I have this bad habit of simply stop using products I don't like after 2-3 tries, and really just leave it sitting there for ever. But when I started reaching for Hada Labo again and again everyday, I knew I would post about this eventually. (I was actually trying out another set of skincare when I decided to stop that and switch to Hada Labo. So you see, my bad habit at play.)
Why sample packs?
I bought this sample/travel set way back in March. My photo date tells me March 9.
How happy I was when I saw this! It's like a dream-come-true in the beauty-skincare world! haha. I love sample packs, just love them so much for three reasons.
Reason 1: I have sensitive skin. I often am stuck with full size products that I can never finish because my skin feels like it is rotting should I continue using them. Sample packs are saviours because they allow me to try the products I think I like without investing too much before I know how good it is for me.
Reason 2: I like using good products even when I go overseas. So imagine Hada Labo is your Holy Grail, and you are going overseas. It'd be wretched if you can't bring them with you. Sample packs save the trouble of having to buy the proper containers and transferring HG products. This also means you do not risk contaminating products. No need to go out and search for $2 temporary mini products just for the trip.
Reason 3: I so wanted to try Hada Labo since forever because of the massive rave online and humongous advertising campaign in Singapore. The only reason why I haven't bought till this year (I saw it during my stay in Malaysia back in 2010) is because Hada Labo is expensive. I just can't bring myself to get the full set (I personally like to try skincare in full sets) at once.
Another reason I pounced on this Hada Labo sample pack when I saw, was because the size and variety is way more reasonable than many other samples.
Like I say, I am a fan of sample packs, and I've got many in the past. I always still feel really cheated because some brands, like SkinZ and Pure Beauty Pomegranate give so very little in the sample that I can only use them for 3-5 days. Yes, I did review these, and I did find results. But of course, I would love it if I could have more product to last 14 days.
Also, many brands give very poor range of products in sample packs, like Nuxe. I bought the Nuxe's 3 Roses range, and got the Cleansing Milk, Cleansing Water and Toner. While they came in big enough bottles, it left me wondering where the moisturizer is. I just don't like the way the brand sort of forces you to buy the remaining product (moisturizer) even before you use the samples.
Hada Labo definitely nailed it and got themselves another fan (me) with this sample pack that provides 6 full weeks worth of product in such a comprehensive range, everything from Makeup Remover to Face Wash, Toner, and Moisturizer. Thumbs up!
The ingredients are all in the pictures below. It is good to note that though there is no strong alcohol like SD Alcohol or Alcohol Denat. in Hada Labo, but there IS actually weak alcohol, like dipropylene glycol, butylene glycol, isopentyldiol, etc.
AND they are all really high in the ingredients list. I can smell the alcohol very clearly. With regards to this, Hada Labo claims that because of the alcohol, their products are good for oily skin. You can find pretty much most of the answers you might like to know on their website here. Just a gentle reminder that oily skin is in fact dry underneath, so the skin secrete lots of oil to compensate. This is personal choice, really.
So if you do not like skincare containing any kind of alcohol, you will not like this. The smell is obviously there, even though I can honestly say that this is not drying for my dry skin. And this also doesn't makes me break out.
Makeup Remover (left), and Face Wash (right).
Hydrating lotion (middle column), and hydrating milk (last column).
What kind of ingredient is Hyaluronic Acid?
It is a moisture-locking ingredient, meaning it simply holds on to whatever moisture is already in your skin.
If you are looking for a more potent ingredient, you need to look out for Ceramide, which is the key ingredient in Elizabeth Arden's Ceramide range of skincare. Ceramide is the one that will not only lock in moisture, but also grab moisture from the surrounding, so in a sense, it is more real, while hyaluronic acid is more like "cheating".
I will now go into reviewing the 4 products one by one.
Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Wash
This is a foam cleanser. I am not a fan of foam cleanser, and would choose gel over foam anytime. But I must admit that I do like this.
I find that it is very gentle on my face, and much, much less drying than other foam cleansers, perhaps due to the fact that this does not use sodium laureate sulfate as its surfactant, but uses sodium cocyl glycinate instead. SLS is by far the best surfactant known to the chemistry world, and is awfully drying.
