First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

by Paris B on · 10 comments

in Product Reviews,Serum,Skincare,Treatment


Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On June 26, 2014
Last modified:June 25, 2014

Summary:

Hellooo! Gosh, I’ve let the dust build up in here haven’t I? I’m a bad housekeeper, I am icon razz First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

But come, let me dust off the inch thick dust on the blog and jump right in to tell you about a product that came highly recommended to me. By now, most of us will be familiar with the brand Sulwhasoo, which made its appearance on our shores some time last year. A few people had asked me what I thought of it, and I was almost embarrassed to say that I hadn’t tried anything from the brand. So I decided to remedy that, and asked around for recommendations. Almost overwhelmingly, I was told to try the First Care Activating Serum, a Sulwhasoo bestselling product.

sulwhasoo first care activating serum3 First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

What the First Care Activating Serum is, is a pre-serum. I know some people start rolling their eyes at this point. A serum is a serum! I almost hear you cry, what in the flying blazes is a pre-serum?!

Well, this is a concept not uncommon in many Asian ranges of skincare and is basically a product that you apply BEFORE you apply the rest of your skincare, so that it boosts the efficacy of your skincare. So, you can use it together with your other brands of skincare but you have to use it first.

There are different brands with similar products out there naturally, but Sulwhasoo promises that their First Care Activating Serum will give your skin a boost of moisture, refine your skin and balance and replenish nutrients, with their signature use of Jaeumdan and Jaeumboweedan, combinations of Korean Medicinal herbs blended into a prepared in a time-tested Poje method.

Everyone who told me to try this serum has nothing but raves for it, and how it helped refine their skin and make it look better. So, I took the plunge. Slightly half a bottle and a couple of months down the road, how did I find this?

Well, hmm… I’m not sure how to say this, but I didn’t notice anything in particular.

sulwhasoo first care activating serum2 First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

I’m no stranger to layering different serums and potions on my skin so when I slotted this into my skincare routine, I slotted it in after cleansing and an exfoliating toner (I’m finishing up the one from REN if you’re curious). I figured that it would be the best place to slot it, since my skin would be nice and clean and exfoliated, and it would give the serum a chance to penetrate better into my skin. I then follow up with the rest of my routine.

The product comes in a very lovely ergonomic ceramic bottle that always brings to my mind a smooth earthen jar. Don’t ask me why, I just think of it that way. It has a lovely heft and I like the cool weight in my hands. The product is dispensed through a pump, and I use 2 pumps in the morning and alternate evenings (I use Alpha H Liquid Gold on alternate evenings which is why this is so. Otherwise, I’d use it every evening as well)

Since Sulwhasoo prides itself on using traditional herbs and a traditional method of preparation, the product reflects it. The serum pumps out a translucent brown that brings to mind a herbal concoction, and the scent is reminiscent of a Chinese medicine shop icon biggrin First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

sulwhasoo first care activating serum samples First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

It isn’t unpleasant, at least not to my nose. If you are comfortable with strong herbal, medicinal scents of Chinese/Asian herbs like ginseng, then you will be fine with it. If you aren’t then you may find that it takes some getting used to because it isn’t softly fragranced like most skincare. It is strong, but I like the scent! I find it relaxing icon biggrin First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare But then, I also like the smell (and taste) of herbs and I don’t mind smelling (or drinking) herbal soups and drinks icon smile First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

I pump out about 2 pumps, and smooth it over my skin. The serum absorbs into the skin very quickly without any sticky feeling. In fact, it makes skin feel almost immediately smoothened. I could be imagining things, but it does appear to deliver a dose of hydration to the skin, and I like that especially in the evenings, and I’ve been out the whole day.

sulwhasoo first care activating serum size First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

As lovely as the product is on its own, I have to say I didn’t notice any additional “boosting” benefits. I didn’t experience significantly better skin than what I’d been having, nor did I experience any significant evening out of my skintone, clearing up of spots or better hydation as what many people have experienced. I must say however, that I do have my skin at a level that I believe is at its optimum, so it will take something significantly strong, to deliver noticeable results.

