Review Sulwhasoo Herblinic EX Restorative Ampoules

Clique aqui para português.

Hi, my name is Rafael! This is my very first post and I will first explain why I “moved” from Instagram to here. The reason is simple: character limit.

I wasn’t feeling very comfortable writing my reviews on Instagram because of that. I barely could explain about the product and its ingredients and it pisses me off. I was feeling frustrated! 😅

Here on my brand new blog, I feel much more free to explain about the product itself and its ingredients and I also can provide some studies of those ingredients (for example, studies about hanbang ingredients, acids and so on). But don’t worry! I will still be posting short reviews on my Instagram both in English and Portuguese but here on the blog it will be a very detailed review.

I really hope you follow me through this journey and to welcome you, I will be reviewing the Herblinic Restorative Ampoules from Sulwhasoo, and by the end of this review you will know what I think of it!


This review is mostly for you, people suffering from acne!

I will begin with the description from the Sulwhasoo website:

Highly concentrated ampoules balance skin to help repair damage.

Invigorates the skin and strengthens its resistance against external aggressors:

Concentrated Korean Red Ginseng extract and Membranous Milkvetch help maintain your skin’s health and vitality.

The ampoules include Herblinic Restorative Complex to help treat and repair skin damage.

The ampoules have a rich, concentrated texture and are deeply effective.

Highly concentrated ampoules embrace the skin with a thick, lustrous texture to soften the skin, staying on the skin for a long time to provide lasting moisture and nutrition.

So as you can see, this is mostly an ampoule that helps you with damaged skin, acne, and/or dark spots. It also to strengthens the skin’s barrier, skin’s resilience and add vitality to your skin. This ampoule is a 5 week program. Each bottle contains 7 mL and you should use 1 mL per day.  Although in my opinion 1 mL is too much. One sample (1 mL) lasted me three to four uses, so in my opinion you can make these 5 weeks last 10 or more weeks.

This post contains affiliate links that support this blog. If you buy something using the link you’ll be supporting this blog at no extra cost.


I will explain about some ingredients found in this Ampoule but first, here is the full ingredient list:


Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract, Glycerin, Water, Butylene Glycol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Glycereth-26, Alcohol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Betaine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Seed Extract, Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Lilium Tigrinum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Morifolium Flower Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Adenophora Stricta Root Extract, Lycium Chinense Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed Extract, Angelica Tenuissima Root Extract, Honey, Astragalus Membranaceus Root Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Beta-Glucan, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Niacinamide, Oleanolic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Propanediol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentastearate, Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Behenate, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Dextrin, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium Polyacrylate, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Bht, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance.

Now let me explain the ingredients and their functions

Ophiopogon japonicus Root Extract: Derived from the root of a plant called ja-no-hige (or “snake’s beard”) in Japanese, it is rich in saccharides, known to hydrate the skin. It protects the skin from dryness by boosting the skin’s moisture-retaining ability and brings a more refined texture;

Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract: Clinical and experimental studies suggest that it has several useful pharmacological properties such as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidative, anticancer activities etcetera. Licorice has also flavonoids that have inhibitory effects on tyrosinase (the enzyme that controls the production of melanin) so it’s also a whitening ingredient;

Betaine: It is an amino acid and primarily functions as a humectant and anti-irritant. It can also temporarily decrease deep wrinkles, making the face smoother.

Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract: Green tea isn’t only an antioxidant! It has so many good effects on the skin. It is an antioxidant, moisture enhancer, UV protector, works great on oily skin, against acne and so on;

Panax ginseng Root Extract: Ginseng is one of the most famous plant extracts in Korea (if not the number one!) because it has several skin benefits such as effects in photoaging, skin cancer, dermatitis, hair loss, alopecia to mention but a few. Ginsenosides (active compounds present in Panax ginseng) exhibit diverse biological effects, including anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic;

Paeonia albiflora Root Extract: soothing and anti-inflammatory properties;

Nelumbo nucifera Seed Extract: That’s the Sacred lotus. In a study made with hydro alcoholic Nelumbo nucifera seeds, the extract exhibited strong free radical scavenging activity. Nelumbo nucifera’s seed extract showed  57% whitening effect and 49% elastase inhibition (anti-wrinkle effect), while adenosine indicated 26% inhibition (Nelumbo nucifera extracts as whitening and anti-wrinkle cosmetic agent). Nelumbo nucifera seeds contain alkaloids, saponins, phenols and carbohydrates;

Polygonatum officinale Rhizome/Root Extract: Possibly whitening effects;

Lilium tigrinum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract: The only thing I found about this extract is saying that it’s a skin conditioning agent. It might also be an antioxidant extract;

Rehmannia glutinosa Root Extract: known in Asia as a traditional herbal medicine with anti-inflammatory properties;

Chrysanthemum morifolium Flower Extract: Antioxidant, anti-glycation.

