams, so I’d say it’s sufficient as a final step for oily or combination skin types such as mine.
Though I’ve been using brightening products for a while, I definitely notice a more radiant glow to my complexion. I have freckled skin and some dark spots, and while it’s not like there were any miracles or entire diminishment, a lot of the pigmentation has gotten noticeably lighter, and I’ve seen that my pores have gotten smaller. It’s more recently that I’ve been receiving comments on how amazing and healthy my skin looks! Thanks to effective skincare maintenance, makeup application (which is typically minimal nowadays) has become so seamless and I don’t have to look like a zombie as much.
I buy my sulwhasoo products at the duty free store at the Korean airport (it’s so much cheaper!!), but they are available currently in the states! Considering that they are high end products, they may not be within everyone’s budget ranges, but my experience has been entirely positive, and these bottles go a long way too.