Best Drugstore Moisturizer for Oily Skin? iWhite Aqua Moisturizer Review

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Looking for an iWhite Glow Moisturizer review? Go here.

In 2017, at my neigborhood Mercury Drugstore, I scanned the ingredients of iWhite Korea Aqua Moisturizer Whitening Vita for the first time and was surprised by my discovery.

Fast forward to today and I’m still using iWhite Aqua to moisturize my oily, acne-prone face. Read on to find out why.


Moisturizer Basics

Before I go in-depth with iWhite Aqua’s review, a quick skincare science lesson!

Every moisturizer contains 3 main properties or key ingredients:

1. Humectant attracts water molecules from the environment and binds them to the skin resulting in hydration.

2. Emollient fills in the cracks in our skin for a smooth texture.

3. Occlusive forms a film on top of our skin that locks in the water for a period of time and prevents water loss

Below are the most common moisturizing ingredients divided into class. Please note that a moisturizing ingredient can have 2 functions.

Moisturizer for Oily Skin
A moisturizer with more humectants is best for people with oily skin. But we need a bit of occlusive in the mix too, preferably silicone because it’s oil-free and matte-finish and won’t add shine to an already slick face.

A moisturizer with no occlusive ingredient, only humectants, was found to cause more water loss. This is because (1) there is no protective layer that locks in the water that humectants have collected. (2) Humectants collect water from the air and our dermis, so some of the water that evaporates has come from our very own skin. Yikes.

Having said all these, I look for the following in a moisturizer for my oily skin:

  • More humectants (to hydrate the skin)
  • Oil-free (to prevent oil slick and acne)
  • Alcohol-free (preferably)
  • Good value for money


iWhite Korea Whitening Vita Aqua Moisturizer

Product Description

iWhite Korea Whitening Vita Aqua Moisturizer is a unique water-based moisturizer that deeply hydrates your skin with its natural and non-greasy formula. It leaves a cool, oil-free, and refreshing feeling on your skin after application.

Contains natural active ingredients that help:

  • Prevent premature aging
  • Protect skin from cellular damage
  • Hydrate, and
  • Maintain firmness of skin


Active Ingredients: Mulberry Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, and Green Tea Leaf Extract

Also Contains: Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Dimethiconol, Cyclomethicone, Allantoin, Panthenol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Oryza Sativa Bran Extract, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Green Floral Musk, Blue 1

Directions for Use / How to Use

Apply an ample amount all over clean face twice a day or as needed.


Ingredients Analysis

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Normally, cosmetic companies list their products’ ingredients from the highest concentration to the lowest in just one subheading (“Ingredients”). But not with iWhite Aqua.

It lists its ingredients in 2 different subheadings, “Active Ingredients” and “Also Contains”. This listing scheme is confusing, tbh. I’m not sure how to figure the “Active Ingredients” into the “Also Contains” list.

The order of ingredients is important when considering a moisturizer. A moisturizer’s top 6 ingredients with the highest concentration determine the moisturizer’s “nature” and if it is the right fit for you or not.

Such as the weird case with iWhite Aqua, I will look into both the “Active Ingredients” and the first 6 ingredients in the “Also Contains” list.

“Active Ingredients”:

  • Mulberry root extract. Skin brightening.
  • Panax ginseng root extract. Has amino acids, peptides, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
  • Green tea leaf extract. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

“Also Contains” – First 6 Ingredients:

  • Water. Top ingredient in the list, which makes this a water-based formula.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate. Hyaluronic acid OMG! Can hold water up to 1,000x its weight, making it a very potent humectant.
  • Glycerin. Another humectant.
  • Dimethiconol. A silicone-based emollient.
  • Cyclomethicone. A silicone.
  • Allantoin. Has anti-inflammatory and skin-conditioning properties.

Please note that iWhite Aqua contains the following ingredients that are known to irritate some people’s skin.

Irritant Warnings:

  • silicones
  • fragrance
  • colorant


Personal Experience

iWhite Aqua has a blue, watery cream texture that smells mildly flowery. And by “blue,” I mean toothpaste-like blue that it could scare you away at first. But fear not, the color’s safe for use and doesn’t transfer.

In fact, iWhite is absorbed well by the skin and leaves a light, silky (almost slippery) finish. I notice my skin immediately plumps up whenever I use this. I also apply it on my palms after doing the laundry and they’re instantly moisturized!

Morning Routine

Facial Wash > MOISTURIZER > Sunscreen

Night Routine

First Cleanser > Facial Wash > Exfoliant (2-3x a week) > MOISTURIZER

Want to learn more about this routine? Read my Skincare Routine for Oily Skin or Skincare Routine for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin. Both are complete with product recommendations.


iWhite Aqua can be too thin for high-altitude places like Baguio or Sagada coz the moisture and occlusion it provides isn’t enough to withstand the cold, dry weather.

From iWhite Korea’s Instagram


Verifying Claims

1. Prevent premature aging

iWhite Aqua has several antioxidants as its “active ingredients”: mulberry root extract, panax ginseng root extract, and green tea leaf extract.

Antioxidants fight off the effects of harmful UV rays, which is the number 1 cause of premature skin aging.

Although antioxidants are a nice plus to your regular moisturizer, the dose is very important for it to be effective.

Does iWhite Aqua have a sufficient amount of antioxidants to effectively prevent premature aging?

We don’t know. It’s unspecified.

2. Protect skin from cellular damage

This is just another way of phrasing the first claim.

UV rays cause cellular damage, which causes premature skin aging.

3. Hydrate

iWhite Aqua contains a high amount of sodium hyaluronate (second on the “Other Ingredients” list), a powerful humectant that can effectively moisturize the skin. I also use it on my dehydrated hands and I can confirm that it does work.

4. Maintain firmness of skin

Yet another way of phrasing the first claim.

Sagging and crepey skin is associated with UV-induced premature skin aging. This can be prevented by using antioxidants.

Panax ginseng root extract is also believed to have anti-aging properties that can firm up the skin. However, its effectiveness in this formulation is questionable because of the probable low dose.

From iWhite Korea’s Instagram



✅ More humectants
✅ Oil-free
✅ Alcohol-free
✅ Good value for money

iWhite Korea Aqua Moisturizer Whitening Vita is a SUPER AMAZING water-based, alcohol-free, oil-free, hyaluronic acid moisturizer that’s packed with other skin-loving ingredients — all at a very affordable price (Php 195 for 50 ml and Php 280 for an80 ml tube as of August 2020) that lasts for a month!

Anyone who’s been skincare-savvy for a while now knows that this kind of product doesn’t usually come cheap in the market. More expensive hyaluronic acid moisturizers include Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.

Is iWhite Aqua Moisturizer non-comedogenic?

TRIVIA: There’s no standardized test or certification that proves that a certain cosmetic product is non-comedogenic. Any product can claim to be non-comedogenic. Even the comedogenic ratings that the beauty industry uses are flawed.

But as far as ingredients and formulation are concerned, iWhite Aqua won’t likely clog your pores. It’s lightweight, oil-free, and easily absorbed by the skin.

Thus said, iWhite Aqua Moisturizer is generally safe for people with acne-prone skin. Still, your experience may vary so best to patch-test and monitor your skin’s reaction for 4-8 weeks.

This is NOT a sponsored post but iWhite Aqua is definitely worth a try, especially if you’re oily, acne-prone, and living in the tropics! Compared to other hyaluronic acid moisturizers, it’s definitely a bang for your buck. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

iWhite Korea Whitening Vita Aqua Moisturizer is available at Mercury Drugstore, Watson’s, Lazada, and some major supermarkets in the Philippines.

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