Citrus unshiu Peel Extract: Anti-inflammatory.  Possibly antibacterial and anti-fungal effects;

Adenophora stricta Root Extract: Skin conditioning agent, humectant;

Lycium chinense Root Extract: Antioxidant;

Coix lacryma-jobi Seed Extract (Job’s Tears): Contains a derivative of adenine called 9-β-D-glucopyranosyl adenine (I know you skipped this). Also, the seeds are a rich source of important phytochemicals that reduce the production of melanin (whitening effect). It is also an anti-dullness ingredient. You can check this abstract for slightly more info: Melanogenesis inhibitors from Coix lacryma-jobi seeds in B16-F10 melanoma cells;

Angelica tenuissima Root Extract: Skin conditioning and possibly an antioxidant;

Honey: Honey is a supersaturated solution composed mainly of fructose and glucose, and containing enzymes, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It retards wrinkle formation, regulates skin’s pH, moisturizes, nourishes, helps with wounds and burn.  A plethora of in vitro studies have revealed that honeys from all over the world have potent microbicidal activity against dermatologically important microbes (Honey: A realistic antimicrobial for disorders of the skin.);

Astragalus membranaceus Root Extract: It is a common traditional Chinese medicinal plant. It contains calycosin. Calycosin dramatically reduced melanin synthesis of Melan-a cells without any apparent cytotoxicity and reduced expression of melanogenic enzyme, tyrosinase (Inhibitory Effects of Calycosin Isolated from the Root of Astragalus membranaceus on Melanin Biosynthesis);

Angelica acutiloba Root Extract: Possibly anti-inflammatory effects;

Cnidium officinale Root Extract: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Also, it’s useful as an herbal medicine for cancer chemoprevention;

Artemisia vulgaris Extract: Antioxidant;

Beta-Glucan: Anti-wrinkles. Scientific reports indicate that ß-glucan is a film-forming moisturizer, a biological response modifier, and a promoter of wound healing. A clinical study of 27 subjects was performed to evaluate the effects of beta-glucan on facial fine-lines and wrinkles. After 8 weeks of treatment, digital image analysis of silicone replicas indicated a significant reduction of wrinkle depth and height, and overall roughness (Anti-Wrinkle Therapy: Significant New Findings in the Non-Invasive Cosmetic Treatment of Skin Wrinkles with Beta-Glucan);

Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) Extract: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory;

Niacinamide: Niacinamide is an effective skin lightening compound that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes. It improves the stratum corneum barrier, decreases transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Also, niacinamide is well tolerated and isn’t subject to oxidation. In other words, if you’re not allergic to niacinamide, it is always a welcome ingredient! If you are interested in learning more about this compound, you can check A Review of the Range of Effects of Niacinamide in Human SkinP.S: I couldn’t find the % of niacinamide in this ampoule, sorry;

Oleanolic Acid: It comes from Olea europaea (Olive) leaves; It has antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and also anti-aging effects;

Acetyl Glucosamine:  Research demonstrated that it has skin-brightening benefits. Also, the addition of niacinamide to an acetyl glucosamine formula results in a greater skin-brightening effect (Herblinic ampoule has got both. Yaaasss!!!);

Lecithin: Lecithins are usually phospholipids. It is used in cosmetics as an emollient and water-binding agent. Lecithin also has the ability to restore the skin;

Hydrogenated Lecithin: The hydrogenated form of lecithin;

Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil: Skin-conditioning agent.

Acne triggers according to Cosdna

Butylene Glycol (1), Cetearyl Alcohol (2), Chondrus crispus (5).

Even though Chondrus crispus (aka Irish moss) strikes 5 in a scale that goes from 0 to 5 according to Cosdna, I haven’t experienced any breakout since I first started using this ampoule in July 2016. Also, I spent some time looking for any study that could provide me any sort of information about Chondrus being a highly acne trigger and guess what? I couldn’t find anything. The only thing I have ever found was some people discouraging you to use it (Chondrus) because it is comedogenic…

If you have a trusty informative article/study, please feel free to share it with me!

But then I thought: “Why not search for Irish moss (its other name) instead of Chondrus crispus?” A part of me tells me that shouldn’t have searched for that…


Well… I wonder what would happen if these people realize that they are actually using what they call a hyper, ultra, mega comedogenic ingredient and swearing it is a natural botox. But well, if they are using it and they say it’s very good, I guess it cannot be that comedogenic after all?

Anyhow, I’ve been using this ampoule since July 2016 (almost one year, can you imagine?!) and I haven’t experienced any breakout. So if this is the only thing that keeps you away from buying it, please reconsider it because you can buy samples before buying the full-size bottles.

