August 31 2014

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Herbal Medicine Cosmetics Head West


The herbal remedy movement has been going strong in the United States since the nineties, when tried and true ingredients from Asian medicine like ginkgo biloba and ginseng became part of the public discourse, marketed in supplement and tea form to an increasingly un-crunchy demographic. In Korea, these same ingredients have been incorporated into comprehensive cosmetic formulations for decades. Take Amore Pacific’s Sulwhasoo, for example, the best-selling skincare range that has been a staple of Seoul’s discerning beauty fiends for over 40 years. The brand takes a holistic approach to dealing with Sang-Seng, the Korean idea that the body’s energy flow changes in intervals of seven years and can often be out of whack, which can exacerbate the physical signs of aging. To restore a clear, glowing complexion, the entire line boasts Jaeumdan—an exclusive complex of medicinal herbs like peony, Solomon’s Seal, East Indian lotus, and white lily steeped in pure honey to enhance efficacy. The idea is “inner harmony for outer radiance.”

Sulwhasoo’s 12-piece range officially bowed stateside at Bergdorf Goodman last month, and its store-within-a-store concept shop will be completed in June. With its arrival comes the novel concept of herbal medicine cosmetics, which already seems to be a hit with Bergdorf shoppers; the brand’s Concentrated Ginseng Cream has become a fast favorite. Formulated with the water of rare six-year-old Korean ginseng, the emollient skin salve is an extremely luxe antiaging treatment that features a unique earthy smell sure to please longtime devotees of naturophilia and recent converts alike.

Photo: Courtesy of Sulwhasoo

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