October 17, 2013

Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator Review

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

Hada Labo Skincare

As a lover of Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid I was quite excited when Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator ($17.99) popped into my skincare universe.

Recently Hada Labo Tokyo released a few products that are available exclusively at Ulta and Ulta.com but even better news the original Hada Labo Collection as well as the “new” Tokyo Collection is available at drugstore.com.

Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator

I’ve been using Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid for a while now, it’s a staple part of my skincare regime so I love the idea I can now get it locally…but how does the US version compare to the Japanese one? You’ll be happy to learn both are Muse Approved!

Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator 2

It’s actually the same formula almost….although the name is now Replenishing Hydrator versus Super Hyaluronic Acid. It does come in a different packaging, it does have a different name, and it does have a little bit of a different texture but the formulas for the most part consist of the same or similar ingredients.

Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator 4

Japanese version:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Disodium Succinate, Methlyparaben, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Succinic Acid, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate

US version:

Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator 1

The new version comes in a 1.7oz bottle versus the Japanese version that comes in a 5.7 oz bottle. The new version actually has a nice pump that I find less messy than the original pour bottle although it does dispense a little too much product so just be sure to pump slowly. I typically apply a quarter size amount although some suggest a dime’s worth but I figure it can’t do my already dry skin any harm. The consistency in the US version is very watery where as the Japanese version is also runny it has more of a gel-like feel to it. Both are clear and watery, I just feel like the Japanese version is a touch thicker.

Now Hada Labo Tokyo doesn’t quite explain the technique used for application. You actually have to apply the product into the palms of your hands and press your palms to your face. You’ll notice the product getting stickier and stickier during this method of application and it’ll feel like the skin of your face is sticking to your hands as you work. This is normal. I find this version is even stickier than the Japanese version. If you can get past the unusual consistency of the product as you apply the dry down leaves skin feeling plump, soft, and supple. I think some might get confused that never used the product before and perhaps attempt swiping it on using a cotton pad. I don’t recommend this application because you won’t benefit from the product doing this.

Hada Labo advertises the product as one drop locks up an ocean and this is true. With daily use you’ll notice your skin will retain moisture so it’s not only hydrated but it keeps moisture sealed into your skin and allows it to produce more moisture so skin is left, smoother, softer, and more hydrated as time passes.

I suffer from duller skin with dryness and application of this daily improves the overall glow of my skin and makes it look less fatigued and allows it to regain it’s luster courtesy the moisture this provides. It won’t prevent aging by any means but it will provide moisture so skin looks more youthful and glow-y!

Most skin types in Japan and Asia use this as a daily staple in their skincare regime so any skin type can use it but I think drier skin will love it even more for it’s ability to provide and retain moisture.

This is a great product and translates well to this new US version.

And if the US version isn’t your deal…no worries, as the original blue and white label is available as well within the US now. I love this is so easy to get my hands on now! Granted Sasa.com has always carried the line but it is so much easier to place an order at Drugstore.com or just to grab a bottle from Ulta!

You can learn more at hadalabotokyo.com and purchase the new Hada Labo Collection and the old at Ulta, Ulta.com, or Drugstore.com.

Disclaimer: The original Hada Labo Collection pictured above are from my own collection, purchased by me and the Hada Labo Tokyo Replenishing Hydrator was provided as a press sample for review.


This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Libby

    Doh! I was just at Ulta earlier today and I knew there was something I was supposed to pick up but I completely forgot about Hado Labo being there 🙁 Darn, it’ll have to wait again!

    I’m really excited to hear that it’s Muse approved! I still have a whole lot of my Japanese ver left though so I’m not sure I need to repurchase it just yet.

  • JessW

    Hey Muse – any knowledge of the lightweight protective day lotion that is also now available here?

    i bought the hydrating facial cleanser last week on your recommendation and, my, is it fabulous!

    • the Muse

      i haven’t tried it sorry jess but I will be trying the night gel shortly…I’ll try to get in a review of the day lotion as well! 🙂 I’m so glad you love the cleanser!

  • Joy

    This post took me on a rollercoaster of emotions! First, excitement at the thought that this product which I just flat-out adore will be so much easier to get hold of. Then dread, because the difference in ingredients worries me. The main reason I love the Hada Labo Japanese version is the utter simplicity and elegance of the formulation, which makes it safe for sensitive skins and also easily incorporated into any skincare routine without worries of bad interaction effects with other products. Then fear, that the Japanese version would at some point disappear and be completely replaced by the US version. Finally, panic and an overwhelming urge to acquire every last bottle of the Japanese version that still exists at drugstore.com

    I think I need to lie down now LOL 😀

      • Joy

        You think? LOL

        Hada Labo people, pls do NOT mess with my products! I’ve only recently gotten it right after a long arduous trial & error process. Pls don’t make me change it up again.

