Skin Care Product Reviews

Sulwhasoo Products: Korean Holistic Skincare Review

Sulwhasoo is the gold standard of Korean beauty products and your first step for younger-looking skin.
By Dermspotlight Staff,
Updated Mar 1, 2022
Advertising Disclosure: Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; we may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. You can learn more about our review process here.

Are the top 8 Sulwhasoo Holistic Skincare Products worth it?

Sulwhasoo beauty is a representation of holistic beauty. Their unique formula focuses on finding and addressing the leading cause of skin aging and treating them using all-natural ingredients. The Sulwhasoo brand uses ancient herbal medicine that women have used for hundreds of years.

Suh Sung-whan founded Sulwhasoo in Kaesong, a city known for its high-quality Ginseng. In 1973 Suh developed SAMMI, the first cosmetic made to extract saponin ginseng’s active ingredient. Fast forward to 2004 when Sulwhasoo opened its first boutique store located in Hong Kong. This product is one of the most sought-after beauty products because of its unique holistic ingredients and formula that works.

In 2018 the Sulwhasoo brand reached over $151 million in exports (1) to China, a 92.9% increase from 2017. This brand has expanded into other countries in the last few years, opening its first flagship store in Paris and expanding in the United States. They focus primarily on high-end stores located in California and New York.

Sulwhasoo. Image/Dermspotlight

Signature Ingredients in Sulwhasoo Anti-Aging Brand

Jaum Activator
This ingredient consists of five key medicinal plants that target five main things that cause skin aging. Peony (2) protects the skin; lotus (3) enhances the skin’s natural radiance. Solomon’s Seal (4) for long-lasting skin hydration, the lily (5) nourishes skin, and Rehmannia (6) to balance the skin’s moisture. These five ingredients replenish moisture, minimize wrinkles, and enhance your skin’s natural beauty.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Korean Ginseng
Ginseng was the ingredient that inspired Sulwhasoo’s entire line of skincare products. From the time Dan Goon (7) of former Korea discovered the herb in 2137 BC, it’s been cultivated and used for various medicinal purposes. Ginseng symbolizes Sulwhasoo’s rich history and provides the latest skincare solutions. Ginseng has a lot of health benefits. It also helps protect the skin from aging (8) and relieves atopic dermatitis and allergy symptoms.

Sulwhasoo does not just use the root of ginseng in its brand. It uses the entire plant. For over 50 years, they cultivated ginseng and its healing properties. The root contains saponin, their first anti-aging product’s main ingredient. Then they discovered the benefits of the leaf and stem. They protect against air pollutants and help the skin regain its firmness. The flower contains Ginsenoside, rich in energy to enhance the skin’s strength and help slow down the aging process.

Ginseng is included in many of their products like Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream and Timetruesuare Renovating Eye Serum due to its ability to stimulate the production of collagen. Dr. Ohara Aivaz, a dermatologist, tells Cedars Sinai (9), “topical treatments like retinol and tretinoin are scientifically proven to promote collagen formation.”

Red Pine
The needles of the red pine are often used in teas in Eastern countries. Some studies suggest (9) that the anti-inflammatory compounds help bind together the skin and help to regulate the aging process. In Korea, the red pine symbolizes strength and nobility. The strong vitality and lush greenness of the pine are why people used it to build Korean palaces in the past.

What Are the Top 8 Best Sulwhasoo Skincare Products?

The Sulwhasoo skincare brand consists of many different types of products. You can get everything from cleansers to toners, eye care, and more. So, what are the top 8 best Sulwhasoo skincare products? Below you’ll find the top 10 Sulwhasoo skincare products and why they are so popular.

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is their best-selling product and the one the K-beauty brand is best known for. It features plants extracts combined to form what they call the JAUM Activator. This activator consists of Solomon’s seal, lotus, Rehmannia, peony, and white lily. Each is used extensively in Asian herbal medicine. It claims to improve the look of skin’s hydration, brightness, radiance, reduce visible wrinkles and moisture barriers.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask

The K-beauty brand recommends this mask for people with dry or normal skin as the final step of their nighttime beauty routine. Sleeping masks lock in moisture while creating a seal on top of your skin, giving the products under the mask time to fully absorb into your skin.

With ingredients such as shea butter, squalane, fatty acids, and different silicones, it creates a soft, non-sticky layer over the skin without sticky residue or making a mess on your pillow.

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream

This cream consists of the entire ginseng plant, unlike many other creams that only use the root. Including the complete plant creates a potent, high-performing anti-aging cream. This cream has a silky, creamy texture that provides long-term hydration.

