Holika Holika Aqua Max Sebum Control Moisture Cream Review

holika1I developed an almost immediate addiction to Korean cosmetics during my first visit to South Korea back in 2012. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging and they have it nailed. There’s a dearth of the shops here in Canada though so I was pretty pumped to find out that Holika Holika had recently opened up on Queen Street West in Toronto. While it wasn’t a store I shopped at in Korea, I decided to check it out anyway.

They have cute packaging similar to an Etude House or a Tony Moly and a full range of creams, lotions, masks, make-up, and more. The personal service (and free samples!) was exactly as I’d come to expect from Korean cosmetic shops. K-pop was playing on the stereo, and for a minute I could almost imagine I was back in Gunsan.

I was on the hunt for a new daytime moisturizer since my Oil of Olay wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. I have combination skin, but I’m more concerned about my forehead, nose, and chin being oily than I am about my cheeks being dry, so the girl at Holika Holika recommended I try the Aqua Max Sebum Control Moisture Cream. Remember, just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean you should skip the moisturizer! You just need to find the right one.


The packaging was cute and the price was right ($28 for 120ml) so I gave it a chance. I’m really happy I did. It has a gel-like consistency which is something I’m not used to. My moisturizers have always been white creams. Do North Americans not make gel moisturizers? I gotta say, I’m a fan of it for summer. It’s cool going on and absorbs really well. I think during heat waves I’ll keep it in the fridge for max coolness. On first application I thought it felt watery and couldn’t imagine that it would hydrate well, but it kept my skin moist without getting greasy.

The Aqua Max has a light clean smell but isn’t overpowering. Hard to describe but, to me, it’s just fresh. It contains oats, aloe, and Himalayan raspberry leaves which means a nice blend of oil zapping and skin hydrating goodness.

Apparently, this product used to be called Water March but now has slightly new packaging along with a new name. It comes in a cute clear glass jar with a faux-cork lid, but don’t be turned off by a tub – it’s also comes with a spatula. I’m totally using this jar for something else once I’ve finished off the cream. It’s hella cute.

Aqua Max Moisture Cream is available in three versions:

  • Sebum Control (green) for those with oily or combination skin
  • Nutri (pink) for those with seriously dry skin
  • Ultra (blue) for those with normal to dry skin

I took a chance on a new store and new product and it worked out great. The only question now is, can I get it shipped to Newfoundland?

Melissa Hogan may have a career in web design & development but she was bitten by the travel bug and has fallen completely under its spell while making St. John’s, NL Canada her homebase. She wants to inspire others to get out there and see the world, push their limits, and look good doing it. Melissa blogs atwww.suitcaseandheels.com, tweets as @avalonmel and does all things Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SuitcaseAndHeels


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