In the coldest of Korean winters, among sleepy snowdrifts and atop silent mountain ranges, one tree stays evergreen, towering above its barebranched brethren. The red pine or sonamu, which literally means “chief tree” in Korean, is a botanical of near-mythical significance in Korea. Its healing properties are said to be so strong that injured fish would rub their wounds against the submerged roots of the tree, while its tall, ramrod straight trunks and evergreen leaves were thought to signify Confucian values of fidelity and fortitude.
Red pine wood was considered so precious during the ancient Joseon dynasty that it was strictly designated for use in the construction of palaces and temples. Its strength and density ensured that no cracks would form in these palatial structures, even after centuries of weathering. Of course, such palaces are no longer being constructed in today’s Republic of Korea, but red pine is considered no less precious. Fortunately, it is now possible for us to get our hands on some of this prized botanical, in the form of Sulwhasoo’s Timetreasure skincare line.
The Timetreasure line is among Sulwhasoo’s most luxurious offerings, designed to bring a youthful radiance to the skin. Its star ingredient is, of course, red pine. But make no mistake, this is no mere herb cooked up a la ancient apothecary—the red pine extract in the Timetreasure line is a powerful age-defying skin fortifier that Sulwhasoo calls the De-Aging Active (DAA). Normally, the DAA exists in miniscule quantities in red pine, but after over 50 years of research in traditional medicinal herbs, Sulwhasoo was able to develop a 12-step refining process that concentrates the DAA and enriches it to 33 times its original efficacy. The resulting concoction is a powerful potion designed to address dullness, fine lines and sagging skin.
This potion is the star of two new products in the Timetreasure line, which previously comprised five products—a water, emulsion, serum, cream and eye cream. Now, the Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam and Renovating Eye Serum have been added to the line-up, completing the Timetreasure family.
Of the two new products, the Timetreasure Renovating Eye Serum benefits most from the properties of DAA. The feather-light formula serves to rejuvenate and firm the skin around the eyes, which is the thinnest on the entire face and has very few oil glands. This, coupled with modern-day screen-squinting habits, makes the eye area the most susceptible to signs of ageing. The Renovating Eye Serum, however, claims to slow down the effects caused by the ravages of time by smoothing out fine lines, dispersing dullness, and firming sagging skin.
The potency of the serum is heightened when used with the accompanying 24K gold-plated Golden Eye Care Massager, which was specially designed to aid the physical rejuvenation of the orbital area. Shaped like the rounded floating clouds in ancient ink paintings, the massager features four different areas that are sculpted to massage a specific eye area. Using the massager regularly together with the eye serum will help de-puff and brighten skin in the eye area, promote circulation, and reduce expression lines from excess muscle tension. Use the eye serum under the Timetreasure Renovating Eye Cream EX for a brightening perk-me-up, and for extra nourishment in drier climates.
The other new product in the Timetreasure range is the Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam, a rich cleanser that prefaces the rest of the skincare line. It lathers into a smooth foam that gently rids the skin of impurities without stripping it of essential moisture. The formula also contains red pine resin oil and other natural oils to nourish the skin as it cleanses, leaving the complexion feeling smooth and hydrated.
Sulwhasoo’s mastery in using traditional Korean ingredients in skincare is unparalleled, and this expertise is demonstrated in the robust formulation of its Timetreasure line, which harnesses the healing powers of red pine to great effect. When combined with the other products in the Timetreasure line, the new Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam and Renovating Eye Serum impart a healthy radiance to the complexion and banish signs of fatigue and ageing.
The Korean red pine may no longer be used to construct palaces, but the ancient construction industry’s loss is our gain—especially if the Timetreasure line can give us skin that is as robust as the red pine.