Why I Stopped Using Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

Don’t worry, Hada Labo fans. I didn’t suddenly discover something bad about the famous and bestselling hydrating toner.

The thing is, I just keep discovering other products that, for my purposes, are better.

Why I stopped using Hada Labo lotion

Sorry, Hada Labo.

Here’s why a toner like Hada Labo Super Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion can be so useful:

Anti-aging isn’t just about preventing wrinkles. It’s also about mitigating the loss of volume in your skin (yes, I, too, have seen the Juvederm commercials). Volume–that plumpness and firmness that differentiates youthful skin from aging skin–decreases with age (and UV exposure) as collagen breaks down, the natural hyaluronic acid content of skin decreases, and skin begins to lose its ability to effectively hold moisture.

A hyaluronic acid product like the Hada Labo lotion helps minimize the appearance of volume loss by infusing skin with an extra shot of hydration and humectants for a temporary plumping effect. That’s why I used Hada Labo lotion diligently for a long time.

The thing is, the farther down the rabbit hole I fell, the more I discovered other products–serums and ampoules, primarily–that were capable of providing an equivalent amount of plumping hydration, while also adding other key ingredients that my Hada Labo lotion does not. The products in my current routine that do this are:

  • COSRX Galactomyces 95 White Power (ugh) Essence, which provides fermented nutrition and the brightening, anti-aging, oil-controlling, barrier-strengthening properties of niacinamide along with light hydration;
  • Shara Shara Honey Bomb All In One Ampoule, which delivers the healing, antioxidant, and moisturizing powers of my new favorite ingredients honey, propolis, and royal jelly extract along with more niacinamide and a number of other anti-aging antioxidants and provides intense hydrating moisture for a plumped-up glow; and
  • Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum, which gives me a large amount of powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant green tea extract and yet more volumizing hydration.

Taking a look at the rest of my lineup, I realized that my essence, serum, and ampoule had rendered my Hada Labo lotion redundant. It was an extra step in my routine without any compelling actives–I wouldn’t call it a waste of time, but it was a waste of mine.

Yes, Hada Labo does make a couple of lines of products with other actives in them, such as their brightening line with vitamin C and arbutin and their anti-aging line with collagen and a retinoid, but I’ve looked into those, and I still don’t find them as compelling as the products I’m using.

That’s why what’s left of my current bottle of Hada Labo lotion has been removed from my basket and placed in the medicine cabinet. I’ll still draw on it when the weather is just so arid that every drop of hydration matters, and I sometimes put it on my lips before primer or lip balm, but I no longer consider it an everyday must.

How do you keep your skin plump? Do you use Hada Labo lotion?


33 responses to “Why I Stopped Using Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

  1. I’ve recently been obsessively reading your blog (because that’s what you do when it’s right before finals week and you should be studying right?) and have ordered that COSRX Essence based on your reviews! All your info has been a great resource for me and the products you love the most are also the ones my skin seems to love the most. I’m still very much in the beginning stages of building my routine but Hada Labo Lotion was the very first AB product I ever tried and I love it dearly since it sent on this whole journey. I’ve barely made a dent in my bottle over the last couple months and it kind of feels bittersweet to think that months from now when I finish it up, I too might not feel a need to repurchase it. I guess I’ll see when the time comes, but out of a crazy sense of respect I feel a duty to finish up this bottle and it will be wonderful to look at the great skin it has helped me achieve.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I no longer use my Hada Lobo lotion daily, but it’s my go to after using my MUAC Mandelic Acid peel. I keep the bottle in the refrigerator and after I rinse off the remaining acid from the peel I pat on a generous amount of the lotion, and my skin immediately feels soothed and hydrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I use hadalabo but, I always knew I would be moving on someday. I consider it more of a filler/safe product for those with skin issues to use until they can find something better that doesn’t give them issues. Thank you for the awesome shares, I haven’t tried any of those yet and those ingredient lists sound awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

    • “I always knew I would be moving on someday. I consider it more of a filler/safe product”

      Yes, this exactly. It worked really nice for me as an extra hydrator while I slowly researched other serums and ampoules.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really like your blog but not sure I appreciate the ugh after the work white power mentioned above. Not trying to be oversensitive but I do think our society is going too far by classing a person by color. I never feel this way and still do not today. Hope I did not read something into the comment that was not meant but let’s all try to be kind and sensitive to others.


  4. I never hopped on the hadalabo bandwagon despite being into AB for years for reasons just like you described in this article. But I picked up a bottle when I was in Southeast Asia recently because my skin was terrible and its the only brand I recognized on the shelf. Hadalabo had made my skin incredible soft and bouncy like I never had before. Beside the occasional cyst that I get, nothing I used ever give me much significant difference, except this lotion. It’s weird because I always make sure my skin well moisturizes and for most of the time it does, but it’s never as soft as when I use Hada labo. I wonder if the alcohol has something to do with it, cuz stupid me wasn’t reading the ingredient list right and picked up the light version with alcohol in it. I’m going to pick up the original and non alcohol version to see if it makes a difference.
    But like you stated, I do miss amazing ingredients in other products. I’m very tempted to mix a first essence with the Hada labo together so I get the best of both world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never hopped on the hadalabo bandwagon despite being into AB for years for reasons you described in this post. I thought it was redundant and my skin was far from sensitive. Recently, some circumstances led me into picking it up and it had been my HG since. It make my skin incredible soft like a baby butt. I use tons of products to keep my skin hydrate and moisturizes but nothing ever made it feel so soft. I wonder if the alcohol has something to do with it. Stupid me pick up the light version with alcohol in it. I will need to try the normal version to see if it is any difference.
    I’m very tempted to mix it with some first essence so I get the ingredient goodness with my HL. Do you think that’s a good idea?


