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Hada Labo is a Japanese skincare brand well known throughout Asia, widely available, usually in drugstores.
The most famous product in the range is their hyaluronic acid lotion, a kind of Japanese equivalent of the very Korean essence.
This lotion is like a treatment product, and its main purpose is to deeply moisturize the skin, thanks to its high concentration of hyaluronic acid.
These last few years, I have developed a budding passion for hyaluronic acid and I used all kinds of products containing it: mostly serums, but also creams and essences. I talked about it last year on my blog.
And, despite all my attempts, I never found anything that beat the price/quality ratio of the Hada Labo lotion. Its cult favorite product status is very well deserved!
However, unless you live in Asia, it’s not always easy to find and especially at first, it’s also not that obvious which one to choose because there are a lot of different versions.
That being said, it’s very easy to find it online and I think the Hada Labo lotion is definitely worthy of interest if you like having a moisturized skin!
The brand Hada Labo:
Hada Labo (which translates as “Skin Laboratory”) is a skincare range developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical company Rohto. Rohto Pharmaceutical Company Ltd is a leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products in Japan.
The Hada Labo brand favors simple and short formulas, fragrance, dye, and mineral oil free. They’re also formulated at a pH between 5.0 and 6.5 to respect the skin’s natural physiological balance. They are therefore perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive!
Here is one example of an ingredients list, from the best-seller Goku Jyun Moist lotion:Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Ppg-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid.
As you can see, the hyaluronic acid (the highlighted ingredients in the list) is clearly the star of the short formula.
Note: Hada Labo lotions almost all use parabens as preservatives, which is not a problem for me (I discussed this topic in more detail in my article, the “non-toxic” cosmetics trend, if you’re curious).
Hada Labo products all contain an exclusive brand ingredient, the Super Hyaluronic Acid.
Focus on the hyaluronic acid:
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the skin that keeps the skin moisturized, smooth and firm.
Hyaluronic acid has the property of attracting and retaining a large quantity of water (up to 1000 times its weight in water). This ability, among other things, gives volume and elasticity to the skin. Over time, the skin’s hyaluronic acid level decreases and it causes the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and loss of firmness.
The ingredient used by Hada Labo, the Super Hyaluronic Acid is a unique blend of 3 types of hyaluronic acid that provides deep hydration, to significantly increase the skin’s moisture level and also helps to support skin’s fibers (collagen and elastin), allowing it to have an anti-aging effect. According to the brand, Super Hyaluronic Acid has hydration retention capacities twice as high as conventional hyaluronic acid.
Indeed, depending on the size of its molecules (or molecular weights), hyaluronic acid can penetrate into the skin’s deeper layers and its effects will therefore vary.
A hyaluronic acid larger in size has a smoothing effect on the skin’s surface, an intermediate size hydrates more deeply and a smaller hyaluronic acid has a repairing and regenerating effect on the skin’s supporting fibers. These smaller hyaluronic acid molecules are therefore more anti-aging.
Hada Labo, with their Super Hyaluronic Acid, chose to combine several molecular sizes, and therefore provide several beneficial effects for the skin!
Hada Labo lotion, presentation:
Hada Labo lotion was released in Japan in 2004, and has since become the #1 facial lotion in the land of the rising sun, with a bottle purchased every four seconds!
As I mentioned earlier, don’t be fooled by the term “lotion”, because Hada Labo Lotion is more like an essence, a kind of liquid moisturizing treatment with a slightly viscous texture.
I would even consider it a moisturizing serum, because its high concentration of hyaluronic acid makes it extremely effective for a deep skin hydration. Its liquid texture is very pleasant to use, it doesn’t leave any greasy effect, just a comfortable and plumped skin.
Its packaging is clearly not the most glamorous. It’s a very simple plastic bottle, with a flap cap and it’s covered with inscriptions in Japanese (which are, for me, impossible to decipher).
But I must admit that given its affordable price and efficiency, I don’t really mind!
The different versions of the Hada Labo lotion:
The Hada Labo lotion exists in several versions and believe me, it wasn’t easy to understand the different ranges (I don’t really speak Japanese fluently, to my deepest regret!).
I couldn’t find the history of the product but I definitely feel that Hada Labo capitalized on the success of its classic moisturizing lotion and released a lot of different versions to extend its popularity!
There are 2 main ranges for this lotion, the moisturizing range or Goku Jyun and the brightening range or Shiro Jyun. And in each of these ranges, there is a multitude of variations for the different skin types and needs.
The Goku Jyun range:
It is the most hydration-oriented range, with a lot of hyaluronic acid in all the formulas.
The different versions:
– The Goku Jyun Light lotion (white and green packaging):
Very liquid in texture, it’s more suitable for combination skins. It contains 4 different types of hyaluronic acid.
– The Goku Jyun Moist lotion (white an red packaging):
It’s the best known, the best-seller and it’s suitable for all skin types. It also contains 4 different types of hyaluronic acid but is a little more viscous than the Light version, so more suitable for normal to dry skin.
