The Asian skincare scene is no stranger to fermented ingredients, but few brands do it with such fervour as Sum 37. Fermentation is so ingrained in the brand’s DNA, that “37” in the name hints to the optimal temperature for fermentation to occur. It’s also the only brand in Korea to have its own fermentation research institute.
Sum 37 use a mixture of botanical and hanbang (traditional Korean) ingredients, all naturally fermented with enzymes. This is a process whereby nourishing ingredients get broken down, allowing for all the goodness within to be readily absorbed into the skin. Sum 37’s products are also full of antioxidants and amino acids, helping to fortify and detox the complexion.
The brand has recently expanded beyond travel retail, opening up a counter at Tangs in VivoCity shopping mall. Starting from July 21, it will also be sold at Tangs Plaza. Sum 37’s got an extensive range of products, but if you’re just getting into the brand, these are the products you ought to try.
The Secret Essence has become a firm cult favourite, establishing the brand as a rising star amidst Korea’s competitive skincare landscape. With over a hundred naturally fermented ingredients, including rice, job’s tears, ginseng root and more, this essence highlights exactly what Sum 37 stands for. It aims to hydrate, reduce texture and prep the skin for the rest of your skincare routine, while imparting the coveted glow-from-within to your complexion.
A relatively new product to the Sum 37 range is the Water-full CC Cushion. Designed for hot and humid climates, this is a sweat-proof, medium coverage cushion that lasts on your face without caking. If that doesn’t sound perfect for Singapore’s weather, we don’t know what does. The formula is also created with bamboo and hibiscus extracts, helping to hydrate and brighten the skin as it conceals.
In an ideal situation, sunscreen should be re-applied after two hours of sun exposure. But if you’ve got a full face of makeup on, that presents a bit of a challenge. Sum 37’s Baked Essence is a powder compact that eliminates the issue. It also has wood apple extracts to cool the skin. Dab it on like you would with any face powder during a touch-up, and enjoy SPF50 and PA+++ protection without compromising your makeup.
Made with bamboo water, red clover, hibiscus and gold-silver flower extracts, the Water-full Rebalancing Gel Lotion is a fantastic, lightweight daytime moisturiser to have in your arsenal. It deeply hydrates, minimises pores, revitalises and strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier without being too cloying. You really couldn’t ask more from a daytime lotion.
This low pH cleanser was pretty revolutionary in the market when it was first released, spearheading a cleansing stick wave that still remains today. Handmade with various nutrient-rich oils, like coconut, green tea seed and basil oil, this is a highly moisturising cleanser with real Damask rose petals to gently exfoliate the skin. Despite having a low pH, it does foam up quite nicely.