Hada Labo Hyaluronic Moisturizing Lotion LIGHT | Japan’s Own “Hydraluron”

Okay, here we go, a review of something Mom brought home.  I chose to talk about this for now because there’s not too much global hype or flamboyance attached to this, it’s one of those emo-less, no-frill products that just works and supplies helpful hydration with hyaluronic acid, the now famous acid known for holding 10,000 times its weight in water.  Hydrating my face keeps my allergies away, even in a humid country that does the job for me.  You can tell just by looking at this that you have to try it to know what it’s about. It’s the sort of brand you perceive might have been around for ages, but Japanese brand Hada Labo (check out the SG website here which I feel is the best one) was only launched in 2004 and since then has become one of Japan’s drugstore skincare market leaders with effective, fragrance-free products that fly off the shelves every few seconds.  Hada Labo began as a joint venture between US research company Mentholatum and Rohto, the brand may be relatively young but both those companies have been around for over 100 years.  Mom brought their Hyaluronic Gokujyun Lotion (LIGHT version) home for me a few days ago from the Japan drugstore giant Matsumoto Kiyoshi.  I asked for the LIGHT version because of my sensitive skin and it being the less heavy, less tacky/dewy take on the original formula.  I’ve also embedded the TV commercial of the MOIST original formula below, some of the digital effects are quite exaggerated (the TVC made me giggle because I used to work in digital effects for TVCs) but it gets the message across in a playful way and the product does work.  The mood of the brand speaks of simple, minimal, affordable yet effective ph-balanced skincare.


“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. The HADA LABO Goku-jyun Lotion Light can also be used as a standalone moisturizer with a lighter texture than HADA LABO Goku-jyun Lotion. You can choose HADA LABO Goku-jyun Lotion or Light Lotion, depending on your preference. (5.7 fl oz/170 mL)”- HADA LABO USA

JAPANESE SRP: ¥1,260 (reference online but from 2009) /under Php600- Php700 for 170ml bottle

The reason why I requested this in particular is because my online “skin twin” (same skin type and same skin tone), as I’d like to say it, is London-based Japanese blogger Yasumi aka “Fushigi Lady/Worship Blues” and she likes and trusts this Hada Labo Gokujyun hydration lotion (she uses MOIST, not LIGHT) over any other, even Hydraluron which she’s tried.   Yasumi, the blogger behind Worshipblues.com, blogs about simple but pretty lifestyle delights from homecooked meals, noodle soup finds, the whispers of run-down buildings, and even stuff from fashion to random beauty raves.  It was she who recommended the Pai Rosehip Facial Oil that works for me.  That is the only facial oil I use 2x a week to calm down my skin overnight, the effect on me by that was exactly how she described the effect on her to be, so I trust her.  Read more to read my thoughts on this and see the instructional video.

By the way, Mom also got me the refill sachet without me asking.  For organic purists, this isn’t for you, it isn’t an organic product but it’s been processed by experts in sterile highly advanced conditions and you only need a little bit every few days since we live in a humid country.  I just use it to keep my face hydrated and allergies at bay.  The texture is between a gel and water, more like water and swirling a few drops of this on the top of your hand to test it out will show you how well it absorbs.  You can apply it from your hands  like in the videos but I prefer to put the product onto a cotton pad so I can see additional dirt it also pulls off my face (it does help mildly with that).  It’s totally non greasy and after it has settled my skin feels completely quenched, it’s more of a slightly bouncy tacky but semi-matte ( in my case) finish which feels perfect actually beneath makeup, however they do recommend applying a cream moisturizer on top to seal the deal (better if mineral oil free).hadalabo_02

No fragrance, mineral oil, and colorants

INGREDIENTS: Water, Dipropylene Glycol Dimethyl Ether, Alcohol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Methylparaben, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid

(Alcohol content here is countered by glycerin, same thing Caroline Hirons said of the Clarins toner, she is focused on delivery and effect and tries not to be too legalistic 24/7 about ingredients -except mineral oil LOL- because the amounts in different formulations vary she says).

Yasumi and I both have combination-to-dry-sensitive Asian skin and she says Hada Labo Hyaluronic lotion (MOIST original version) is her staple hydration booster as well as her husband’s (hers is original MOIST coz of the dry winter & climate in the UK).   She personally wasn’t impressed by Indeed Labs’ Hydraluron in her post aptly named “The Hydra Hype” she said something short of it not doing anything for her (which I AND a lot of you were pining for a few months back)  and she said it could be just something about her skin compatibility with that.  This however she and her husband Hiro only have praises for and they remember to repurchase when they run out.  By the way I’ve included another instructional video below on how this is applied.


If you suffer from sensitivity due to dryness, are going to Japan, or more frequently Singapore or Hong Kong, and have been increasingly interested to try Indeed Labs’ Hydraluron but can’t get a hold of it, you may perhaps satisfy thyself with this from the East.  It does the same thing and you get super way more in amount for less money and it’s more closely available to us.  The only thing Hydraluron has over this, I think, is that it comes in a tube, other than that I’m not quite sure Indeed Labs’ bestseller can beat Hada Labo’s lotion if Yasumi says it doesn’t in her case, but I can only say the same for certain if I ever get to try Hydraluron one day, for now with this I’m all set.

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  • I bought this product in Hong Kong airport as I’ve read reviews about this from a Malaysian blogger who swore by it. I got the blue one (regular whitening version?) and it broke me out. I wonder if this light one will be any different. I have pretty dry skin and am travelling to Seoul this winter (xmas vacation) so I might grab this there to try. Thanks for the head-up Julia. 🙂

  • I’m so happy you’ve finally reviewed a Hada Labo:) It’s a dream moisturizer for me. Also, Julia, I always love how you write your reviews. I can tell that you’re always smiling as you write. Your sunny disposition (even if you’re bad trip in your post) shows through. More power! (ang corny;p)

  • ophalie

    it was reformulated in 2013 to not have any alcohol