Understanding the restorative and anti-aging powers of the ginseng plant


Ginseng is a potent anti-aging product used in anti-aging skin care dating back to usage in the Far East for thousands of years. Although ginseng grows in Japan, China and Korea, Korean ginseng from the Korean Peninsula is the most potent and contains the most saponin. Most of us know that the Ginseng root is used readily in products for its restorative and healing properties for the skin, however Mark Choo, Director of Amorepacific New York, R& I Center and former Brand Science manager of Sulwhasoo, a Korean skincare line solely based on the powers of ginseng enlightened us on the other effective parts of the ginseng plant.

Ginseng Seed

Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil

Found in the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Oil ($165, Nordstrom), ginseng seed protects water and moisture loss from the skin. “Ginseng seed prevents dehydration and strengthens the skin’s defence mechanisms. It also reinforces the skin barrier, which is naturally made of fatty acids,” says Choo.



Ginseng Leaves and Stems

Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream copy

Two substances are extracted from the leaves and stems of the ginseng plant, Ginsenoside Rd and Ginsensoside F2. “These are both abundant with antioxidants and act as anti-inflammatory agents, says Choo. “Heat causes redness, dark circles and puffiness, while these substances promote re-circulation of fluids around the eye.” These two extracts are found in the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream ($180, Nordstrom and sulwhasoo.com).

Ginseng Root

WalnutComplexionScrub 1.7oz

“Polysaccharides are extracted from the ginseng root and used to strengthen the skin’s basic defense system, while also fighting against harmful microorganisms,” says Choo. The root is also widely known to improve the skin’s elasticity and help with alleviating wrinkles. Try the Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub ($34).


White Ginseng Roots

Sephora Ginseng Sleep Mask

“The extract from the white ginseng roots used in skincare is highly anti-oxidative and brightening for the skin,” says Choo. Try the Sephora Collection Ginseng Sleep Mask ($5).



Ginseng Sprout

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The sprout of the ginseng holds the same anti-inflammatory benefits as ginseng leaves and stems. Try Erborian Ginseng Milk ($45) is a nourishing milk that’s thicker than water but thinner than a cream moisturizes the skin while also improving the skin’s texture by smoothening and tightening.