At a glance
An introduction to the famous hyaluronic acid lotion from the Japanese skincare brand Hada Labo with an overview of all the different existing versions.
If there is one product that everyone agrees upon among Asian beauty product lovers, it’s definitely the cult favorite Hada Labo hyaluronic acid lotion!
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 Hada Labo brand:
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 (white and green packaging):
Very liquid in texture, it’s more suitable for combination skins. It contains 4 different types of hyaluronic acid.
– The (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 (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 (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 (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 (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!
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!
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.
Beautiful, informative article.
I’m a convert to the Goku Jyun Premium lotion as well as an admirer of the mag
Yayyy Val, I’m so happy you like it! <3 <3 <3
Very good article as always.
I’m using it as a toner -just after the Vitamin C and before my essence- but it seems that I’m doing wrong. Is it supposed to be used as a serum then?
Thank you ? It really depends in the consistency of your product! If your essence is more liquidy than your Hada Labo lotion, than it’s better if you apply your essence before, for a better absorption ?
Ok but.. is it missing a toner in my routine?
It depends! I personally don’t use a ton of toners, I prefer to use an acid toner instead, but not all the time, only a few times a week. I’m fine with a thermal spray water to remove the hard water I used to rinse my cleansing product. A toner is only useful for that IMO 😉
Great article!!! Which thermal spray do you use after cleansing ?
Thank you! 🙂
I’m using one from Avène, or La Roche Posay, or Uriage, any French one I can find, really 😉
Bonnie, thanks for the great article! I’m relocating to Dubai this year, so was just wondering how do you purchase these products?
Hi Pal! 🙂
I shop mainly online.
I’m using a service called Aramex Shop & Ship, which allows me to shop online because they provide me a delivery address in different countries. It also means that I have to pay extra fees for the delivery in Dubai but to be honest, beauty products are very expensive here and they usually don’t have what I want, so it’s a solution 😉
Also, a lot of online shops from Asia deliver to Dubai now so it’s easier than it was!
I hope it helps! 🙂
While searching for Cica products, I encountered your blog and I must say I loved every bit of long blog posts coz they are so informative. Thank you so much!
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Sneha!
These long posts are probably my favorites to write ah ah
They’re very long to do as well, but I thoroughly enjoy writing them! I’m very happy you enjoy them and there will be more to come! 😀
I’ve used the Gokujyun Moist lotion for a couple years and it is a great layering product, hadn’t heard about the retinol one so I am going to try that next thanks to the article 🙂
I agree, I just love to layer it too 👍😊
I haven’t try the retinol (yet 😅) but it’s super tempting!
Hi been thinking of purchasing some hado labo for a while, your article was great thankyou! Think I will go for the gold one xx
I’m happy my article was useful!
The gold Premium one is definitely a great choice, you can’t go wrong with it 👍😊
Thanks for breaking all of their products down! Will you be doing a review/breakdown of their “milk” line as well?
Thank you for reading 😊 I don’t think I will for now. I was more interested in the lotions than the milks with my combo skin. Also, I think the ranges are pretty much the same? 😉
Great article, thank You! Im going to start using them for a First time as recently many people talk about it but your article clarify to me so much more about each product! Im courious if that brand have also products with collagen- cosmetics and collagen powder ?
Thank you very much 🙂
I’m happy my article helped you!
I have no idea for the products with collagen. I don’t think so, but don’t quote me on this one. I’m sorry I can’t give you a better answer!
Greatful for the information provided in this article. Do you have suggestions for ordering online from the US? I was thinking of the usual amazon go to but am a bit concerned about knockoffs .
Thank you very much Laura, I’m glad you liked it 😊❤️ I linked to different retailers in the article, if you click on the name of the products, you can see them.
My personal favorite retailer is Yesstyle, they’re an official distributor of the brand Rohto Hada Labo 😉
I.want to.buy this.product hoq can buy original product .im from sri lanka. Plzz help.me
You should be able to find it online, I added some links on the article 😊
Hi! I use this line but heard that you shouldn’t use hyularonic acid in dry climates (i live in Arizona) because it’s supposed to take moisture from the air and into your skin and if you there is no humidity the moisture is grabbed from the little moisture your skin has? Do you know anything about this?
I do! You should be fine if you’re locking the hydration provided by hyaluronic acid with an emollient product (a facial oil or a richer moisturizer).
