My First Korean Product Review! Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream

Hey folks!

Today I have decided to finally write about something that has been taking over my mind (and heart) for a long time now… and that is Korean cosmetics! ^^

For those of you who don’t know, the Korean skincare/cosmetic industry is booming and shows no signs of stopping. When I first got to Korea, I had no idea about it and had brought a number of products for home ‘just in case’ they didn’t have what I needed here. Fool, fool I tell you! Whatever you ever need in Korea (ever), you will find it here. Especially if it pertains to beauty.

After moving to Guri (infinitely larger than my temporary home in the quiet but a-little-too-quaint Dosim) my eyes were opened (metaphorically, not via the abundance of extreme plastic surgery that occurs here) to the brilliance of Korean cosmetics and skincare stores. It didn’t take long for me to develop a fully-fledged Korean cosmetics addiction, and I’ll be honest – I show no signs of recovering. I have so many products I bought ‘to review’ it’s absurd. I have absolutely lost my mind, and it feels fantastic!

My friend Sehar and I immediately felt a particular fondness for one Korean brand in particular, Nature Republic. As I (and Gavin) always say, Guri provides, and there happens to be a small but well-stocked Nature Republic right in the heart of Doldari (the well-known ‘shopping centre’ of Guri). The owner is a nice (but slightly eccentric) man who may have had the aforementioned plastic surgery. The two girls that work there are really sweet and I think find me a curious novelty. It’s a wonderful experience all round!

Okay, so onto the product review. Today, for my first K-product review ever, I will be telling y’all about Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream! 🙂

Nature Republic's Super Aqua Max Combination Water Cream
Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Water Cream

Firstly, what’s with the name? I almost ran out of breath typing it just then, so believe me, I get it!

When you come to Korea, you will find that not a lot of things make sense, sometimes not initially, and often not at all. And that’s okay. What I have found with product names here is that they tend to incorporate a fair bit of ‘Konglish’ (a hybrid of Korean and English that produces questionable results). So you get weird names, and you get long names. This is one of those instances, and you’d better get used to ’em if you gon’ survive in the wild (or something).

Basically, Korean women are obsessed with beauty and appearing youthful (but then again, which culture isn’t?!). So you will find a lot of emphasis on the ‘watery’ side of things, which actually just refers to moisture and radiance, as does the ‘Super Aqua Max’. As I always say, the watery and super aqua max-y, the better. The ‘Combination’ part describes the type of skin this product works for. In this case, I pretty much have combination skin (it’s temperamental, just like it’s mama!), but you can also purchase this cream for dry or oily skin. This product, however, is the bestseller by far.

Also, have you noticed that the design aesthetic seems familiar? If so, good spot. It is actually a blatant rip-off of Biotherm’s Aqua Source, and how!

Nature Republic's Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream on the left, and Biotherm's Aquasource Replenishing Gel on the right. Separated at birth perhaps?
Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream on the left, and Biotherm’s Aquasource Replenishing Gel on the right. Separated at birth perhaps?

(Image on the right via MakeupStash)

As you can see, Nature Republic has taken a fancy to Biotherm’s fancy marketing and designed their lid to look like the Aquasource gel ‘swirl’. To be honest, I actually really like the look and feel of the lid (although it is a bit heavy and thus not great for travelling). Also, there seems to be a lot of blatant copying of design aesthetics going on in Korea, from cosmetics to phones and beyond… But I guess if you do it well, then what’s the problem (and, more importantly, who’s going to stop you)…? Nature Republic also puts a lot of effort into the design of their packaging boxes, which usually coincide with their ‘natural’ theme.

Directions and ingredients on the box

As you can (hopefully) see on the above picture, Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream contains a bunch of deep sea minerals, such as chlorella, seaweed and plankton, and also collagen and hyaluronic acid (?) which are all meant to moisturise the skin. As you can also see, there are a bunch of other ingredients listed below, most of which are extracts of natural minerals as well.

The amount of ingredients is slightly concerning, as even though they are overwhelmingly natural, there are always a number of chemicals tucked into these lists with difficult-to-read names. Basically, the more ingredients you have, the more it detracts from each individual ingredient and sullies the purity of the product. However, this isn’t exclusive to Nature Republic, and I commend them for at least including so many natural extracts. Go Agarium Cribosum Extract, go!

One of the things I like about this product is that it comes with a spatula, which makes for convenient (and hygienic) application. Although you have to keep it clean and it takes up a bit of time on rushed mornings, it does improve the hygiene issues related to potted moisturisers. Have a look here:

Super Aqua Max + Spatula
Super Aqua Max + Spatula

When I first removed the lid, I was pleased (read: overexcited) with the pleasant colour and aroma of this cream. That may sound a bit Stepford Wives-y, but I do think it’s pretty and it smells delicious! As you can see in the following picture, it is a mint-green colour (pretty much the same as the jar) and it has a fresh, citrus-y scent. It actually smells like a perfume, so yum!

This product is also filled to the brim; here is what it looks like upon first opening:

Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream (can we just call it SAMCWC?) sans lid
Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream (can we just call it SAMCWC?) sans lid

Moving on… how is the actual cream itself? (Drumroll)

You will be pleased to know… I love this stuff! The texture is super lightweight and nongreasy, but moisturising at the same time. It spreads nicely on my skin and I actually look forward to putting it on in the morning and in the evening. Some other reviews have said that this was too greasy for daywear, but I haven’t found this at all. In fact, I find this moisturiser perfect to wear under makeup as it has such a smooth texture. Have a look here:

A swatch of Nature Republic's bestseller on my arm... so smooth!
A swatch of Nature Republic’s bestseller on my arm… so smooth!

