The History of Whoo

Gong Jin Hyang Soo line

The History of Whoo’s “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” (공진향:수), also spelled as “Gongjinhyang Soo”, is a skincare line designed to replenish skin’s hydration levels and promote a radiant, healthy complexion. “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” features fresh, lightweight formulas that would be suitable even for young, oily and combination skin.

Disclaimer: I personally translated the majority of facts and contents in this article from original Korean sources, so I kindly ask you to credit my work if you’re planning to use any of the information included in this guide.

Many concepts mentioned in this guide are based on Oriental Medicine principles, for a better understanding please refer to the introduction to Traditional Korean Medicine on this website. It’s important to stress out that there is no correspondence between Oriental Medicine organs and Western anatomy so capitalised names in this article shouldn’t be interpreted in the Western medical sense.

⬥ Recommended for:

  • Individuals in their teens and 20s
  • Oily and combination skin
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Rough and uneven skin texture
  • Enlarged pores
  • Dull and fatigued skin

Main Ingredients

“Gong Jin Hyang Soo” is an antioxidant and revitilising skincare line that helps rebalance the skin’s natural hydration levels through the application of an Oriental Medicine principle called “Suseunghwagang” (수승화강, 水昇火降). “Suseunghwagang” is a theory that describes Energy (Qi) circulation and literally translates to “water goes up, fire goes down”.

According to this principle, when the human body is in its optimal and balanced condition, the upper part of the body is cold (water, Yin) and the bottom part of the body is warm (fire, Yang). When the bottom part of the body is heated, the warm fire energy pushes the cold water energy toward the upper part, cooling the head. At the same time, cold water energy coming down from the head receives the warm fire energy from the heart, sinks and heats the lower abdomen, facilitating the function of internal organs.

As a result, Qi flows smoothly and the body is healthy.

If this flow is disrupted, the opposite phenomenon develops: heat stagnates in the head (resulting in headaches, insomnia, skin irritation) and cold water energy stagnates in the abdomen (resulting in digestive issues, poor blood circulation and weakened skin). Products in the “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” line were designed to rebalance this flow by controlling excess heat, replenishing moisture levels and stimulating healthy energy flow.

In particular, all products in the “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” line contain “Gong Jin Solution™”, The History of Whoo’s signature ingredient, along with Vital Lotus™, an exclusive ingredient designed to support the skin barrier, while providing essential hydration and skin soothing effects.

All ingredients have been processed using a Wetting method (습윤포제법) to enhance their hydrating properties and minimise oil content1. For more information on the role of processing methods in Traditional Korean Medicine, please refer to the guide on this website.

⬥ Vital Lotus

Vital Lotus™ is an exclusive ingredient derived from extensive research into the properties of the lotus flower. This proprietary formula has been designed to provide skin barrier support, while simultaneously delivering essential hydration and soothing effects.

Vital Lotus™ is composed of three main ingredients: Panthenol, Lotus Flower extracts (a blend of extracts derived from the leaves, petals, and green seed embryo of the lotus flower) and Allantoin.

  • Panthenol + Lotus Flower extracts provide intense hydration.
  • Lotus Flower extracts + Allantoin provide soothing properties.
The History of Whoo - Gong Jin Hyang Soo [Vital Lotus]

Gong Jin Solution

All products from The History of Whoo incorporate “Gong Jin Solution™”, also known as “Gongjinbidan” (공진비단, 供辰秘丹), a proprietary herbal complex that constitutes the core ingredient of the brand.

“Gong Jin Solution™” is based on “Gongjindan” (공진단, 拱辰丹), a traditional Oriental medicine prescription originally created by Chinese physician Wei Yilin. According to the classical text or Oriental Medicine “Efficacious Remedies of the Physicians” (세의득효방, 世醫得效方), “Gongjindan” was a remedy exclusively reserved  for emperors and for this reason, it earned the name of “Emperor’s Medicine”2.

The History of Whoo - Gongjindan

“Gongjindan” appears in many traditional medical texts from China and Korea and it’s described as a remedy that strengthens the body’s immune defences and brings back the natural balance between its organs.

The Donguibogam (the most representative text of Traditional Korean Medicine) describes “Gongjindan” as follows:

To this day, “Gongjindan” is a vital tonic that is still commonly used in many Asian countries to combat chronic fatigue, weak constitution and deteriorated immunity. 

