Melding holistic skincare with science, luxury brand Sulwhasoo is changing the game in facials and products by combining ancient ingredients with modern delivery systems.
Facials are a great way to inject nutrients and hydration deep within the dermis, making skin look smooth, fresh and healthy. But not all are created equal.
What makes a good one? It’s simple: a great facial is one that is tailored to your skin’s needs and helps to rejuvenate your skin from within.
While it may be efficient to do quick ones at home, getting a professional treatment can be super important for understanding your skin type and what it really needs. Actually, most people have no idea what skin type or conditions they have.
I love facials. I don’t do professional ones too often but I do indulge in them at least a few times a year with those that treat my face to a deep cleanse, exfoliation and hydration topped with anti-aging products that will help regenerate my skin. This is where the Sulwhasoo facial treatment shines.
“It doesn’t just correct the way your skin looks but it also corrects the way your skin functions. So it’s not just about the symptoms it’s more about correcting the cause.” —Sulwhasoo specialist.
The Sulwhasoo facial was my first Korean facial. I had it done at Nordstrom in Toronto (you can call the Sulwhasoo counter to inquire about it), and it was an absolute divine experience. This facial not only uses their premium brand of holistic skincare, but it also mixes massage elements and pressure points (a signature element of any Korean facial) that elevates this facial to OMG relaxation status.
Sulwhasoo (a part of Amore Pacific umbrella) is based on Korean herbal remedies and its products rely heavily on its signature ingredient, ginseng.
“It’s holistic skincare. Sulwhasoo believes in energy. We use jade and amber to give you a hot and cold feel,” said Riim, a Sulwhasoo esthetician, about the facial and products. “It doesn’t just correct the way your skin looks but it also corrects the way your skin functions. So it’s not just about the symptoms it’s more about correcting the cause. If you have hydration issues, most products that go on the surface they’re just going to hydrate your surface layer however these products work on energizing your cells and making your cells produce your own collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid internally.”
For me, the massage is by far the best part of a Korean facial. Not only is it relaxing, it also feels as though your face is molding back into its original, taut and youthful state (one can hope, right?).
The massage technique throughout the Sulwhasso facial also uses jade and amber over the skin— traditional applicators that carry natural energy to enhance the efficacy of treatment. It’s all about yin and yang, folks.
After an initial cleanse, my facialist began to massage my skin with the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating serum (see more about products below). She also blissfully blended products from the line that focused on what I needed most: hydration. Products like the Timetreasure Renovating Water EX, Emulsion EX, Serum EX and Ginseng Eye Cream were applied with gentle, circular motions interspersed with hot towels, hot stones and cool wand massages throughout, to heighten the experience and help open pores in order to receive all of the holistic goodness, and seal them in.
One of the last things applied was a gold, peel-off molding mask. This mask covered my eyes and mouth, which I thought was unusual. I thought, “Will this get into my eyes and mouth?” But surprisingly, it set pretty quickly, leaving you in full-on, relaxation mode. After about 10 minutes, the glorious mask was peeled off and a final neck, décolleté, hand and head massage topped things off.
I came out of that facial feeling light, refreshed and hydrated. The products are light and are easily absorbed into the skin, which is something I loved most about them. My skin had a glow about it, and I felt so good that I walked around for hours without any makeup on afterwards.
The other benefit of having a great facial is that your skin becomes the perfect canvas for makeup. I went out that evening with flawless application and glowing skin.
I look forward to using some of the Sulwhasoo holistic skincare that was introduced to my skin during my facial over the next few months to help boost and repair my skin’s health from the inside. You should try them, too.
Sulwhasoo Products Used:
Gentle Cleansing oil
This cleansing oil features the key ingredients of Coix Lacryma-Jobi seed, tangerine peel extract, and apricot kernel oil, which clear the skin and leave a brighter and healthier base.
First Care Activating Serum EX
Formulated with their JAUM Balancing Complex™, this first step serum restores your skin’s healthy radiance by treating signs of aging, rejuvenating the skin’s vitality, and creating the optimum balance of moisture, transparency and suppleness and opens up the skin to boost absorption of products.
Timetreasure Renovating Water EX
A premium anti-aging toner formulated with red pine that delivers deep moisturization for dry and rough skin.
Timetreasure Renovating Emulsion
Fortifies the skin’s defense layer and polishes the surface to leave it glowing and smooth and creates a hydrating layer of moisture on the skin without any excess residue.
Timetreasure Renovating Serum EX
This serum is a powerful anti-aging and skin-strengthening formula with DAA ingredient found in red pine and fortified with anti-aging complexes to reduce signs of aging.
Ginseng Eye Cream
This eye cream, formulated with their signature ingredient includes Compound K, a precious anti-aging ingredient found in ginseng roots, which penetrates deeper into the skin. It also includes the powerful Ginsenoside Re, extracted from ginseng flower, which is six times more concentrated than that of previous products and boosts the skin’s defense system against damaging factors.
The Sulwhasoo Korean facial is one of the most relaxing facial massages I’ve received and I highly recommend you treat yourself to one immediately!
—by Toni-Marie Ippolito