What’s the verdict? Overall, Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream is a lightweight, smooth textured cream which is a pleasure to use. It has cute packaging (although a bit of a heavy lid) and comes with a spatula, too. Most importantly, this cream feels like silk on my skin and I really enjoy using it. If you are looking for an easy, cooling cream I highly recommend this!

I hope you all enjoyed my first Korean product review, and for those of you with experience with or questions about this product I would love to hear your comments below 🙂 Thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled (metaphorically) for more!


Steph x

Follow my blog with Bloglovin! 🙂

  1. This is your first review? Great job 😀 I love descriptive and informative reviews like this, not overloaded with pictures. Definitely going to be subscribing to you 🙂 I look forward to reading more of your reviews in the future!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment! I read a lot of Korean cosmetics reviews but this is my very first one, so I’m really glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Plus I love this cream so that makes it easy hehe.

      And yes, I have a whole bunch of products waiting to be reviewed/a Korean cosmetics addiction so it won’t be too long until the next one! Thanks for reading, see you soon 🙂

  2. Wow, that’s a long list of ingredients! Such massive lists with tons of plant extracts are what make me stay way too long in the shop (I try to skim over the ingredients so I can know if I there are extracts to avoid.)

    1. Yes it’s pretty mind-boggling how much is crammed in there! But I guess at least most of it is natural, which is more than what other companies do. I too spend ages in the shop, but it’s usually just because I like to smell and test everything out! Such a happy place hehe. Thanks for your comment and for reading 🙂

  3. Hi.. You’re the only blogger that review both this super aqua combi cream and argan 20 emulsion, so i want to ask you which one will you recommend for me who has combi-oily skin and live in a hot humid weather? Thanks for your advice..

    1. Thanks for your comment! I would definitely choose the Super Aqua Max cream for oilier skin and humid weather. It has a really light, gel/cream consistency and it absorbs really quickly. I think it is just the perfect cream for all skin types! ^^ I actually find the Argan 20 Emulsion quite moisturising as well, so it could get oily in the heat. Give it a whirl and let me know how you go! 🙂

      1. hi again.. i just dropped by to inform you that i finally bought the super aqua max combination watery cream! i can’t get the sample of argan 20 emulsion and i like the super aqua max sample that i went straight buying it in full size! thanks for your advice! 🙂

    1. Yep it is! I think it may just be my all time favourite Korean beauty product… :O and that’s a big call!

  4. Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your website in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer,
    it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!

    Other then that, awesome blog!

  5. Well… There are 30 different types of marine plants inside of the aqua cream, so it’s kind of a given that it has a long list. Also, the cream provides hydration not moisture(so it is more on the lighter side, compared to things that are suppose to supply moisture), it is water based using water from Polynesia. Then I know the new cream does contain 33 different marine plants, and uses Hawaii’s Kona island deep sea water. 0:

  6. I find it a bit odd that you say: “When you come to Korea, you will find that not a lot of things make sense, sometimes not initially, and often not at all.”

    I feel like that’s a sweeping generalization to make. Have you ever considered that they don’t make sense to you because you are a foreigner to the country? On the contrary, I find that many things in Korea are efficiently designed and optimized for user experience especially when compared to other countries such as the US or European countries.

    As a foreigner writing about a new country, you have a responsibility to communicate an accurate and realistic picture of this new place to your readers and as such I think you should be more careful about making generalizations (particularly negative ones) since that only contributes to xenophobia, closemindedness and misguided nationalism.

    1. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that I love Korea, and everything I write about it is said coming from love. Honestly, the ridiculous amount of times I’ve professed my adoration for Korea has communicated this to my readers very clearly (and they understand nuance). You speak of generalisations; I find it a massive (and incorrect) generalisation for you to assume that I am painting a negative picture of Korea, without reading any of my other posts, which obviously point to the contrary.

      Of course some things don’t make sense to me because I’m a foreigner, just as weird things in Australia (of which there are many) wouldn’t always make sense to a Korean person (or otherwise) visiting. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Are we all supposed to be the same? Are we not supposed to marvel at and enjoy the differences between cultures? I went to Korea because it was somewhere so different from what I knew, and I wouldn’t be so pompous as to think that I understand everything about a culture in a mere 24 months. I think THAT would be a bigger generalisation to make.

      Most of all, I don’t know why you’re coming here and commenting from such a negative place. Perhaps you should assume the best, and then you’ll see that’s how I see the world, too.

    1. Hey Jordin! I find that it depends on the product and the line itself. Some ingredients can “clash” and cause reactions, whereas others are fine.

      For me, I never generally use a full face of just one skincare line — although I would be interested to try it! Instead, I tend to mix and match my favourite products, which are generally okay for sensitive skin anyway. Also, sometimes I really like one product in a line but then dislike another — it really does depend.

      I think it’s best to find what works for you and go from there 🙂 Thanks for commenting and good luck!

    1. Oh my gosh, I just uncovered a secret stash I had (one last jar), and I was so happy! It’s just gold. Glad you feel me on this! 🙂

Comments are closed.