Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion Review


Okay, so this part of my skincare journey started in about 2016 when I started prescription retinoids for acne for the second time in my life. I’d read about how lightweight, hydrating products like Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating lotion saved people so much dryness and discomfort from Differin and Retin-A – so, of course, I wanted to try these products for myself!

I placed my first order on eBay and was totally hooked. 

This lightweight Japanese toner did so much for my skin; it left it feeling bouncy, minimised surface skin flakes, and even made my skin look incredibly plump. These products have quickly become a staple in my skincare routine – and I can’t believe I haven’t written a proper blog post review about them until now! 

It’s a bit of a throwback, but here’s one of my first posts about them on social media:

The packaging has definitely changed since then, but I’ve kept this product in my routine for as long as I can remember! Here’s the rundown on what makes this Hada Labo Lotion special to me.

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Review

This Hada Labo Lotion is packed with Hyaluronic Acid to help boost hydration in skin. It boasts four different types to ensure that skin looks glowing and hydrated! Hada Labo has several different types of lotions; the Gokujyun, or Hydrating line, is the version formulated with just Hyaluronic Acid to provide an intensively hydrating, glowy base. 

Now, if you’re not familiar with hyaluronic acid, consider it the ultimate moisture magnet. This magical molecule has the remarkable ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it a powerhouse for hydrating your skin. This means it can help address these common skin concerns:

  • Damaged moisture barrier
  • Dullness of skin
  • Visible skin flakes
  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Dehydration

Whew, that’s a lot! Making sure your skin is hydrated might sound simple. Still, when you take a holistic approach, it’s completely necessary for your skin – and for me, Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid lotion is what I rely on for unmatched hydration. 

It has a watery texture that’s best patted into the skin with hands. For me, this is another reason why I prefer Hada Labo Lotions to hyaluronic acid serums. The lightweight texture is soooo easy to layer and apply to my skin. 

By comparison, I think that hyaluronic acid serums are a bare minimum skincare step. Yep, they’re an application of hyaluronic acid to your skin, but is it really the best way for your skin to benefit from this humectant skincare ingredient? 

I personally don’t think so – which is why I lean so heavily on patting in multiple layers of Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion for glowing skin.

You are meant to pat it into the skin, and you can tell that it’s absorbed when the watery texture starts to feel just ever so slightly tacky. You can pat as many layers into your skin as you want – I tend to go for 3 or 4 – and it leaves my skin visibly bouncier and more hydrated, especially compared to a single application of a hydrating serum. 

Another bonus of Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion compared to a regular serum is the size. 

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion comes in two sizes – the standard is 170ml, or get the jumbo size of 400ml. Compared to typical hydrating serums which are between 30ml and 50ml, you are getting a whole lot more hydration with Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion – even with patting in multiple layers of product!

Is Hada Labo Lotion a Toner or Moisturiser?

I know what you’re thinking – I keep calling this a ‘lotion’ and a ‘toner’ interchangeably. That’s because in Japan, lotion refers to a watery liquid. This isn’t the type of toner that you use with a cotton pad to clean your skin. Think of it almost as a serum, in a water-like texture.

If you’re a fan of Korean skincare, think of this as a ‘first essence’ skincare step. It’s something you’d use before serums, but after cleansing!

Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion Information

Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion vs. Hada Labo Premium Lotion

The Premium version of this lotion has gone viral, and I’m sure many of you are wondering what the difference between the two is! Like Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion, the Hada Labo Premium Lotion is a hydrating lotion – it doesn’t have any brightening or anti-ageing skincare ingredients. 

One of the biggest differences is that Hada Labo Premium Hydrating Lotion has seven forms of hyaluronic acid. It also has urea, making it extremely hydrating and smoothing. It also has a much thicker texture – it’s not watery, instead it’s thicker like a serum. 

When I tried the Hada Labo Premium Lotion for the first time, I was amazed at how dewy my skin was in a single layer of product. However, I found that it was too heavy to apply multiple layers of. If you’re interested to read more about it, read my full Hada Labo Premium Lotion review!

Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion vs. Hada Labo Shirojyun Lotion

This is a less well-known version of Hada Labo Lotions. The Shirojyun line from Hada Labo focuses on brightening, using ingredients such as Tranexamic Acid and Alpha Arbutin to get the desired effect. So the Hada Labo Shirojyun version helps to hydrate and brighten, while the Gokujyun or Hyaluronic Acid line only hydrates. 

How to Use Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion In Your Routine

Like I said above, the best way to use this hydration lotion is by patting in a small amount to your face and neck with your hands. You’ll know when it’s absorbed when your skin starts to feel slightly tacky to the touch – apply as many layers as you like to really amp up the hydration!

What’s great about this Hada Labo Lotion is that it can be used morning and night! Generally speaking, it’s best used right after cleansing, and before serums. The only two products I would suggest using this after are Vitamin C serums and exfoliating toners, as they’re pH dependent. 

Another way I love to use this toner is right before a sheet mask. I’m pretty sure I got this tip from Jude Chao over at Fifty Shades of Snail years ago, and it’s something I do to this day. I apply a layer of Hada Labo Lotion before a sheet mask. I don’t really know how it works, but it’s almost like it makes the sheet mask more effective at absorbing into my skin!

Who Should Use Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion?

I have oily skin, but this hydrating lotion is a must-have in my skincare routine. That being said, I think that all skin types can use Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion. I mean, whose skin won’t benefit from extra hydration? 

A specific case that I’d suggest this hydrating toner for is if you use retinol or retinoids. This super-hydrating product helped me minimise surface dryness and flaking that happened as my skin adjusted to prescription retinoids. And clearly, I still rely on it to keep dryness and flaky skin at bay!

Wrap Up

The Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Lotion is the perfect solution if you want to add an extra layer of hydration to your skincare routine. It’s a product that I’ve relied on for YEARS and will continue to use in my routine!

No matter what skin type you have, this hydrating toner can help you achieve a more supple and glowing complexion. It’s especially helpful for those dealing with retinoid-induced dryness and flaking. Be sure to pat multiple layers onto your skin and follow with moisturiser for a super dewy, fresh look to your skin!

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