Introducing Acwell, the Korean hanbang brand newly curated on Soko Glam. Stories From a Curator is a column by Charlotte Cho, the curator and co-founder of Soko Glam. As a licensed esthetician and the author of The Little Book of Skin Care, Cho gives a glimpse into her discovery process and what brands and products make the cut for the curated site.
Fact: A thousand beauty brands emerge out of Korea every year. As the curator of Soko Glam, it’s my duty to keep my ear to the ground and cut through all the noise to find only the best trends and “holy grail” products that come from the beauty mecca. The curation process is so important to me, which is why you may see me hopping on a plane to Korea every other month.
On my typical curator trips to Seoul, I usually visit multi-branded shops such as LOHBS or Olive Young as well as individual branded beauty shops that line up on every corner and alleyway of Korea. When I’m on the ground, I also meet up with beauty experts, influencers, and R&D specialists to hear about new, exciting products that haven’t even been launched yet.
Despite my frequent trips, I sometimes find myself getting some of the best curation recommendations from people commenting on my social feeds and people right here in the US!
Case in point: Acwell, my latest curation newly launched on Soko Glam today, is one that was recommended by our very own Klog contributor, Alexis Diaz, after she raved about the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner.
First of all, anything with the word licorice perks up my ears, so I was instantly intrigued. And when she told me it has 10% licorice in the formulation, I was practically salivating. When she lamented about not being able to get her hands on the Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner in the States, I knew I had to dig deep and get my hands on this elusive product!
When I finally did get my hands on some Acwell, I realized it was featured prominently in every single LOHBS shop in Korea. Acwell is a true gem because it is a hanbang brand, which means it fuses traditional Korean medicinal ingredients (like licorice and ginseng), with modern formula technologies when creating its products.
By the way, it’s not just about using these traditional herbs and ingredients, but it’s also the way in which they are utilized and blended in the formula that is true to the way hanbang ingredients were used traditionally. But what makes Acwell a hanbang brand worth noting is that it embraces the modern science and technology that will make its products that much more effective.
I’ve been on the search for a hanbang skin care brand to curate on Soko Glam, and Acwell hit the mark. I’m so excited to introduce it to you:
It’s safe to say I fell head over heels with the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner and it has quickly became my “holy grail” toner. I can’t get enough of the natural, clean scent of licorice, and the way it works to deep cleanse and tone my skin with the gentleness of low pH. I credit this 10% licorice formulation for bringing clarity and brightness to my skin and I haven’t been able to find anything quite like it. If you want to try one thing from Acwell, the Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner would be my recommendation, hands down. Intrigued? You’ve got to read Alexis’ in-depth review on the toner here.
I also can’t get enough of Acwell’s hanbang sheet masks. When you place the Traditional Grain Syrup sheet infused with ginger, bellflower or mugwort extracts on, the brightening and skin plumping ingredients envelope your skin. Because of the natural fragrance of hanbang ingredients, the Acwell Rice Brightening Daanje Mask or the Honey Anti-Wrinkle Daanje Mask experience is so visceral that it will make you feel as if your skin is literally cocooned in rice or honey. It’s often tough to differentiate sheet masks, but trust me when I say that these are a notch above and your skin will never look better.
I’ve got to give a quick shoutout to the brand’s sunscreens! They are so well formulated, and you’ll love the way they sink into your skin with hardly any white cast. Plus, they’re suitable for a range of skin types. I highly recommend the Aqua Capsule Sun Control Gel for combination to oily skin types and the Daily Sun Control Emulsion for normal to dry. When a skin care brand does their sunscreens right, you know it has the right mindset and is serious about its formulations!
The foaming cleanser
And last but not least, the Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser will be the low pH cleanser of your dreams. It’s gentle like Cetaphil, but actually has ingredients that are good for your skin (Sorry, Cetaphil lovers).
There is so much to rave about this innovative hanbang brand, and I can’t wait for you to try Acwell for yourselves. Report back here on what you like or what you didn’t like, because I want to know your true thoughts on this brand. And as always, share with me any brands you think I would love and should curate to Soko Glam!