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Just ask any beauty writer or editor and I’m sure they’ll tell you that having the opportunity to write about beauty products means gaining almost unlimited access to them all year round, be it the latest haircare or a cult-favourite serum.

Since we get to try almost anything that comes through our office doors, many of us also got the chance to develop our own list of holy grails over the years.

As for myself, I sifted through everything from skincare to bodycare and haircare that I’ve ever tried, discovered what works for my combination-dry skin, and put together a group of ride-or-dies that I reach for time and time again when my skin needs a breather from all the trial and error.

And one of the products that I find myself falling back on time and time again is the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion. I first heard about it when it was launched by the crowd-pleasing Japanese brand a decade ago, and I got to try it a few years later when my writing gig started.

Even with the slew of products that I had to test back then, the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion has made a subtle yet lasting impression on me for its ability to deeply moisturise my parched skin, so much so that I’ve likened it to being a gift of hydration that I give to myself time and time again.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iconic lotion, the brand recently levelled up its formula to better meet the needs of our skin today and thanks to this reformulation, I had the opportunity to revisit the much-loved product.

Psst… You’d want to keep on reading because we’ll be giving away the reformulated Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion to 10 lucky readers and friends at the end!

What’s changed with the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion?

Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion Upgraded Formula

The lotion, which is renowned for its formulation of four different molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid (HA), has now been upgraded to provide skin with an even higher level of moisture. To drive deeper hydration, the pH-balanced formula is enriched with two new ingredients: amino acid and ceramide.

Amino acid, which penetrates quickly into skin tissue, gives skin a fresh lustre almost instantly after application. On the other hand, ceramide is a kind of phospholipid that plays a vital role in maintaining water balance within cell membranes. Thanks to its strong ability to bind water molecules, it can help optimise skin’s moisture levels by forming a network structure in the cuticles.

But one thing remains: like its predecessor, the upgraded Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion is still free of nasty ingredients such as alcohol, colourant, mineral oils, and now, even parabens, so sensitive skin users can still enjoy it.

Having tried the lotion then and now, I rediscovered why I’m in love with this iconic lotion that’s now working even better for my skin. Read on to find out the 10 reasons why the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion is my skin’s favourite must-have.

10 reasons why I love Hada Labo’s Hydrating Lotion


While the name has the word ‘lotion’ in it, the formula is actually more like a super thin, featherlight liquid that sinks into your skin to deeply moisturise it. Just pour a few drops onto your palm and pat it all over your face and neck until it’s fully absorbed.

Comfortable texture

The transparent lotion isn’t just lightweight, its texture is also just so comfortable to apply on the skin. Sure, it does feel slightly tacky on days that I accidentally pour out too much but that tackiness immediately disappears once I slather on my moisturiser.

And since it’s got a comfortable texture, I have no issues making a mandatory part of my morning and night-time skincare routine daily.

Easily absorbed by the skin

My combination-dry skin had no issues slurping up the previous formula but I wasn’t sure if it’ll be the same case with the reformulated lotion, now that it’s got two additional hydrating ingredients in it.

Turns out, my worries are unfounded because the upgraded formula is just as easy to absorb as its predecessor and when I use the appropriate amount of product, it quickly seeps into my parched skin without much effort.

Keeps my skin deeply hydrated

Woman With Good Happy Skin

The previous formula was already rather hydrating but with most of us spending more time in air-conditioning, the addition of amino acid and ceramide can help restore our skin’s moisture-oil balance as both ingredients are clinically proven and tested to drive deeper hydration into the skin to optimise skin’s moisture levels.

On days when my skin is out of whack, I solely use it together with a lightweight moisturiser until my complexion bounces back – it’s a trick that has worked for my skin so far. The lotion also makes for a great alternative to heavy cream moisturisers during hot and humid days too.

Plumps up fine lines

With hyaluronic acid in the formula, plumping up fine lines just comes naturally with the increased skin hydration that the product promises. That’s because hyaluronic acid functions to attract and hold water like tiny magnetised sponges, making everything you apply on top of it (like your usual serums and moisturisers) a billion times more effective and hydrating.

However, it’s imperative to be mindful of how you apply the lotion. As hyaluronic acid pulls water into your skin and holds it, it’d be wise for you to give it some water to cling on to and that means making sure that your skin is damp before you apply the lotion.