When I first saw the product ingredient list, I was a bit scared of that Irish moss striking 5 in comedogenic level, but it didn’t keep me away from buying 100 samples (yes, you read it right,  HUNDRED!). Come on! Who is not attracted by the ingredient list? Look at the first two ingredients! Are they water and glycerin? No! They are actives! When Sulwhasoo gave this product the name of Ampoule, they weren’t kidding, it’s really as concentrated as one ampoule! And as I said before, not a single breakout.

But yeah, I know you might be thinking that I exaggerated when I bought 100 samples (100 mL) of this product. But I swear it was such a great deal because thanks to the hundred samples, I could fill up one 30 mL golden pump bottle with it, as you can see below and I’ve been using it for a long time. Before decanting it into the bottle, I’ve been using the samples, opening and closing them with a plastic stuff, for months.

[Português mais abaixo] _____ Call me Mr. Patience. 😆 _____ Just finished filling up this airless pump bottle with my beloved (and Holy Grail) Herblinic Restorative Ampoule from Sulwhasoo. Over 50 samples into my new golden bottle.😍 _____ I can't live without this Ampoule anymore. It strengths the skin barrier, helps with sun damage, brightens the skin, gives a long moisture etc. due to all the extracts in its composition. 💜 You can expect a review soon! _____ Oi, gente. Quem viu meu último post de compras viu também que comprei uns fracos de sucção (Airless Pump). Eles são ótimos e lindos, né? Enchi o primeiro com minha querida e amada Herblinic Ampoule da Sulwhasoo. No momento não posso dar 700 reais em 35mL da Herblinic e por isso sempre compro as amostras porque o preço é surreal. Essa Ampoule ajuda nos danos UV, ajuda fortalecer a barreira da pele, fornece hidratação duradoura, clareia e outras coisas pois contém muitos extratos de planta etc.. Vou fazer uma review futuramente pra vocês!

A post shared by Rafael Dias (@rafaeldiascosta) on

I bought this pump bottle after using around 50, so I had around 50 samples left. This bottle has 30 mL capacity and I filled up with 50 samples. This ampoule is thick and that’s why it took a higher amount than 30 mL to fill up the whole bottle. The bottle is transparent so I keep it away from light.


It’s got a brownish color and smells very good! Like a mix of herbs. It makes me feel relaxed! This is the amount of product I put on my face. It’s enough to cover it all.


The consistency of the product is very thick and a bit runny but yet it is deeply absorbed into the skin leaving it with a soft touch and super moisturized.



Now check out this picture with flash:


It is super hydrated! Right?! Below you can check the difference between the back of my hand with the product and the back of my hand without the product. You can really see how moisturized my skin gets.


But does it really do what it claims?

Yes! At least to my skin, it did and still does wonders! In short term, what you can expect is:

  1. Immediately provides long-lasting hydration;
  2. Keeps your skin very soft;
  3. Quickly restore aggravated skin;
  4. Heals acne.

And in long-term usage, you can expect:

  1. Brightening effects;
  2. Reduced UV damage;
  3. Strengthens skin’s resistance against external aggressors;
  4. A more equilibrated and controlled skin;
  5. Prevents breakout.

Do I recommend it?

If you are looking for a powerful acne treatment or a product that can treat dark spots, dulness, aging skin, dehydrated skin, skin damaged by UV rays, weakened skin barrier and/or disturbed skin functions, then yes, I recommend!

Rate: 5/5 and also I give it the Holy Grail status! This stuff is a miracle that came from Heaven.

This is a really multitask product. Sometimes I wonder why it is not called Herblinic Restorative All in One Ampoules…

You can buy it here.

Click here for more Ampoule reviews.




19 thoughts on “Review Sulwhasoo Herblinic EX Restorative Ampoules

  1. You really are mr. Patient!!! But the payoff, holy cow!!! The samples really are a good deal :O product sounds great. Now I’m definitely interested in the samples! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Daphne! I have tried only one sample of the Fortifying Ginseng Serum. I found it a bit sticky… Unfortunately, I can’t tell you anything more than that, sorry.

      I’m glad you like it! 😉


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  3. Hi Rafael! I bought 30 sample foils of this a few months ago because of your review. Now that I’m up to 0.1% tretinoin, I started using this because my skin barrier needs a little boost. You’re absolutely right! 1ml is too much for a single use…learned that the hard way. It made my face sticky, but sticky is better than itchy, red, and irritated. Thank you for being so thorough here. I believe I commended you on this article via Asian Beauty Skincare Addicts on Facebook when you posted it, but if not, I want to thank you again. I’m a Sulwhasoo fan through and through, but this little gem hadn’t triggered my radar. Thank you endlessly! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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