Beauty,  Honest Reviews,  Skincare

REVIEW: Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum Trial Kit

Hey guys, thanks for dropping by my blog for a visit. Today we’ll be reviewing a popular Korean skincare brand, Sulwhasoo. I got their First Care Activating Serum Trial Kit based on my friend’s recommendation who’s in her 50’s with skin that looks like in her 30’s and a massive fan of the brand. 

Is it any good? If you’re too lazy to read my detailed review below, YES. The answer is a huge YES. My skin has never looked and felt good since my teen years and that’s saying a LOT because I have relatively clear skin, but not this fresh, not this radiant, not this plump and juicy oh my!

Where to buy? Sulwhasoo on Lazada

Back when I was in my 20’s, while I was vain, I knew I could get away with just a facial wash, a toner, and sunscreen. Sunscreen is something in my skincare arsenal that I could never do without. But as I was approaching the dreaded 30’s, and even I’m now half-way to 40’s. I have accepted the fact that my skin needs more nourishment than just basic cleansing. Thus, me purchasing this skincare trial kit from a luxury brand, that I got for a steal thanks to Shopee vouchers! LOL

How do we go about this? Since I used the set as a collective, I can share my experience on each product’s feel, and their effect as a whole. Let’s go!

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum Trial Kit Review

Product Description

An indispensable, anti-aging essence that produces stronger, more radiant skin with an all-around skin moisture barrier


First Care Activating Serum 30ml, Essential Comfort Balancing Water 35ml,
Essential Comfort Balancing Emulsion 35ml, Essential Comfort Firming Cream 15ml,
Gentle Cleansing Foam 50ml


Water, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Betaine, 1, 2-hexanediol, Bis-peg-18, Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Carbomer, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tromethamine, Propanediol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Walnut Seed Extract, Dextrin, Cocoa Extract, Skullcap Root Extract, Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Limonene, Methyl Trimethicone, Disodium Edta, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Honey, Madecassoside, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Pentylene Glycol, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract, Linalool, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Polygonatum Odoratum Rhizome Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Propylene Glycol, Ziziphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Natto Gum, Licorice Root Extract, Prunus Mume Fruit Extract, Citronellol, Citral, Geraniol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, BHT, Citric Acid, Lentinus Edodes Extract, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Soybean Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Ginger Root Extract

Breakdown courtesy of Geeky Posh

  • Walnut seed extract – Exhibited antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties in vitro.
  • Cocoa extract – Similar to walnut seeds, the polyphenols within provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits in in-vivo studies.
  • Skullcap Root Extract – A traditional Chinese medicinal herb rich in flavonoids that provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
  • Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract – Aka Chinese foxglove and 1 of the 5 extracts in the JAUM Activator. A study in mice found it can suppress the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, both which can contribute to skin aging.
  • Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract – A study found it to be anti-inflammatory and barrier restoring.
  • Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract – Aka White Peony or Bai Shao, another traditional Chinese medicinal herb that can decrease hyperpigmentation.6 Also a part of the JAUM Activator.
  • Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract – Aka White Lily and a part of the JAUM Activator, though there’s little research on its exact benefits. One study did find that when used together with other extracts (none of which are included here), it can help reduce the appearance of dark circles.
  • Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract – Goji berries are considered a superfood rich in antioxidants, but topically it’s also found to help decrease hyperpigmentation and improve skin tone.
  • Polygonatum Odoratum Rhizome Extract – Aka Solomon’s Seal and a part of the JAUM Activator, it claims to be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial but I couldn’t find any research supporting this.
  • Ziziphus Jujuba Fruit Extract – Aka Jujube, a study found it to have anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically.
  • Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract – Aka Lotus Flower and the final member of the JAUM Activator, research has found it to have anti-aging benefits.10,11
  • Pueraria Lobata Root Extract – Aka Kudzu, it’s shown to help with collagen production and inhibit photoaging.
  • Licorice Root Extract – One of the better-researched extracts, it’s been shown to have antioxidant, anti-aging, and brightening benefits.
  • Prunus Mume Fruit Extract – Aka Chinese Plum, it’s been found to brighten the skin by inhibiting melanin production.
  • Lentinus Edodes Extract – aka Shitake Mushrooms, is rich in flavonoids, polyphenols, and amino acids that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin.15
  • Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract – aka Peony, which is different from the White Peony earlier. I couldn’t find any research on this specific Peony, but it contains Paeoniflorin as well, which is an antioxidant.
  • Ginger Root Extract – Its main compound Gingerol has great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Thoughts & Review

