Updated Review: Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Moisture Watery Cream

In a previous post, I reviewed Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Moisture Watery Cream.  You can read my original post here, where I went into detail about the feel and moisturizing effect of this cream. Overall, while I liked the cream as a day moisturizer, I wasn’t really sure how beneficial the ingredients were, so ultimately I gave this moisturizer an 8/10, but I only gave the ingredients 7/10.

Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Moisture Watery Cream

Well, on a particularly boring evening, I decided to actually do some research on the dozens of different extracts in this moisturizer, and I am now pleasantly surprised with what I found!  Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Moisture Watery Cream is actually filled with antioxidants and soothing ingredients, some have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine.  I realized that I needed to update my original review and give this moisturizer a new grade.  So the following is an expansion on my original review, with more details on the ingredients.

photo 1

As you can see, the ingredient list is MASSIVE.  And surprisingly, very few acne-triggering ingredients.  (I was particularly happy that there was no cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, etc… God I hate those fatty acids.  They’re primarily responsible for causing acne in my skin, and unfortunately they’re EVERYWHERE.  Even in products that are “made” for acne-prone skin.  But anyway… I digress.)  Thankfully this cream barely has negative ingredients, and is actually good for my acne-prone and sensitive skin.  The product comes with a TON of different extracts, and I didn’t really understand what the benefits were until recently.  Nature Republic’s website in English doesn’t advertise all the benefits to their cream.  So here’s a short breakdown of the info I could find on some of the extracts:

Sea Water: Number 1 on the ingredient list, and it replaces regular “aqua” that you would normally find in cosmetics.  Sea Water, surprisingly, is close in mineral composition to human blood plasma. “Both blood plasma and seawater contain naturally occurring trace elements and minerals, and the concentration of each mineral present is very similar. Seawater is so close to the body’s internal environment that if white blood cells are removed from the body and placed in a sterile diluted seawater solution, they are able to maintain normal cell function—this is the only solvent that will accommodate continued cellular activity. The human body needs replenishment of minerals, such as zinc, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium on a daily basis. Because seawater contains the body’s ideal balance of minerals, it is the perfect medium to restore these levels. Minerals and trace elements are important catalysts to all cell functions. Maintaining ideal mineral levels is key to preventing cellular imbalances and boosting every cell function.” Skin Inc.  Woah!  I had no idea.

Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract: This root has been used in traditional oriental medicine to treat skin inflammation.  Particularly, it’s the polysaccharides found in this root extract that is beneficial to the skin.  This root is very moisturizing for the skin, with almost the same moisturizing effect as hyaluronic acid.  In addition, this extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Journal of Cosmetic Science.

Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract: AKA Love-Lies-Bleeding (how awesome is this name?  So goth.) This is a plant oil that is a natural source of the moisturizing agent squalene, so it helps to lock in moisture in the skin.  It also helps increase elasticity and has antioxidant properties.  Pai Skincare.

Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract: AKA Kava Kava.  This ingredient is a little controversial and is banned in some countries.  I’m not sure if they also ban it  in cosmetics.  In terms of skincare, this extract helps to promote wound healing, and has even been used for certain skin diseases such as leprosy.  WebMD.

Portulaca Oleracea Extract: AKA Pigweed, is full of vitamins and minerals.  It’s a potent antioxidant, as a natural source of Vitamins A, C, E, and co-enzyme Q10.  It’s also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

I really can’t go through all the different extracts, because that would take forever! But you get the idea… The extracts added to this cream are actually really beneficial for the skin and I’m really glad I took the time to look some of them up!  If you want to look up more of the extracts, you can get the list of ingredients from cosdna.


This is a really good day cream!  Although I’ve tried other moisturizers during the day (reviews will come later!), I find that I keep coming back to this one because it leaves my skin plump, not super shiny, and with my pores slightly diminished.

Pros: Decent day moisturizer even in the winter, and good at diminishing the look of pores like a face primer.  And all the extracts are really good for the skin!

Cons: not moisturizing enough for night.

Total score: 9/10

Ingredients: 9.5/10 (very few acne-triggering ingredients, sea water, a ton of different extracts)

Quality: 8/10 (Quality is decent – moisturizes well, and I’m excited about all the soothing ingredients and antioxidants.)

Wear: 9/10 (absorbed well into skin and left my skin looking better, like I just put a ton of primer on it.)

Price: 8/10 (cheap moisturizer, paid only around $20 for 2.7 oz of product, and is a fairly good deal for a decent moisturizer.)

14 thoughts on “Updated Review: Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Moisture Watery Cream

  1. Loki says:

    Wow, I think I found my new perfect moisturising cream. Why do I think that before I even ordered it? I looked into Cosdna link that you provided and I noticed that first 4 ingredients are the same as my best foundation: Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, shade Light Vanilla. (http://www.cosdna.com/eng/cosmetic_42de29187.html)

    This foundation actually sucks as foundation, because it sinks into pores (but it does not clogs them or cause any breakouts, I always clean it with jojoba oil in the evening, and then Paula’s Choice clear cleanser (searching for something milder)), and after few hours just does not look perfect, So I always have to have something to fix it, usually mineral powder. But it is the only thing that makes my skin supersoft and it kind of glows. And looks really nice and moisturised through the day, no other moisturiser can do that to me. So until now this foundation was actually the only thing that really worked for me. Even famous Dermalogica Active Moist (the only other thing that did not burn on my skin and makes it super moist for first 30 minutes, just enough for impulse buy) leaved me super dry after 4 hours (and dried my wallet for 50€). Don’t let me started on First Aid Beauty, ultra repair cream… it burns like hell.