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion

This is a lightweight cushion foundation. Since it’s housed in a special sponge, it makes it quick and easy to use to cover imperfections while on the go. It also contains sunscreen to help protect against UV rays.

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil

This silky oil-based formula uses Jobi-seed, Tangerine Extract, and Apricot oil to gently remove excess fat, makeup, and other impurities while keeping the skin balanced and radiant.

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam

This gel cleanser foams when mixed with water and gently work to extract dirt, makeup, and grime from your pores. It also softens with skin and contains a rich blend of ingredients, including duckweed extract, chestnut shell extract, and skin-brightening citrus peels.

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream

The Sulwhasoo Eye Cream is a rich, creaming anti-aging eye cream that includes a complex of red ginseng to firm, soften visible lines, tighten, and revitalize the look of under-eye skin. It also has caffeine contained within many anti-aging products to tighten and rejuvenate skin.

Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream

This rich creaming face cream hydrates your skin without the heavy, sticky feel of other creams. It helps firm and improve skins elasticity with its JISUN Firming Complex, a blend of antioxidant-rich goji berries, black beans, and arrowroot.

Where Can I Buy Sulwhasoo Skincare Products?

Sulwhasoo skincare products are sold on the brand’s official website and third-party websites such as Sephora, Nordstrom, Amazon, and many others.

What is The Sulwhasoo Return Policy?

Sulwhasoo accepts returns purchased from their website within 60 days of the original purchase date. They will provide return labels for a $5.00 fee.


*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Is Sulwhasoo Cruelty Free?

No, it is not curelty free because these skincare products are sold in China where animal testing is required by law.

Is Sulwhasoo Good for Combination Skin?

Yes, if you have combination skin this line will work great.

Sulwhasoo Reviews

The Sulwhasoo reviews on the brand’s website if overall very positive. Their best-selling product Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum has just over 200 reviews with a 4..8 out of 5.0-star rating.

The positive reviews mainly mention how lightweight it is and glides on smoothly, and helps other products absorb better.

One of the positive reviews says ~ “Been using several sulwhasoo products for 3 weeks, and my skin feels amazing. It does improve my skin tone and does little to help with my hyperpigmentation. Also, my skin looks very healthy, shiny, and bouncy. In love with this skincare line so much. This serum texture is so lightweight and absorbs very easily, preparing our skin first before the next step even when we only use this, it does an amazing job to our skin.”

The negative reviews for Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum comment on the product’s alcohol and fragrance content.

One of the negative reviews says ~ “Nice essence, but it feels unnecessary, and I am not sure it does anything. It also feels like it has alcohol and quite a bit of fragrance. It is thicker than your standard essence and has gold flakes in it. I would not repurchase and likely won’t finish.”

Our Final Verdict

One of the first questions people ask is, is Sulwhasoo worth the expense. We have to say yes, it is. With ingredients that people have used for medicinal and anti-aging purposes for hundreds of years, they are long proven effective. With a 4.8 out of 5-star review, the makes of the Sulwhasoo brand must be doing something right.

Alternative to Sulwhasoo

Olay Retinol 24 Collection is a good alternative. The main ingredients of the collection are niacinamide, retinol and retinyl propionate. It comes with three different products a night moisturizer, night serum, and night eye cream.

Beverly Hills MD is another excellent alternative if you’re looking for an anti-aging product that contains all natural ingredients and no harsh chemicals. It uses plants that are proven to help reverse the signs of aging plus helps to clear any acne or dark spots you may have.

Up NextGood Molecules Skincare


[1] The Korean Times “Sulwhasoo takes global beauty market by storm” Published December 6, 2021
[2] Scientific Reports “Effects of a complex mixture prepared from agrimonia, houttuynia, licorice, peony, and phellodendron on human skin cells” Published December 17, 2020
[3] US National Library of Medicine “A comparison of the effects of topical green tea and lotus on facial sebum control in healthy humans” Published January-March, 2013
[5] U National Library of Medicine “Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils” Published December 27, 2018
[6] US National Library of Medicine “Integrative Dermatology – The Use of Herbals and Nutritional Supplements to Treat Dermatological Conditions” Published January 21, 2018
[8] ScienceDirect “The effect of Korean Red Ginseng on full-thickness skin wound healing in rats” Published April 2019.
[9] Cedars Sinai “Collagen for Your Skin: Healthy or Hype?” Published January 15, 2020
[10] US National Library of Medicine “Anti-Inflammatory Principles from the Needles of Pinus taiwanensis Hayata and In Silico Studies of Their Potential Anti-Aging Effects” Published April 10, 2021