With finals and semester-end festivities finally behind me, I’m so excited to be writing again! My skin care routine has been absolutely therapeutic throughout my hectic exam season and I’ve been testing out quite a handful of products (which you guys will be seeing on this site soon). So without further banter on my part, let’s get into today’s gem:
For those who aren’t familiar with this product, the Natural Aqua Gel is a peeling gel. Peeling gels are a quick way to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells and other manner of grime. The general understanding is that the product causes the grime to ball up on the surface of your skin and is meant to be rinsed off later.
RM 125.00 (from Sasa when I purchased it last Christmas) for 250g
This roughly translates to about USD31 for 8.81 oz of product. It’s a little pricey, but as you can probably tell from the picture, I’m only about half way through with my bottle. I share the bottle with my sister and we use it about once a week on average. I’ve personally been quite generous with my application so yes, it does last quite a while. To me, the price is well worth the volume you get.
On a side note, am I the only one who gets annoyed when companies use mass as an indicator for liquid products? There are websites which claim that you get 250ml of this product, but it’s obvious that the gel is a lot denser than water. Therefore, there’s no way you’d get 250ml from 250g of this product B(
Water (activated hydrogen water, non-acidic and purified), glycerin, acrylates/C10-30, alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, dicocodimonium, chloride, steartrimonium bromide, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, gingko biloba extract, rosmarinus officinalis/rosemary leaf extract, butylene glycol.
This Source: Randy Schueller saved me the trouble of translating the list from Japanese ^.^
My Thoughts on the Product:
This is, admittedly, one of the few products I’ve purchased on a whim. I recall the lady who introduced this product to me saying that the product was so good, customers don’t bother testing it in the shop. (No worries, I did insist on testing it on the back of my hand before I bought it.)
As far as peeling gels go, it works really well! That is, my skin does feel really clean after application and it makes a tremendous difference if I use it before using a nose strip. Now, using chemical exfoliants (especially in succession with harsher cleansers and exfoliants) isn’t something I would recommend just anyone to do. I used to have acne prone skin, but my skin has gotten a lot less sensitive with age. I lean towards combination skin but my T-zone doesn’t severely greasy and my breakouts are usually hormonal or stress related. So if you have sensitive skin, I would recommend spot testing the product before diving in.
The Texture and Feel:
Compared to many of the peeling gel on the market, I find this product a lot more lightweight in feel. The viscosity is very much like a runny emulsion and feels very comfortable on the skin.
As far as first impressions went, my major complaint would be the smell that this product gives off. The product claims to be free of alcohol and fragrance. But it smells like paint thinner or nail polish remover! Looking at the ingredients list, I can’t really tell which is the culprit. The scent is quite strong; not quite enough to be a deal breaker for me, but it is a big turn-off.
This peeling gel comes in a tall pump bottle. It’s hygienic and comes with a convenient stopper to prevent leaks. It’s way too big a volume to bring travelling with you, but one can easily dispense some into a more travel friendly container for that purpose. I love that the bottle is clear as this allows me to constantly check the amount I have left as well as whether or not the product has turned in any way.
There really isn’t much to say in this area, save that it’s a simple packaging that works. Very Japanese. If there really was any complaint, it would only be this: that everything on the bottle except the name of the product is written in Japanese. But the link above in the ingredients section provides a translation for all you need from the bottle, so I don’t think it’s that much of an issue.
In the midst of writing this review, I found this link, in which a cosmetic scientist says that the effectiveness of a peeling gel cannot be told from how much “balling” you get on your skin after application.
Like many newbies to the wonderful world of cosmetics, I’ve thought for the longest time that the little white balls that form on my skin when I rub a peeling gel onto it was caused by the balling up of dead skin and grime. i.e. The more balls I get from the product application, the more grime has been removed. The article linked states this to be false and that the balls are actually formed from the polymers that are already present in the product. What’s worse is that the list of ingredients given in the article exactly the same as the one for this product, suggesting that the Nature Aqua Gel by Cure was the target of that discussion.
I have noticed that this gel does tend to ball up less when I use certain cleansers or exfoliants prior to using it, but after reading the linked article, I can’t say for sure if that’s because the cleansers and exfoliants were effective in removing grime prior to the gel or if it’s because something in those products prevented the polymer balls in this gel from forming properly.
The Bottom Line:
Before I sat down to write this review, I had honestly believed this product to be a true gem. Despite the few complaints I had, it appeared to do a very good job at exfoliating my face and softening my whiteheads. Few other products have made my skin feel so smooth after cleansing and I really felt that the product was worth the hype.
However, the article that I linked in the catch section of this review does raise some questions about the true effectiveness of this product. For an undergrad with no proper income, this really is an expensive product. So I don’t know if I’ll be purchasing this product again. Moreover, I do have my doubts about the claims for this product. It was sold to me as a product that had fruit enzymes as its active ingredients. Last I checked, Aloe Vera, Gingko and Rosemary aren’t fruits. It’s supposed to be a fragrance free formula, but it carries such a strong smell that one wonders if some ingredients have been conveniently omitted from the ingredients list. The main purpose of this product is the exfoliation of dead skin. But it’s been confirmed (by what I feel to be a credible source) that the product contains no exfoliating ingredients.
So, as much I did enjoy the apparent effectiveness of this product, I’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to decide if Japan’s top selling peeling gel truly is a worthy product for your arsenal.