Sulwhasoo Flagship Store Spa Facial Review

When I was planning my trip to Korea, my priority was to get a facial. Honestly, I wanted to go where the locals frequented, but because they go to local skin care shops I didn't feel comfortable since I don't speak the language and I couldn't find one online. After much research, google led me to the Sulwhasoo Flagship Store in Gangnam and an experience I'll never forget.

How to Book

Booking an appointment with Sulwhasoo isn’t the smoothest as their online system isn’t live. You provide your name, email, phone number, spa location, choice of treatment, and the date and time you would like. A representative will then respond to you either via phone or email (email if you're international) letting you know if the date and time you requested is available. I had to go back and forth a few times with the rep before I could secure my appointment, which is a bit annoying when you’re trying to fit it in with travel plans. You must also provide you credit card number as a deposit to hold your appointment.

I chose the Birch & Porcelain Moisturizing Treatment which is as follows:

A moisturizing anti-aging treatment that revives skins natural healthiness through Essential Line, which delivers deep sense of nutrition to dry and dull-looking skin. Hydro-aid Line also used to deliver plenty of moisture with its birch sap ingredient. 

- Benefit : Moisturization, nutrition

- Care regions: Foot bath & scrub, Facial Treatment, Hands, Scalp

- Main products & tools used: Essential Line, Hydro-aid Line, Sulwhasoo Spa Special Ampoule, White Porcelain Applicator

70 minutes *150,000 won

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The Experience

The Sulwhasoo Flagship Store is a sight for sore eyes. Its beautiful gold architecture stands out among a sea of black and grey buildings. The spa entrance is basement level so you have to take the staircase down and walk through a corridor. Once you step through the doors it’s like walking into skin care heaven. 

The theme is gold metal and the décor is simple yet beautiful. Not going to lie, it’s my type of luxe. There are several walls made of gold metal to divide the space into consultation and powder rooms. Each room is draped with white linen to give some privacy.

After checking in, I was led to a consultation room and served a cup of fruit tea by the lovely Kim Da Hae. She gave me a basic questionnaire regarding lifestyle, skin concerns, health, allergies, etc. She then briefed me on the treatment I chose by showing me the product lines  used as well as the white porcelain applicators. (Note: English is a little bit limited here so don’t expect total fluency with the staff.) I also got to choose from a selection of scented oils, which was going to be used for massage.

 *photo from  Sulwahsoo   The white porcelain beauty tools I used are on the left

*photo from Sulwahsoo

The white porcelain beauty tools I used are on the left

I was then led into the treatment room to change and begin my experience. I started off with a super relaxing foot soak and scrub in ginseng tea. When you’ve been running and walking miles and miles, this part feels AMAZING.

After the foot treatment, it was time to start the facial. We began things with a light massage. Next was the cleansing process so eye makeup removal, oil cleanser, and then a foaming cleanser. This is when she pointed out I had combination skin, but my dry areas were “very, very dry” and I had lots of heat coming from my skin (“fever”), which is why I have a lot of redness and sensitivity. After cleansing was exfoliating, which was extremely gentle and made me rethink the types of exfoliating products I was using.

The rest of the treatment was a bit of a blur since I started drifting. I do recall several hydrating products being layered many times on my face before the real massaging started. Now when I think about it, a lot of the treatment was actually the massage. It was extremely thorough covering my head, face, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, and hands. All the massage points were aimed at stimulating and clearing out my lymph nodes. Yes, get out toxins! At some point between massaging, there was also some masking going on, which consisted of a soothing mask and a mask pack.  The white porcelain applicators also had their shining moment during the facial massage process, but it was a bit too short in my opinion. No extractions were performed during this facial so it was pure bliss.

After all the massaging was complete, my already super hydrated and rejuvenated face was treated to moisturizer, hydrating spray, and sunscreen. I swear when it was all over and I looked in the mirror, my skin looked so plump, healthy, and alive. It’s like the Sahara met Niagra Falls! With all the oils and moisturizing products layered on my face, I glowed without looking overly greasy. How did she do it?! Or maybe I'm just not moisturizing enough?

Once the treatment was over, I was led to the powder room where I was greeted with ginseng tea and some traditional Korean snacks. I got to try out the entire Sulwhasoo makeup line and made myself look presentable before going out to the city to explore.

Once I was satisfied with my hair and makeup Miss Kim led me back to the consultation room and showed me the actual products used during my treatment that I could purchase. I giddily handed over my credit card and walked out the spa with a beautiful bag of goodies and a considerably lighter wallet. I ended my visit with a walkthrough of the storefront upstairs where you can shop their entire product line and see the museum.

Conclusion

If you would like to treat yourself to a luxury skincare experience then I highly recommend visiting the Sulwahsoo spa. I would say it’s one of those things you should try at least once in your life especially if you’re a Sulwhasoo fan. :)



*I just visited the Burke Williams spa and paid almost $200 for an experience that is barely a fraction of what I experienced at Sulwhasoo.