Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

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Since it's launch in 1997, the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum has been a leading bestseller that has since gone on to become a global sensation. Even with such an illustrious legacy the iconic product is actually now into its fifth iteration as Sulwhasoo sees opportunities to improve upon the product. This serum's success lies in the way it works as comprehensive treatment that activates the skin’s natural regenerative and protective abilities to rejuvenate and repair for youthful and glowing skin. It's no surprise that the brand's muse actress Song Hye Kyo has mentioned that this is a must have in her daily routine and her skin is to die for. I have had this product on my try list for ages and have used deluxe size samples of it before. I managed to snag this special Lunar New Year edition of the FCAS in the stunning red bottle last year and I've finally gotten around to using it as I work down my stash.

Sulwhasoo is a South Korean heritage luxury beauty brand and the first to take a holistic approach to skincare by combining cutting-edge technology with time tested skincare practices from traditional Korean herbal medicine. The brand believes in a philosophy based on ancient wisdom that centers on treating the root cause of imbalance to restore skin's youthful health and vitality. The brand's range of skincare, makeup and beauty products which are all formulated with traditional ingredients in combination with modern technology, are shining embodiments of this philosophy. Interesting to note the  plant ingredients used in their formulas are all cultivated and harvested by Sulwhasoo which enables them to maintain the highest quality. 

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Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

$84 (60mL/ 2.02 oz)

The Product
As it's name would indicate, Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is an essential first-step serum formulated to promote a glowing, healthy complexion. This serum works as a concentrated, comprehensive treatment to nourish, firm and improve texture. It  is best used as the first step in a skincare routine after cleansing to boost the absorption, usage and results of your skin products.  This product is free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, and phthalates and is appropriate for all skin types.

Key Ingredients/Benefits
The key to the efficacy of the First Care Activating Serum is the JAUM Balancing Complex, a powerhouse proprietary herbal blend that that stimulates the skin’s natural ability to rejuvenate itself, replenish essential moisture and nutrients while providing antioxidant protection against environmental and oxidative stress for smooth, hydrated, and well-balanced skin. 
• Lotus to slow down the aging process and preserve hydration and radiance.
• Rehmannia to soften and firm the skin.
• Peony to help with regenerating and smoothing action on the skin.
• Solomon’s Seal to nourish and improve the skin's resilience.
• White Lily to brighten.

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Full Ingredients
Water / Aqua / Eau, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Glycerin, Betaine, Peg/Ppg-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Polyme-Thacrylate, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Peg-60 Hyd-Rogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Tromethamine, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Fragrance / Parfum, Honey / Mel / Miel, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Dextrin, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Lim-Onene, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Edta, Phenyl Trimethicone, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Linalool, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Natto Gum, Citronellol, Citral, Propylene Glycol, Geraniol, Chlor-Phenesin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Bht, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol.

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The Packaging
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is packaged in a luxurious and substantial opaque capped glass bottle. The product is dispensed via a plastic pump. The company does releases limited edition packaging of this product annually including a Lunar New Year version as well as special formulations. The beautiful bottle I have is the 2020 Lunar New Year edition out of Korea which is 120mL instead of the usual 60mL size. I was fortunate enough to purchase this on significant sale for $65 last year. Rest assured the product expiration date is 11/21. Below is the the regular packaging. The Lunar New Year First Care Activating Serum  that has been released for this year is quite lovely as well.

Song Hye Kyo Sulwhasoo, Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, Sulwhasoo, Sulwhasoo Song Hye Kyo

How To Use
This product is meant for use as the first step of a skincare routine and should be used day and night after cleansing. Apply 2–3 pumps onto palms and spread evenly across your face. Gently press your palms onto your face to help absorption.

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My Experience
So even though the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is referred to as a serum, the lightweight almost watery consistency of the honey hued product is really more like an essence with a a soft hanbang (herbal) scent typical to Sulwhasoo products. One pump is enough to cover my face and I use another on my neck. The product absorbs easily with a soothing and moisturizing feel that isn't sticky. I've been using it twice daily for over a month immediately after cleansing in place of toner. In the evenings I pair it with the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Emulsion (previously reviewed here) and the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask which I've been using as a night cream (review to come). My skin was in a pretty good place already but since incorporating the FCAS, it has been exceptionally well balanced and hydrated without any winter dryness and it has also been looking more radiant and refreshed in general to the point where my husband actually commented on it the other week and he doesn't usually comment on such things. One potential drawback of this product is that alcohol is fairly high up on the ingredient list but I'm willing to overlook that since it's primary purpose is to facilitate the absorption of other products applied afterwards and it doesn't make the serum drying. Other than that, I'm quite impressed as this serum is lovely to use and it delivers on it's claims with visible results. I think I will be finding a way to keep it in my routine after I finish this bottle.

The Sulwhasoo brand is one that I'm quite fond of and am continually impressed by. I have been using the Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Cleansing Foam which has been one of my favorite all time cleansers for years. I'm also partial to the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Water and Renewing Emulsion which work to boost moisture, support elasticity and increase the resiliency of skin and the hydrating and illuminating Sulwhasoo Radiance Energy Mask Overnight Vitalizing Mask which I reviewed here

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum can be purchased from Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdales and directly from Sulwhasoo.

Have you tried any Sulwhasoo products? Any favorites?

Disclosure: This post features products purchased by me and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to the Policies page of this blog.

10 comments

  1. What a gorgeous red packaging, I need to try this serum!
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself


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    ReplyDelete
  2. I have yet to try anything from teh brand, but oh my word, that packaging is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  3. If SHK says this a must-have, it must be awesome.:) THanks for the heads up, chingu! The Korean grocery store we go to is still open and they have a small kiosk that sells Aritaum stuff, so this might be there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a beautiful bottle! it's great it gives you such good results that you want to repurchase it too! :)

    Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend :) We are off to the park later today :)

    Away From Blue

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the packaging and what it does to the skin thanks for this detail review.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I saw this product on Instagram but this is first time that I read review. It sounds great, I would like to try it. Thank you for your detailed review.

    New Post - https://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2021/01/hugo-boss-scent-private-accord-for-her.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ciao Rowena, wishing you a beautiful day!

    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself


    My Instagram

    ReplyDelete
  8. That red packaging is the most beautiful serum packaging I have ever seen. So great you were able to purchase this.

    ReplyDelete

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