Sample Stash Quickie: Holika Holika Aqua Fantasy Whitening Cream Review

I have a growing stockpile of samples, so I thought I’d start trying them out and giving my initial impressions. I’m going to call these ‘Sample Stash Quickies’ because these aren’t full reviews by any means – in most cases I’ve only had the chance to try the product once or twice. This category will house just basic first impressions in the hopes that my thoughts are helpful to people looking into the items that I’ve gotten to sample!

First up is Holika Holika’s Aqua Fantasy Whitening Cream.


This cream promises smooth moisture and brightening/whitening properties. With Glacier Water as its main selling point and ice-white packaging and color, it leads the consumer to expect a refreshing experience.

Image courtesy of Holika Holika's Canadian website.
Images courtesy of Holika Holika’s Canadian website.

I’ve added the ingredients to CosDNA, you can now find the product page here.

The only two flags that came up were Cetearyl Alcohol (2 for acne, 2 for irritation) and PEG-100 Stearate (1 for acne). Cetearyl Alcohol usually doesn’t bother my skin, personally, but I know it’s an issue for others.

The texture of the cream is nice; it’s a white, gel-ish cream that doesn’t feel too heavy. It applies relatively easily and smoothly, gliding over the face with little effort.

However, for me it seemed to have a weird, slightly-sticky finish. It almost felt as if it had a layer of primer that hadn’t settled correctly – if you’ve ever had a bad primer, you know what I mean. You can feel a kind of tacky coating on your face. I’m personally not a fan of this feeling, I like my moisturizers to absorb within a few minutes and leave my skin feeling silky and hydrated, not sticky or like I have a weird sheen on my face. Even the primer that I use doesn’t leave such a residue!

While I didn’t notice any ‘whitening’ effects myself – maybe it’s an effect that only happens after continued use? – I did end up with some clogged pores over the two days that I use this. I suspect whatever ingredient gave the product that sticky coating feeling was responsible. The clogs were on my upper cheeks, which isn’t a normal trouble zone for me at all – basically, if I break out there, it means a product clogged me.

I generally adore Holika Holika products, but this one is unfortunately a miss for me. I didn’t notice any amazing brightening or whitening effects, and while the hydrating was acceptable, there are plenty of other creams that give me adequate moisture without leaving a weird, tacky residue – and most importantly, without clogging my pores.

Unfortunately, my Holika Holika Aqua Fantasy Whitening Cream review is that this product is a no-go for me. I guess it’s just not my skin’s fantasy (sooorrry sorry I couldn’t resist ahaha)!

If you want to try this product, there are a number of sources:
$22.02 at W2 Beauty
$20.30 at
$10-30 at Amazon
$32 at Pretty & Cute

Affiliate links are present in this post; THANK YOU if you use any of them! See the site disclaimer for more info if you’re curious about what this means.

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