Skincare Snippets 2018-01: Hada Labo Sticky Routine
My previous routine finished up weeks apart. The Sikmulnara Perfect Rice Bran Cleansing Stick went first, followed by the Sikmulnara Perfect Rice Bran Cleansing Water and Sikmulnara Perfect Rice Bran Lip & Eye Remover. It was followed draggingly on by the Coyori Face Oil, the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum and finally the Coyori Rich Hydrating Lotion. I used sachets to replace whatever got used up, and while I promised myself I'd act cool about not finishing my skincare routines in sync, I was completely miserable during that time :(
In the end, I just decided to leave the Son and Park Beauty Water for random oily days, and consider the remaining actives NeoStrata Bio-Hydrating Cream 15PHA and CosRX BHA Power Liquid and The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% as their own set.
With a huge hole on my moisturizing elements, I finally decided to put my Hada Labo Routine to the test. Here's each item in the order I used them:
I thought the Hada Labo Kiwamizu Rose Lotion would be a great toner, and it is. It's a very nice hydrating toner, but I find that with my current layering strategy and usage of actives, it tends to feel pointless. I have temporarily side-lined it for candy masks and travel spritzers.
Since I use the Hada Labo Gokujyun Clear Lotion as my 'toner', or skin prep to make further absorption more effective, I am able to easily let go of the rose lotion. I use the clear lotion to help the next steps layer effectively. In the past, I would have easily given the Lotion (along with the Hada Labo Gokujyun Milk) a 5/5 on my scoring scale, I've started to notice something off with the routine. The lotion and the milk seem to have too much of a similar texture, and feel like they sit on the same layers of my skin as opposed to settling on different... layers. I don't want to feel this way, I am heavily biased towards Hada Labo. Please tell me I'm imagining things?
The Hada Labo Gokujyun Essence was supposed to stay on the shelf, but I picked it up because I was already halfway through a full Hada Labo routine, and I thought, why not? NO RAGRETS. This is my jam. This little tiny bottle is so out-of-this world unbelievable that I'm actually sad to finish it up, despite having a mountain of skincare to try and always feeling happy about contributing to my snail-pace rate of empties. The essence is amazing for flakes, dullness and has convinced me of the grave importance of serums/essences/ampoules in a layering routine.
The Hada Labo Gokujyun Milk is a 5-star, way beyond HG-level item. Though I like the Clear Lotion as much, sometimes I even wonder how the Lotion developed the cult following over the Milk. The Milk is so rich in moisture, and the moisture is so light yet long-lasting and deeply-penetrating. It isn't the complete solution to dryness (layering is the only option for people like me) but it is a GREAT piece to rely on.
Lastly, the Hada Labo Gokujyun Cream saw as little, if not less, action than the Kiwamizu Rose Lotion. It totally does not suit the Korean definition of creams - I know Hada Labo is a Japanese brand, but I am a K Beauty skincare theory loyalist and practitioner so there. For Korean layering routines, creams aren't meant to add moisture in as much as they are thick sealants meant to keep your skincare layers from evaporating into the environment. I admit, I didn't give the Hada Labo Cream a chance because the consistency felt so wrong to me.
The cream is very watery and goopy, so it doesn't feel like it seals skincare in. If anything, I'd rather add this as a moisturizing element rather than a sealing one. Maybe it dries and sets effectively, but I wasn't interested in trying further. I felt like the mid-levels of my skin were oversaturated and the deeper plus shallower levels felt bare.
Hada Labo is a brand I trust and will continue buying and using. I feel like the Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion and Milk are great introductions to the brand, and both are 5/5 HG levels for me. The Essence is also a 5-er for me and while it didn't seem like it, I'm also a fan of the Kiwamizu Rose Lotion. The only thing I would probably give a conditional 4 is the Cream. That's conditional, because I think it would be a 5-star moisturizer.
That said, the brand altogether scores a 4 from me. The textures are too similar so they don't layer effectively. And while each and every step feels glorious and plumping, all the moisture seems to sit on the same layer of my skin. Both surface and deep layers still feel dry, and the routine only ever really reaches full potential when I have The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution.