The company previously had a Lifitng and Firming Lotion for bouncy skin, their famous moisturizer with the "one drop locks up an ocean" tagline and even an olive oil cleanser, so what's missing from a complete repertoire of products for the Asian market? A new-and-improved whitening line, of course!
Hada Labo Arbutin Whitening Lotion: pretty bottle, effective ingredients, easy to use - great!
The Hada Labo Arbutin Whitening Lotion is the star of this line, and in true Hada Labo style, the product is packaged like other Hada Labo lotions - in a very nice, tall cylindrical container with Japanese words and design. I'll say this about the company - they sure are generous with their amount of product! I believe this bottle has 170ml of face lotion! Wow, I mean, most creams are in pots of 30ml or 50ml, but nope, not Hada Labo, they do it big. I like that. I'm pretty sure if you divided the cost, on a per-ml basis it would be cheaper than a lot of other drugstore brands. But it doesn't mean it's any worse a product. And the sensible pour spout you see below? Fantastic. I never worry about spillage - when you tip the bottle, only a few drops comes out at a time, so you don't dispense too much by accident.
Sensible pour-spout opening that pours a few drops at a time, so clumsies like me don't end up spilling half the bottle.
The Arbutin Whitening Lotion itself is a milky liquid. It is thinner and more liquid in texture than the Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion, but less watery than the Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion. I imagine that the liquid texture would make it popular. I use this by pouring a few drops onto my palm, and applying onto my face with fingers. I know others who like to pat it into the skin. Whichever method you use, it absorbs fast, and doesn't leave your face feeling sticky. Your skin still feels moist, for sure, but it's not gross and tacky-feeling.
Milky, light liquid that absorbs fast into your skin.
One thing that really impressed me about the Hada Labo Whitening Lotion is the ingredients. It seems like they have made an effort to include a good amount of Arbutin (fourth in the ingredient list, after water et al. solvents and humectants, and is pretty effective as a whitening agent), which probably does most of the heavy lifting, whitening-wise. There is also a lesser amount of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a relative of L-Ascorbic Acid (aka Vitamin C), which has also been backed up by available research as a whitening ingredient. Other ingredients, such as Glycerin and Sorbitol, function primarily as humectants to draw water to the skin. It's a good ingredients list - no "fairy dust" type of non-functional ingredients that are just there to look good in marketing materials. Well, if I wanted to be picky, I'd say that the Hyaluronic Acid, billed as one of the a selling point, is really the last ingredient on the list, and its neutralized form, Sodium Hyaluronate, is also somewhere-near-last on the ingredients list. Still, this gives good moisturization regardless.
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Arbutin, Sorbitol, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Methylparaben, Disodium succinate, Styrene/VP Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid
Key ingredients include arbutin, sorbitol, and some magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.
So, would I recommend this product? I think I would, especially when you consider its cost-for-quality ratio. This is a nicely balanced product - good ingredients that will deliver on the product claims, great cosmetic elegance, and all for a good price. Sure, there are cheaper whitening lotions, but I suspect they may not be as effective as this (arbutin as the fourth ingredient? I don't think so...). And sure, there are whitening lotions that are more effective than this, but you will also pay horribly, disproportionately more. All in all, this is a great all-arounder, and is probably my favourite Hada Labo product to date. If you're interested, Hada Labo's Facebook page allows you to redeem some product samples, so do give it a browse.
(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)