Hope it helps 😊
thank you, that’s a relief to know i can still use it 🙂
Hi there, Bonnie! I found your writing when I was searching for reviews on Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask and I have to say, I’m in love! I love how informative it is and the way you write is so pleasurable to read. I have a question, I suspect my skin doesn’t like niacinamide and tea tree oil but I have only used one brand for each ingredients.. Does it mean I have to avoid those ingredients in any products and brands? Or is it possible to break out in one brand and not in another brand that uses those two ingredients?
Hi Devina! Thank you so much for your lovely comment ☺️❤️ Well, it’s often quite complicated to know exactly why a product makes you break out. Could be these ingredients, but it could be other things in the formula as well!
And it doesn’t mean every product from the same brand will make you break out as well. Every formula is unique!
There’s obviously the option of testing different products with these ingredients to be sure your skin don’t like them, but I understand if you don’t want to mess up your skin…
Sorry, I’m not helping you much but these things are quite complicated and it’s not really an exact science 😅
Appreciate providing the details of Gokujyun. I was not able to find about these products as much is in Japanese. I am nearly 50 yrs and will the gokyujun hydrating lotions or cream work for me? If I use the the Shiro Jyun Rich lotion, will I need to use a sunscreen? I have heard while using products with vitamin C needs to use sunscreen even indoors!!
Thanks so much
Hi Indie, thank you for your kind words 😊❤️ It really depends if you prefer a lightweight or richer texture, I guess.
The lotions are lighter in texture than the milks, which could be used as a moisturizer, especially if you have a combination skin.
I always recommend to use a sunscreen during the day, because it’s the most powerful anti-aging thing you can do for your skin! 😉
Hi are the hada labo products tested on animals??
Hi Allison 😀 To be honest, I’m not sure 🤔 Maybe you could ask the brand directly? 😉
Great review! Being a doctor, I’m myself a bit of a Hado Labo fan. For anyone with dehydrated and dry skin, Hado Labo twice a day lends a massive improvement. The only downside is that it is not easily available outside of Japan, but you can always pick a bottle up on eBay. Just got to be careful of counterfeits. Warm regards from India 🙂
Hi Tamira and thank you very much for your feedback! 🙂
I don’t know if you can order from Yestyle in India? They’re authorized retailers of the brand Hada Labo, so no risk of counterfeits there (the links for each Hado Labo product are in my article) 😉
What a great article! Thank you! I love the Premium lotion (gold/yellow); I buy from Amazon, but noticed it is not on the official Hada Labo website. I sure hope that it is not being phased out. It is a wonderful moisturizer for those with Malasezzia acne. Very simple ingredients! 🙂🙂🙂
Thank you very much Meg 😀
Oh no, I hope they don’t discontinue it, it’s such a great product, I agree!
Hi Meg — The gold-yellow Hada Labo Premium Gokujyun Lotion (170 ml) is available in Asia. We moved to Vietnam a couple years ago and I’ve been purchasing it from a national chain of beauty clinic and spa called Hasaki for $12.
Thanks Nathalie 🙂 👍
Hola. Soy nueva por estos rumbos, estado buscando información sobre este toner (hada labo) y no encontré ningún articulo tan completo. Muchas felicidades 🙌🙌
Ahora tengo una duda y no se si me puedas ayudar. Recién compré este toner y lo uso en este orden 👇
⭐ limpiador de base acuosa.
⭐ toner ( hada labo) 👈
⭐esencia de Missha
El detalle es que siento muy pesada mi piel después de poner el toner de Hada labo, siento que mi esencia y mi suero no penetra bien, por lo pesado del suero. 😑😑 estoy pensando en usarlo como penúltimo paso, antes de la crema. Pero no se sí es correcto?
Si la impresión de la mala función de mis otros productos es correcta.!
En verdad quiero que me guste este producto, pero no me va muy bien hasta ahorita 😕
I’m so sorry, I don’t speak Spanish 🙁
Would you mind leaving me a comment in English (or if it’s easier for you, I also have a French website where you can leave me comments in French, maybe?)
Again, I’m really sorry!
Hello, I cleanse, use a toner, then essence, then moisturize. Do you know when I’d apply this in my routine? Thank you!
You can try to use it after your essence, maybe? It really depends on the texture of your essence; usually, I personally apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency.
Hope it helps! 🙂
Is it possible to use Paula’s choice retinol UN the hado labo hylaronic acid serum at night?
