Hada Labo Ultimate Moisturizing

My face hasn’t been friendly these days. I have some horrible breakouts lately, especially around the lower cheeks area. Up to now I don’t know exactly why did I deserve those breakouts, but I think my face was over-moisturized. Yes, I have a quite combination skin–oily with a chance of dry patches–and hence I’ve been using too much moisturizers. I think my face’s just getting enough with them.

Overwhelmed with the breakouts, I found myself browsing through some skincare products on the internet then. At first I thought I would need to try some high-end skincare products, but then I was interested to give a go on a brand that sells recommended but rather affordable products. It’s Hada Labo, a well-known Japanese brand to beauty enthusiasts, specialized in pH-balanced skincare products.

What I like about Hada Labo (damn, I haven’t even started to review) is almost all its products are available at drugstores and even supermarkets, so they’re all easy to get. Also, for the great results they give, I think the products are cheap. So, yes, exactly, what’s not to love? I decided to try the most-praised series, Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing, but not all the products. I also went for Tamagohada Ultimate Mild Peeling Make Up Remover.

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Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing Light Lotion

This is my most favorite product from Hada Labo! From the very first time I use this, I already fell in love. The product resembles a toner (or is it?), comes as a water-like product. It has no color and no fragrance. To use it, just pour a little amount of it on the palm of the hand and use the finger to apply it evenly to the face. Then, tap your face lightly until the product’s absorbed into the skin, leaving the skin a bit sticky. Since it has water-like consistency, it would be really easy for the skin to absorb it. I use it daily before sleep–right after I wash my face with a Hada Labo makeup remover–and after I wash my face in the morning before I put my makeup.

What I love about this light lotion is that it’s really working! It tamed all of my breakouts and other complexion problems on my face! It even diminished all of the dry patches around my nose, between my brows, and around the forehead area! It also makes my face so soft and moist on the next morning when I wake up. I think the light lotion works like a toner (now I really think that it is), since it’s also minimize the size of my big pores. I really have nothing bad to say about this light lotion! I really recommend this to everyone.

Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing Milk

At first I bought this because I’ve mistaken this as the light lotion (their packaging resembles one another), but I thank God that I did buy this. Turns out this moisturizing milk and the light lotion is a great combination. It has a liquid-y consistency and quite runny when you put it on the palm of the hand. A little amount of it goes along the way, so make sure to be not too generous when applying it onto the face, for it would leave the face too sticky. Just like the light lotion, the moisturizing milk also has no fragrance, but just as milk, it comes as a white liquid-y product. I use it daily, right after I use the light lotion, only before I crash the bed. I don’t like to use it before I wear makeup because I’d rather to use an oil skincare. I like how it really combines well with the light lotion and moisten the skin. I think this moisturizing milk works as a back-up moisturizing wall that protects the hydration given by the watery light lotion.

Tamagohada Ultimate Mild Peeling Make Up Remover

So far, this is my favorite makeup remover ever. It goes okay on my skin and no creepy reaction whatsoever. It has a lovely foamy-cream texture, which goes so moist and gentle on the skin. Simply put a little amount of it on your finger, wet with water, and scrub it on your face until it becomes foamy. What I like about this product is that it includes both makeup remover and face wash. Always going home at night often makes me want to skip complicated skincare routine and just crash the bed. Having both makeup remover and face wash is absolutely a total helper to my lazy ass.

Also, I like how it really cleans my face. Yes, I wear makeup daily, but I rarely use waterproof cosmetics–typically it would be just concealer, powder, blush, brow pencil, and lip cream. So, I think this makeup remover is great to remove some easy daily makeup. And, for heavy and waterproof makeup, I think you would need to clean your face with another cleanser first. For what I can see, it deep-cleans the pores and makes my big pores look shrinking a bit. I heard that AHA and BHA work well to unclog pores. It also doesn’t leave my skin dry, but supple, moist, and soft. I just love every second of scrubbing my face with this makeup remover! This makeup remover is recommended to use before applying the moisturizing milk or lotion.