    Thank you! And sorry for occupying your blog for last few days, but my friends are not yet converted into Korean skincare and they are kind of sick listening to me about my exploratory journey.


    • kabukigirlblog says:

      I love that you’re excited about my blog and writing comments. Nice to know that I’m not just writing into a vacuum. And I totally understand the obsession part… I am so obsessed with Korean products too (because they WORK and they’re MILD, fancy that?), that most of my friends don’t get it/are sick of hearing about it. They look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about snail extract and bee venom… But whatever, they don’t belong to the Problem Skin Club, so they would never understand the frustration that goes with trying to take care of skin. My friends who do belong to that club, however, are totally sharing my obsession, and it’s nice to introduce them to Korean products too.

      Active moist is definitely NOT moisturizing enough. And First Aid Beauty (I now realize after 2 years of using it) has some bad filler carrier oils that contributed to my skin problems. Definitely try this cream. It is very moisturizing. But I think you’ll benefit from layering your moisturizers too. I layer lots of serums that have gel-based moisturizers under this one in the morning (so I’m not one big greasy ball). And at night I put on facial oils, heavier moisturizers and The Veiled Beauty or Vaseline on at the end. This may work for you too, but obviously I don’t know since I’ve never seen your skin!

      Good luck!


  2. Loki says:

    The other reason that I like your blog (beyond the one that you are good, informative and entertaining writer) is because my skin seems to be in a state that you described yours in a past (post about pores). It is very sensitive, seams dehydrated, dry, and sometimes oily at the same time. Huge pores. I use to had many cystic acne (pizza face), but now are somehow manageable in numbers, but still annoying (2 months of oil cleansing + normal cleanser,… I started this on my own, because it feels good, I just discovered this month that this is basic in Asian skin care). The only good thing about my skin is that regenerates quickly (no relief scars after acne), but is extremely pale, so anything leaves a red pigmentation mark on it and it takes forever to disappears.

    I have only started kind of Korean routine last week (delivery took forever). Right now in the morning: jojoba oil, PC cleanser, PC BHA, C20 serum (30min), Snail essence Benton, some kind of moisturizer (still waiting), Bior Aqua SPF50, Bourjois Foundation.

    Evening similar, just switch BHA with AHA and C20 with mild retinol cream for acne (Aveo Triacneal).

    Still waiting for Mizon snail cream and gel, after blemish gel, and sleeping whitening mask (probably to dry for me), Cosrx AHA/BHA tonner and EH: Beauty Shot Face Blur,…

    Oh and the one that I am actually afraid of: Lady Kin: Vanpir Dark Repair Cream, impulse buy, when I have been reading how super moisturizing, best ever cream that is. And after I placed order, discovered that has Hydrogenated coconut oil,… like you said: oils that are hard at room temperature, usually breaks me out. If you are not afraid of huge pores, you can check this out (not pretty):http://imgur.com/a/C8t4o

    Right now I don’t feel like shopping, because I have already spend so much on the things that I haven’t even try and I somehow feel guilty, but on the other hand I feel that things I had ordered are not moisturizing enough for me, and I should order some “heavy lifters” with EMS to save me, before my skiing trip (that I can’t wait, but is horror for my skin).


    • kabukigirlblog says:

      Wow, you’ve ordered some great skincare products. Which PC cleanser are you using? I’ve been thinking I should try other cleansers, but I’m pretty boring and usually stay with Cerave. (plus it’s cheap) Also, what do you think of the Benton snail essence? I thought about buying Benton products, but I’ve been worried because I heard that they had a contamination problem last year. I’m sure it’s fine now, but I was worried. Let me know how it works for you! I’m curious to try it out.

      And yeah, there are a lot of people with similar skin problems I think. Dry, sensitive, oily, with acne. Thank you for sharing your pics! You’re braver than me 🙂 I hate taking pictures of myself, especially without makeup.

      I think you’re doing the right thing with the products you’re trying out! But yeah, I would definitely add more moisture. Even adding cheap aloe vera gel under your heavier moisturizer helps too! I use Nature Republic’s 92% Aloe gel sometimes when my skin feels like it needs extra moisture.

      BTW, what country are you from?


  3. Loki says:

    I have PC CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, it’s pretty nice, but nothing special (pH is 6) and way overpriced (PC product here are around 50-80% more expensive then in states). It does not deliver any promises about reducing pores, but it is nice basic cleanser. I probably won’t repurchase right now, because I would love to try something with lower pH. I have heard many good things about Cerave, that at first I was really sad because it is unavailable in Europe, but then I found out that German Sebamed have some similar formulation. Sometimes I am also using F.A.B Cleanser, it is the only product I like from F.A.B, (ph is also 6) it feels really nice and I could say it feels slightly better even than PC one, but it contains a lot of fatty alcohols, strangely here it does not bother me.

