Review | Cure Natural Aqua Gel

April 16, 2010

Quietly making waves in the skincare realm, Cure Natural Aqua Gel is a gentle liquid exfoliator that effectively removes dead skin cells. Made in Japan, its water-based formula is so popular that a bottle is sold every 20 seconds (!). With very little advertising or marketing and mostly word-of-mouth testimonies, it is a wonder that Cure has been one of the best-selling skincare products in its country of origin for almost 10 years. No mean feat, considering that Japan’s dynamic beauty industry is constantly innovating and developing new products.

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

A product of Toyo Life, Cure was created because its maker found himself with an excess of purified water after a non beauty-related venture. With a desire to put the water to good use, he eventually developed Cure Natural Aqua Gel with a friend in the beauty industry.

Despite its simple packaging, this scent-free exfoliant, coined a ‘facial in a bottle’, also appeared in the 2009 Oscar swag bag for Academy Award nominees.

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Cure exfoliates without using harsh chemicals like AHA or BHA (skincare ingredients that can sometimes impart redness and irritate sensitive skin). This non-abrasive exfoliating gel works somewhat like a chemical peel but without the attendant effects, thanks to its gentle formulation. It apparently removes dead skin cells by reacting to skin proteins and taking away extra amino acids. In the process, it improves the texture of skin.

With continued usage, Cure promises to:

  • Reveal brighter and smoother skin

I’ve found this to be true. My skin also feels softer and looks more even-toned after use. In addition, Cure works wonderfully to remove roughness and dullness from other parts of the body too – I’ve used it on the neck, armpits, elbows and knees and was delighted to see my skin clearer and smoother, post-use.

Cure works almost instantaneously on my skin to deliver a glowy, radiant appearance.

  • Prevent blackheads

I don’t have many blackheads but I understand the logic behind this claim. By increasing the skin’s cell-turnover rate, it is difficult for sebum to be trapped, thus impeding blackhead-formation.

  • Allow serums, lotions and creams to permeate skin more efficiently

Cure preps the skin by clearing and softening it; helping it to more readily absorb the goodness of moisturisers and other nutritive skincare products.

  • Allow makeup to go on more smoothly

The ready absorption of my moisturiser/sunscreen, together with the smoothness that reduces flaking, allows base makeup to glide easily over my face.

Do remember that this product is very gentle in nature. If you find that it isn’t exfoliating as much as you’d like it to, perhaps you need something stronger. Although I am happy with its efficacy, I still use exfoliating beads and a glycolic or salicylic scrub – the latter for oily days – when my skin feels exceptionally rough or has an uncomfortably high amount of cell build-up.

According to the company, Cure is:
  • Cruelty-free and has not been tested on animals
  • Made of natural ingredients (rosemary, gingko biloba, aloe vera)
  • Mostly water with an active ingredient of 91% revitalized hydrogen water
  • Free of alcohol, artificial colouring and fragrance
  • Suitable for all skin types and can be used on sensitive skin

Here are the ingredients of Cure Natural Aqua Gel: water (activated hydrogen water, non-acidic and purified), glycerin (a moisturiser), acrylates/C10-30, alkyl acrylate crosspolymer (a thickener), dicocodimonium (a conditioner), chloride, steartrimonium bromide, aloe barbadensis leaf extract (moisturises, protects rough skin), gingko biloba extract (moisturises, prevents skin-mottling and freckles), rosmarinus officinalis/rosemary leaf extract (possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties), butylene glycol.

Although the company says it is preservative-free, I believe they are referring to preservatives from the paraben family; butylene glycol is most likely the ingredient that keeps it fresh, as well as stable (it stabilises the contents by keeping everything in a gel form).


1. Remove all makeup, wash your face and towel-dry.

2. Pump a small amount of Cure onto your skin or fingertips.

3. In a circular motion, massage the gel onto your face or other areas of concern.

The fun bit about using Cure is seeing how the dead skin cells are removed by the gel. With a little massaging action, the formula reacts with the skin’s surface to produce debris similar to that of eraser rubbings!

4. Once the dead skin cells have come off, rinse with water and continue with your regular skin care routine.

From experience, I’ve learnt that:

  • Cure works best on clean and dry skin.

Even though it works on damp skin, I found it to be more effective on dry skin – the dryness helps with the friction for exfoliation and the pilling is more noticeable.

  • Massaging the gel onto the skin works better than rubbing it forcefully around the face.

Rubbing the gel hard will only result in the gel being rubbed away or into the skin, whereas a gentle massaging action will aid in loosening the dead skin cells.

  • The gel will liquefy upon use.

As such, be careful when applying it around the eyes.

This video in Japanese explains it all visually!