So, what I’d say is not to take what I say to heart. I have my skin relatively well hydrated thanks to my skincare routine, and it is about as even toned as it’ll get taking everything into consideration. Perhaps what this serum does then for me is to maintain that balance. Perhaps someone who has something to improve might notice a more significant result. I didn’t, but then neither will I with many other skincare, so this isn’t a slur on the product which I do like, but rather a reflection of the state of my skin. I maintain that in many cases, significant results when using skincare is usually only noticeable when there is something that needs improving, and is improved. But when the skin is at a certain level, there is only so much you can do to improve, and then, you will be all about maintenance. So anyone who tells you that that new cream/serum/potion/lotion they just tried is so wonderful and has changed their skin, I’d ask you to pause for a moment and wonder why their skin is perpetually in a state of flux and if this then, is good advice for you to follow icon razz First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

So for me, this serum is something for maintenance. I hesitate to say that I’d repurchase once I’ve finished with this bottle, because my skin seems to have done well even before using this. But I do like the scent and I do like the cooling, hydrating texture so if I feel like treating my skin, I might indulge in the future, just not in the short term.

sulwhasoo first care activating serum First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

In a nutshell

The Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is Sulwhasoo’s bestselling product and is a pre-serum i.e. a serum you’d apply to the skin after cleansing, before you apply your other skincare. It boosts the efficacy of skincare while delivering moisture and refining skin. I like the herbal scent which some may find strong, and how quickly it absorbs into the skin. It seems to deliver a boost of moisture, but for me, I did not notice a significant improvement to my skin after using this as opposed to before. I believe that someone who has a skin problem they’d like to address e.g. oily skin, breakouts, poor hydration etc may find themselves benefiting from this more than I did. It isn’t a slur on the product, but a reflection of the condition of my skin i.e. it’s at a level where improvements are almost insignificant. I do like it, and will finish this, and I may repurchase in the future, but not in the short term.

Pros: Nice luxurious packaging, Product absorbs quickly into skin without a sticky after-feel, Skin feels immediately hydrated

Cons: Pricey, Strong herbal scent may not sit well with everyone, I did not notice a significant improvement to my skin

Who will like this: Anyone who is comfortable with herbal scents, Anyone who wants a quick boost of hydration to the skin and are comfortable using pre-serum or booster serums

Here is the ingredient list for anyone keen to know what’s in there.

sulwhasoo first care activating serum ingredients First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

Have you tried this First Care Activating Serum? Are there other Sulwhasoo products you like?

I can’t say this has been a washout, because I do sort of like it, even if I didn’t have the raving results others had. So I’d be keen to give other Sulwhasoo products a go. Hit me up with your faves! icon biggrin First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare The next product I want to get is the Overnight Revitalizing Mask, which I’ve read so much good things about! If you had good results with this serum, please share because you could help others who are wondering if it will work for them icon smile First, use the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum to boost the efficacy of your skincare

Paris B

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum Price: RM250/60ml Availability: Sulwhasoo counters (Facebook)

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[ 10 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Evan Chang
Twitter:
June 26, 2014 at 10:10 am

Omg, this is so expensive. Pass for me. My wallet will cry

Reply

Paris B
Twitter:
July 4, 2014 at 10:17 am

Haha yeah, Sulwhasoo is supposed to be on the luxury end of skincare hence the prices :) Their face masks aren’t too pricey though if you want to try them.

Reply

Firn June 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I think I am allergic to this because small little red bumps appeared on my normally clear cheeks after a few uses. Thankfully I got a sample first. This always happens within 2 or more uses of a product that doesn’t suit me.

My mum really likes the Overnight Vitalizing Mask since it’s rich enough for her.

Reply

Paris B
Twitter:
July 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

Sorry to hear that Firn, and it’s good that you got a sample to try! Samples are so important aren’t they? I bought the Overnight Vitalizing Mask recently and it’s been good so far. I quite like it and it’s not too pricey :)

Reply

ktee June 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm

The first time i have used this together with their truefresh soothing mask, my face was exceptionally soft to the touch the following day. I continued the combo the following night and woke up with a few tiny bumps along my jaw. I still have some samples left. Will try again to see if the serum is a keeper or otherwise. I like their soothing mask. Keep my skin soft and hydrated. Am interested to try their other masks.

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 4, 2014 at 10:20 am

I saw the Truefresh Soothing Mask at the counter but I went for the Overnight Vitalizing Mask instead. Felt that I needed the more “nutritious” mask haha! Maybe I’ll try the Soothing Mask next. It sounds so nice!

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Joy June 30, 2014 at 11:22 pm

i’ve been liking their Snowise EX Brightening Spot Serum
Joy recently blogged…Foreo Luna Cleans More Than Your FaceMy Profile

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Paris B
Twitter:
July 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I hear their creams are really good too! Thanks for letting me know you like this :)

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Fathin August 6, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I used other brand\’s product, a pre-serum. Honestly, I couldn\’t find any difference between with or without pre-serum. And from a few I\’ve seen so far, the pre-serum seems to be as expensive as serum itself!

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Paris B
Twitter:
August 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Yep! A pre-serum is a serum after all, just that the sequence of use is different :D I think some work, but depending on how our skin takes to it or how “bad” our skin is, some of us may not appreciate the effects.

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