5 May 2015

Review: Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Toner and Emulsion

The first Korean cosmetic brand that I bumped into was Nature Republic, which opened up my door into K-beauty. So I had a special feeling about this brand although it was no longer my favourite. In fact, some people told me that Nature Republic is not popular in Korea but more popular among the westerners. The first Nature Republic product I encountered was its best-selling aloe vera soothing gel. I was attracted to its fresh texture and sweet scent so much that I stepped into the store and explored its other products, which is how I found this Super Aqua Max line. I couldn't get enough of the smell of this so I grabbed their toner + emulsion during their 2+1 sales. Nature Republic Malaysia had year-round sales although their prices are higher than most online retailers so you can actually get good deals at the local stores if you follow their news. 

Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Toner

Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Emulsion

The toner and emulsion looks stunningly similar. They both come in sturdy plastic bottles that you don't want to drop accidentally and has watery-cream-like design for its cap. Even the small opening on top is similar in width. This is OK for the toner because it is watery enough and can come out easily but not OK for the emulsion. It takes a long time to pour the emulsion out.

The toner is very watery and can get absorb instantly. I guess it is due to the alcohol content. It gives very refreshed feeling. Not moisture, but refreshment.

The emulsion is rather milky and oily I must say, quite greasy in fact. It is also absorbed easily but you need to pat it for better absorption. After absorption, it is not very oil, but not super moisturizing either like my Innisfree Green Tea Seed Cream.


Both toner and emulsion cannot last very long. I use it once per day in the morning after I finish my Innisfree green tea line, and both lasts me some 3 months. Imagine using this twice per day. I guess it won't you any longer than 2 months. I use bare hands for the toner.


The Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Toner and Emulsion are formulated with deep sea water and 30 kinds of marine plant extracts. It brings the rich treasure of revitalizing energy of South Korea Gangwon province deep seawater, locates at 200m underwater where no sunlight can reach with a temperature of 2 degree celcius or lower. 



Unfortunately, I don't keep my Watery Emulsion's box so I can't show you the ingredients for the Emulsion. 

The ingredients for the toner is as below
(click here for my Cosdna profile)

Water, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Betaine, Glycerin, Ulmus Davidiana Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract (Amaranthus oil), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract, Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed, Flaxseed) Seed Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Hibiscus Esculentus (Okra) Fruit Extract, Pikea Robusta Extract, Gelidium Sesquipedale Extract, Ulva Lactuca (sea lettuce) Extract, Ecklonia Cava (Algin) Extract [GOOD], Codium Tomentosum (Velvet Horn, Spongeweed) Extract, Laminaria Japonica (Laminaria Saccharine) Extract, Ulva Pertusa Extract, Agarum Cribosum Extract, Solidago Virgaurea (Goldenrod) Extract, Enteromorpha Compressa Extract, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Capsosiphon Fulvescens Extract, Sargassum Fulvellum Extract, Porphyra Yezoensis (Nori) Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Spirulina Platensis Extract, Jania Rubens Extract, Sea Whip Extract, Gelidium Cartilagineum Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida (Wakame) Extract, Corallina Officinalis (Coral Seaweed) Extract, Codium Fragile (Sea Fingers) Extract, Laminaria Cloustoni (Brown Algae, Tangle, Cuvie) Extract, Chlorella Minutissima Extract, Hizikia Fusiforme (Hiziki, Hijiki) Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Plankton Extract, Sea Cucumber Extract, Laminaria Digitata (Oarweed) Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sea Water, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Sodium Citrate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Benzophenone-4, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ceteth-20, Steareth-20, Triethylhexanoin (Glyceryl Triesters), Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Sponge, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 5, Blue 1


OK, first, this is a LONG LONG list. Sometimes I wonder, do we really need a long list of ingredients for certain products? Asides from marketing woo (wow, look at how many good stuffs it has in this little bottle), I personally don't find long list of ingredients that appealing. Although the ingredients used might be good, if you divide them by portion, you get a little of each. Sometimes, certain ingredients need to present in a significant portion to live up to its claimed skin benefit. Also, you risk higher chances of causing sensitive reactions if one of these long list of ingredients do not suit the individuals using them. Technically, you are spoiling the whole bunch with a rotten apple. Anyway, if you look at the ingredients, the one listed on top are moisturizer. This toner has some non-marine plant extracts like ulmus davidiana (soothing), amaranthus seed (sun-protection, anti-aging), burdock (pore control, firming), linseed (antioxidant), aloe vera (soothing), and okra fruit (antioxidant). There is a long list of algae extracts, most of them are for soothing, moisturizing and anti-oxidizing purposes. Sea water is present near the bottom of the list. Many claim that sea water is "water that is alive" with rich mineral content, but some research claims that it might cause sensitive reaction due to the presence of salts. The rest of the ingredients are emulsifier, stabilizer, emollients, and preservative. This toner also contains 2 coloring agents: yellow 5 and blue 1. They are both FDA-approved colours but I always treat with extra cautious when it comes to having colours in skincare products. In short, I am not exactly impressed by the ingredients. The major ingredient is water instead of sea water. Having alcohol as the second top ingredient should offset the soothing properties of ingredients added later on for those sensitive to alcohol. I think this toner has an impressive amount of plant extracts and most of them are backed by research regarding their skin benefits, but it really comes to the question of whether or not you NEED so much algae in your assessment of this toner. 

Packaging ★★★☆
Texture ★★★
Application ★★★
Scent ★★★
Ingredients ★★★
Performance ★★

Packaging ★★★☆
Texture ★★★
Application ★★
Scent ★★★
Ingredients ★★★
Performance ★★


This toner and emulsion set, in my opinion, is not as moisturizing as advertised with tonnes of algae extracts. Even the emulsion is more greasy than moisturizing. I used them after I finished my Innisfree Green Tea and I must say I prefer Innisfree. Normally after using Innisfree, my skin produces oil 7-8 hours working in the office. When I switch to Nature Republic, it gets oily after 3-4 hours. In addition, I feel that this toner and emulsion does not provide moisture like the Innisfree Green Tea (especially the Seed Cream). Instead, it forms a oil barrier on my skin to prevent moisture loss. Deep down, my skin is still dehydrated. Also, I feel that the Watery Toner is a bit irritating. It provides instant refreshment upon applying but it also stings at the same time. I don't have sensitive skin and I still feel irritated. Imagine those with sensitive skin. In short, I think it does provide some refreshment, and can revitalize skin, but I will be extra careful when it comes to moisturizing because it doesn't moisture from inside out, my skin is still dehydrated. As for soothing, I think this should be more irritating than soothing though. Sometimes when I get lazy at night and only apply the toner, it can keep my skin moisturized for any longer than 2 hours. Having said that, this toner and emulsion set might not be suitable for those with normal to dry skin, or those working in air-conditioned room. I don't even think that this will work well with those with oily and combination skin because it only creates a moisture barrier instead of deep moisturizing. But for those who are in their early 20s, have good skin, like cute bottles and love sweet scented stuffs, this will work like heaven for you. It is also not that pricey as well since most online retailer carry them for <RM 50 each.

You can get this from: Nature Republic Malaysia | Hermo 
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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