Review: Sulwhasoo Balancing Emulsion

Honestly, I’ve never understood the need or usage of emulsion. In fact, the word emulsion conjures up images of Scotts emulsion -cue that annoying jingle from the advertisement –

怎么现在 扣不上? (为什么?)

小房门也 钻不了 (味道好)

成长成长 我已成长
比比看 谁比谁高

司各脱民鱼肝油 陪伴我一起长大陪伴我一起长大

Ah ha. Now I’ve  got you repeating that song in your head, haven’t I? -evil snigger-

I shall call that emulsion-ception – talking about an emulsion while talking about another emulsion.

But anyway, I hesitated for quite a bit before purchasing this Sulwhasoo Balancing Emulsion. I believe it took me two trips to Korea before finally deciding to buy this. It could also be due to my OCD – I just couldn’t stand not having the complete Sulwhasoo Basic Line range.

Sulwhasoo Balancing Emulsion, 125ml – (sorry I junked the box so I can’t remember the KRW price)

Application and Effects

Toner (I use the Laneige Perfect Renew Skin Refiner) – Essence (Sulwhasoo First Care Serum) –  Emulsion (Sulwhasoo Balancing Emulsion) 자음유액  pronounced Ja Eum Yoo Aek – Serum

OR Toner – Essence  – Snowise Whitening Serum –  Emulsion

These days, I still don’t find this a must-apply in my daily regime, but I’ve finally comprehended its usage. It’s like a milk veil for your skin – wrapping in the goodness from the previous First Care Serum. It does make my seem smoother and softer too.

An alternative usage would be when it’s hot and sticky in Singapore (which is about 366 days of the year) and I don’t want to pile on too many creams. Instead, I’ll use this Emulsion to finish up. It takes a couple of minutes to be fully absorbed, and gives a slightly cooling feeling.

I guess it does serve some purpose – my skin is significantly fairer after application. Long-term effects-wise, I’m not sure if it’s as good as the other products in this line. It’s something like Chinese New Year visiting to that great-aunt’s-nephew’s-cousin-in-law’s-house – You do it out of habit but the angbao returns aren’t that significant.

I’m still on my first bottle (really slow usage compared with my First Care Serum which I’m on my third bottle). Ponder ponder…


11 thoughts on “Review: Sulwhasoo Balancing Emulsion

  1. Hello. You seem to go to Korea a lot and I’m Korean and haven’t been to Korea yet 😦 so I can’t even take advantage of the beauty goods unless I pay more for it here in the USA. 😦 what exactly is emulsion and essence? I’m just starting to catch on to this..since I’m starting to notice wrinkles! Btw, I like your bog 🙂

  2. Hi Diana! hehee it’s such an irony that you’re korean and haven’t been to korea yet. 😀

    Emulsions are basically a watery version of the night creams – it’s lighter in texture and more fluid in consistency, so it’s more easily absorbed and doesn’t leave a sticky or oily residue like night creams. It can be used to soften your skin or as a day cream under your makeup.

    Essence is like a serum, but also a more fluid version – it packs more nutrients for your skin but leaves out the sticky feeling.

    Korean skincare application goes by texture – the most watery and fluid ones go on first since they’re the most easily absorbed, and don’t prevent the next layer of cream from being absorbed. the thickest and heaviest ones come last and “lock” in all the goodness into your skin.

    Hope it helps! let me know if you need more information 😀

    • Thank you for your reply!

      Yea I’m from the USA so I use American products. bleh. I want to go to Korea so bad but the ticket from here to Korea and back is almost $2,000! JUST TO GO THERE! I rather pay someone to get the products for me.

      Are you Korean also? I think I read somewhere that you live in Singapore. Maybe I’m wrong. Did you try this cream called, Rachel K CC cream? CC cream is supposedly the next thing after BB cream which I think stands for Color Correction. I’ve read good review on it but only sells in Singapore and Hong Kong and not the USA. DOUBLE BUMMER! 😦

      • Hey Diana,

        Nope I’m not Korean, I’m singaporean chinese 😀

        I also heard that CC cream is the new “in” thing, but I didn’t hear anything about a CC cream when I was in Korea,

        Rachel K is actually created by a Singaporean called Rachel Kum, a former beauty pageant contestant. Click on “About” in this link –>

        To be honest, I’m not very confident of a product with just 2 years of research by someone who’s not from a beauty / scientific background or a large conglomerate with R&D facilities and a tried-and-tested track record of products.

        I’d rather put my money with Amore Pacific and its brand stable of large names such as Sulwhasoo, Hera, Laneige, Iope, Mammonde, etc.

        If you want to buy a BB cream, I’d recommend the bb cushions or the vibrating foundations that are so hot these days from Korea 😀

      • Well if you want any products here from the States, Let me know and I’ll send it to you! 🙂 and vice versa

  3. Hi, how would you rate this basic line emulsion and the extra refining one? My skin is combination to oily and I don’t think the emulsion to be too rich or greasy, I tend to have acnes very easily. Or do you think Sulwhasoo is good to combination skin at all?

    • Hi Mandy,

      apologies for the late reply, I was down with gastric flu, food poisoning and the actual flu over the past few days. I was completely bedridden 😦

      Anyway, I personally have combination skin – the usual oily T-zone with dry cheeks. Sulwhasoo works fine for me 🙂

      Both the basic emulsion and extra refining emulsion are both not rich nor too greasy and are absorbed really quickly. If you’re worried about breakouts, perhaps try the extra refining one? It’s more finely textured and has more herbs in it (hence the higher price tag ;p)

  4. Hi, im 23 years old. Skin type- sensitive, acne skin

    I’ve been using sulwhasoo hydro firming cream. It feels good on my skin. Compare to balancing emulsion vs hydro firming cream, which is more good? Which one is more Rich? I’m thinking should I switch to the balancing emulsion. Does the first care serum do help to improve your skin condition? I’m still indecisive, should I buy first care serum? Any other essential sulwhasoo products are good on my skin?

    • Hey Jolie!

      Many apologies! Must have missed out on your comment cos I was too busy and there were too many things to attend.

      Anyway, you can’t really compare an emulsion to a cream. It’s kinda like apple vs orange – they’re both fruit but one’s crunchy and the other’s juicy.

      Similarly, emulsions and creams are both skincare but serve different purposes. Emulsions are kind of lightweight day creams and help to soften the skin, whereas creams are more intensive and have more targeted purposes.

      What’s more, you’re comparing across ranges – the balancing emulsion is sort of the basic care range whereas the hydro firming cream is targeted at fixing a lack of hydration.

      They are also different in texture – one’s a more liquid emulsion whereas the other is a gel-cream consistency.

      Yes, the first care serum improved my skin condition a lot, and because of my recommendations, a lot of my friends have changed to it, and also seen an improvement in their skin.

      Whether you want to switch or whether you want to buy a new item – It really depends on your skin concerns actually. If you ask me, since I have so many sulwhasoo products, I’ll naturally say they’re all good for your skin 😀 and no, I don’t work for them and I’m not paid to endorse them. Just helping to spread the love 🙂

  5. Hi

    I’m happy that I found your blog. After reading thru, I think you can help me to improve my skin condition and I appreciate that. I have combination skin with oily t-zone. In fact, oil production on my face kinda irritates me as my face feels sticky and shining. FYI I’m currently using sulwhasoo balancing emulsion. I was told that I should use gel instead of cream as moisturiser. Any recommendation? Tks in advance.

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