February 23, 2018

The cult of k-beauty brands still reigns strong on our sunny shores — maybe it’s their proximity to us, culturally or otherwise, and how their products just suit our skin or features so much better; or come on, ‘fess up, there’s also no shame in admitting that you’ve just binged through entire seasons of I’m Not A Robot / Longing Heart and are looking for ways to look as good as the romantic leads, female or male. But all that influence can only take us this far, at least for skincare. What’s important here, really, is this: does it work?

Well, according to k-beauty fans and converts alike, this one does.

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su:m37˚ Travel Kit

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Star Product: the su:m37˚ Secret Essence

The much raved-about su:m37˚ (pronounced “soom”) arrived here just last year to much fanfare and sighs of relief (no more carting back boxes from Seoul!), and comes lauded particularly for their use of premium and naturally fermented ingredients in their skincare lines. As Asians, we’re definitely no stranger to the last one; while it’s still a pretty new concept in Western skincare, we’re already light years ahead with cult items from SK-II, Sulwhasoo and su:m37° leading the pack on our side of the world.

For su:m37˚, a name that means “breath” in Korean, they’re even more a breath of fresh air in the industry, due to the concept of natural fermentation — this highly patient process takes place in their own Natural Fermentation Research Institute (NFRI) in Gangwon-do, where more than 80 types of seasonal plants are gathered and fermented in cedar barrels for 365 days, under stringent conditions such as the optimum humidity and temperature of… 37˚C.

The reward? A proprietary essence called Cytosis®, the secret ingredient that goes into every su:m37˚ product, which is said to enhance the natural healing power of our skin. It helps that the brand also keeps its products free from artificial colours, fragrances, parabens, and synthetic preservatives, so the items are safe for most skin types.

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su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Line

As for their latest line, it’s one that targets two important concerns that we may have living in a tropical country — parched and dull skin, no thanks to the sun! The su:m37˚ Water-full Radiant line wants to change all that. Easily too. See, the new brightening formula has one key focus: keeping our skin well-hydrated, which will then bring out our skin’s natural radiance for clear and brighter-looking skin, something that lasts all day.

You know how after a shower or after washing your face in the morning, your skin looks immediately refreshed? It could be the amazing quality of your cleanser yes, but it’s mostly because our skin’s full of moisture at that moment, so we’ll leave our house feeling pretty good about ourselves. Maybe not for long though. This bright, fresh-looking skin only lasts for a while as it slowly loses moisture throughout the day, so even before the day’s done, it’ll start to look dull again, through no particular fault of ours.

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su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Line

Here’s where su:m37° comes in; the Water-full Radiant line targets three key elements — our skin’s moisture, radiance and elasticity — with three complex ingredients that do all the work for you. Aqua Ferm™, as the name suggests, provides intense hydration to the skin by activating the Aquaporin cells, a moisture protein found in our skin cells that controls the moisture paths between our skin layers, so what we notice is skin that’s nice and fresh throughout the day.

Poria Light™ has a similar function, with the aim of hydration too, and contains the famous Chinese medicinal herb Poria (Fu Ling) that plumps up our skin cells — what this does is that we now get a smooth, firm skin surface that’s better able to reflect light, and that subtle difference will have it looking more radiant than usual. As for Aqua Light™, the element has a more dedicated whitening function. By combining precious truffle-derived yeast extract and Western medicinal herbs, the ingredients aims at suppressing melanin production for the effect of naturally radiant skin.

su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Glow Serum, $160 ; su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Glow Cream, $178

The whole range certainly sounds promising, so we were excited when we took home these two products to try, to surprising results. Most skincare items feel pretty similar, but these ones stand out for their lightweight texture; the Hydrating Glow Serum get absorbed immediately and sinks into the skin for that satisfying plumping effect, and yet with all that highly concentrated formula, it never once felt sticky or uncomfortable.

And while we’re used to premium skincare lines offering rich creams that feel velvety when we slather it on at night, only to have it kinda restrict our sleep because we don’t want any of it on our pillow, you’ll be glad to find out that the Hydrating Glow Cream is quite the opposite. The cream-in-gel texture is quite the innovation here, making the cream feel refreshing and with the added benefit of having it instantly absorbed into the skin, and yet over time, our skin still felt smooth and well-hydrated, as if we just stepped out of the shower. Use it in the morning, and even with makeup on, you’ll feel that extra boost of hydration.

su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Glow Toner, $80 ; su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Glow Emulsion, $86 ; su:m37˚ Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Mask, 10pcs for $135

Then, there are the other items in the line, including a toner, lightweight emulsion, and a pack of sheet masks, each with a premium double-layed design, if you’re up for some pampering at home. 

So now that you’ve got all the reasons to get the range, we’re letting you in on the best way to try it out. We’ll admit, skincare’s really an investment, and not only does it take weeks or months for your purchases to pay off, it also means that, sometimes, you might have to sink in a little more cash for something worthy. For hardcore beauty junkies, spending’s quite second nature, but for most regular folk, we can take weeks of scouring for reviews and seeking our friends’ opinions before settling on something we’d want to get — which is why beauty sets are a total godsend.

Water-full Radiant Special Serum Set
su:m37˚ Water-full Radiant Hydrating Serum Special Set, $160 (worth $273)

And there’s just everything in this one! If you’d like to try the collection before anyone else, online’s the way to go. The brand is doing a pre-launch of this series at, starting with this exclusive set that contains the entire Water-Full Radiant line, including a full-sized version of the Water-Full Radiant Hydrating Glow Serum.

The other items, including the creams and emulsions are in a smaller deluxe size, but there’s no harm in trying those out for a few weeks before settling on the full collection — besides, these make great travelling companions too when you can’t exactly stow the full-sized version in your already cramped luggage. There’s also one sheet of the mask, as well as travel-sized versions of the su:m37° Skin Saver Essential Cleansing Foam and cult-favourite su:m37° Secret Essence.

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su:m37˚ 4-Piece Water-Full Radiant Trial Kit, $70 (worth $86)

Then, there’s an online exclusive of the 4-piece Water-Full Radiant Trial Kit that goes for $70, and contains deluxe versions of the toner, emulsion, serum and cream — this comes with a fully redeemable $70 voucher that you can spend on su:m37° products at TANGS at Tang Plaza (Orchard). If you head down to any of the su:m37° counters from today, you’ll also be able to redeem a 3-Day Water-Full Radiant Trial Kit right away, which means more options to try them out.


To celebrate the official launch of the new skincare range, there’s a su:m37° event happening in March.

su:m37° Water-Full Radiant Launch
Date: 3 March (Sat) – 17 March (Sat)
Venue: Outside TANGS at Tangs Plaza (Orchard)

Other than being able to get your hands on the entire full-sized range, there’ll also be exclusive offers during that launch period. Purchase the su:m37˚ Water-full Radiant Hydrating Serum Special Set at the TANGS at Tang Plaza outpost, and you’ll get an additional two pieces of the Water-Full Radiant Sheet Mask (worth $27).

Definitely worth it, we say, so how about marking these dates down in your calendar already? You’re bound to hit town at least once then.

The su:m37˚ Water-full Radiant line will be available at all su:m37° counters at TANGS at Tang Plaza and VivoCity, and Isetan Tampines from March 2018.