Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review : Hada Labo's Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

Product : Hada Labo's Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion
Made In : I'm assuming China
Purchased From : Watsons, Hong Kong
Quantity : 170ml
Verdict : Good for all skin types, including sensitive skin. High dosage of hydration and moisture.
Re-purchase : Yes

I admit that I am not someone that uses a lot of drugstore skincare products. I do prefer to purchase my cleansers, toners, serums, moisturisers and eye creams from a beauty counter. For my special skin concerns like eczema and dermatitis, I buy prescription creams. The only things I do buy from a drugstore are probably body moisturisers.

This is perhaps a hand-me down habit from my mother. Since my birth, the large majority of her skincare and make up has come from beauty counters and not drugstores. Like most females, she would skimp and save until she could buy what she needed. Like mother, like daughter - I am now just the same!

So when I was reading all the hype about Hada Labo, a Japanese drugstore/chemist brand, I was very skeptical. A lot of bloggers raved about the brand's products and how good they were for all skin types - including sensitive skin.

I had so many concerns - what if it made me breakout? What if it's not really made for ALL skin types? Would it be okay for me to use on my SUPER SENSITIVE skin? What if it made me go red? What if I got a rash. . .ON MY FACE?! What if I waste money?

I tend to worry a lot.

But the more I read about Hada Labo, the more I wanted to try it.

The brand Hada Labo prides itself in creating simple and affordable skincare products that work. Its main ingredient is Super Hyaluronic Acid [SHA] which is known to moisten and plump the skin through deep hydration. The Hada Labo website explains that 1 gram of Hyaluronic Acid is able to hold up to 6 litres of water and that Super Hyaluronic Acid is able to retain twice this amount of moisture.

Now, I am a moisture freak! I believe that moisture is key to everything - it stops your skin from drying out, keeps wrinkles at bay, makes your skin look more youthful and allows you to use less make up. So knowing that SHA has that much power in locking in moisture made me go GAGA. I needed to try it.

I also liked how the products are made sans fragrance, minerals, alcohol and colour. This is music to all sensitives skin girls' ears. This is especially good for me - the SUPER SENSITIVE girl!

Hada Labo's star product is the SHA Lotion which reportedly sells like hot cakes in Japan. It is said that one bottle of lotion is sold every 4 seconds in Japan. Probably explains why I never saw these bottles on beauty shelves while I was over there.

Just a heads up, lotion is the Japanese equivalent to a Western toner. So like a toner, you use it in between your cleanser and moisturiser. However, unlike a toner which further cleanses your skin of impurities before putting on your moisturiser, lotion is designed to prepare the face by deeply penetrating your skin. It also acts to lock in any moisture to follow afterward. So basically, it is mainly used to enhance the hydrating effects of your moisturiser.

There's actually a special technique to using this lotion. The emphasis is on patting your face, as opposed to rubbing. I'm assuming that this is intended to promote good blood circulation and not the mishandling of your delicate skin. Check the video for instructions!

Admittedly, I do not slap my skin THAT hard! I press a bit harder than this though. . .

I asked a friend who was in Hong Kong earlier this year to purchase the lotion for me to try. I can't remember how much it cost but is quoting $HK95. Very inexpensive considering that you can't even get a mascara these days for this price in Hong Kong.

The lotion comes out as a clear, odourless liquid and looks a lot like water droplets. The first time I used it, I poured two drops out of the bottle and patted it on my face like the second video. I found that it wasn't enough for my entire face and it seemed to basically disappear when it hit my skin. So I poured another two drops onto my palm and repeated.

At first, I didn't feel that it lived up to the raves. My skin basically swallowed up four drops of this when everyone else seems to be getting excellent results with just two drops. Sure my skin felt a bit smoother but it wasn't anything revolutionary.

I continued using it for the next three days and not much changed. One week later, I caught myself subconsciously stroking my face and using less product. It was only then that a lightbulb switched on in my head.

It was working!

Rushed to the mirror and saw that my face felt and looked hydrated. My skin looked plumper and my cheekbones started to have a glow about them. I kid you not.

Shock horror - it took my skin a whole week to drink enough SHA before it began to LOOK and FEEL moisturised?!

I'm THAT dry?! *runs and hides in shame*

I'll definitely be purchasing this again when the time comes. It is so much more comfortable than using a toner! I've used toners for a good few years now and they're really a double edged sword. They clean well but dry me out even more. This SHA lotion goes the complete opposite. While it doesn't give you one last clean, the product is soft, watery, slippery and nourishing. It just slides onto you skin like water and you get this happy feeling that you're doing your face some good. You're feeding it good nutrition!

My skin feels very hydrated immediately after this lotion and it feels as if I could go without a moisturiser. It feels that good! Having said this, NEVER GO WITHOUT YOUR MOISTURISER. It is a mighty must in order to maximise the benefits of SHA. I would recommend that you follow up with a moisturiser that suits your specific needs. If you have oily or acne prone skin, go for a gel. If you have normal skin, go for a cream. If you have dry skin, go for a richer cream. If you are worried about fine lines and wrinkles, go for a cream that it anti-aging. You get the gist!

I also found that this lotion is excellent when used before applying a full face of make up. A light layer of this lotion and your moisturiser will act as a barrier to stop your make up from sinking into your skin. This will help minimise the length the time between application and reapplication. . .a very complicated way of saying that your make up will stay longer on your face!

One more thing that you may like to know is that Hada Labo products are manufactured in two places. If the back of the bottle has just Japanese character on it, then it is likely to be made in Japan. If it has Chinese words on it, then it most likely made in China. If it has some English words on it, then I'm not sure where it came home. AHAH. I haven't actually seen a bottle with English words on it in person, but Singaporean and Malaysian bloggers seem to be reviewing that one.

Mine was bought in Hong Kong and therefore I have Chinese words on mine. So mine is Made in China.

I wonder if there's a difference between them.

I'd love to try the one made in Japan. A small reason to head to Japan again? AHAH.


  1. LOL@ youtube! Din know Hadarabo even has been selling their products to China!!! hahaha, great trymate! ;)

  2. @ LiLy - Yeap! Hada Labo is all across Asia now!