Whew! Are you still here? That’s a lot to digest I know! It isn’t even food.. well technically yes – food for our skin. Let’s go to each product one by one.


Everything except the activating serum is packaged in plastic. The serum is enclosed in a ceramic bottle and can honestly pass off as full-sized!


A mild warm herbal scent that I enjoy sniffing. I find it relaxing, and comforting.


Without the vouchers, it’s around 1990php for the entire kit, which honestly I do not find “expensive” at all because I’ve been using the kit for 2 months now on a daily basis and I’m barely halfway through. A little goes a long way really.

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam

  • Gentle Cleansing Foam pulls dirt, makeup, and grime from pores while softening skin with a nutrient-rich blend of botanical ingredients, including brightening citrus peel and chestnut shell extract

It says to use 2 pumps but the scrimpy old me prefers to use one and it lathers the same and can wash my entire face. I find that it is deep cleansing and can remove even my Anessa sunscreen, but it doesn’t leave my skin taut or dry upon rinsing. Magic.

Sulwhasoo essential Balancing Water Ex

  •  Essential Balancing Water EX prepares skin for intense moisturization as it soothes, smoothens, and softens

Directions say I use the activating serum first, but I prefer to splash their Essential Balancing Water first instead. It feels like a tad thicker than water, and it’s almost fragrance-free. It has a soothing cool feel and I think this is the one to run out first. 

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

  •  First Care Activating Serum EX acts as your post-cleanse, preparatory product to create the ideal canvas and boost the effectiveness of skincare that is applied afterwards like serum or moisturize

Ah, the brand’s star product. It has the strongest Ginseng fragrance out of everything else in the kit but I don’t mind at all since I love the scent. I use two pumps, and its texture is like, cough medicine. It looks like cough medicine too hahaha! I rub it on my palms and I pat gently on my skin while massaging upwards. I love how it feels! Silky, soft, and soothing.

Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Emulsion Ex

  • Essential Balancing Emulsion EX provides rich moisture to leave skin soft, smooth, and dewy

The moisturizer of the bunch. If I didn’t read the product description, I wouldn’t know what’s it for HAHAHA it’s a lightweight moisturizer that makes my skin feel soft and supple. Usually I use this last, and skip the firming cream when I don’t feel like heavy layering.

Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream Ex

  • Essential Firming Cream EX fortifies and strengthens skin to dramatically deliver a firmer, more lifted look with JISUN Firming Complexª

I usually skip this product or use it 2x a week because I find it too heavy for Philippines’ humid climate. It’s an amazing match to my Love K-Derma LED facial device which helps add a bit of slip and helps the device run smoother on my skin, definitely better than bare.

Here are a couple of my “recent” photos below. Without any filter. And yes my brows needs plucking! I only use the kit at night, because at daytime I use Pixi’s glow tonic and suncreen only. So it’s an easier base when I consider putting on makeup.


This is my bare skin,still with redness here and there, nothing that a good green Cica based concealer can’t fix. But overall, I’m loving my skin’s texture. It doesn’t look old.


This is me with light concealer and makeup. Not bad for 35 eh? My skin has never looked this good since I was a teenager. I’m definitely re-purchasing. Im not sure though if I’ll get the full-sized or just another batch of trial kit. 

A tip though, it’s cheaper if you buy the kit than buy the products individually. A full-sized serum, for example, is around 2990, but a full-sized kit that has a full-sized serum included along with other products would just cost you at 4,000+ more or less.

I hope you enjoyed reading my review as I truly enjoyed Sulwhasoo’s products! What a great skincare discovery!

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