K-beauty has always been on our radar and we’ve often associated it with the hottest and latest in the market. But what we may not remember is that Korean skincare has a rich history that can be traced back to hundreds of years ago, and was a luxury enjoyed by royalty then.
Korean skincare brand Whal Myung is a reminder to us about the deep history of Korean skincare. The 122-year-old brand has recently been launched in Singapore, the first Asian city with its presence after South Korea.
The royal history of Whal Myung skincare
It all began in 1897, when Dong Wha Pharm was established as Korea’s first ever local pharmaceutical company. Its first (and star) product, Whal Myung Su, was released to help with digestive issues like stomach inflammation and indigestion. Translated as “life-saving water”, Whal Myung Su has since become the nation’s most beloved digestive medicine and remains popular even after 122 years!
To develop this iconic medicine 122 years ago, Dong Wha Pharm mixed Western medical technology with the traditional, secret medical formulas of the royal court of the Joseon Dynasty. Dong Wha Pharm later discovered that the ingredients in Whal Myang Su’s 11-herb formula also aided in hydrating, nourishing and regenerating the skin.
These five selected ingredients from the Whal Myung Su secret formula that are found to have outstanding skin benefits were extracted to form the WM1897-P5 complex and then integrated into skincare products. This secret royal herbal formula is the heart of most of Whal Myung’s products.
The WM1897-P5 is said to be packed with natural antioxidant properties and targets the root of skin issues. Great for all skin types – including sensitive skin, this secret complex has abundant vitamin C that helps to improve skin’s clarity, vitality and locks in moisture.
Top Whal Myung skincare products to try
Curious about this brand and not sure what to try? Here are the ones that caught our eyes.
The Whal Myung Skin Elixir
The Skin Elixir (SGD68) – a toner, serum and oil all-in-one treatment – is crafted with the 122-year-old WM1897-P5 secret formula used by the royal court. The natural herbs delivers anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial benefits that counteract signs of ageing.
For a product with so many functions, it’s surprisingly lightweight with a milky texture that settles into your skin effortlessly. It leaves your skin looking radiant and feeling hydrated, without leaving behind a greasy sensation. No wonder it’s such a cult favourite that has many rave reviews online!
The Whal Myung Skin Elixir Mask, S$28 for five sheets
If the Skin Elixir is a little too pricey to start with, try this sheet mask (SGD28 for five sheets) first. Unlike conventional facial masks that are made with fibre “binders” that can irritate your skin, this mask uses a high quality material that isn’t just gentler, but also helps retain a lot of Skin Elixir essence within it.
Like the Elixir, this mask penetrates your skin to moisturise and nourish it. It leaves your skin feeling supple, refreshed, and dewy and creates a finely structured moisture barrier for a glow that lasts all day. It’s also immediately soothing, so if your skin tends to get easily agitated, try this!
The Whal Myung WM5™ Meltaway Cleansing Balm
A moisturising cleansing balm (SGD47) that’s made with environmentally friend, plant-based ingredients, this is a two-in-one formula that gently melts away your makeup while cleansing your skin at the same time. We’ve tried this product and find that it has a calming scent that’s perfect after a long day. You’ll love that your skin is free of dirt and impurities and feels refreshed.
The Whal Myung WM5™ Hydrating Cream
Thanks to components in this cream (SGD62) that are similar to our skin lipids, this moisturiser doesn’t only hydrate your skin, but also boosts its natural protective barrier. This helps repair skin that has been damaged by environmental factors like dryness.
The cream also activates the production of your own natural skin lipids, enhancing your skin’s natural rejuvenating abilities.
We tried this product and loved that while it is nourishing, it doesn’t feel uncomfortably oily. In fact, it absorbs quickly into skin and leaves behind a nice glow.
If you’re still unsure which product to get, consider the Whal Myung Mini Trio Kit (SGD23) to sample the products mentioned. This comes with a mini Skin Elixir, WM5 Meltaway Cleansing Balm, and WM5 Anti-Oxidant Rejuvenating Serum.
Whal Myung products are now available at selected Guardian stores, and its website. Whal Myung is launched along with Intrinsic, its sister brand, which specialises in dermatological products that are well-loved by doctors in South Korea.