    • I’m not sure whether I’d suggest mixing it with your first essence, as it seems that would dilute the first essence? However, if you happen to have any very highly concentrated ampoule (no water or other fillers, and probably more expensive than regular serum or ampoule), it can be great to mix a drop or two of your ampoule into the Hada Labo lotion! I do that occasionally the last few days with my LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, and that seems to work out wonderfully.


  6. I agree completely, great post! I loved the plumping effect myself but I left it for the same reasons. I think Hada Labo is great for basic, no-frills skincare, but if I’m looking for multitasking products, I look elsewhere as well. I love the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum as well!!


  7. I love Shara Shara Honeybomb! Because there’s so much product in the jar, I like to use it as a mask at night for extra hydration when I need it.
    Have you checked out Mizon’s Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule? It makes my skin feel smooth and plump. I layer my moisturizer over it. It’s a staple in my routine these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t tried that Mizon ampoule yet, but I’ve heard good things! A friend of mine got it and enjoys it a lot.

      And OMG you are not kidding about how much product there is in the Honey Bomb. Whenever anyone tells me it’s too expensive, I remind them that there is 250ml of product in there. A normal ampoule (like the Mizon snail ampoule I used to use) has about 50ml, so it’s 5x as much product–even at the most expensive I’ve seen the Honey Bomb ($40), that makes it the equivalent of 5 normal ampoule bottles, so it would be like getting a Mizon ampoule for $8. The size makes it economical!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I never used any Hyaluronic Acid. I wanted to try it for first time. Would you please suggest me which one would be best Holika Holika 3 Seconds Starter Hyaluronic Acid or Hadalabo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion for my combination skin? your suggestion would be great help for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Would you recommend these products for a lady in their 50’s? I am at such a loss on what products to use for Anti-aging. It would be wonderful if there was a miracle product for age reversal, haha. I just need to start somewhere. I have been using American products for years and they have not helped so I would like to venture out but I need help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Teresa! Yes, a hydrating step with lots of humectants like hyaluronic acid is definitely a great thing for aging skin. As we get older, our skin produces less HA on its own and fewer natural moisturizing factors in general, so it’s good to replenish those. However, I’d definitely also suggest a good moisturizing cream or lotion to seal in that extra hydration, since our skin also loses its natural ability to hold on to water as we get older! But taking the time to find those elements in products that work for your skin is so worth it, as plump and well hydrated skin looks more youthful pretty much immediately, no miracles necessary! 🙌


  10. Pingback: The Beauty Report 1/13: My hot new affair with Hada Labo, plus CATS – Chok Chok!·

  11. Strange for me about Hada Labo. I had received a sample of the Skin Plumping Gel Cream and it seemed to work well. So I went out and purchased that and also the Anti-Aging Hydrator. Today, a week later, I am returning them both. I find them not hydrating or plumping at all. Rather, I find them to do the opposite with my skin. It’s taut, dry and fine lines are emphasized. I remember using another hyaluronic acid product a few years ago and was very unhappy with the results, also. It has to be how my skin reacts with that particular ingredient.
    I had also picked up Misa Geum Sul First Essence Booster at the same time and I’m trying that out with my regular moisturizers, etc. I’ll see how that goes. I love reading about all the different products you introduce…thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, I have hada labo and Benton’s aloe BHA toner. I switch between the two depending on how my skin is doing. I prefer the benton, but, the hada labo really came in handy the other week when I reacted badly to a sheet mask ( it had alcohol as the third ingredient on the list, not good) and I needed neutral and soothing products to moisturise with while my poor face recovered.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like COSRX, and I’m planning to buy their Galactomyces essence at some point, not right now though, because I’ve really been overspending on asian skin products lately. I’ve got so many I’ve run out of cupboard space 🙂


  14. if u dont use it anymore, i suggest you use it as a sheet mask. but tissue that shaped like a mask and then you pour your hadalabo in it. wait until it soaked and voilaaa…. your own sheet mask. no need to throw the hada labo away to the trash.
    that is what i do to my essence.


  15. Hi lovely,
    Thanks for your article! I’d like to start a good anti-aging routine; I turned 40 and the signs of age are starting to show 😦
    I have dry skin… would you please let me know what products you would recommend? I was thinking: a toner (I’ve never used one), a serum, an eye cream and moisturizer. What are your thoughts? Please help me! Thanks a lot!


  16. Thanks for all the info! I am searching for a store in HK where I can directly grab the hyaloronic acid from Hala Dabo. I want to try this first and move on to some suggestions from here there after. I am prerty sure we all can discover new things good for our anti aging battle


  17. fifty, i have a question, have you heard of the hada labo drying peoples skin out? and also maybe creating cc’s?


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