Monday, July 6, 2015

Hada Labo Perfect Gel Review

Hada Labo, Perfect Gel, japanese beauty, skincare, review, hyaluronic acid, gel moisturizer

Hey guys, I'm back! It's been a nice hiatus, wrought with multiple skin rashes, acne, and allergies galore. But I look normal again, so here I am! So I've decided to write my first post about skincare (or maybe the first couple). A lot of you who know me in person know I'm the biggest geek about skincare, and it seems to have gotten worse (or better, if you like me rambling on about ingredients) after my latest little bought of skin mishaps. I've gotten a lot pickier with my skincare after having some sort of allergic reaction in March and April. I had a rash all over my hands and arms, as well as around my mouth. It took weeks to heal and multiple visits to the dermatologist, and it still likes to pop up now and again. For the record, I'm just super sensitive to alcohol in my skincare and prone to over-exfoliation.

Since my newfound love of ingredients lists and the beauty bloggers who post them, I've decided to follow suit in my reviews as well.

The Hada Labo Perfect Gel is one of the new products I tried that helped to get my skin back on track. According to Hada Labo, it's an all-in-one product, functioning as lotion, milk, cream, serum and mask. I personally use it as a lightweight moisturizer in place of the emulsion step in the "Asian skincare routine," and layer something slightly heavier over top. Other girls use it as their cream, or even a sleeping mask, so you can see that this truly is a multipurpose product.

Hada Labo is one of my favourite brands to use when my skin is acting up. The ingredients lists are always short, and focus on hyaluronic acid to help restore moisture to the skin. I'm prone to dehydrated skin due to my Retin A use, so Hada Labo is a lifesaver for me. I opted to get the Perfect Gel, as it not only had hyaluronic acid in it, but also urea (another great humectant) and glucosyl ceramide.

Notable Ingredients
Hyaluronic Acid: The perfect gel uses three types – hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, and sodium hyaluronate. They're all humectants, meaning they draw water into the skin and hold onto it. These are all low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, so they can better penetrate the skin compared to high weight hyaluronic acid, which just sits on top.

Urea: Another humectant, but unlike high weight hyaluronic acid, it can penetrate the skin. It also has gentle exfoliating properties.

Squalane: This is actually a part of the sebum our skin produces, and production diminishes as we age. In cosmetics, it is usually derived from olives (but can also be from shark liver or sugar cane) and has moisturizing, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

Glucosyl Ceramide: A glycolipid containing a fatty acid, glucose and sphingosine. Both orally and topically, it helps to restore and protect the skin barrier.

Hydrolyzed Collagen: Helps to add moisture and sooth the skin. Supposedly, it also helps to firm the skin, however multiple studies show that collagen particles are too large to penetrate the skin, and I don't know if hydrolyzed collagen makes a difference in penetrability.

The full ingredient list can be found on cosdna.

Hada Labo, Perfect Gel, japanese beauty, skincare, review, hyaluronic acid, gel moisturizer


This is lightweight gel that absorbs into the skin fairly easily. I like to rub about a small grape sized amount in my fingers, and then spread it on my face, patting for a minute or until it's fully absorbed. I didn't experience any sort of stickiness with this, however others reported feeling sticky after using it. My skin honestly just absorbs anything as long as it's not straight up oil. It does leave an awkwardly shiny finish to the skin though. Not glowy like a face mask, just... shiny.

When I first started using this, I was dealing with a weird mouth rash (probably the result of over-exfoliation from Retin A, and a weekend spent outdoors in cold Edmonton with no lipbalm). This helped to calm the rash down more than the Avene Skin Recovery Cream samples I had. It definitely stung (nothing too bad) in that area though, which I'm guessing is because of the urea content. It also didn't aggravate the bad acne flare up I was also having at the time, as well as shrinking the eczema patch on my cheek bones. (Seriously, do you know how hard it is to deal with acne flare ups at the same time as a weird rash, and an eczema flare up on the face too!?) For the record, I have since learned that Vaseline is actually the best thing for any skin irritations around my mouth (I used it over top of the Perfect Gel), as well as getting rid of eczema patches.

Using this left my skin sufficiently moisturized for a few hours (ie. no tight feeling for about two to three hours). As I continued to use it, my skin would feel moisturized for longer. In other words, continued use allowed my skin to heal and better retain moisture. It also provides an immediate plumping effect.

For me, this wasn't enough hydration, and I needed to add a slightly heavier cream, as well as a serum for my skin to feel comfortable the majority of the day (and only when I wasn't in air con). I would highly recommend this to oily, or more normal to combination skinned girls (or men), or for those living in a more humid climate. If you're living in a dry climate and/or are using dehydrating products such as tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide, you might need to layer this with something else, or use something heavier.

This lasted about three months with twice a day usage (using a small grape sized amount of product each time).

You can also buy it on for a reasonable price.

·      Reasonable price – it's usually $25-30 CAD.
·      Minimal ingredients list meaning less chance of causing a reaction for sensitive skin.
·      Lightweight, absorbed quickly, and plumps the skin
·      Multiple ways to use it

·      Difficult to find in stores. T&T carries a lot of the Hada Labo lines, but not this one. My friend actually gave me her extra one, and she had to order it from Rakuten. Ebay also has it for a reasonable price.
·      Not enough moisture for me, but YMMV

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