Hallyu star Song Hye-Kyo (Encounter, Descendants of the Sun) may be the face of Sulwhasoo, but the luxury beauty brand isn't simply just riding on the K-wave.
In fact, with a history that traces all the way back to 1966, Sulwhasoo, under the umbrella of Amorepacific, has been through the ups and downs of Korean pop culture, and they are still trooping on.
"Regardless of these external factors, we’ve just been focusing a lot on developing really good ingredients for our customers and I think that’s what they love about our brand," Mina Kim, senior vice president of Sulwhasoo shared as we sat in the hall of The Capitol Kempinski Singapore.
Dressed in a pink tweed suit and exuding a gentle demeanour, this soft-spoken lady has been one of the driving forces behind the international popularity of Laneige and Sulwhasoo, positioning the latter as Korea's leading luxury beauty brand. Visiting Singapore for the Asean launch of the brand's latest Bloomstay Vitalizing range, Mina shares with us the intricacies of beauty product development, Sulwahsoo's theory of the "seven year cycle", and why skincare has no geographical boundaries.
What's the unique selling point of Sulwhasoo?
Mina Kim (MK) Sulwhasoo is an anti-ageing skincare expert, based on eastern philosophy. As a brand, we strongly believe that our body, our skin, and our spirit are all interconnected, and we apply this holistic approach to providing solutions to our customers.
When we look for different prescriptions or ingredients, we don’t just look at what is becoming popular at the moment—we are inspired by our research on Korean medicinal herbs, documented in centuries-old medicinal archives from our ancestors, and this source is really what sets Sulwhasoo apart from all the other brands.
How does Sulwhasoo select the key ingredients for its products?
MK Sourcing from traditional medicine compendiums and journals, we actually use state-of-the-art-technologies and data mining to find out how often certain ingredients were mentioned to have a medical impact. Then, we would try to validate the efficacy of these ingredients to see if we can formulate them into a product that is effective on our customer’s skins.
We've developed many products through this methodology—the First Care Activating Serum, for example, features our signature Jaum balancing complex which is a blend of peony, sacred lotus, Solomon’s seal, white lily, and rehmannia—and now, after decades of research, we have launched the Bloomstay Vitalizing line using plum blossoms.