Exclusively available at Watsons and Nishino Pharmacy in Singapore, the 250 ml bottle costs S$42. When my husband bought me a bottle from Watsons last year, it was still at the promotional price of S$38. However, it has since reverted to its original price of S$42.

Look at its adorable stand – modelled after the shape of the bottle with cut-outs for displaying the product (how clever!), the cute little crown on top adds a fun touch to the set-up.

I’m not sure how old this ad is but the cleanser used to be known as Cure Natural Aqua Jel…thanks to Japglish, I suppose! ;)

Cure Natural Aqua Gel and Cure Water Treatment Skin Cream

Toyo Life also produces Cure Water Treatment Skin Cream, a light moisturiser specially created for its staff’s exclusive use (props to Toyo Life for its staff welfare!).

There are plans to make this commercially-available but I’m not sure when we’ll see it in the market.

I was given a tube by Japalang and am using it now as I type! ;) I like its lightweight quality and water-based formulation which makes it suitable for our tropical weather and these humid nights we’ve been having.

If you’d like to try Cure Natural Aqua Gel, Beauty Carousel now offers free sample sachets of the exfoliant. :)

Image source: Japalang and Cure Natural Aqua Gel on Facebook

Posted in: cure | japanese brands | skincare | skincare reviews

25 Responses to Review | Cure Natural Aqua Gel

  1. tracy
    May 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Can i have some samples of cure natural aqua gel.

    • makeupmag
      May 25, 2010 at 2:25 am

      Hi Tracy,

      Visit Beauty Carousel for sample sachets! :)

    • Mary Canales
      August 2, 2012 at 2:46 am

      I would like to try the exfoliator along w/cure natural agua gel. For I just ordered some products through the “The Body Shop” for my biggest problem is oily and very pores skin.

      • makeupmag
        August 3, 2012 at 1:49 am

        Hi Mary,

        Hope the products work for you. :)

  2. Medelyne
    June 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    hi! is there any discount for natural aqua gel in watson now? any promotion?

    • makeupmag
      June 21, 2010 at 2:49 am

      Hi Medelyne,

      I don’t think there’re any specials on Cure at the moment. If you pay with the Watsons Card though, you can accrue points that can be used to offset future purchases.

  3. Nini
    November 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    i’m in Malaysia and i was wondering if they sell it here….i heard its REALLY good and i’m DYING to use it…

    • makeupmag
      November 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Nini,

      Have you tried Watsons? If not, you could order it from which is based in SG – the shipping should be reasonable. :)

  4. Nini
    November 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    If they DO sell it in Malaysia, can you tell me where? i’m in Penang if that helps…

  5. Nini
    December 7, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    yeah, but i don’t have a credit card…and my parents probably won’t allow it…My mom is naturally beautiful so she doesn’t need to take care of her skin…much….i was hoping they sold it in Malaysia but i checked the local Watsons and they don’t have it…i’m going to KL soon…

    • makeupmag
      December 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm

      Hi Nini,

      I hope you find it in KL!

  6. vicky
    December 31, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    where can i get this product

    • makeupmag
      January 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Vicky,

      You can order it from

  7. eiza
    April 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    how much the price and where can i get there product at the any shop

    • makeupmag
      April 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Eiza,

      The information is stated in the post.

  8. LP
    September 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I am looking to buy “Cure Water Treatment Skin Cream” instead of getting the sample that comes with Cure Natural Aqua Gel. Watson dun seem to have. Any idea?

    • makeupmag
      September 16, 2011 at 2:44 am

      Hi LP,

      This is not available for sale. You could contact the local distributor, Japalang, to ask them about it.

  9. LP
    September 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I just dun want understand why it is not available for sale. It is quite good as it is not oily and easily absorbed. Thank for your info.

    • makeupmag
      September 19, 2011 at 2:55 am

      Hi LP,

      Apparently, it’s not ready for mass distribution yet.

  10. ketlin
    October 6, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Hello, I live in Belgium. Recently I tried a product much similar to Cure. I searched the websites but obviously those kind of product is not sold in Europe. Do you have more info from where I can buy such?

    • makeupmag
      October 7, 2011 at 1:11 am

      Hi Ketlin,

      You can order it from

  11. Rose
    April 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I really love your blog regarding CURE, but there is no CURE aqua gel in beautycarousel :( I really want to buy. Is there any site that I could buy this Im from philippines

    • makeupmag
      April 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Rosy,

      I can’t seem to find it except for the sample sachets. Perhaps you should email the website. Good luck!

  12. Ana
    April 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    FYI…The Cure Aqua Ntural Aqua Gel is available in Beauty Bar Stores in the Philippines. I bought mine there. Hope this helps you Rose.

    • makeupmag
      April 22, 2013 at 2:21 am

      Thanks for sharing, Ana! :)

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