        Really excited about the day lotion w/ SPF though!

        Musey, have you tried the Japanese versions of the moisture milk and the cream? I love that you can add increasing levels of moisture by layering them as your skin requires. I’ve discovered that adequate moisture helps skin bounce back better from skin issues.

  • Sarah S.

    I was using (and hating) Juice Beauty Green Apple Moisturizer SPF15, and it’s because I found it to be quite sticky and thick… do you think perhaps it would work for me if I tried this application method? You really got me thinking!

    • the Muse

      it might make it even stickier Sarah…patting on sometimes makes serums/moisturizers go sticky…! It’s a better way of applying skincare but sometimes it can get sticky.

      • Joy

        Musey, permission to overthink this angle please?

        The stickiness, while annoying, may actually be an advantage. Water has surface tension, which is why its always in drop form. If you add more water to a drop, it incorporates into that drop. Water sticks to itself. So the stickiness may indicate water sticking not only to itself but also attracting water from the environment. Thats my working theory on this.

        In any case, the stickiness issue is easily solved by giving the product time to sink in and then gently taking off the excess with a tissue.

        • the Muse

          but of course joy and totally makes sense you’re right the stickiness is like a magnet 😀 but indeed it does absorb quickly enough!

          • Joy

            Hiya Musey, late in replying but… just want to thank you for indulging me. I’m a bit of a science nerd & pretty much I can keep that restrained but my love of Hada Labo unleashed the beast LOL.

  • Chelsea

    I need to try this for my dehydrated skin. They didn’t have it at my Ulta yet, but I might order it online.

  • JennyS

    In asian countries, all the japanese skin care brands including Hada Rabo are losing popularity because of the radioactive water leaks in Fukushima.

  • Kristi

    I was excited to read your review on this & to find that it is easily picked up at Ulta or drugstore.com. I was interested in the Divine lotion that L’Occitane has just released so I’ve been scouring the web to see what I can learn about softeners this past week. My search for info led me to your blog several times.
    I have oily skin and I think these lighter products will be ideal for adding moisture but not overwhelming my skin like heavier creams/lotions can.

    • the Muse

      krisiti you’re really going to do well with skin softeners if you have oily skin! they are the perfect way to get a bit of hydration but not to make you greasy or oil! I have a review of the Divine Lotion upcoming 🙂

      • Kristi

        I’ll be watching for your review of the Divine Lotion as well. Will be interested to know which one you prefer.

      • Kristi

        I’ll be watching for your review on the Divine Lotion as well. I did pick up the Anti-Aging version of this and I must say I am impressed so far. I have oily skin that is dehydrated and so far this has been just the right amount of moisture for me. It hasn’t increased my oiliness (yay!) and has plumped up the appearance of my skin. Looking forward to more of these types of products!

  • The Single Nester

    I really don’t know what to make of this product. After hearing that one bottle is sold every 4 seconds in Japan, I decided to head to ULTA (armed with my coupon of course). I have dry skin and my skin still feels dry. I finally figured out that it is supposed to be tacky but do I put another cream over it since my skin never feels completely hydrated. Not sure if I will return it.

    • Joy

      TSN, if you are using the lotion (actually a toner & meant to be used as a toner) only I recommend upping the ante and layering the milk form over that. Still not enough? Layer the gel-cream that comes in a pot. I adore this line because you can easily adjust to suit your skin’s moisture needs without having to completely revamp your entire skincare routine. Hope that helps!

  • Tara griffith

    Was wondering if the corn derived ingredient concearns you… I would love to know if the corn they are using has GMO’s? If so, I’m going to have to return mine. No GMO’s for this girl

  • Amelia

    Hi, can this be used with the new Bareminerals Mineralixirs 5 oil blend? Like mixed in with this hydrator?

  • Lisa

    Hi! I just read your post and i am just wondering which one of the japanese version did you compare it with the japanese one? Is it the lotion or milk? Also do you use lotion and milk too or just one of them? Thanks so much.

    • Isabella Muse

      I compared it to the Lotion. I use both the lotion and the milk, milk in the evening, lotion in the AM.