Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Review: Why You Should Use it

by | Last updated Apr 18, 2020 | 60 comments

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Waddup everybody? Today I will reviewing the classic Asian beauty cult favorite: the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion.

hada labo hyaluronic acid lotion

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This minimal but very effective product has remained a stable in my skincare routine for quite some time. I feel like everyone and their mom uses this thing, but it’s still worth reviewing for those that perhaps have not heard of it yet. But seriously, you’re pretty late to the party. :p

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Ingredients and Benefits.

Like I always say on this blog — I like short ingredient list for two reasons:

  • It takes a lot of the guesswork out of wondering whether something will work for your skin or not.
  • It makes products easier to review. :p (haha)

Anyway, check out the short ingredient list.


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

**Ingredients of interest highlighted in bold.**

You may have noticed that this product contains no extracts, fatty alcohols, denatured alcohols, fragrances, colorants — pretty much anything unnecessary that could potentially irritate or breakout the skin. That’s why I bought it initially, and it ended up being one of the first products I tried in what seemed like thousands that actually worked for my ridiculous skin.

Its simplicity is why I recommend it to almost everyone in need of extra moisture in their skincare routines. In other words, its minimalist formula is bound to work with even the most acne-prone or reactive individuals. In fact, COSDNA shows this has no irritant triggers and only one potential pore clogging ingredient (“butylene glycol”), which rates at nefarious 1 out of 5 on the comedogenicity scale anyway.


To further the point of its high safety profile, it also comes with an appealing 5.0 pH, which is perfectly compatible with the skin’s natural pH (4.7 on average). In case you didn’t know, it is very important to keep the skin pH’s at a happy 4.5-5.5 medium to ensure it’s overall health and resiliency against fighting pathogens and preventing skin diseases like seborrheic dermatitis or acne (among many others).

If you don’t know what pH is, and why it’s so important feel free to check out my guide on pH and the acid mantle.

With all that said, the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion toner is considered a very effective humectant moisturizer. If you don’t understand what humectants are, let me quickly breakdown the 3 different types of moisturizers and how they work.

1. Emollients.

Think of oils and waxes; these would be considered emollients. They sink into the skin’s broken protein links, or more simply put, the dry crevices on the surface of skin to make it more pliable.

Emollients don’t actually do much in way of hydrating the skin. Rather, you can think of them as crutches the skin uses when it doesn’t have enough moisture on its own to be very flexible. It’s why the “tight” feeling of skin instantly disappears when you apply stuff like oil on it.

2. Occlusives.

Things like vaseline or aquaphor. Unlike emollients these don’t sink into the skin at all. Instead, they sit on top of it and form a film that prevents water from evaporating from the epidermis — this is known as transepidermal water loss (TEWL), or the process by which skin loses its water content. Keeping skin hydrated is really just about retaining its juicy water levels; the more water it loses through evaporation, the drier it becomes.

3. Humectants (what the Hado Labo HA toner is made of).

These also prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL), but in a different way than occlusives. Rather than sealing the surface of skin to block water from escaping, humectants bind water to its surface which it draws from the environment and underlying dermis (deeper layers of skin).

And this is primarily what the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion does! It keeps the skin hydrated by slowing the rate at which water evaporates from the skin’s surface. It does this very well because it comes with 4 very powerful humectant moisturizers: Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, and Sodium Hyaluronate.

All the variations of hyaluronic acid have different molecular weights which effect how easily they penetrate the skin. If that sounds scary or concerning, don’t worry — hyaluronic acid is natural part of human skin. In fact, it’s what primarily gives the skin volume and prevents it from sagging. This is one reason you’ll often hear that hyaluronic acid gives a “plumping effect” which reduces the appearance of shallow wrinkling and scarring.

Like collagen (the structural protein that keeps us from aging), hyaluronic acid production decreases with age. Fortunately for us, applying it topically gives similar effects and allows our skin to more effectively hold moisture.

