If this tree can protect itself from harsh weather in the wild, then yes, we want it in our face creams too, says LEE XIN HUI.
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Overcast skies, howling winds and a torrential downpour greet me when I arrive in Langkawi – the venue for South Korean brand Sulwhasoo’s latest launch. While it isn’t quite the tropical paradise I envisioned, the stormy weather provides the perfect opener for the brand’s global marketing manager Grace Yun as she talks about the red pine tree’s resilience.
It is able to “stay strong even in harsh weather, like the thunderstorm we’re experiencing,” she says. “It is also known for its healing powers – wounded animals sometimes rub their bodies against the tree to heal their injuries.”
Sounds amazing. But what does it have to do with Sulwhasoo skincare? As it turns out, the mainstay ingredient in the brand’s anti-ageing Timetreasure line, which has been reformulated twice since its launch in 2006, is Korean red pine – a potent ingredient that reportedly repairs damaged skin and keeps signs of ageing at bay.
Now, for the third reformulation of this premium range, Sulwhasoo has increased the concentration of a specific extract from the red pine, coined De-aging Active (DAA), by 33 times. The result? Even more potent anti-ageing benefits.
Derived from freshly ground pine needles that are steamed and dried, DAA is delivered to the skin via a patented formula that reportedly speeds up its absorption, improving its efficacy.
Intrigued, I try all five products in the range: a cream moisturiser, a serum, an emulsion, a lotion and an eye cream. My favourite is Sulwhasoo Timetreasure Renovating Eye Cream EX ($338), which has a balm-like texture that absorbs into skin in seconds. This powerful anti-ageing eye cream is infused with DAA as well as red ginseng and white ginseng saponin, all of which work together to tackle the look of wrinkles and dark circles while moisturising the skin in the eye area.
After two weeks’ use, my skin felt smoother and the lines on my face appeared softer.
“The red pine tree is known for its healing powers – wounded animals sometimes rub their bodies against the tree to heal their injuries.” – Grace Yun, global marketing manager at Sulwhasoo