Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum

3.4

18 reviews

55% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.1

Price: $$$

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Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Another 'luxury' Korean skincare treat which I'd been looking forward to for quite some time. This is a watery serum which pretty much vanishes into my skin immediately and doesn't sit around waiting to be absorbed. Using this in a sample size I noticed a brightening effect almost within a couple of days (especially when used alongside the Ginseng Cream) and also a slight reduction in my skins' oil production - something I was totally not expecting! The reduction I must stress was only slight, not huge and would still need to use blotting sheets by evening time.

There are some pretty amazing ingredients in First Care Activating Serum. I'm a big fan of the brightening effect of Licorice and it's good to see that is in here. For those worried about the inclusion of alcohol, it's not one of the top ingredients and normally my skin is the first to react to alcohol in products, which it hasn't so that goes to show there is not much in it.

All in all made my skin look bright, healthy and slightly less oily - pretty much all I could ask for in a serum!



Selena x



~ My HG list ~

(As I've sampled 100s of skin, hair and m/u products over the last decade and a half, I thought it might be useful to share my top 10 must-have products, subject to change if and when I come across something more effective. I love constantly trying out new stuff - usually sample sizes via e-bay, also plenty courtesy of a friend who works at Sephora)


1. Hair Loss Treatment: ‘Divine Herbal’ - Hair Oil
2. Lip Balm: Jack Black - Intense Therapy
3. Pigmentation + Anti-Ageing Treatment: ‘Divine Herbal’ - Facial Treatment Serum
4. Cleanser: 'Paula's Choice' - Skin Balancing Cleanser
5. Concealer: ‘Mac’ - Studio Finish Concealer
6. Lash Growth Serum: ‘Divine Herbal’ - Divinelash
7. Foundation/SPF: ‘Juice Beauty’ - Stem Cellular Repair (warm glow)
8. Face Scrub: ‘Sisley' - Botanical Gentle Buffing Cream
9. Moisturizer: ‘Antipodes' - Rejoice Light Day Cream
10. Hand Cream: 'Origins' - Make A Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment

1 of 1 people found this helpful.



on 6/24/2018 11:26:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

A few days after I started using this, a friend commented that I looked somehow brighter, radiant, glowy bla bla bla. Keeping in mind however that this was just a few days after I started using this, I'm not sure how much (if any) of this could be attributed to the serum (maybe it was just the good-skin time of the month). It's been 2 months since, and I do notice that my face is less blotchy/red. The serum itself is quite nice to use - I use it as the first step after cleansing, it sinks in really fast and does not leave any tackiness. It is not moisturising enough on its own so I follow up with a moisturising toner, and oil/gel cream. It is pricey, but the 60ml bottle priced at S$60 has lasted me two months now with twice daily use (I use a single pump each time) and I think will last at least one more month...so not so pricey I think, if your skin likes it. I am already intending to repurchase.


on 6/22/2018 2:08:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I ordered samples of this due to how pricey the full size is. After using it nightly for 30 days, I noticed no difference! This is very unlike Sulwhasoo products as I've had much success with their ginseng line and currently trying out the timetreasure line which I'll post reviews as soon as I've reached 2 months.

Anyways, usually a skincare product starts to show results within the first month for me...some as soon as the next day. So I'm ditching this one for good. But I'm not sad because my skin is doing really great from their other products and I don't need another product to add to my regimen.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Black

I'm glad I bought a tester size to try. This was supposed to be one of Sulwhasoo's star products. Everybody loved it (...again, the hype had finally caught me...), everybody said it was "one of their holy grail skin cares" ... "a 'must-have' " and you know, all that jazz.

Well, I was carried by the hype. Despite that, I did a research on it. I even made a poll on how many people satisfied, and compared to how many did not. Considering that I didn't want to splurge my money on a pricey skincare (around $ 70), hence I MUST do some research!
Eventually, I decided to get a tester size (8 ml) for just $ 6 and I'm glad I didn't splurge on a full size.

