Sulwhasoo White Ginseng Brightening Mask Review

Friday, May 6, 2016

I mentioned this product in my post about skincare for women in their 50's and 60's and beyond. The post I'm referring to is the skincare bounty that is my mother's treasure trove of beauty products, where this product was first introduced and of course usurped into my routine. Lol.

I've been using this product every once in awhile lately, and thought that it could use a little review. The product I'm referring to is of course the Sulwhasoo White Ginseng Brightening Mask, and it's an exfoliating wash-off mask with some of my favorite ingredients, ginseng, honey, and beta-glucans.

Sulwhasoo is one of the luxury brands under the Amore Pacific conglomerate. It's their Korean oriental medicinal line and it features herbal extracts that are native to Korea for the most part, along with some plants that are native to China and Japan. The brand was started in 1967 and tries to 'balance the energies of the skin to give it a nourished and healthy complexion'.  Sign me up, I'm on board with that statement.

According to Sulwhasoo's U.S. website, this pack is a wash-off gel that purifies and promotes radiant-looking skin. The white ginseng promotes the skin's natural circulation and hydration, honey and beta glucan hydrate the skin and promote supple, even skin tone. The white ginseng powder gently exfoliates, restoring health and vitality to the skin.

So the claims of the pack are that it purifies skin, promotes radiance, skin circulation, hydration, and evens skin tone. That's quite a lot to pack into one wash-off mask so let's see if it delivers.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

The packaging of the Sulwhasoo White Ginseng Brightening Pack is very simple and chic. It comes in a pale ecru? squeezey tube and the twist-off cap is leak-proof and air-tight.

INGREDIENTS ANALYSIS Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Propanediol, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Alcohol, PEG-15 Glyceryl Isostearate, Panax Ginseng Root Powder, PVP, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Oil, Licorice, Ophopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Seed Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root/Plant Extract, Lilium Tigrinum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Adenophora Stricta Root Extract, Lycium Chinensis, Hydrolyzed Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen Seed (Raw Job's Tears) Extract, Angelica Tenuissima Root Extract, Honey, Beta-Glucan, Nelumbo Nucifera, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane DL-Panthenol Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C110-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Triethanolamine, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Pantethine, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Polyacrylate, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance [from CosDNA]

I'm not going to get too into the ingredients today except for the Panax Ginseng Root Powder. Ginseng is a powerful antioxidant and contains compounds called saponins and ginsenosides that are responsible for the free-radical and environmental aggressors (think UV rays and dirt and grime) fighting powers of the mask. Korean ginseng has the highest concentration of saponins and ginsenosides in the world. Polysaccharides in the ginseng are also known to be great hydrators for the skin. There is a saponin metabolite called Compound K that has been studied and shows promise to help fight cancer and to stimulate collagen synthesis. Ginseng is definitely not your average unstudied wishy-washy should-be-good-for-you botanical extract.

I've bolded the other ingredients in the mask that are beneficial to the skin and should be present in concentrations of more than 1%. In addition to the ginseng, there's green tea leaf oil, and licorice extract which are common Asian botanical extracts with anti-aging benefits and brightening capabilities. As per the marketing material, the honey and the yeast-derived beta glucan are humectants that can help hydrate the skin, but they aren't present in very large amounts. At least I'm making an assuption considering that they're present pretty far down the ingredients list.

The product is a viscous, sticky exfoliating gel-type wash-off mask. The mask is pale yellow/grapefruit colored and it contains not immaterial amounts of white ginseng powder. The granules are pretty large in size and can definitely be felt on the skin as they gently exfoliate away the dead skin flakes, dirt, and sebum. The ginseng scent is crisp and clean and smells natural, and not artificial in any way, shape or form.

This is a massage pack. To use, you simply need to apply enough to the cover the entire face and massage it into the skin for 2-3 minutes. Then rinse off with water.

The first few times I used this mask I definitely did not follow directions and mistook it for a regular wash-off pack. Always read directions folks~

The pack works almost like a peeling gel where after having been massaged for about 2-3 minutes, it starts to ball up and get a bit dry and sticky. You'll be able to tell when mostly the ginseng powder is the only thing left. It washes off surprisingly easily and leaves the skin refreshed, smooth, clear, and looking matte. After using this mask my skin looks even in tone, any and all redness is calmed, and my pores look completely degunked. While the mask is quite gentle in terms of exfoliation, it does the job well. I have to admit though it's not that hydrating nor does my skin look and feel nourished after using the mask. It delivers on its most basic claims and does not really live up to a few of the others. 

All in all, in my opinion, Sulwhasoo comes through again. Some of you who have been following the blog for awhile now know that I'm a fan of the brand, especially their Overnight Revitalizing Mask with dun dun dun.. you guessed it... ginseng. I am going to rate this one a 3.5/5 and a great option for those with oily, normal, and/or sensitive skin.

This mask is available at Neiman Marcus (where it is currently sold out) or Amazon where it is $79.48 with $9.99 shipping. Each mask comes with 80 ml or 2.7 oz of product.

Have you tried this mask? If so, what did you think?
Also, Happy Mother's Day to everyone out there. I hope you enjoy the beautiful occasion.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

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