Brand Review | Hada Labo

Hada Labo is ❤

Brand Promise

There really isn’t much to say that they haven’t already said. Hada Labo appealed to me because of it’s ultra simple approach to skincare in each product. In a marketplace where it seems like a product has to be everything and do anything it is refreshing to find a brand that says, “we’re really really really good at just the one thing” and then actually lives up to that.

My Hada Labo


Hada Labo was one of the first brands that was recommended to me at the start of my Asian Skincare journey. However, as interesting it all looked to me, it was pretty impossible to get in the UK at reasonable prices so I put the brand out of my mind.

It’s only been through the kindness of friends that I’ve been able to get my hands on this stuff as the UK prices were unbelievably high (come on guys), and eBay was just full of sketchy resellers. A year later, and there are so many reliable sellers! You can even get a few items on Amazon Prime! Lucky so and sos!


Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Face Wash

Ingredients: Water, PEG-8, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, TEA-Cocoyl Alaninate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerine, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Methylparaben, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Starch Hydroxyproplyltrimonium Chloride, Succinic Acid
Super weird, even though I think having a good cleanser is fundamental to building a good routine, I struggle to get really excited about them. Does it do the job, is it pH 5.5? Good, then I’m happy. That being said, holy wow this cleanser awesome. It’s so travel friendly, decant friendly, refillable, cheap and effective. It has no discernible fragrance, the foam is light and washes off with no residue. That it foams up but is SLS free makes my skin really really happy because SLS is in almost everything. Sensitive skin products and even baby products all have SLS!

It also lasts a really long time as one pump is enough for my whole face and neck. When I use it as a second cleanser, it does a really good job of taking off all the oil residue. As a stand-alone cleanser (then I tend to use only half a pump) it works really well too, leaving my skin really soft. There is literally no season or climate I’ve tried this product in and not loved it in.

Price: Available on Amazon Prime UK for under £10. 

Repurchase? There is nothing I could think of changing about this cleanser and I’ve already bought a refill because it ticks every box for me. I can’t see myself searching for another second cleanser when this does the job so brilliantly.



Lotion vs Toner: Generally in the West, Lotion means a thin cream and toner means something liquidy. Often I find people say things like, ‘Japanese Lotions are our Toners!’ I find that to be kind of confusing because these aren’t meant to be used in the same way we’d use toners. These are meant to be patted into the skin using your bare hands. Where you put them in your routine is totally up to you. 

How I use these lotions: I’ve tried using all these lotions together and my oily skin does not like it, no matter the climate. Alone they’re fine, but more than one in my routine generally doesn’t help my skin stay matte. Which is weird because I can use other hydrating lotions and one of the Hada Labo lotions but not all together.

I prefer to use my Hada Labo lotions right before my moisturiser. I’ve experimented, but I’ve found that’s where it works best for my skin.

How it works: I could rehash it, but Kerry did an amazing job explaining it all in her review.

Results: Wonderfully hydrated skin. It seems counter productive to ensure that your skin is really hydrated when you have oily skin, but every skin needs to be hydrated. When I make an effort to have hydrated skin with thin layers my skin is less oily. Not sure about the science behind that, but personally it’s awesome!

Hada Labo Medicated Gokujyun Skin Conditioner


Ingredients: Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, 6-Aminocaproic acid, Coix (Job’s Tears), Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Camphor, Butylene Glycol, Triethylhexanoin, Menthol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sorbitan sesquioleate, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol Denat, Alcohol 

I bought this in late spring, and it looked like a much lighter lotion that still packed HL goodies that I loved. Buuuut, as I wasn’t so sure about it, I bought the refill and decanted it into my empty moist version bottle on the left to save on monies. What really interested me were the two active ingredients that caused it to be listed as a medicated product. I wondered if it could help with my acne? 

Well, it doesn’t help with my acne, but it does keep my skin hydrated without feeling heavy and bogged down. The menthol gives me a really nice cooling effect that I love. I wish there was more to say about this product, but there really isn’t. It is lighter than the regular Hada Labo Moist, has menthol, and is a nicer summer alternative, but I really don’t see it as an amazing product. It does its job in hydrating but nothing more.

Price: £10~ eBay

Repurchase? Would I repurchase? Maybe. I like using it, but it isn’t an all year product for me, strictly just summer and there’s SO MUCH in one bottle that I can’t imagine needing one for a while. Right now I have other thinner lotions that I like better, but I did enjoy using this lotion.

Hada Labo Kiwamizu Mineral Amino Lotion


Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat, Glycerin, Diglycerin, Copper Gluconate, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Arginine, Betaine, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Succinate, Succinic Acid, Methylparaben.

I bought this for the Hello Kitty Bottle because it was £4. That’s an over-simplification, I thought the product might be interesting too, but in case it wasn’t I wouldn’t be out much and I’d have a cute Hello Kitty Bottle to decant things into!