I was excited to try. To be honest, I felt like I finally fit in to the hype. I thought that I finally belong to the group that (will) used this skincare and will eventually love it.

Firstly, I loved the smell. It had a light scent of ginseng. Secondly, I loved how it felt on my skin (possibly, the placebo effect...?). Thirdly, it brightened up my skin after I used it 1-2 days, and it made my face less oily.

However, there came the downside. It gave me breakouts! I had small bumps all over my forehead and on my cheeks! Optimistic, I thought this was just a first reaction, so I continued using it until I know that I HAD ENOUGH!

Sigh... I was disappointed.

Another part of me couldn't blame Sulwhasoo because it could be solely my sensitive skin. But another part of me thought, with such price?! It should work with every skin type, that's it. I used Clinique and other drugstore skin cares which were much cheaper than Sulwhasoo and I encountered no breakout.

Sulwhasoo could be very pricey because of their natural/organic ingredients, but again, I must reemphasize that WITH SUCH PRICE, IT MUST WORK WITH EVERY SKIN TYPE. Although most people were satisfied, yet not a few encountered breakouts. And it was very unfortunate especially for those that purchased a full set (approx. $ 900) and needed to stop using it.

I felt very fortunate that I trusted my intuition to go for a $6 tester size, instead of jump to splurging on a $70 full size. No heart break, Sulwhasoo, though you gave me breakouts. This is a happy goodbye.


on 7/28/2017 12:51:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I had acne oily T zone combination skin and this product amazed me as i COMPLETELY gotten rid of all my problems (acne, oil) in ONE product. I will definitely considering buying it again despite of the price (It is cheaper if you buy from the wholesale factory in Korea in myeongdong as of 2017 as it SAVES UP your money from all the visits to facial cleaning and using other products. I LOVE THIS! it saved my face :)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This is sooo expensive so I buy sample-sizes instead of the full product. I LOVE this product though. I like this more than the ginseng serum in the same line that gets really good reviews. It makes my skin calmer and more resilient, kind of like a more powerful version of the original Missha FTE formulation. Would recommend trying if you have the cash.


on 9/22/2016 11:01:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

This is supposed to be one of Sulwhasoo's star products, but I didn't notice anything different to my skin even after using up the entire bottle. It has a pleasant herbal scent and a light gel texture, but wasn't very hydrating compared to some other serums I use. Overall, this was just an extra step to my skin care routine which I didn't need.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 11/12/2015 10:08:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Other, Coarse

Eyes: Black

I bought this from Thailand's duty free promotion for 97$/2bottles so the price was well worth it.

I've used this for about 3wks. Slowly fell in love with it. The effect was less noticable but crucial.
It helped strengthen my skin. It made my face stay put in a good condition which, in my opinion, is more importnant than glowing, plumming, depigmentation or anti acne effects. Imagine the skin at your inner arm, it is so smooth and nice even with all the stress and no skincare. This serum did the similar thing by increasing tolerant to stress.

FYI my skin is relatively good with main issue on easily clog pores. occasionally sensitive and acne.

so far so good, will keep updated

update feb 2016
I stopped using it due to I noticed I kept having 1-2 small acne every weeks
I now switched to shiseido which kept my face strenghten and no new acne occur

Update sep 2016
I tried to use it again but I think a experience the small breakout again

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

Tested this for two weeks and can't say I saw any difference. It's a watery lotion that goes on quite sticky and formed a bit of a film on my face, I'm not sure that helps with better absorption as the product claims.The scent comes off herbal and does not linger. Didn't cause any issues to my skin but won't be buying this.


on 9/12/2015 11:09:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I combined this one with the Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum, and it worked nicely on my skin, very very hydrated but not oily. Of course, both of them are serum :)). Since used them, I do not need any extra hydration cream more. Just apply two lovely serum and go to bed. In the next morning, glowy skin says hello :>).


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