31 May 2017

Review: Huxley Secret of Sahara Grab Water Essence and Fresh and More Cream

(updated on August 27, 2017)

One thing I really like about Huxley, apart from its minimalist yet elegant packaging, is its belief that “great things never come from comfort zones”. It is very true indeed. And it should also be applied to our daily lives as well so that we all can become better and be more competitive. I think this also explains why Huxley gains its reputation so quick in the beauty industry. There is a “Huxley boom” across the beauty retailers where many well-known international and local retailers start carrying Huxley products, such as Stylekorean, Hermo, Jolse, and many more.

Huxley claims that it harnesses quality ingredients from the pristine land on earth, such as desert, high mountains to deep sea. I am not sure did they actually do that, because Huxley products are very much focusing on cactus seed oil, but let’s believe that it is true for now.

Huxley believes in minimalism. There isn’t an extended range of products in each category – hydration, brightening, anti-oxidation, sunscreen and concealer, and so on, but they are expanding the lineup so I expect newer and better products from Huxley in the future.

The products that we are gonna talk about today is the Huxley Hydration Duo – the Secret of Sahara Grab Water Essence and Fresh and More Cream.

Huxley Secret of Sahara Grab Water Essence

Huxley Grab Water Essence is packed in a minimalist but elegant dropper bottle. It has 30ml inside, which makes it even more concentrated than serum since serum usually comes in 50ml.

There isn’t any information on the packaging, or the website, but those retailers carrying it like Glow Recipe, Kurator, Jolse and so on are good places you can look up for product information and ingredients.

Huxley calls this an essence but I think it should be called a lightweight watery oil instead. The texture is similar to Goodal Waterest Lasting Water Oil. You can feel that it is very concentrated yet gets absorbed into your skin really quick like essence. Out of all three Huxley essences I have tried, I think the Grab Water Essence is the lightest in term of consistency and the second fastest in term of absorbency (the fastest one should be the Oil Essence). It leaves my skin really nourished without any stickiness that you usually expect from facial oil or nourishing serum.


Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Glycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Ilex Paraguariensis Leaf Extract, Prunus Mume Fruit Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Myrciaria Dubia Fruit Extract, Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Menthapiperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide Np (Ceramide 3), Acorus Gramineus Root/Steam Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Perilla Frutescenx Leaf Extract, Malachite Extract, Methyl Gluceth-20, Water, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polysorbate 80, Disodium EDTA, Tromethamine, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


You get loads of botanical extracts, mainly antioxidants from this product. There are cactus seed oil, cactus extract, silver birch, acai berry, camu-camu, grass-leaf sweet flag and so on plant extracts in here. You can also tell that it is very concentrated because water is listed at the very bottom, way after the cactus extracts. Alcohol is pretty high up the list but I am sure it is used as a solvent to make the essence lighter and easier to absorb. The whole list looks satisfying clean as well.

Cactus seed oil and cactus extract are the star ingredients here. They are antioxidants rich in amino acids, minerals and linoleic acid to unclog pores, reduce sebum buildup, and plump up the skin. It is also a humectant that can bind moisture to the skin, keeping it soft and hydrated. Cactus seed oil is also a star ingredient among the Barber women to keep their skin glowing and healthy in the harsh Sahara of North Africa. Cactus is a commonly used ingredient in many skincare products so its benefits are undebatable, but using cactus collected from the Sahara Desert? That’s definitely super cool to have!


I have been using the essence several times a week for the past 6 months. Currently, I have about 30% left in the bottle. I updated this review several months later, when I finally finished the entire bottle and here are my thoughts on it.

I think it is a good moisturizing and anti-oxidizing serum. It would work great for dehydrated, normal-to-dry, and combination skin, because its lightweight oil properties allows it to heal and smooth the skin without greasing it up or encouraging more sebum production. However, I don’t think this will work great for oily or dry skin, unless you happen to have dehydrated skin too. Individuals who are not used to facial oil and want to get a lightweight hold of facial oil can opt for this as well. However, if you are fan of facial oil then this is definitely too lightweight for you.

Huxley Secret of Sahara Fresh and More Cream

I saw people posting on Instagram that this works better than Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb. Well, I have both products, so after trying it out for several months now, I hafta announce that this is not as good as my holy grail Belif Aqua Bomb, although I still think it is a good cream.

The Fresh and More Cream comes in a beautiful glass jar with a lid attached.

The cream has a velvety texture that feels like moisture-trapping oil balm. The thing looks like it is gonna burst into moisture when you apply it onto your face. It leaves behind a hydrated, sealed (with a layer of oil film over your skin) and matte finish. Despite the oil film it produces, I think this is not as moisturizing as I expect, hence don’t think it will work well for normal to dry skin. Combination to oily skin will like this though since it dries down matte and provides velvety finish.


Opuntia Ficus-Indica Stem Extract, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Cyclohexasiloxane, Trisiloxane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Opuntia Ficus-Indica Seed Oil, Ceramide Np (Ceramide 3), Phyllostachys Babusoides Juice, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Acorus Gramineus Root/Stem Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Beta-Glucan, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Dimethiconol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 60, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Carbomer, Propanediol, PEG-40 Stearate, Palmitic Acid, Ethylhexyglycerin, Stearic Acid, Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polysorbate 80, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance


This cream utilizes lightweight moisturizers and slip agents like cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, and so on to give rise to its fast-absorbing texture. Main ingredients remain the iconic cactus extract and cactus seed oil. Other ingredients include ceramide, timber bamboo extract, silver birch, green purslane, sweet flag, perilla, beta glucan, and so on. Among them, green purslane is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory and wrinkles-improving ingredient. Beta glucan and sodium hyaluronate are both humectant with skin soothing properties.

The product has a long ingredients list but most of them are flagged safe and hypoallergic and non-comedogenic on CosDNA. But if you are sensitive to things like butylene glycol, dimethicone, carbomer, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and so on, you should use this with caution. Also, if you are sensitive to fragrance, this product (and all other Huxley products) actually have a strong fresh grass scent that can be quite overwhelming for sensitive nose.


I have been using the cream several times a week for the past 6 months. I think it is not as good as Belif Aqua Bomb because it doesn’t really hydrate and moisturize. This Huxley Fresh and More Cream focuses more on moisturizing than hydrating. My skin doesn’t feel refresh, plump, and moist, but more like protected and moisturized/sealed. Its velvety and semi-matte finish also helps to reduce sebum production. Although this may be good for individuals with combination skin, it actually makes my skin greasy after several hours later for some reasons.

I also tried Belif’s newly released Water Bomb which is supposed to be as lightweight as this. I felt that the Belif ones hydrates and refreshes my skin really well so I like it better than Huxley Fresh and More Cream.


It is hard for me to conclude. I enjoy using the both of them, but I know they are still somewhat below my expectation. I thought Huxley Grab Water Essence would be highly hydrating and moisturizing and that the Fresh and More Cream will moisturize my skin better than Belif Aqua Bomb. However, both products seem to only moisturize not hydrate or refresh. They will work great for winter seasons but not necessary summer time in my opinion.

In the end, I think it just doesn’t suit my normal-to-dry skin that well. Both products are designed for dehydrated, imbalance, and combination-to-oily skin. As such, I also bought the Antioxidant Duo and see whether they will change my mind on Huxley.

Until then, I will see you in my next post!

Overall impression: ★★★★☆ (essence) ★★★☆ (cream)
Repurchasing: ★★★☆ (essence) ★★ (cream)
You can get this from: StyleKorean | Kurator Malaysia | Glow Recipe | Vexicot
[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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