I keep getting the idea that Sulwhasoo and Hanyul are the same products but with different price ranges. I mean, they both are oriental medicine-based skincare under the Amore Pacific group, and technology and research should flow within the group, right? When I placed my order for Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream, I figured if Hanyul is supposed to be a more affordable version of Sulwhasoo, I should like the latter just as much if not more. I couldn’t be more wrong.
The Essential Firming Cream is from Sulwhasoo’s basic skin care range. It claims to:
Restore elasticity and tone… blended with potent Korean medicinal herbs to instantly firm slackened skin while stimulating collagen for long-term lift. Detoxifying adlay millet promotes elasticity while contouring. Pomegranate, green tea, and gingko fight free radicals to maintain youthful tone and increase radiance.
Right there you can see how wrong it is to compare the Essential Firming Cream with my favorites. The Rich Effect Cream is from the “Go-Gyeol-Jinaek” line in purple packaging, which is for mature skin. If I were to be totally fair, I should compare the Essential Firming Cream with a moisturizer from the Hanyul equivalent of basic skincare line, which will be the products in blue or green packaging.
The packaging is of course beautiful, the smooth and rounded frosted glass jar feels hefty in my hands. I expected a ginseng, or at least herbal scent, not really. It’s instead very spicy, for the lack of a better word. The texture is thicker than regular creams but absorbs easily without forming a film.
And here come the part I dislike—leave the product on for two or three hours and you’ll know why it claims to be firming. I don’t know if it is the dryness of the air, but my face feels uncomfortably taut after a while, and like the Revitalizing Cream, I must also rely on a sleep mask for extra moisture when I go to bed.
Moreover, as a moisturizer, it is honestly plain basic. It is alright at providing moisture, but it isn’t all that great at keeping the moisture there. Moreover, I do not observe much improvements after using this for months. But then again, I was indeed getting a lot more sleep when I was trying out Hanyul products. If I had lower expectations I wouldn’t be as disappointed.
Still, I will be moving on after I’m done with this, not repurchasing!