The Powerhouse Natural Korean Beauty Brand That’s About to Take Over Stateside

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With all of the skin-care and makeup brands vying for space in your medicine cabinet, keeping on top of what really deserves real estate on your top shelf is the modern woman's beauty conundrum.

So when a brand comes along with combination formulas designed to address a bevy of skin-care concerns in one gem of a product (with a refreshing philosophy, to boot), that's huge. File Sulwhasoo, the Korean beauty import infused with more than 50 years of holistic skin-care prowess, on that list.

Sulwhasoo—which was inspired by a camellia oil crafted by founder Sung-hwan Suh's mother—employs a team of 500 researchers focusing on nature-driven formulas. "Korean herbal medicine is at the heart of Sulwhasoo’s beauty philosophy as Asian wisdom and traditions strongly influence the brand’s desire to find harmony, balance, and treatments for the body," says Sulwhasoo research director Mark Choo.

Basically, it is the goliath of luxury K-beauty—with an emphasis on lit-from-within self care. Do-it-all products are the brand's sweet spot, like the new cushion formulas. The Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion combines the benefits of both BB and CC creams into a lightweight foundation that also packs sun protection and hydration—AKA, it's an all-in-one cocktail for glowy-looking skin.

Keep reading for 3 reasons you should make room for this buzzy Korean beauty line in your routine.

Photo: Sulwhasoo

1. It taps botanical ingredients

Ginseng is known as Sulwhasoo's star ingredient. But in addition to that, the majority of the collection (including the best-selling serum in Korea, First Care Activating Serum) taps a signature blend of five herbs sourced from 3,000 ingredients used in traditional Korean medicine: peony, lotus, white lily, and two flowering plants found in Asia, Solomon's seal and rehmannia.

"These herbs allow skin to effectively restore balance to five aspects of the skin: nourishment, vitality, clarity, resilience, and regeneration," says Choo. The blend is brewed for 18 straight hours (hello, potency!) and is featured in the Perfecting Cushion.

Perfecting cushionPhoto: Sulwhasoo

2. It doesn't shy away from innovative technology

Natural doesn't have to mean lo-fi. The team of researchers based in Yongin, South Korea (outside Seoul, which is basically the world's skin-care capital) not only hunts for quality herbal ingredients, but the best application formats to harness their benefits.

"One challenge for many makeup fanatics is the chore of having to clean makeup brushes to mitigate bacteria transferring onto the skin," says Choo. With the brand's cushion collection, though, the puff is infused with special technology to sterilize the applicator. "They allow foundation application that's great for on-the-go consumers because of their compact, travel-friendly packaging," notes Choo.

Plus, with the Perfecting Cushion's airy applicator, product is distributed evenly—which means it's really hard to put on too much. The effect? Natural-looking, no-makeup makeup with a side of SPF 50+.

minimalist skin-care routine
Photo: Stocksy/Julien L Balmer

3. It's all about beauty multi-tasking

On top of the JAUM Balancing Complex™ (the aforementioned signature herbal blend), each cushion compact contains specific skin-loving ingredients like apricot kernel oil, which is said to plump skin and visibly minimize fine lines, and magnolia extract and licorice, which are touted for brightening and reducing dullness in skin. Together, the formula promotes major while boosting moisture levels.

If oily skin is your issue, Powder for Cushion is your new go-to. “Apply the product across the T-zone to set that area and apply throughout the day for a soft-matte finish," advises Choo. "The skin-care formula in the powder makes the powder light so the skin can breathe comfortably without heaviness or dryness.”

For a glowy, I-just-returned-from-a-tropical-vacay look, there’s the Multi Cushion Highlighter. “When applied after a cushion, it can be used [...] to naturally accentuate the tops of the cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow for a bright, radiant finish,” says Choo. Looks like you need to clear a little space on your shelf.

In partnership with Sulwhasoo

Top photo: Unsplash/ Joe Gardner


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