This is a Japanese toner that is meant to be used after cleansing and preps your face for moisturizer/serum afterwards. I bought this near the beginning of winter when I found that my moisturizer wasn't able to keep up with the weather on its own. This is advertised to hydrate your skin so it seemed perfect at the time. I used the light version as I had heard it was better for oily/combination skin.
The product has the consistancy of water out of the bottle. While the packaging looks nice and refreshing, it made it a bit unwieldy for dispensing something so fluid. I put 2-3 drips onto my hand, rubbed it around and tried to pat it in like they show on the product videos. On the 2nd or 3rd pat, my hands and face were immediately sticky. Not just tacky but sticky like tape. It was unbearably uncomfortable so I gave up for the night and just applied my normal moisturizer.
The whole thing struck me as a little odd as this product has rave reviews about it feeling so moisturizing and picking up dry skin really well. I dug into the internet so here's the summary on how to make this product work like the reviewers say:
If your skin is dehydrated already (which you may or may not notice), this product will basically feel sticky right away. If you experience this, you should try to layer the product. Instead of using 2-3 drips, you will probably need 5-6 and you will have to apply it a few times. On the first night I did this, I did about 8 layers but near the end, the stickiness was almost gone. My skin must have been so dry!
If you live in a place with low humidity, you will need to apply this in a higer humidity environment. Apparently this product draws moisture from the air but if there isn't enough in the air, it will try to do it from your skin. The easiest place to apply this is after your shower when the shower room is still steamy. I also found that sitting in front of a humidifier also works (I have one of those tear dropped shaped things that just pumps out cool steam). The last method I tried was applying it on a damp face; just lightly pat dry with a towel after cleansing and leave a noticable amount of water behind.
Last but not least, and this is just an anecdote, I found that there was almost no stickiness when used after exfoliating. I used it as an indication from my skin that it was ready for some exfoliating and my face seemed happy with that.
Eventually, after the trial and error, I finally got the "plump and moisturized" feeling. The sticky feeling reared its head when my skin was dry (like walking around the house after a hot shower) but it wasn't as bad as when I first started out. Did it make a visible difference to my skin? I'm not really sure at this point. I didn't experience a "glow" that some people claim or "smoother, youthful" skin. But hey, together with my moisturizer, it did seem to hold off dry, flaky skin longer.
Short summary: you may have to change how you use this product depending on your skin condition and your local weather so that you don't get the sticky feeling upon application. It does hydrate your skin but, unless you live somewhere hot and humid, you will need to use this with a moisturizer. It is fairly cheap at RRP ¥1200 for a bottle which holds a decent amount of product (refill packets are even cheaper). I didn't experience the amazing effects written in some of the rave reviews and overall, I just found it annoying having to park myself in a humid room before putting this on. I have since found a different routine that keeps winter air at bay on its own so I won't be repurchasing this.
I thought I found my HG toner/lotion in SKII, but I think Hada Labo trumps it. When I googled "best Japanese toner" this was literally the only result. With a tagline like "One drop seals an ocean" and a reputation that one bottle sells every two seconds, I can see why this product is such hot property. It's so inexpensive compared to SKII's Facial Treatment Lotion, and the bottle is just as big. The formula is very runny and slightly sticky, but the tackiness goes away once I've gently massaged it in with my fingertips. I've been using it religiously twice a day and I think it helps my essence and moisturizer sink in better in compared to SKII's. My skin feels very hydrated and soft - no breakouts as of yet. The only con for me is the packaging. I think a pump bottle would be more ergonomic and allow better control over the amount of product being dispensed. Other than that, this is my HG toner!
Overall - 4
Price - 3
Packaging - 4
Decided to try a hydrating toner instead of the astringent ones and I'm glad I chose this one. It's made my skin plumper and look better since I've started using it. I only use 1-2 drops (a little goes a long way!) and slap/pat it into my skin after cleansing before I apply any serums or moisturizers. It has no noticeable scent, is colourless and runny. Similar to water but only slightly, very slightly more viscous.
I've had it about a year now and it's only now at the halfway point so I don't mind the $15-20CAD (170ml) price tag for it. My skin is only the drier side and this gives it that extra bit of moisture it needs. Occasionally, in the summer this is all I need to apply and forgo the other moisturizers.