If you use it on dry skin, you may risk making your face look even drier, so don’t forget to lightly wet your face first – I do it by using a toner beforehand to whisk away any last bits of sunscreen and makeup.

Improves skin brightness

The lack of quality sleep, poor diet and lifestyle habits, as well as trialling new products have all but keep my skin happy and it’s been giving me signs in the form of closed comedones, dry patches, and skin dullness.

By basting my skin with an ultra-moisturising formula that also works on improving skin barrier functions like the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion, I eventually see my skin’s dullness turn around after using it twice a day.

The all-around dewy, glowing brightness is so apparent, family and friends around me started asking what I’ve been using to make my skin look so good.

Suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin

As mentioned earlier, the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion is formulated without alcohol, colourant, mineral oils, and parabens so anyone, including those with sensitive skin, can use it without any worry.

However, Hada Labo understands the different needs that oily skin has, which is why it has an even lighter version made especially for oily skin users to improve skin hydration without triggering oiliness.

Highly raved about worldwide


If you’ve gallivanted in Japan before, you’d know that it’s the land of beauty and cosmetic products – every corner you take houses a drugstore that’s filled with an insane amount of beauty and cosmetic items.

So, it is quite a feat for Hada Labo’s Hydrating Lotion to be the top bestseller in Japan and to have sold 100 million bottles to date just in the country alone.

Not only that, the formula is so well-loved that it has an amazing 4.4-star rating on Amazon with more than 2,200 global ratings from customers as well as a Reddit discussion thread with over 58 comments.

Fuss-free packaging

While I appreciate the fancy schmancy packaging that most luxe products come in, I still fall back to simple, fuss-free products that are easy to use whenever I’m in a rush (which, quite frankly, is all the time).

The bottle, which comes with just a simple open cap, can be easily squeezed to dispense the desired amount. If you accidentally squeezed a little too much, just do like I do and slather any excess liquid onto your neck and chest.

Budget-friendly price tag

And here comes the best part: the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion is loaded with all the good moisturising ingredients that your skin needs but at only S$22.90 a bottle (readily available at Watsons and Guardian, by the way), it’s as affordable as far as lotions are concerned.

What’s more, one bottle can go a long way even with twice-daily usage – mine lasted a good three months!

Sharing the gift of hydration with my colleagues

Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion In Hand

Having enjoyed the upgraded version of the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion, I wasted no time in recommending the product to my colleagues who I know are dealing with skin dryness from time to time.

And judging by their rave reviews, it seems like sharing this gift of hydration with them is quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ll ever make in this new year! Here’s what they have to say after trialling the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion for a week:

  • “What I like about the lotion is that the texture, while almost serum-like, goes on so pleasantly on my skin without any tackiness. In fact, it’s a lot more comfortable on the skin than other lotions that I’ve previously tried. Even though I only used it for a week, the lotion managed to slightly improve the dry patch on my forehead. I’m also quite impressed that my sensitive, dry skin feels smoother and more supple after using it twice daily.” ‘Alyaa
  • “I’ve actually used the original formula before and the one thing I really appreciate in the lotion is the lack of scent – it’s just perfect for my combination-sensitive skin to soak it all in without any worry. In fact, my first impression of the product was that it feels like a product formulated by dermatologists as it seems very catered for sensitive, dehydrated skin. This newly formulated version feels like it absorbs much faster into the skin and ‘speeds up’ the process of making my skin feel adequately hydrated.” Melissa
  • “I’ve always been very careful with my choice of beauty products as my dry, sensitive skin can easily get triggered and start inducing hives and flakiness when I use products that are ill-suited for my skin. So, you can only imagine my surprise when I tried the lotion and my skin just lapped it all up! Using about three to four drops for my face, the lotion kept my skin hydrated without causing any bumps or breakouts. I also like that it left a mildly cooling sensation on my skin after application.”  Clarabelle

The reformulated Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion is now available at Watsons and Guardian for S$22.90 a bottle.

Would you like to get this gift of hydration as well?

Well, good news! In celebration of the lotion’s 10th anniversary, Hada Labo is rewarding 10 lucky readers and their friends a bottle of the upgraded Hydrating Lotion each.

Simply click on the box below for more instructions on how to participate, and you and a friend may just be able to start the new year with this well-loved gift of hydration for free!

Brought to you by Hada Labo.