Yes absolutely, why not? 😉
Hi. Thanks for all the info. My question is what’s the difference between the Hada Labo serums and their lotions? I brought the golden premium one but the Serum. It’s great but I don’t know if I am supposed to layer the gold lotion on top then their gel cream as well?
Would you recommend to use the gold one in the morning and then the red one with retinol in the evening? I have never tried retinol on my face. I am 37 now. Thanks
Hi Yasmin! 🙂
To be honest, I never tried other products from their range, so I’m not sure I know precisely the difference. But I guess I would apply them according to their texture, maybe? Thinnest to thickest texture, so probably lotion first than serum.
Yes, using the gold lotion in the morning and the one with retinol in the evening seems like a great idea 🙂 👍
Thank you for this article! I bought two bottles in Japan but I could not understand what to do (since I don’t know Japanese) but your explanation is fantastic. I started to really press the water into my skin and it does wonders! Also, I didn’t realize it was really more like an essence or serum than toner so I have been using it slightly wrong this whole time.
Thank you Mary, I’m glad my post was useful! 😀
I would like to know which one would be suitable to use for hyperpigmentation, especially when Im using tretinoin combined with hydroquinone at night and azelaic acid in my morning routine.
Hi Ruth! 🙂
I’m not an expert in hyper-pigmentation to be super honest, but maybe the Shiro Jyun range looks more suitable for your needs!
Now, if I were you, I would ask my dermatologist just to be sure that the ingredient like Arbutin is OK for you to use with your treatment 🙂
fantastic article, simply brilliant. thank you!
Thank you very much! 😀
Hi do u know if I should use it before or after my Estée Lauder night repair serum? Would this hada labo lotion be considered as a moisturiser to lock in my skin care routine?
Hi Deanna 😊
It’s like an hydrating serum, so it won’t lock your skincare routine, you still need to use a moisturizer on top of it 😉
Hi. Do you happend to know how much percentage of hyaluronic acid does it have? I would like to compare it to The Ordinay 2% hyaluronic acid . Thank you!
Hi Gabi! 🙂
Sorry, I don’t have this information, the brand doesn’t disclose the percentage of HA!
But I do know that there are many forms of hyaluronic acids in the different Hada Labo lotions, and the’re also much bigger in size than The Ordinary (their texture is also way nicer IMO 😉 ).
I personally think that you get more bang for your bucks with Hada Labo considering the formula and the size 🙂
Hi, can i use hada labo shirojyun lotion for oily dehydrated skin?
Yes, it’s definitely a great hydrating product, so it works well for every skin type 🙂
Hi, can i use hada labo shirojyun lotion for oily dehydrated skin Alongside niacinamide serum?
Yes, absolutely 🙂
Amazing and super beneficial article. It put this in my bookmarks. I like these products but I think they red one might because my skin to break out. I am going to move on to one of the whitening one’s I purchased but never used now.
Thank you Briana! ❤️
I’m glad it was helpful 😀
Can i use gokujun lotion (light version) after niacinamide toner??? Or it is wise to use as a toner instead of using as serum? I m little bit confused… And whats about gokyujun premium lotion? Is it ok as a serum after niacinamide toner??
My skin is extreme oily.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t really matter, you can use it before or after your toner, as you prefer 🙂
If your toner is lighter in texture, you may prefer use it first, but really, it’s not that important; your products will still work perfectly on your skin!
The premium lotion is thicker, and for drier skin types, maybe not the most suitable if your skin is extremely oily 😉
Hi! I love how detailed your article is. So helpful!
1) Have you ever tried the Shiro Jyun Premium lotion (blue and gold yellow packaging) with tranexamic acid?
2)Does the fact that it is a lotion, but according to Japanese cosmetic’s definition, goes deeper in the skin targeting dark spots?
3) Does it help removing hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone?
4) if not, have you ever tried a budget friendly product to target this?
Thanks so much!!
Hi Paula! 🙂
To be very honest, I have a lot of skincare issues but hyperpigmentation is not one of them, so I haven’t tried a lot of products to target it, I’m very sorry!
I bought the Shiro Jyun lotion for my husband but the issue with him is that he’s not consistent at all with his routine so I can’t really rely on him for a good review of products 😅
Now, from what I heard, treating hyperpigmentation can be quite long and usually requires using different treatments. Tranexamic acid can help, niacinamide and azelaic acid too. But it won’t erase it completely, it will rather help to diminish it.
I’m sorry I can’t help you more with this! 🙁