It’s March you and all know what that means. There will be lots of whitening skincare promotions from every beauty brand that has a whitening range. I have a few brands to feature in respect of their whitening skincare but I am going to start with Sulwhasoo’s Snowise EX range.
Those of you familiar with the concept of internal heat in Chinese medicine will know that we have to eliminate such toxins from our body in order to balance our “qi”. Similarly in Korean medicine, internal heat can cause inflammation and the heat that is trapped in the body also impacts the skin causing uneven skin tone, dull and dark complexion, pigmentation and skin dryness.
Sulwhasoo recently collaborated with the Seoul National University to conduct a study on the sun’s UV rays and its effects on the skin. It was discovered that the sun emits not only UV rays (which is only about 5% of the rays) but also infrared rays, which makes up about 60% of the total ray emission. The infrared ray, which also produces heat, is the main culprit for the yellowish and redness tone on the skin.
Internal Stress is a new found cause of heat known as the inner heat, which needs to be treated as well. As the skin ages and loses moisture, it is susceptible to inner heat and glycation which then leads collagen abnormalities resulting in wrinkles, creping, sagging and a yellowish skin tone. Internal Stress is a concept found in Korean herbal medicine.
Upon identifying the heat sources, Sulwhasoo mapped out a 3-Dimensional Whitening Solution in addressing the effects of heat from 1) UV rays 2) Infrared rays and 3) Internal Stress. UV rays, known to cause inflammation and melanin synthesis, also causes pigmentation and dull skin tone while infrared rays reduces antioxidant enzymes and expands blood vessels. It also causes dull and uneven skin tone. Internal Stress causes collagen and moisture loss as well as an increase in the sugar level of collagen resulting in loss of clarity and vitality on the skin.
The 3-Dimensional Whitening Solution consists of three key ingredients with each targeting at the three heat sources. They are the White Ginseng Saponin, White Cloud Grass and White Ginseng Polysaccharides. These three ingredients are used in Sulwhasoo’s patented formulation known as the Snowise Tri-White Complex, which is applied to Sulwhasoo’s Snowise EX product range.
The most expensive ingredient has to be the White Ginseng Polysaccharides as it is separated from the White Ginseng using a unique technology to ensure high concentration of water-soluble white ginseng extracts. It is a rare substance with only 10kg extracted with every 100kg of white ginseng. The White Ginseng Polysaccharides promotes translucency of the skin and the formation of quality collagen. It also counters the effects of aging skin.
Sulwhasoo utilizes different production methods for different skincare ranges – there’s the steaming method for the Men’s Line and germinating treatment for the Timetreasure line. The Poje Method refers to various methods of processing that are used to formulate Korean medicinal herbs. Ingredients that are baked, steamed, fermented, or vinegared are detoxified, enriched, or preserved for a longer period of time.
For the Snowise EX range, the Salt Treatment Method is applied to the Korean traditional herbs that are used in this range. Salt treatment brings out the efficacy of the active ingredients making it more effective when consumed. Salt does not only clarify the body and purifies the blood but it also fortifies the Yin energy and detoxifies inflammation to clarify and brighten the skin.
Snowise EX Collection
Snowise EX Whitening Serum, 50ml (RM600)
Sulwhasoo Snowise EX Whitening Serum is also the world’s first heat-treating Whitening Serum. It rejuvenates tired skin especially from the effects of external and internal heat. Formulated with traditional Korean herbs and Snowise Tri-white Complex, it aims to improve the skin’s complexion making it brighter with a healthy glow. It also contains an anti-glycation agent, which helps in the prevention of wrinkle formation and sagging skin.
According to a clinical study that was conducted by the Amorepacific Skin Science Research Institute, application of the whitening serum resulted in the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation, inflammatory mediators and blood vessel dilation. The skin energy restores to 60% with the ability to regenerate liveliness and improve dullness. Restoration is also seen in the skin’s collagen. Skin becomes more supple and translucent while the yellowness skintone and melanin production significantly reduced.