I liked this product, but I’m conflicted. When I use it, I don’t feel like it’s doing anything. When I don’t use it, my skin screams at me for lack of moisture. It’s weird. It feels just like water, light and odourless so you don’t know how it could be working? But skip it in your routine and your skin get fussy. I think this is nothing more than a prep hydrating toner for winter and as much as I think it’s effective and cute I don’t reach for it, in fact I often forget to use it as part of my routine.

Price: I paid £4 direct from Japan, but it’s available on eBay for £8

Repurchase? Would I repurchase it? Probably not. Just because I don’t really know how to use it in my routine outside of winter! I have so many other lotions that hydrate + more so using this alongside it feels a little redundant.  I thought about decanting it into a spray bottle but I doubt I’d use it like that anyway. I have so many mists and I only reach for my water based ones!

Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion


Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyethycellulose, Methylparaben, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid

This lotion! Wow. I remember reading all the reviews and I was very very skeptical about how well a single lotion could work to keep you hydrated. I’d read reviews from fellow oily skin people that this was too much, but I found that it works a charm. While I can’t use it every day, or during the actual day at night this really works to make sure I wake up with soft plump skin! 

Price: Available on Amazon Prime UK for under £10.

Repurchase? Absolutely! For colder months only though.

So there you have it, my love affair with Hada Labo, out there in all it’s boring glory. Sure this isn’t a sexy sexy brand that does lots of amazing things, but I do appreciate their consistency and how stable they are. While I’m running around trying to find the next new hot thing, I know that Hada Labo will be at home in functional packaging, ready to embrace me in its warm, boring and safe arms.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. 2cats says:

    Actually the trend of patting a lotion in with your bare hands seems to be on the way out.
    More and more companies suggest using a cotton square. Some are going as far as including cotton thingies with their products to force women to change their habits.
    The logic behind it is clear.
    You need more product to properly saturate a cotton square.
    So, in retrospect, this whole “use your hands” thing was just a trend started by SK-II, because it was expensive, and that way it would last longer.
    Japanese derms advise against using your hands.
    Hence the new push for cotton squares.


    1. adoredee says:

      Oooh! I had no idea. I guess then the difference would be lotions aren’t the ‘astringent’ style toner we’re used to in the West.


  2. Jessica says:

    Hada Labo is AMAZING! The only product I was not wild about was a sunscreen [UV Gel] by them, but the HA lotion is my HG.


    1. adoredee says:

      I’ve never tried the sunscreen! I was recommended it, then told it was being discontinued. Thankfully I fell in love with my Biore sunscreen and got a great one first try 🙂

      The HA lotion is pretty amazing, it’s such a staple. Even though it’s a bit boring, it is so effective, I can’t imagine not having a bottle in my stash!


  3. Fernanda says:

    Hada Labo will always have a special place in my heart. When I was in Japan for my year abroad and ran out of German skincare products (I wasn’t into Asian skincare/beauty back then) I had to buy local products. Despite knowing Japanese I was highly confused by all the products and Kanji and signs that seemed to yell at me in the Japanese drugstore. I picked out the Milky Lotion and it turned out to be awesome! It’s still my HG moisturizer even though it’s a tiny bit too rich in summer when I do a multi-step routine.


    1. adoredee says:

      It is much too rich for me in the summer too! But I will never not have a bottle in my stash, it’s so effective at what it does and my skin absolutely loves it! I think the other types like the medicated and kiwamizu are much better suited for summer for me.

      I’ve never tried the milk lotion, I’ll have to put that on my list!


  4. Cecile says:

    Very informative post! I only use the “classic” hada labo lotion in my routine. Actually i am not sure I got the difference between the three lotions in your picture (well a part of the cute hello kitty packaging) so one is kind of for everyone? One for super dry skin? ( the last one in your list) and what is special about the middle one? And if you can have just one which one is the best? Thank you!


    1. adoredee says:

      Hi there, thank you for your kind words! The Hada-Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion is probably my favourite.

      The Kiwamizu Mineral Amino Lotion has no hyaluronic acid, instead has amino acids and is supposed to be for oily skin. This is probably the lightest of them all.

      The Medicated Gokujyun Skin Conditioner is supposed to be a lotion that helps control acne for problem skin.

      Though, anyone can use anything as long as their skin prefers it. There is a light version of the Hada-Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, but I’ve tried the classic moist and my skin really likes it! I know other people with oily skin haven’t had such luck!


  5. ThaoChouxieDoAn says:

    You bought Hadalabo with redline, its only for dry skin you know? You should try another line, green one is suitable for combination skin and oily skin. Having a new routine then see the diffrent.


    1. adoredee says:

      I considered it, but the first one I tried was red stripe, and it was good even for my oily skin, so I continued. Maybe later I will try the lighter version.


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