This was released in Japanese markets in 2004, and has since become the #1 facial lotion there, with a bottle claimed to be purchased every four seconds! I had heard of this product a few years ago from the OG – Gothamista and since it was sitting in may “Want from Japan” list for a while. I am lucky enough to have friends who travel and are willing to indulge me so that’s how I got my hand on this cult favourite Hydrating Lotion.
When it did reach me I was quite confused about how to use it in my skincare routine! Totally got waylaid by the name because it is less like a lotion and more like a very thin lightweight liquid; so I wondered whether is it a toner, or an essence or something that I am unaware of and to make things more challenging the bottle has literally no english on it!
Also selecting the right variant may not be easy because there are so many of them! The lotion has two ranges the moisturizing range called Goku Jyun and the brightening range called Shiro Jyun. In each of these ranges, there are further variations for the different skin types and needs.
Cost: 2000 INR
(will be cheaper if sourced from Japan. The Hada Labo lotion is available in several versions and is sold between $10 and $15 for 170 ml depending on the sellers.)
Buy Online: Here
Hada Labo, translates as “Skin Laboratory” is a skincare brand created by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Rohto. Rohto Pharmaceutical Company Ltd is a manufacturer of pharmaceutical and cosmetics in Japan. Hada Labo is well known throughout South East Asia and is most famous for their their Hyaluronic Acid Lotion! It got so popular that they made a whole range of product around it. Well who doesn’t want to ride the popularity wave!
The brand claims to have simple formulas that are free of fragrance, dye and mineral oil. Their products are formulated at a pH between 5.0 and 6.5 to respect the skin’s natural balance and hence claim to be perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive! Hada Labo products all contain an exclusive brand ingredient, the Super Hyaluronic Acid, more about that under Ingredients.
- Its pH-balanced formula ensures low to no irritation.
- Hada Labo Goku-jun skincare series contains Super Hyaluronic Acid which holds twice as much liquid as regular hyaluronic acid does. Super hyaluronic acid locks in the liquid inside and also blends well with oil base skin membrane. It gives moisture to the skin and keeps it for a long time.
- Instantly hydrates your skin.
- While it looks clear like a toner or makeup remover, it’s actually a moisturizer that helps prepare your skin for better absorption of other HADA LABO products.
- Can be used as a standalone moisturizer or, if you feel your skin needs additional moisture follow it up with other moisturizing products.
- Suitable for All Skin Types, including sensitive skin
- Free From Added Colour, Fragrance, Mineral Oil, Alcohol
Ingredients & their Function:
- Water: It’s a popular skincare ingredient, used as a solvent for other ingredients that are water soluble.
- Butylene Glycol: This is also a solvent for the other ingredients. It also works as a penetration enhancer i.e helping the product to absorb quickly into the skin. It is also a slip agent that helps the product spread easily over the skin, and attracts moisture to the skin so can also be called a humectant.
- Glycerin: This a very common moisturizing ingredient and is especially effective as it is also already in our skin. It keeps the skin lipids between the skin cells healthy (liquid crystal) state, helps combat irritation and restores the barrier.
- Disodium Succinate: It functions in skincare and cosmetics as a Masking Agent i.e masks the scent of other ingredients in a formula. It is also a surfactant.
- Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid: This is a low molecular weight version of Hyaluronic acid. It is a variant of the Hyaluronic Acid which is chemically reduced in size because the HA molecule is big in size. This reduction helps is it getting absorbed into the skin easily. Read a detailed post about HA & why its the super start moisturizing ingredient here.
- Hydroxyethycellulose: This is a viscosity controlling agent i.e thickens the product especially used in gel formulas. It is derived from cellulose and gives a good slip to the product.
- Methylparaben: It is a low cost preservative used to preserve the formula for longer. Read a detailed post about Parabens here.
- PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether: A sugar derived liquid that is a water-soluble emollient and is also a good humectant (helps skin to hold onto water).
- Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate: Also popularly known as the Super Hyaluronic Acid is a variation of Hyaluronic Acid which is claimed to have even better moisture retention ability. It sticks to the skin better and for longer which helps in lasting hydration!
- Sodium Hyaluronate: It is also a humectant. Sodium Hyaluronate and Hyaluronic Acid are the same and the two names are used interchangeably.
- Succinic Acid: Its properties resemble human skin’s lipids, also known as fats with natural anti-ageing abilities to deeply hydrate and and counteract free-radical damage while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
It comes packaged in a simple plastic bottle with a flip top cap. The bottle decal is completely covered with text in Japanese. Now that the product is so popular the brand must include a section in English like the Korean companies do! The flip top is quite nicely designed. Even if you tilt the bottle it manages to regulate the flow which is very important because the product is of a very runny consistency. Given the affordable price point and efficacy I don’t have an issue with it being simply packed.
It is a transparent liquid formula almost like water, just slightly more viscous. It also has a subtle scent which is pretty much imperceptible. The thin consistency and the nomenclature “lotion” is definitely confusing; more like an Essence as the Korean’s have popularized. It is a liquid moisturizer if I may call it that, somewhat like a serum but thinner & runny!
Once you get over this initial confusion it is very easy to use and to be honest I have been loving how convenient and effective this is! After cleansing my face with a face-wash I take a few drops of this on my palms and dab it on my face and neck. The thin consistency makes it very easy to spread and it gets absorbed in a jiffy!
PRO TIP: Apply it before your face is completely dry for enhanced hydration.
Unlike some of the other moisturizing liquids I have used in the past this one doesn’t make the face feel greasy, infact its almost like nothing is there on the face which is a huge point in its favour. Despite the lightweight texture it is still very effective. Almost immediately after application the face feels hydrated, well moisturized over all quite comfortable.
Once I used a clay mask that was extremely drying on the face so I followed it up with this after cleansing and was blown away by the results! My facial skin that was extremely parched and patchy immediately started feeling comfortable and hydrated.
I have a combination skin which is oily on the T-zone and the cheeks tend to get dry. I use this in both my AM and /or PM routine based on what my skin feels like that day. With my skin type I am perfectly OK to use it as is without layering on any further moisturizers. If you have very dry skin you might feel the need to support it with an additional moisturizer on top. I especially love this during the summers because the thicker moisturizers can get quite overwhelming but this is so lightweight and keeps the face feeling fresh.
- Unbeatable value for money
- Very Effective & True to claims.
- Not easily available in India.
- Challenging to understand which variant to choose.
- Instructions in English are unavailable.