Note - purchased the travel/sample 5-piece kit with other products. I don't use a cotton pad to add this to my skin. I simply pour a bit into my clean bare hands and pat it on my face.
scent - it is the most invigorating scent/feeling one can have added to their morning regime. The scent itself is a nice "wake-me-up" after showering & washing my face. It's a honey-herbal scent.
absorption to skin - fast. I really appreciate fast-absorbing products because I am always in a rush in the morning, I can't waste a minute for something to absorb! I can do it at night, but not in the morning. The fact that I can just pat this lightly on my skin with my bare hands is great! No need for extra cotton pads.
absorption of other products - this was definitely a factor to my "likes." Everything other product I add to my skin after felt like it absorbed a lot more. This would be an item you would put on your skin immediately after wash and before anything else.
Price - $77 Free Shipping on Amazon for a 125ml bottle. I can imagine it lasting for a long time, as the sample size really lasted for quite some time.
I wouldn't call this a toner because to me, a toner also acts as an additional cleanser to any residue on your face after using makeup removers and cleansing your face. I would definitely still add this item on top of using a toner, if you already use a toner.
This is a top pick (at this moment) for the water step in your face care. However, for the price...a bit hesitant to repurchase. Will definitely have to edit this if I end up buying it!
$55 USD for 4.7oz. - I think you can only buy this line in the US at either Neiman Marcus (online) or Bergdorf Goodman. I bought the entire set (including the serum, water, emulsion, and creams) after I saw my SIL's glowing skin (she's been using it for over a year now). I'd been using CD forever and was looking around for something different, and this was it. The line's based on Korean herbal medicine, so there's an herbal underlying scent and ginseng - which I love. I hate the perfumey scents that other skincare lines always add, but I find the very light herbal scent soothing and therapeutic. the product is in a heavier bottle that feels expensive and looks wonderful on my dressing table.
I would not use the water on its own. At minimum, purchase it with the emulsion. The water's texture is like glycerine and adds a layer of moisture to help your skin absorb the moisturizer (that's the emulsion, which has a very light texture). For me, the water first feels a little sticky then gets absorbed really fast into my skin. I love that you don't waste any product because you apply it with your fingers.
I use this and the emulsion for day, and for night - I add the cream on top. My skin's normally combination, tending to be more oily, but in the winter, it acts crazy dry, developing little flakes under my makeup. In combination with the other products, my skin looks very soft and supple, even in the middle of the winter!! No flakes so far around my mouth/nose area!
I bought a Sulwhasoo set tax free in Seoul plus on a 25% discount. Still expensive but I bit the bullet. It had the First Care Serum, Balancing Water, Balancing Emulsion, Eye Cream and Ginseng Cream.
I have been using this stuff for 3 weeks and I really do see a difference in my skin. I have dry skin with occasional hormonal acne, some fine lines and some unevennes in color. These products have improved the softness and the dewyness of my skin. I need less foundation than before (just tinted moisturizer)
I use the First Care Serum, Balancing Water, Balancing emulsion 2x a day. The Balancing Water is a toner, but it's not the type of toner that Western brands have that is much more liquid. This is a transparent liquid but more dense than water. You apply it directly to skin, not with a cotton pad. It's very pleasant and lightly scented. I follow this with the Emulsion - if I have time I wait a bit but sometimes I just layer them on right after the other. Both work fine.
I am not sure all these steps are useful or necessary for skin care, but the end result is nicely hydrating. I used to use a much heavier moisturizer (night cream during the day) since I have dry skin. With these products, I have replaced that with a much lighter option that hydrates just as well. I guess the system works. Don't forget to add sunscreen in the day!
Korean skincare usually involves more steps and time than Western skincare. You may see this as a "hassle" or relish the meditative aspect. I enjoy taking a few extra minutes for my skincare, but I believe you can just layer the products as well without waiting too much in between. The smell also makes a difference for me. A very light scent is found in all products (stronger in the Ginseng cream) that only lasts a few seconds so you don't keep smelling it. Just enough to refresh and calm your mind at the same time. I might be addicted to the smell. Or Sulwhasoo in general.
Packaging is gorgeous. Dates on the product are manifacturing dates, not expiration dates.
This balancing water has gel-like texture but spread easy and absorb very fast. When you use this toner you kust pat it lightly on your face. Dont use cotton ball to apply this one because this line is very expensive. I used this line for almost a year before i switch to the history of whoo and it sure helps even out my skin tone, less oily on my t-zone and reduces acne to almost none. I use first care serum, toner and rejuvenate eye cream during the day. At night I use first care serum, toner, emulsion and eye cream. With my oily skin I wouldn't dare to touch the firming cream or the ginseng cream. Btw my mom loves the ginseng cream. She's 60 but looks like late 40 and has been using it for long time. I like to try a new thing and mess up my skin along the way but always come back to this line.
The toner is thick in the hand, doesn't run or drip, but applies like a splash of water. Hydrating and doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.
I love love this toner. This is the only toner that doesn't irritate my skin. No breakouts since I started using this product.
It's a great toner with a thick consistency, which is great because it doesn't evaporate too fast. I used to have great, fantastic normal skin but weather changes left me with a strange combination of dry cheeks with an oily T-zone.. with a bunch of acne and bumps and whiteheads that I never got before (I'm a Southern California girl who has just experienced my first year in a new country with 4 distinct seasons.) I don't use anything other than this toner with the balancing lotion and some sunscreen and my skin has cleared up a lot.
This, along with the emulsion, is fantastic!! Although Sulwhasoo is targeted for older women, it is perfect for anyone with normal to dry skin. The scent is soothing and lightly herbal. Very moisturizing toner. HG worthy. Wish it was more widely available and a little cheaper!
Sulwhasoo is one of four lines (Laneige, Iope, Lirikos) under Amore Pacific catered to Asian skin and more specifically, for women above the age of 35 or mature skin. It contains loads of nutritious, good-for-skin, herbal ingredients.
I'm 21 but my mother received loads of this product so I decided to try it and I love it!
The one thing I was scared about was it being way too oily as it is catered to mature skin. This toner was just right. I've used toners in the past where it was either too watery or alcoholic leaving my skins squeaky, or too oily. This is a very light, watery liquid-gel and feels so silky and fresh when applied. My skin immediately feels revitalized and supple and happy to have what it needs back after cleansing. It has a strong herbal scent but it's pleasant to me and has never broken my out yet (along with the emulsion) keeps my skin sufficiently moisturized during the harsh winters.
This sells for $65 at The Amore stores in Toronto and online at amorecanada.com and yesstyle.com.