With the amazing Sulwhasoo facial I received in the Seoul flagship last year still fresh in my mind, I had high hopes when I stepped into the recently opened boutique at Ion Orchard. On the to-do list (besides try really hard not to walk out with the entire skincare line, that is) was to give the Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Treatment a go. Here are 5 reasons why I will be making my second appointment soon.
(Related: Spa Review: Sulwhasoo Boutique)
Not your average foot bath
Sea salt in lukewarm water? Pedestrian. Ginseng scrub with hot ginseng water brought in specially from Korea? Tatler. The scrub was gentle but effective, and smelt divine. I loved it so much I asked the therapist as she was toweling me off if it's available for purchase here. Her answer, unfortunately, was a "no". Regardless, the welcome treatment, performed in a neat nook in the cosy room, was deeply relaxing—just what the doctor ordered.
The Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream is the real deal
After the Sulwhajeong Facial Massage—a meridian point massage to stimulate the blood flow in the face—followed by the first steps of cleansing using the Gentle Cleansing Oil EX and Snowise Brightening Exfoliating Gel, I was introduced to the new Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX Light, the lighter version of the moisturiser and anti-aging powerhouse. It's fast-absorbent, with just as much ginseng extract as the original formula.
(Related: Get To Know This Brilliant Beauty Ingredient)
I felt the pinch... the good kind of pinch
After the Sulwhajeong Facial Massage, there are at least 3 other massages involved. I say "at least" because I couldn't be entirely sure. Let's see: There was a décoletté massage after the first mask (yes, there's more than one of those too. Read on!), the Jade Ring Applicator Massage to lift facial muscles—see above—a hand massage later on and then a final finger massage using "twisting" and "pinching" techniques to energise the skin. I may or may not have missed another because I was dozing in and out of sleep for 80 minutes, but I'm not complaining because I walked out of the session looking like a million bucks—if a million bucks can have a glowing complexion for days anyway.
It was a mask after mask kind of facial
I've been a fan of the Radiance Energy Mask for a while, but I haven't been using it the way Sulwhasoo does, as a preliminary step towards ultimate hydration. While it is said to purify and nourish, the new Moisturizing Ampoule and Mask applied after the jade massage "remodels" the moisture level in the skin, giving it that extra tall drink of water it needs for plump skin. That's the thing with this facial, each product combats skin concerns and each massage helps enhance its absorption.
The essential balm is not to be missed
Here's a tip they won't share with you anywhere else: although not technically part of the facial, you may ask to finish with a rich layer of Essential Balm on your lips. Previously available only in Seoul, it is multi-functional and formulated with high concentrations of safflower flowers, so you can use to relieve chapped lips, elbows and even cuticles. I'm also a fan of the Essential Lip Serum Stick for on-the-go applications. Both items are available for purchase at the store.