My fantastic holiday week in Japan feels today like a dream, and I am not so sure anymore if it really happened- It was too magical. Fortunately, the cosmetics I brought back from my trip are a reminder, that I indeed fulfilled my wish and visited the Land of the Rising Sun. To my astonishment, streets were not overcrowded with skincare shops and Japanese brands I never heard before (I still imagine Korea this way, so please don’t spoil my dream), and I actually saw many familiar products. Products I have either used in the past, like the LuLuLun sheet masks (literally everywhere!) or products I have read about and wanted to try. So without further due let me jump into the review of two Japanese Skincare super heroes – if you haven’t heard about them before, you need to catch up! In this post I will tell you why the Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Wash and the Natural Aqua Gel Cure deserve their holy grail status.
- Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Wash
The Hada Labo cleanser, also called the Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam, is probably one of the most beloved Kbeauty… eh sorry… JBeauty! cleanser by Asian Beauty bloggers out there. Why? First, it has the perfect PH balance of 5.5, and unless you were living under a skincare rock deep in the shadows, you have learned by now that a high PH is bad for you. Bad, bad, bad! I won’t get too much into the detail of this debate (you can find some good info here) but to cut it short, a cleanser with a low PH will be more gentle for your skin, keep it healthy longer and will be less likely to cause acne. Second, the self-foam this product effortlessly creates is just so soft you wanna embark in a foam battle with this cleanser as your only weapon. And finally, it just works wonders! Let’s get a bit honest here, as a bit advocate of double cleansing (more here) I also get my lazy days too. When I can barely keep my eyes open and just wanna go to bed asap, I like efficient yet gentle cleansers I can trust. The Hada Labo cleanser won’t have a problem dealing with your regular make-up (unless you go heavy on waterproof mascara of course) and will prep’ your skin for some quick toner and cream. It can also work as a water based second step cleanser after your favourite oil based cleanser. Bonus point – the Hada Labo Cleansing Foam is quite cheap, around 10$ sounds a good price for the quantity (and quality!). Any weaknesses? Well if you are into nice smelling skincare, let me disappoint you here: the Hada Labo cleanser has a slightly chemical smell if any. Unlike, some other chemically smelling cosmetics, this one is by far not the worse, but nothing too fancy either.
Ingredients: Water, PEG-8, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, TEA-Cocoyl Alaninate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerin, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Methylparaben, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Starch Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Succinic Acid
- Natural Aqua Gel Cure
The Natural Aqua Gel Cure is the exfoliating product I often recommend to my friends, and all of them are new advocates of this product. People often give me compliments about my skin, its soft texture and overall good conditions. It’s no magic here (well, maybe a bit of good genes too) but mostly exfoliation + moisturising. No matter how much moisturising products you layer, if your skin is covered with dead skin and blocked pores all your efforts are wasted. When entering the ‘exfoliation world’ we need to be extra careful. Always patch test a new product on a bit of skin to check if you don’t have any adverse reaction, read carefully the labels to spot ingredients you know are not good for you, and don’t overuse (usually twice per week is enough).
I love exfoliation and scrubs. One of my favorite physical exfoliator (scrub) is the Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask, but the more I ventured into exfoliation territory, the more I believe in chemical exfoliators. Ok, you may want to stop me here with an exclamation – what, you put some skin eating acid on your face?! Well yes, not too harsh ones though, and so do most of the face SPAs around the World (and I would say – they do it for a reason). Let’s not give up to panic and stop here a moment. As I said, chemical exfoliation is definitely not for everyone, and one should be wise about it. Instead of paying hundreds for chemical exfoliation in a SPA, that would definitely leave my face burning red for at least 24h (the ones they use there are at least 10 times stronger), I go slowly with a gentle exfoliator that has some of the properties of chemical exfoliators, without harsh chemicals such as alpha hydroxy, at home. The official ads claim that the Cure Natural Gel Cure is sold every 20 seconds. I can totally believe this, because in Japan this exfoliator is literally everywhere (I have even spotted it in a tourist souvenir shop).
How it works? I apply 3-4 pumps of the product on a clean dry face, I wait a few moments (the product will get slightly white) and then I massage it in circular motions and wash it off. Once you massage it, you will notice white balls that some believe to be dead skin, but it seems it is actually just the product forming some kind of residue. Every time I use it, my skin literally sinks in every moisturiser I apply, and appear brighter and glowing the next day.
Ingredients (I found very different versions, but I bet on this one): Water 90.66%, Glycerin 5%, Crosspolymer Acrylares /C-10-30 Alky Acrylate), Dicocodimonium Chloride. Steartrimonium Bromide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract <1%, Gingko Bioloba Leaf Extract <1%, Rosemarnum Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract <1% & Butylene Glycol <1%
As a bonus point, to add some extra moisturising effect into the mix, this products also contains Aloe vera and gingko. Rosemary extract on the other hand, has anti-inflammation and antibacterial effects. This product also doesn’t have any preservatives, alcohol, colouring or fragrance (just like the Hada Labo cleanser it smells…. nothing. Maybe some kind of trend in Japan?)
Judgement time – well I am a bit biased here, cause’ I really love both of these Japanese products so I will give them 5 out of 5 KinBeauty points.
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