I was skeptical the first few times I tried it. I mean like a previous reviewer said, it's like applying sticky water to your face. Don't rub it into your face. Pat or "slap" it into your skin. This reduces the sticky feeling. Having stuck to it, it's made my complexion more even and even reduced the depth of an old acne scar that I'd given up hope on. Granted, the scar wasn't as deep as some people with severe acne and it's still there when you look, but it has made it less noticeable. I suspect the extra moisture has just made the scar plumper and fuller thus less noticeable. Will the effect disappear if I stop or switch? Possibly - I don't know but I don't intend to find out by testing it! Your mileage may vary though.
My only gripe is that there is methylparaben in it. I've been trying to stay away from parabens in my cosmetics and skincare but this stuff is so good I'll keep repurchasing unless I find something that's just as good.
Ingredients : Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyethycellulose, Methylparaben, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid
I purchased the normal Hada Labo SHA travel set as a trial because I've been reading countless raves about it and I need a good but light toner and moisturiser.
Thoughts? I love them.
After cleansing, I use 6-7 drops of the toner lotion and pat into my skin until it's soft. Followed by one and a half drop of the moisturising milk lotion. I feel very light and soft when it dries, giving a fresh start to the day. I have oily skin and they never have caused any breakouts.
Recently, I got the light lotion for oily/combi skin and I really am loving it. It's a little pricey because I bought it in Singapore as Malaysian stores do not carry it but so worth it. I only use it in the mornings though because my skin gets oily very easily under the hot and humid Malaysian weather! I know a lot of people say that they feel no difference between the regular and the light lotion, but if you have really oily and combi skin like me, the light lotion feels extra light with better absorption on the skin. It's lovely.
As for oil control, it does help but not very significant. I just love that it is a great moisturiser, serving their main purpose of purchase.
I cant count how many bottles i have finished of this product, its sooooo gentle for skin with eczema and sensitive skin, very hydrating you will not be disappointed
This is a review for the red bottle: If you don't currently use a toner or serum, have quite robust skin and fancy trying this out, go for it. For me, it was an extra step in my skincare that I just didn't need - as I already use glycolic acid in my night-time toner and retinol in my night cream it was too much for my skin. I will use it as a conventional night-time toner once I'm out of my current bottle but definitely won't repurchase.
Awesome! simply awesome! This is one of the best toner I had used so far. It really hydrate my combination skin very well. My skin feels so supple and soft. Pimples starts to diminish after using it! Yay! I'm definitely going to purchase it again!
Does not do much for the skin, what happened to all those great raves? I couldn't even finish using my first bottle because it was just like applying sticky water to the face.
I hate this stuff so much.
I have chronically dehydrated skin, and I'm currently using Retin A Micro, so I've got flakies, and a serious need for moisture. I saw that this got pretty good reviews, so I decided to try it out.
Now, I'm aware of Asian toners being totally different than Western toners (i.e. moisturizing rather than cleaning/drying), so I knew what I was getting into with this. Or at least I thought I did.
I have never used more than three drops of this on my face, usually going for 1 to 2. But every single time, it's given me ZITS. Even with just one drop of it on my skin, I will wake up to at least one zit. And as someone who is prone to PIH marks, this means that I can still see the damage from using this a few months later. Like all my not good products, I'm going to try using this on my body rather than my face. Hopefully I won't get zits on my damn legs, but with this stuff, I wouldn't really be surprised.
Am on my second bottle and am alternating between this and the Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion. Its so light, almost like water. I'm vain but unfortunately very lazy, so the daily routine is all of 2 (should be 3) steps:-
1)wash face in the morning with 'cleanser of the moment'
2)apply a large splodge unto the palms of hands and swipe it all over face and neck.
Wait about 1 minute for lotion to sink in + stickiness to lessen slightly, then pat in whatever liquid is remaining ..No other moisturiser. I use it for my eye area as well.
3)Then sunscreen when I remember. (I know I'm terrible and am starting to regret it already)
Surprisingly for someone with dry skin, I find that in this hot, humid weather, I really don't need to add on any moisturiser. In the past, I would DEFINITELY have needed something extra since my face would start to feel tight and uncomfortable. However, now if I do use moisturiser in the afternoons- my face feels too oily. Whatever it is-am glad to have found this product- cheap, useful, easily available where I live. No irritation or pimples or over perfumed :) I've always disregarded Western toners because I found them a waste of time and money, but this a 2in1 for me.
For my dry, aging, skin, I actually prefer the Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion but this one is still a very nice easy product and great for day use. I buy the little size for when I travel since I can't find the Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion in a small bottle. The Retinol , I use for night and when my skin is acting parched so the large bottle is fine at home.