This new Hada Labo range has Hyaluronic Acid, which is the ingredient that most consumers associate with the brand, but the sensitive skin line also features some forms of Zinc Hyaluronate in some of their products. The inclusion of Zinc Hyaluronate is an interesting one - Zinc Hyluronate is a salt that has some effect in helping wound healing, and is the main component of Curiosin, a preparation for wound care. This seems like a good choice, as I imagine that since sensitive skin is prone to being aggravated, an ingredient like this would help.
Hada Labo ES Sensitive Skin Skincare Range: Four simple but necessary products
I've had good experiences with Hada Labo in the past - I'd say that I've yet to try a product from them that was a total failure. So of course, I was keen to see if this would continue to live up to what I've expected from the brand. The range has just four products - a makeup remover, a foam wash, a lotion, and a milk (I guess similar to a toner and moisturizer respectively, although both feel like light moisturizers to me). This isn't a very large range, given that lots of Asian brands are fully capable of giving you a range that's upwards of 8 products. If some of these brands are to be believed, you can't just "cleanse-tone-and-moisturize" your skin any more, you now have to "cleanse-exfoliate-tone-serum-essence-moisturizer-eye cream-whatever-else" your skin every night, which I find more than slightly ridiculous. But fortunately Hada Labo has chosen to keep it simple for their ES range, which in my opinion, is a good thing as far as sensitive skin is concerned.
So let's take a deeper dive ito the products in this range. First up, we have the ES Sensitive Skin Foam Wash. At first, I was thinking, "Oh my, another foaming wash?" But when I tried out the product, I found it to live up to its claims. It didn't actually leave my skin dry the way some foam washes have in the past. In fact, if anything, I found the Foam Wash to be too gentle - I think this is the first time I've ever had this complaint! But it did clean my skin sufficiently.
Hada Labo ES Foam Wash - great for sensitive skins who want their foam!
Like other foam washes, this one comes out in its foamy glory straight out of the pump. The novelty for foam washes has worn off, of course, as it's been awhile since the first foam wash hit the market, but a foam wash that is gentler on your skin is always a good addition to the market.
Look at all that foam straight out of the bottle!
If you look at the ingredients list, you can really see the effort Hada Labo has put in to make the Foam Wash suitable for sensitive skins. Most foaming face washes are quite heavy on the surfactants and thus can be a little dry, so Hada Labo has used TEA-Cocoyl Alaninate and Sodium Cocoamphoacetate as its primary surfactant, and both are quite mild as surfactants go. There is also Zinc Hydrolyzed Hyaluronate, the wound-healing agent, but since cleansers don't stay long on the skin, I doubt this particular ingredient will have a large effect on skin when used in a cleanser.
Mild surfactants make the Hada Labo ES Foam Wash a very good cleanser for sensitive skins.
The next product in the range is the ES Makeup Remover. This is one of my favourite products, which came as a surprise to me. At first, I was thinking, "Another makeup remover, nothing special, pffft." But then I tried it out, and came away totally impressed!
Hada Labo ES Sensitive Skin Makeup Remover: Gentle, but works well.
The Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover is actually very watery in texture, which was something I didn't quite expect. It has a light feel, akin to those of micellar cleansers. But unlike some micellar cleansers, tt doesn't have any smell that I could detect when I used it. To me, this feels and smells just like water.
The Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover has a light, watery texture that is easy and pleasant to use.
However the cleansing power of the ES Makeup Remover is much better than that of most micellar cleansers. I've just completed a blinded trial of SEVEN micellar cleansers (including somebig-name brands like Dior, Caudalie, Nuxe, Vichy, Avene and so on), and none of them could beat the Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover in terms of cleansing power. To be honest I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison, because I don't know enough about the chemistry of makeup removers to know if the Hada Labo Makeup Remover is a micellar cleanser or not. I just know that it feels like one, but definitely has awesome cleansing power! To see what I mean, take a look at the photo below:
Look at the effectiveness of the Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover!