It is the ingredient that rounds up dirt and then appears as foam. Foaming cleansers tend to contain more surfactants than other forms of cleanser, and even though I've read articles saying gel cleansers are the most drying, and more drying than foam cleansers, I'd have to say that my skin does not thinks so.
I swear by gel cleansers, and I also swear that foaming cleansers I've used (no matter how mild) are drier than the gel cleanser I use. I have no idea why some articles tend to say foam cleansers are less drying. Maybe they are just trying to argue whether SLS is more drying, or Glycerin is more drying. I love glycerin-based products to the max.
But again, surfactant or glycerin, is another personal preference, just like alcohol and no alcohol or fragrance and no fragrance. I love fragrance because my skin is fine with it. Yet many people claim that fragrance is an irritant. Personal preference.
However, like all other surfactant-based products, this, no matter how mild and gentle, does stings my eyes. This is quite a big factor for me, because I hate that stinging feeling.
I like to squeeze this on my Konjac sponge and sponge it all over my face in the mornings.
Overall, I give this a 4/5.
I am surprise I like a foaming cleanser. It is gentle on my skin, foams a lot less than general foam cleansers. However, I do have a HG gel cleanser which I still think is better for me, and I will not repurchase this. It is something I am pretty sure other people will like, but not me (fan of gel cleansers).
Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion
Like this so much, you can see the liquid is going, going gone!
Now, this is the one that I really, really like! hehe.
Hada Labo claims to be fragrance and coloring-free, so you will find that all their products are either transparent or white.
I take this as the toner because the Chinese characters translate as "makeup water" and that means toner in the Japanese and Chinese world of skincare.
I really like this because I love toners that are slightly thicker than water, and have the serum feeling.
I think it absolutely helps lighten my laugh lines to almost nothing! With the help of the moisturizer of course. But yes, I do see results and I like this.
I normally use 3-5 droplets. Enough for me to pull the product back over my ears, and down my neck.
I like this one! 5/5.
I will repurchase because I definitely think this is better than just using rose water or rose water with witch hazel.
Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Milk
I really like this too, as much as the hydrating lotion!
It is such a lightweight moisturizer, feels like nothing yet I can see the results of my laugh lines lightening with the consistent use of hyaluronic acid.
I am not sure if such a thin moisturizer can work in temperature countries during winter. But my take is, if it works in Japan, then it should work in Europe or US. Hada Labo has been touting how their hydrating lotion and milk is sold every 5 minutes in Japan.
It sure works in Singapore and Malaysia, judging from the raves I have seen. haha, and myself am raving about it now.
Only gripe is that the sample bottles come in the single-hole dispense, which is highly irritating. I think the full size is a pump bottle though. Not too sure about this one.
I am so joining the legions of people who rave about this. 5/5!
Super Hyaluronic Acid Makeup Remover
I didn't use this down because I am using my 20 ml sample bottle of Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil. It's not because I don't like this, but more that Fancl has a stupid expiry date of 3 months, so I just want to make sure I finish that before this.
Kind of weird that they decided to give 30 ml of this. haha. But I am not complaining when I have more product!
This is a gel makeup remover. For those who have used kawaiiTokyo's makeup remover (I think this brand pulled out of Singapore because it is too expensive, and had too few customers), you will understand what I mean, because there are not many gel makeup removers around.
It is very effective at taking off makeup. It doesn't takes off my Make Up For Ever Waterproof Mascara though. Even Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil doesn't. Only my favorite favorite Laneige does. hehehehehe.
=P I know, I tend to go on and on about Laneige Profession Makeup Remover.
Alright, basically other than my HG mascara, the Hada Labo makeup remover is extremely gentle yet can remove every bit of all my other makeup. So big thumbs up!
It is also not drying.
I do think this is good stuff. 4.8/5.
MUFE mascara is my must-use HG, so I am quite strict when testing makeup removers, that they should remove my mascara. I have the kawaiiTokyo one, and it does get my mascara off super well.
I will purchase this if I don't already have preferred (5 upon 5) HG makeup remover. But I do (Laneige and kawaiiTokyo), so I probably will not try get the full size for this. I do, however, intend to test the Hada Labo Olive Oil-infused makeup remover.