    Benton essence is nice. Really gentle to my skin and absorbs fantasticly. I can’t say more since I am using it only for 6 days . It did not produce any miracle in such short time (you can see on photos), but I did not have any new breakouts, which is also nice. It was also one of my “impulse” buy, after I had read around 6 overly enthusiastic reviews with miracle results. I can report back in a month. After I ordered it, I also panicked because I found everything about contamination. Mine is produced in December 2014, looks clear, without any smell, but due to my panic mode I store it in fridge, just to be on the safe side. I also have Benton Snail Bee Steam Cream, which I think is useless, does not absorb well, extremely heavy but not hydrating. It is not irritating but I think it does nothing to me. But Anyway I usually add it into my night routine, since I don’t care if I look greasy.

    Normally I don’t to so many impulse purchases, usually I over-think everything, but yeah in the beginning of February I had some “Korean beauty products hype attack” 🙂 Even if not everything was thought through, nothing I bought from Korea actually harmed my skin. And is so much cheaper than similar western products. I get extremely disappointed if I spend a lot of money on mediocre at best product (active moist), but with Korean skincare worst case scenario is that product is just “meh” and I’ve spend $10 on it, which is not the end of the world.

    I am also very self conscious about my skin without make-up. I only took pictures to check each week if there is any progress or I am only imagining things. I’ve not leave my house without any foundation in last 5 years. I am almost master of “no-make-up make up look” for untrained eye. Sometimes I even get compliments what a nice skin I have, but is just my make-up. Once, at some company event I tried subtle smoked eyes and co-worker said, that this looks hot, but it is nicer when I am at work without any make-up. I did not expain it to him, that I never came to work without at least 15 minutes “no make-up make-up” routine.

    The biggest problem with my new addiction are import duties. Being from Slovenia, I am allowed to buy $25 (including shipping) worth without any import duties and extra taxes, after that amount, everything (from US or Asia) usually gets at least 50% more expensive than listed price. I can buy without import taxes inside EU, but only Asian skin care on-line shop, with competitive prices to ebay is German Missha store.


    • kabukigirlblog says:

      You’ve definitely convinced me to get the Benton snail essence, thanks! I’ve been looking for an alternate to the Mizon snail repair cream.
      I’m so jealous you’re good at the “no makeup makeup” look! I wish I was better at it. I have a hard time finding a foundation that works for my skin color. So I usually only put a little bit all over myself and use a concealer where I need. I’ll get better at it one day…
      Sorry that it’s so expensive to purchase these products in Slovenia! Hopefully it’ll become more widely available there.


  4. Loki says:

    Unrelated, but I don’t have your email and I just want to share this research with you, about washing face with “hard water”. Reading so much about pH of cleanser and skin barrier, I started to wander how hard water effect water pH value. I live in area with extremely hard water (18°dH, or aprox: 280ppm in US measurements).

    If you are interested you should read at least conclusion part of this science article:
    http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/research/completed-research/reports/dwi70-2-257.pdf (page 76)
    here is another much less scientific and ad orientated article, but with some scientific facts (I checked them over in Google scholar):

    Short version: pH of water is not so important for washing then hardens of water, micro mineral parts disable your cleanser and and forms hard particles that could clog your pores. Hard water is actually really good for drinking, but very bad for cleaning.

    Anecdotal “evidence”: when I was in 2 weeks holiday in Corsica (winter cycling, no swimming in sea), my skin cleared completely (my only skin care was sunscreen, and water), everyone was telling me, this is just because “stress reduction”. Today I checked hardness of tap water in Corsica, and it is one of the softest in Europe.

    So I am now switching to extremely soft spring water, for washing my face. I will still keep all my other regime in place. We will see if that has any effect.

    If you are interested where could you find soft water, you should check your local aquarium community (some fish die out in hard water and they are religious in monitoring pH and hardness of water), or beer producers and coffee enthusiasts (they also cares about softness of water, but not so much than aquarium people – it’s just the taste, nobody is dying here).


    • kabukigirlblog says:

      Great question! Unless you are particularly sensitive to silicones, this product should not clog your pores. Please read Paula’s Choice explanation about silicones and pores: http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/definition/silicone. Most acne-prone people should be fine with most silicones, but as with any product, pay attention to how it affects your skin. Although silicones are considered to be very mild and safe for most people, there is a small percentage of the population out there who are sensitive to them. Without knowing your skin in particular, I wouldn’t be able to tell you 100% that it won’t clog or pores, but I can say that most people, even acne-prone people, do well with silicone-based products. I have extremely sensitive skin, but my skin loves silicone-based products.


      • cray.giraffe says:

        Thanks for your reply! Well I’m not sure if I’m sensitive to silicon 😡 but i’m thinking of giving this product a try! I’m living in humid and tropical country, and my skin type is combination (dry at the cheek area, but a bit oily at t-zone) and god! the sebum and acne 😥 since this is for dry skin, and I’m staying in tropical country, will this product be too much for me?


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