Through the integration of modern science, LG Household & Health Care developed a cosmetic ingredient based on the original prescription for “Gongjindan”: “Gong Jin Solution™“.

Developed through The History of Whoo’s integrative medicine research technology, “Gong Jin Solution™” consists of:

1,2-Hexanediol, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, Cornus Officinalis Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract, Glutamic Acid, Glycoproteins, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Extract, Water3.

In particular, the ingredient was enriched with four traditional herbal remedies:

  • Ganoderma Lucidum (영지버섯, 灵芝属), or “Ling Zhi”, is highly-regarded in Oriental Medicine for promoting health and longevity. The ingredient was first described in the Classic of the Materia Medica (also known as Shennong Bencaojing, 神農本草經) and it’s used to alleviate fatigue, strengthen the immune system, and promote overall well-being.
  • Angelica Gigas Nakai Root (참당귀뿌리, 当归), or “Dang Gui”, is known to replenish Qi and nourish Blood, meaning it restores vital energy levels and promote a healthy circulation of nutrients and energy across the body.
  • Cornus Officinalis Fruit (산수유열매, 山茱萸), or “Shan Zhu Yu”, is valued for its astringent and tonifying properties [T/N In Oriental Medicine “astringent” ingredients have the function of rebalancing the main vital substances that animate the human body: Essence, Body Fluids and Qi].
  • Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) (타임, 百里香), which boasts antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Overall, the ingredient promises to increase energy flow, while also rebalancing and reinvigorating skin to enhance the skin’s intrinsic energy and elasticity3.

Moisture-Linking Technology

All products in the “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” line are formulated using The History of Whoo’s exclusive Moisture-Linking Technology. This innovative technology has been designed to fortify the skin barrier and enhance the skin’s ability to retain moisture by ensuring that the moisturising ingredients in the formulas bind more effectively to the skin.

By incorporating Moisture-Linking Technology, the “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” line promotes a clear, well-hydrated, and radiant complexion.

At the heart of the Moisture-Linking Technology are 3 distinct patented technologies:

  • Patent 102401790 and Patent 101663055. These patents describe a cosmetic composition that enhances the binding of skin surface modifying-ingredients to the skin’s surface without causing any damage to the dermal tissues. These ingredients, which include, but are not limited to, moisturising, exfoliating, antioxidant, and brightening agents, are intended to improve the appearance and texture of the skin. The enhanced interaction between the skin surface modifying-ingredients and the skin’s surface ensures that these components remain firmly attached, even after exposure to soap or other cleansing agents. The result is a semi-permanent surface modification effect which does not compromise the health and overall integrity of the skin.
  • Patent 102349949. This patent focuses on enhancing the gloss and overall appearance of the skin. It involves a cosmetic composition containing an ingredient (Allantoin in the case of the “Gong Jin Hyang Soo” line), which possesses reactive groups capable of forming covalent bonds with skin proteins. By creating these bonds, the composition delivers a semi-permanent gloss enhancement effect, making the complexion look more radiant and luminous.
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Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Balancing Toner

Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Emulsion

The History of Whoo - Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Cream

Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Cream

Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Cleansing Foam

Gongjinhyang Soo Vital Hydrating Essence

Gongjinhyang Soo Hydrating Overnight Mask

⬥ Recommended order of use

  • Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Cleansing Foam
  • Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Balancing Toner
  • Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Emulsion
  • Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Cream
  • Gong Jin Hyang Soo Hydrating Sunscreen Fluid SPF50+/PA+++
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Shop the Line

⬥ International retailers

⬥ South Korean retailers

Make sure to check out the Discount & Coupons page to access exclusive offers for major Korean skincare retailers.

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  1. 오주희, 신재석, 이성준, 이종철, 임준홍, 안은석, 홍시갑 and 홍준기. 2009, “한약재 포제 가공의 현대적 연구 현황”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation, vol.39, no.4 pp.275-297.
  2. 김은진. (2003). “나도 한번쯤 써보고 싶다! 피부 보약, 한방 화장품.” 레이디경향.
  3. 더후(The Whoo). (n.d.). 더후: The whoo. 더후(THE WHOO).

Source: LG Household & Health Care unless otherwise stated.
Words, Visuals: © 2024 Odile Monod unless otherwise stated.
You may not reproduce the above translation for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the author.

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