– The Goku Jyun Premium lotion (gold yellow packaging):
Richer in texture, it’s suitable for mature and/or very dry skin. It contains 5 types of hyaluronic acid for an action in the deeper layers of the skin. Its ingredients also contain an extract of Sacran algae with anti-inflammatory and highly moisturizing effects.
– The Goku Jyun Alpha Retinol lotion (red packaging):As its name suggests, in addition to hyaluronic acid, it contains Alpha Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant with repairing effects on the skin, but also a retinol derivative and collagen for an anti-aging action. This lotion targets more mature skins.
– The Goku Jyun Blemish & Oil Control lotion (green packaging):Intended for acne-prone skins, it contains purifying and calming plant extracts (Hatomugi, Houttuynia Cordata and Chamomile extracts) in addition to hyaluronic acid.
The Shiro Jyun range:
It’s Hada Labo’s brightening/lightening range. In Asia, “whitening” ranges are not made to whiten the skin but more to bring radiance, reduce hyperpigmentation (pigment spots etc.) and sun damages.
All the products in this range still contain hyaluronic acid but also ingredients to boost the complexion’s radiance: – arbutin, a lightening ingredient and also a natural derivative of hydroquinone but which doesn’t have any toxic effect, – a vitamin C derivative (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) for the radiance effect.
The three different versions:
– The Shiro Jyun Clear lotion (blue and yellow packaging):
Very liquid in texture, it’s more suitable for normal to combination skin. It contains 3 different types of hyaluronic acid and lightening ingredients (arbutin and vitamin C derivative).
– The Shiro Jyun Rich lotion (blue and red packaging):
Thicker in texture, it targets drier skin types. Like the Clear version, it also contains 3 different types of hyaluronic acid and lightening ingredients (arbutin and vitamin C derivative).
– The Shiro Jyun Premium lotion (blue and gold yellow packaging):
The most concentrated version of the range. In addition to the 3 different types of hyaluronic acid, it contains vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate), vitamin E and also tranexamic acid.The latter is a very effective ingredient to fight against discoloration caused by acne and sun damage. Indeed, when you suffer from acne, the skin is constantly inflamed, which activates the production of melanin. Tranexamic acid has the ability to reduce melanin caused by inflammation for a more even complexion.Shiro Jyun Premium Lotion is therefore very effective on pigment spots caused by acne, especially if they are recent.
Due to the popular success of its lotions, Hada Labo has developed derivative products in the Goky Jyun and Shiro Jyun ranges!
– The Hada Labo Goku Jyun Hyaluronic Acid Mist :
Perfect if you travel, this mist is easy to slip in a travel bag thanks to its small size (45ml). The formula is very similar to Goku-Jyun Light lotion, it’s very liquid and fine. It can be used instead of the lotion or even during the day if you’re in a very dry climate.My husband who travels a lot is a fan!
– The Goku Jyun sheet masks :
Perfect for a quick plumping effect. These sheet masks are super soft and very effective. In 20 minutes, the skin recovers all its freshness and plump!
My experience with the Hada Labo lotion:
I discovered the Hada Labo lotion almost 2 years ago now. I feel as if this product is usually part of the Asian Beauty product beginner kit ah ah!
I had no idea which one to try first so I naturally picked the Goku Jyun Light lotion for combination skin.
Immediate crush! I have never used a product that was so effective at hydrating in this format and price before. It’s not a small product so it lasts for quite some time!
It contains 170ml in each bottle, so it lasts me between 4 and 6 months depending on the amount I use. Knowing that its price varies between $10 and $15 depending on the retailers, you can easily understand why I consider it as one of the best value products for money on the market!
Since then, I also used the Moist and the Premium and I discovered the Shiro Jyun version this summer when I went to Thailand (they’re very easy to find in drugstores there). I haven’t tried it yet but I plan to make it part of my winter routine.
I don’t really have a favorite, I use them all according to the season and my current skin needs.
My husband uses and appreciates it a lot too and I also introduced my grandmother and stepmother to it and they’re now fans!
In my skincare routine, I use the Hada Labo lotion morning and/or evening, before or sometimes instead of my serum. I also sometimes mix a few drops of face oil in it for a more nourishing effect.
I take a small amount in the palm of my hand (just a few drops), apply it quickly on my face and neck (I don’t forget the eye area!) and tap tap tap until it’s sticky and almost dry. If necessary, I even apply several layers for a super plumping effect!
In short, it’s clearly thanks to the Hada Labo lotion that I survive on air conditioning 24 hours a day in Dubai!
Is the Hada Labo Lotion really the best hyaluronic acid product on the market?
Of course, the answer depends on everyone’s expectations. But for me, it has become the staple hyaluronic acid product in my routine. I always come back to it and I systematically recommend it when I’m asked for a good moisturizing product. I’ve already converted a good part of my entourage with this product!
So yes, of course, you can find “sexier” and probably more natural moisturizing lotions, but if you want a simple, very effective product that won’t break the bank, the Hada Labo Lotion is perfect!
The Hada Labo lotion is available in several versions and is sold between $10 and $15 for 170 ml depending on the resellers.