Snowise EX Whitening Mask, 20g x 10 pieces (RM385)
This is a Bio-Cellulose Mask (Korean traditional herbal fermented mask) that is fermented for two weeks with carefully selected Korean traditional herbs including White Ginseng. It delivers a high intensity of White Ginseng Polysaccharides to create naturally bright skin complexion.. Upon application of the mask, nutrients immediately seep into the skin to reveal a brighter complexion.
Sulwhasoo EX Whitening Mask’s structure is 500 times denser than ordinary pulp masks, which helps efficient absorbing of whitening ingredients. It has outstanding permeability, which makes it extremely comfortable on the face.
During the presentation of Snowise EX, we tried a small piece of the mask on the back of our hand and I was impressed with how unique and thin the texture of this mask is and how much serum it has. Although I believe the mask will not dry even within half an hour, it is not recommended to be on our face for longer than 15-20 minutes.
Snowise EX Whitening Eye Treatment, 15ml (RM220)
This brightening eye treatment is fortified with cooling Korean herbs such as Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract (Skullcap). The Skullcap activates the cooling sensors of the body, which will then strengthen the whitening efficacy. It is known to be effective in releasing heat from the upper body including the face area. The eye treatment comes with a Zamak cooling metal applicator that relieves stress on the skin and helps brighten the skin around the eyes.
How to apply:
The first step to applying the eye treatment is by massaging it with your finger tips then circle the applicator around your eye area to relieve eye puffiness, improve blood circulation and tighten the muscles for more resilient looking eyes. The Zamak cooling metal applicator can be refrigerated for your next pleasant cooling massage.
Snowise EX Cleansing Foam, 150ml (RM120)
This light acidic base cleansing foam contains Niacinamide, Gingko Biloba Leaf and East Indian Lotus Extract that helps clarify the skin leaving it hydrated and radiant. It also contains BHA and AHA that function to remove dead skin cells.
Snowise EX White Ginseng Exfoliating Gel, 80ml (RM160)
This is a wash-off gel that contains among them White Ginseng Powder, Honey and Schizophyllum Commune (mushroom) that helps remove dead skin cells in enhancing glowing radiant skin. The β-Glucan from the Schizophyllum Commune also promotes the generation of epithelial cell growth factors, which is essential for healing skin damages. Epithelial cell growth factors also promote biosynthesis of collagen to improve skin resilience.
Snowise EX Whitening Water, 125ml (RM190)
This gel-type whitening toner deeply absorbs into the skin to help one achieve clearer and a more refreshed-looking complexion.
Snowise EX Whitening Fluid, 125ml (RM205)
Also a gel-type whitening toner, it contains Chinese Peony Extract that soothes the skin, boosts skin’s natural energy to maintain a bright complexion. It feels smooth on the skin with the presence of a natural emulsifier.
Spread lightly on the skin to deliver fresh moisture to the skin and a supple finish for a brighter complexion.
Snowise EX Whitening Cream, 50ml (RM395)
It contains White Lily Extract that soothes and nourishes the skin for improved brightness. This highly concentrated cream combines a natural self-emulsifying emulsifier complex and water-soluble polymer that melts fast upon application to form a clear protective layer on the skin to prevent the skin from dryness.
Snowise EX Whitening UV Protection Cream SPF47, PA+++, 40ml (RM220)
This is a dual-functional cream that enhances the brightening and whitening effect while at the same time protects the skin from the harmful UV rays. It provides a smooth application with a supple finish.
This appears to be quite an extensive whitening range as it also includes a UV Protection Cream on top of all the basic products. In case you are wondering, the Fluid is recommended to be applied after the Water and before the Cream but if you have oily skin, you can skip the Fluid and just apply the Cream after the Water. The Serum is very light and the scent in all the products is relaxing. I’d say the scent is luxurious. Although the prices of the Serum, Mask and Cream are steep, I can understand and appreciate why they have a premium price tag. The ingredients are expensive and when you have tried just a teeny piece of the Mask on your hand, you’ll know why it’s priced at RM38.50 per piece which by the way is still lower than some Japanese counter brands whose whitening masks are at least RM55 per piece.