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Interview with ACWELL's NPD team on the hottest skincare ingredient: Licorice

ACWELL has been making waves in the skincare community for the past few years - and there is no question as to why it is doing so well. With their star product, ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner, it has rocked the skincare community and has been graced as a cult favourite. However, many remain unfamiliar with the brand and its backstory. How did it become a brand known for their licorice line?
We sat down with ACWELL's NPD team and got to know more about the brand and their journey to become a brand with a bestselling toner across multiple countries. Keep on reading to get a golden tip from ACWELL on how to use the ACWELL toner and whether the ACWELL toner can be used everyday.
  1. What is the story behind Acwell, the brand?

Acwell Logo with the words 'Traditional Dermatology'

ACWELL, which stands for AC + WELL, pursues harmony and balance of our skin. Founders of Acwell focused on defining the origin of problematic skin and concluded that a balance in skin environment was key to the healthy and self-sustainable skin. Upon diverse researches for achieving such balance in our skin, it was especially inspired by the Korean traditional medicine book, “Dongui Bogam (A Precious Mirror of Eastern Medicine)”. After years of R&D, finally a brand “Acwell” was established based on the combination of eastern medicinal knowledge with modern science.

  1. What makes your brand different from other skincare brands?

The root of Acwell could be referred to the “Dongui Bogam” mentioned above. It was compiled by the royal physician, Heo Jun and was first published in 1614 which now is listed on UNESCO Memory of the World Programme as of July 2009. The brand therefore does not seek for a mere improvement of visible skin, rather it aims to find out the best treatment considering the various correlations of skin problems appeared and support one’s skin to stay at it’s self-sustainable condition with less worries for it.  

  1. There were not many other licorice line products on the market you launched the pH balancing toner, why licorice?

Licorice Root

Licorice was one of the main ingredients used in “Dongui Bogam” prescription for diverse skin problems. We gave special notice on the verse that ”licorice” in accordance with kudzu, peony and actaea heracleifolia redeemed chronic inflammation and itchiness. So, we thought this was perfect ingredients for the brand concept and its philosophy.

  1. The licorice toner is not like your regular toner it is known as a cleansing toner, can you clarify what that means?

ACWELL Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner

The Acwell Licorice pH balancing cleansing toner is a very special toner we designed for this modern lifestyle. We are very well aware of how busy women are these days and how much we sometimes wish to finish our cleansing within a step yet with much effect. So, we tried develop a cleansing toner with which we did not have to wash it off extra with water but whilst with a function like a skincare toner. This was a very fundamental standard for us for our first licorice toner, which is, a cleansing toner but skincare-ing at the same time 😊

  1. What tips would you give customers to make the most out of the toner?


Try to use this with cotton pad and leave it on for few minutes before you wash off with water. Best practice would be not rinsing this toner off a couple of times a week and you will see the brightened skin in a week use. Also, please use this at least for 7 consecutive days for the visible difference.

  1. What was your teams reaction to the amazing response from customers?

ACWELL's David Garam Park - Global Business Manager

[Pictured: David Garam Park, ACWELL's Global Business Manager who had played a major role in the development of the Licorice Line]

Uhmm,,, we had such confidence that this will be loved by many but didn’t know that this would go for such to global regions. So we were really happy that this gave us a chance to develop licorice products in a line.

  1. How many iterations did you go through before getting to the toner we see today?

Countless. We had at least 20 changes before finalizing. It took months and months as Acwell had no reputation as a brand back then. We had to make the quality perfect in order to survive not only in the market but also in our company.. haha

  1. Were there any challenges when formulating the Licorice toner?

weighing scales

Well, yes the mix ratio was really difficult. We wanted it to be in the golden ratio with other ingredients in it so it was a really big challenge for us to figure out the ideal balance of ingredients exploited.

  1. Have you hit any milestones with sales of the toner?

We do. We came to believe in that K-beauty could go beyond borders and races. It was kind of a big reward for us that our trust toward ancestral knowledge was actually persuading people in this era. We cannot be here where we are without history and we as a mediator of this knowledge and modern time, could have such pride in our philosophy and trust. We truly appreciate with what we are facing now every day.

  1. Where do you hope to take the Licorice line next?

new possible acwell licorice cream

We just began our first launch of Acwell Licorice pH balancing essential cream. Our next step would be perhaps renewal of package..? We are still under discussion and considering many aspects of options we have.

  1. You have built loyalty and trust with your brand across the world, what has been your strategy for that?

Our first and last is quality and communication. We always try to listen to our customers feedback and do our best to apply that in our products and brands. Brand is organic, without its own charm and communication, it cannot be alive.

  1. What was the process to determine which ingredient would best fit the needs of a customer?

Dish full of herbs, flowers, and roots including Jujube and Licorice Root

Compare to other brands, we do perform so many clinical tests and acquire certifications before product release. We then change and change and research and research. Each of Acwell product has at least 4 clinical tests completed before launch on average which is quite high compare to others.

  1. What do you consider the greatest accomplishment to date with Acwell? 

ACWELL Real Aqua Balancing Cream [Also known as N4 Cream]

Among all, our N4 cream(=real aqua balancing cream) is million seller in China. It actually was the main fund for Acwell to grow up and be able to invest capital in our R&D.

  1. What is next for Acwell?

We would be facing some design renewals too for Acwell in 2022. The time is getting more into the visual world and we feel that stronger than ever. Well, which concept and how it would be? Please keep eyeing on us 😊

Want to try out the popular ACWELL Licorice line?

ACWELL eye cream, toner and essence mist

Takeaway: ACWELL has paved the way for Licorice and it is an ingredient here to stay. ACWELL has come a long way since the start of their journey, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We hope you also look forward to ACWELL's design renewals and product launches. What are your favourite Acwell products and what do you hope to see in the ACWELL line up? Let us know in the comments below.

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