This is my standard test that I use to effectiveness of any makeup remover. I put on my arm, from left to right, some of the toughest hardest-to-remove products in my makeup arsenal: a stay-all-day concealer (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage), a long-lasting gel eyeliner (Bobbi Brown Indigo Gel Eyeliner), a long lasting creamy blush (Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Flushed Pink), a doesn't-budge-once-set cream eyeshadlow (Prescriptives Colorscope Creamy Eye Color in Smoking Gun), and a waterproof Eyeko Mascara. These are basically what I wear when I want my makeup to last all day. (I even wore the eye makeup to a water park once, it turned out fine). And the Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover cleaned out all the makeup completely!
Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover: No major irritants.
Above are the ingredients list for the Hada Labo ES Makeup Remover. The good thing about this is that nothing in the ingredients list jumps out at me as potentially aggravating for sensitive skin, yet it still somehow does its job. This is a really fantastic products - a lot of makeup removers tend to leave my skin feeling a little battered, but this doesn't. There's also Zinc Hyaluronate in there, which helps to lessen the aggravation.
We also have the Hada Labo ES Sensitive Skin Lotion. This is a lightweight moisturizer, and is quite similar in texture and feel to Hada Labo's SHA Lotion. Same plastic flip-top bottle, same watery texture.
Hada Labo ES Sensitive Skin Lotion
Performance-wise, this also acheives a similar effect on the skin as the SHA Lotion. Its primary function is to moisturize the skin, and indeed it does provide good hydration. It is also quickly absorbed and doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky.
Hada Labo ES Lotion for Sensitive Skin: A very hydrating but light moisturizer.
In the ingredients list, there is also some similarity to Hada Labo's own SHA Lotion. Both products are mainly comprised of Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, and PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, that is, water and solvent, together with a bunch of humectants and emollients to help hydrate the skin. Although I thought the original SHA Lotion was probably suitable even for sensitive skins, the ES version has been tweaked for those skins that are ultra-sensitive. There is the addition of Zinc Hyaluronate, which as I've mentioned before, helps with wound healing, and is quite a nifty addition for aggravated sensitive skin. But I also really like the addition of Panthenol, as it helps to moisturize and lubricate your skin.
Hada Labo ES Lotion ingredients: This formulation will certainly hydrate your skin.
Lastly, the ES Milk. Although Hada Labo suggests that the Lotion be used first, and then the Milk used after that, I feel like it's not strictly necessary. I suppose it would depend on how dry your skin is - if it is very dry, then applying both would be a hood idea. Otherwise, you could probably use the Lotion in the day and the Milk at night, or just use one or the other depending on how dry or oily your skin is. I think oilier skins might like the Lotion better due to its watery texture, while dry skins might appreciate the Milk.
Hada labo ES Milk for Sensitive Skin: Intense hydration for sensitive skins.
As the name suggests, the ES Milk is a white, milky looking liquid with a light gel texture - it's not watery like actual milk. This has a nice feel, and also absorbs into the skin, although perhaps it absorbs a little slower than the ES Lotion, and stays stickier on the skin's surface for longer. However, I felt like it was also more moisturizing than the ES Lotion. It's definitely the most luxurious product in the range, and very effective at hydrating the skin.
So THAT'S why it's called a milk! The ES Milk has creamy white gel-like texture.
If you look at the ingredients, you can see why it is so hydrating. The product has pretty high concentrations of squalene and caprylic/capric triglyceride, both of which help to moisturize the skin. Zinc Hyaluronate also makes an appearance. This product is definitely formulateed to really hydrate the skin, and should work for
Hada Labo ES Milk: High amounts of moisturizing ingredients such as squalene and caprylic/capric triglyceride mean that this product will hydrate skin intensly.
So, looking at the entire range, would I recommend it? Yes - I think all the products work well and do what they claim on the bottle, and that the formulation is suitable for sensitive skin, and will help to hydrate your skin. If that's what you're looking for, then the Hada Labo ES range could be worth a shot. I'm sure most girls will love the ES Lotion and ES Milk, and I'm sure either one or the other, or both even, will suit your needs if you're looking for products that are easy to use and yet will deliver hydration to your skin. But don't also forget to check out the ES Makeup Remover, which was also a surprisingly good product for me.
(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)