Review – Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum


Today’s review is all about the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum, which i purchased from DFS at the Singapore Changi Airport. It retails for something like S$90 for a 60ml bottle, and i paid S$175 for a twin pack. The savings weren’t that significant after all. You will also find 90ml bottles of the serum at the Sulwhasoo counter in Tangs. *I just double-checked the Tangs e-store, and found that the 60ml bottle actually retails for S$106. So i actually saved ~S$37 by buying it from DFS.

Frankly speaking, there hasn’t been a lot of hype about Sulwhasoo and it’s range of skincare products (as compared to some other brands that i use or have used). My sister had tried several samples of it before, and has grown to like a choice few, which she says works well for her. She has very sensitive skin, worse than mine, in fact. And her experience has made me want to try it out for myself…since it works well for her terribly sensitive skin.

Somehow, Sulwhasoo’s whole persona of understated elegance draws me to it as well. It is pretty pricey, don’t let its simple packaging fool you. They have several lines of skincare suited for different needs, and the prices of some of them are not far from other high-end brands like La Prairie and La Mer. When i think of Sulwhasoo products, they don’t strike me as being overly ‘dramatic’ or ‘showy’ – the brand exudes a certain quiet confidence.

The First Care Activating Serum is one of the more popular products of the Sulwhasoo Essential Line, and i’d like to start with this review as the serum is one of the basic steps in any skincare regime. I have a few Sulwhasoo products which i’ve purchased in recent months, and i will post a review on them soon. So without any further ado, let’s get on with the introduction shall we? :)

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Product Description: (taken from the Sulwhasoo website)

Formulated with Korean medicinal herbs, this essential regimen boosting serum assures optimal skin care results, promoting balance and replenishing essential moisture and nutrients.

  • Membranous Milkvetch promotes natural skin circulation and Dwarf Lilyturf and Licorice boost synergy among herbal extracts to restore skin’s natural healthy radiance.
  • Absorbing instantly and deep within the skin, this serum leaves the skin soft, smooth and supple, prepares skin to receive treatment and boosts the efficacy of skin care used throughout the regimen.

How to use
After facial wash in the morning and evening, pump 2~3 times onto palm and apply with fingertips. Gently wrap the face with hands to help absorption of the product.

They even provide application tips on the best way to use the First Care Activating Serum for maximum effect.

First Care Serum Usage Tip 1

First Care Serum Usage Tip 2

First Care Serum Usage Tip 3

First Care Serum Usage Tip 4

Here are more pictures to give you an idea what the texture of the serum is like.

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

The First Care Activating Serum comes in a nondescript bottle, but it’s weight does lend a more luxurious feel to it. None of that cheap lightweight plastic you may be imagining, judging by the looks of it. The cap is light and feels a bit cheap, but its the least of my worries. At least it’s durable and works like it should. The bottle cap of my La Mer cleanser is loose and doesn’t even sit properly on the top of the bottle after using it a few times! But that’s another story for another day.

The pump dispenser is great, just the way i like it! It’s easy to handle, and dispense just the right amount of product in a sanitary manner. About 2 pumps is enough to use on my face and neck area.

From the picture above, you can see that its texture is slightly heavy, but it doesn’t feel so. A clear liquid with a brownish tinge, it has a slight gel-like texture to it, but absorption into the skin is easy and quite quick, despite its thicker consistency. There is a faint herbal smell to it, but much less than other Sulwhasoo products actually. It doesn’t smell bad or anything, in fact i have gotten used to the scent and enjoy the experience of lathering it on my skin. It’s quite relaxing.

I don’t really follow the recommended application tips, as i’m usually pressed for time. But i try to once in a while when i have a bit of time on my hands and can remember. I use this in the morning and night, right after my SKII Facial Treatment Essence. The SA recommends that this used be the first product you put on your face, but i still feel that my FTE should go on first. The First Care Activating Serum is also supposed to prep your skin for better absorption of the other products that you use in your skincare regime.

I’ve used this for 2 months now, and overall, my skin does feel less dry, more smooth and supple. The pores on my cheek area are also slightly tighter and smaller. I’m not going to claim that my skin is glowing or anything to that extent… but i do feel like my skin is healthier. The real test of hydration is yet to come. I live in tropical weather, so even though i have somewhat dry combination skin, this product hasn’t quite lived up to a challenge because the air is humid here. I will be on vacation next week, where it’s cold and the air is very dry (think desert!). I hope that my skin doesn’t suffer too much, and that the serum will help to retain moisture in my skin.

It’s not WOW, but i like it and i honestly think it’s worth a try. :)

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are my own, and have not been influenced by PR companies or advertisers. Products featured/reviewed are purchased with my own money, unless otherwise stated.

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