So, to sum up: (1) they're great, (2) they're cheap. Both of the Gokujyun Ultimate Moisturizing products that I mentioned are around 30,000 IDR (US$ 2.26), while the Tamagohada makeup remover is around 45,000 IDR (US$ 3.38). It's already more than what I thought it would be. Didn't think some affordable skincare like these will work great on my skin! I am absolutely in awe and in love. Well, who wouldn't love to have some inexpensive products that amazingly meet their skin needs? It's literally a cheap love.


All photographs by Ruth Vania Christine

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

To be honest, this is the first time I've ever wanted to try a Korean skincare. Well, I've always underestimated Asian skincare or cosmetics, because we've never had a good connection. Asian skincare and cosmetics have never worked well on me. But, when I started looking around at Korean skincare products, there are a few favorites that will keep appearing. One of those that I came across a lot is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. As a Korean beauty brand, turns out Laneige is very famous for its water sleeping mask, which has been reviewed positively by many beauty enthusiasts.

So, apparently, the hype gets me and also I was in need of a good skincare for my terrible dry combination skin. A beauty YouTuber introduced me to Althea, an online shopping destination that sells various Korean cosmetic and skincare (I'd like to make a review on Althea, comment below if you want it too). I found the sleeping mask for a super affordable price, I believe it's even below 300,000 IDR ($29), which is the normal price in Indonesia. And since then, Laneige Water Sleeping Mask became my first sleeping mask ever.

The product claims to provide intense hydration, vitality and brightening effect, while restoring skin with deep relaxation. It seemed that all the details regarding the indications, ingredients, etc written on the back of the jar are in Korean. But, from what I know from Althea, it has Beta Glucan, which gives the skin regeneration effect, and Ceramide SLN, which gives the moisture loss protection.

It came in a glass jar packaging, packed in a box with a little spatula. The product is a 70 mL gel-type, colored with a hint of blue hue, which appeals to me very refreshing. Labeled as water mask, the product has a very light consistency and a bit droopy when applied. What I love from the product since the first time I opened the jar is the fragrance. It smells like something fresh, soothing, and calming. Upon opening the lid, actually there's a protective film on top which covers the product inside the jar. The spatula makes it so hygienic to use.

Actually, there's also a little manual sheet on how to apply, the ingredients, etc, but almost all of the text is written in Korean. Only a tiny detail explained in English. Maybe it's because I bought the mask directly from Seoul, South Korea (Althea did offer to send beauty products directly from South Korea).

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Upon applying, as mentioned, the product feels very light like water, but quite sticky like gel. It also feels a bit cold and refreshing, so it's good to relax your skin. The manual said that it's better to inhale the scent after applying the mask, for better sleeping or relaxing experience. And it does smell so relaxing. For me, one scoop of the little spatula is just enough for my whole face.

Since it has a very light consistency, the product's easy to absorb into the skin. It doesn't leave any greasy feeling at all, so it's quite comfortable to sleep with it. Whenever I wake up with the mask, my skin would feel a bit oily, but after I wash my face, my skin looks healthier and feels so much softer. It smoothens any dry patches on my face, which has always been my complexion problem. Therefore, I'm so happy with the product! Using the mask for almost a month now, I feel that the mask really helps my skin, especially because I often sleep very late at night.

The thing that you have to put in mind is that the mask just works to moisture the skin. Don't expect it to heal or diminish dark spots, acne, and big pores. It's basically just a moisturizer that comes as a sleeping mask product. If you need extra moisture, just apply a little bit more than what you usually use. Also, you can always put other products on your face first before applying the mask, like serum or light moisturizer. I don't know if the product is really limited to night use, but I've ever using it like a normal moisturizer at daytime, just before I apply my makeup and after I put on my serum. It's because on that day I really need extra moisture for my super dry, cracking skin and I can't find any serum or other moisturizer in my room. And thankfully it still worked well on me!

Since then, Laneige Water Sleeping Mask has been my holy grail whenever dry patches strike back. Or whenever my skin needs to really repair between my super late sleeping hours. Yes, it's a bit overpriced for a jar of a mask. Also, getting the affordable one means to wait a three-week long delivery from South Korea. But, I think it's really worth the price and the hype.


All photographs by Ruth Vania Christine