When it comes to skincare, Asia is a step (or two) ahead of the rest of the world. In fact, skin care accounts for approximately 70% of the Chinese beauty market, 64% in South Korea, and 62% in Japan and India. These numbers are strikingly high compared to North America, where skin care products take up just 35% of our beauty shelves. Sure, cultural factors influence these numbers, but it’s more about the Eastern philosophy that beauty starts with a flawless complexion—the healthier the skin, the less makeup you need. And with the September U.S. launch of one of the most popular beauty brands in Asia, we take it as a sign that it's time to get on board with that philosophy. Even if we have to add a few more products into our routine!
Hada Labo Tokyo, a highly sought-after and affordable line that originated in Japan but is popular all over Asia, has finally arrived stateside. The only downside is that American consumers get a much-edited version of the range: just five items, versus 45 in Asian markets. The products, all affordable at $11.99–$24.99, include the Anti-Aging Hydrator, Skin Plumping Gel Cream, Protecting Day Lotion, Hydrating Facial Cleanser, and the cult favorite Replenishing Hydrator.
Four of the five contain the brand’s signature ingredient: Super Hyaluronic Acid (SHA) (it's in all but the the cleanser, which instead has Hyaluronic Acid plus a specially formulated HA complex). SHA is a combination of three different types of Hyaluronic Acid at varying molecular weights—macro, HA plus, and micro—that provide moisture to different layers of the skin. Macro keeps the skin’s surface moisturized, HA plus merges with the skin as it cleans and hydrates it, and micro gets into the deeper layers of the epidermis. So what does all of that really mean? SHA provides some serious hydration. Hydration like we’ve never really seen before.
You can really experience it in our favorite (by far) of the five, the Replenishing Hydrator. It's said that one bottle is sold every two seconds in Japan, and it's not hard to see why. I admit that, from the watery look and feel of the product when I first dispensed it, I was kind of skeptical of what it would do to my complexion. But after using a pea-size amount, massaging it in right over my makeup, the consistency became more like a lightweight cream. The formula absorbs crazy fast and leaves skin looking radiant and feeling unbelievably smooth, with absolutely no greasiness. And it's still that way hours after I apply it. For $17.99 a bottle, I'm stocking up!
Hada Labo is now available to purchase at ULTA stores nationwide!