And lastly, hyaluronic acid significantly speeds up and promotes the wound healing process. (1234) That’s actually why I use the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion right after dermarolling (a.k.a. stabbing your face with hundreds of little needles all at once). If you have no idea what dermarolling is, or why anyone would do such a crazy thing, feel free to check out my guide on microneedling.

Anyway, point being I use the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion to speed up the wound healing process that goes hand and hand with dermarolling the skin. I found that before when I would dermaroll recovery would take up to 4 to 5 days, but since introducing this product in my routine it cut the downtime to about 2 or 3 days.

  • The Takeaway.

The Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion is a very effective humectant moisturizer that comes with glycerin and three different types of hyaluronic acid, which will hydrate the skin immensely and promote the wound healing process.

Using Humectants in Winter or Dry Climates.

Some people think that hyaluronic acid only works optimally at humidity levels above 65%. This line of thinking doesn’t have much scientific merit because hyaluronic acid also works by drawing water from the deeper layer of skin (dermis), which can be thought of as an endless reservoir of water.

Unless, of course, you’re lost in a desert or stranded on an island (WILSON!) and have become severely dehydrated to the point of looking like a pruny raisin. But uh…. considering that you’re reading this review I highly doubt that’s the case. :p

However, if you’re still skeptical or paranoid about using humectants in a dry climate, you can always check the humidity levels of your location using google or the whether app on your phone.

Where I’m from the humidity constantly teeters below 70% during the day. In fact, as I’m writing this it’s only at 14%! However, during nighttime it almost always goes above that sexy 65%-70% threshold. Interestingly enough, I only ever use the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion at night anyway — not because I think using it during the day will dry out my skin, I just simply like going as barefaced as possible during the day.

Application, Feel, and Scent.


It’s just a bit thicker than water. It’s probably one of the most glide-y products I’ve ever used. It spreads across the skin very easily with minimal product. A bottle of this stuff will last you a very looooong time even if you use it generously.

For all intents and purposes, this dries completely matte. It can’t really be felt on the skin. If anything there is a just a slight stick to it, but that’s really only noticeable if you’re paying super close attention to it.

It’s suppose to be unscented, but it kind of smells like rubber floaties. You know, the ones you used to wear before knowing how to swim. Unless, you still can’t swim…. which there’s nothing wrong with! 🙂 Floaty power.


How to Use.

Just make sure to put it on after cleanser and chemical exfoliates (if you use them) but before other serums and creams. Here’s a sample routine to help you understand what I mean. I’m sure not all these steps will apply to most of you reading this, so just make sure to modify it for what products you’re using.

  1. Oil cleanser or OCM.
  2. pH balanced cleanser.
  3. low pH serums.
  4. Chemical exfoliants (BHAs then AHAs).
  5. Retinoids.
  6. Use the Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion here.
  7. Essence
  8. Serum
  9. Ampoule
  10. Emulsion
  11. Moisturizer, cream.
  12. Face oil
  13. Sleeping pack, or sunscreen.
  14. Occlusives.

The Takeaway.

  • Ingredients: 4/5

A very basic, pH-balanced, hydrating toner suitable for all skin types with glycerin and 3 different types of hyaluronic acid.

  • Benefits: 5/5

Promotes wound healing, plumps up the skin, and hydrates very effectively via humectants.

  • Application: 5/5

Feels like thick water and spreads very easily. Dries matte, and is unnoticeable on the skin.

  • Packaging: 5/5

Comes in a nice bottle that dispenses the product in a very controlled manner.

  • Value: 5/5

Very cheap considering this product will last you forever.

Overall: 4.8/5 — Highly recommend!


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Indeed, a very simple product but in my opinion very deserving of a high rating. I’ve used it for so long now, that I kind of take its hydrating effects for granted. :p Without it I would probably experience a lot more flaking when I accidentally go a little overboard with chemical exfoliation.

That does it for this review! Hope you’ve enjoyed the reading. 🙂



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