My Current Basic Skincare Routine Featuring Drugstore Products and What Has Worked For Me

by lyn on April 29, 2013 · 7 comments

in Cleanser, Hada Labo, Juju Cosmetics, Moisturiser, Serum, Sunscreen, Toner

Some time late last year, Hada Labo released a bunch of skincare under the ES series meant for sensitive skin and I have been using several products for quite a few months now. The original line of products, the one made famous by promising ladies bouncy, bouncy skin, wasn’t suitable for me and I have ignored Hada Labo for a couple of years until the ES range came around.

skincare routine

My skin has been very dehydrated and was made worse by an allergy reaction from a sheet mask I tried, which resulted in flaky, bumpy skin. It was also very tight, painful and red. For several days, I had to endure looking like I had the remnants of sea barnacles stuck on my face.

And oh, be prepared for a very long post ahead because I am going through quite a few products and would like to give each of them fair coverage.

Anyway, I do have a lot of different skincare, some for whitening and some for anti-ageing but my favourite type of skincare will be the the ones meant for hydration. My skin can get dehydrated because I am exposed to air-conditioning almost all day and night.

I have been very impressed with the Hada Labo ES skincare and to be honest, I didn’t have high hopes when I first got their products. After the first week of usage, my skin felt so much better and actually stopped flaking. I was using the foam wash, lotion, moisture milk (during the day) and cream (for night). These were the only products from the ES series that I could find in our local drugstores.

skincare routine

The foam wash pumps out dense yet soft bubbles. It doesn’t make my skin feel tight after washing off and still cleanses my skin well. It won’t remove waterproof makeup completely and I would recommend using a separate makeup remover before cleansing.

skincare routine

The lotion is not a moisturiser per se and acts more like a toner, as it is meant to tone and prep your skin to receive moisturiser. The Japanese use the term “lotion”, which can be confusing. I’ll just pour a ten-cent coin amount on my palm and pat and pat and pat the lotion on my face. I find that the ES version absorbs faster than the original because I do not have to pat as much. It leaves my skin feeling soft and supple.

skincare routine

I will add the Juju Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Essence, which performs as a serum, after the lotion. This essence can feel a little sticky as I’m patting the stuff on but just leave it to dry for short while and I am left with baby smooth skin. I only use one or two pumps and only at night, so this bottle will last me a few good months. I will immediately apply a moisturiser or the Hada Labo ES Cream because my skin is dehydrated and needs the extra moisture. I wake up to soft, well hydrated and less red skin even after sleeping in an air-conditioned room all night. I have only been using this essence for a week and am so far very happy with it.

skincare routine

The Milk and Cream are really good moisturisers. I use the Milk during the day as it has a lighter consistency and the Cream at night. As with the rest of my skincare, I prefer to spread and gently pat the product on my face as opposed to rubbing it in. Both moisturisers absorb and hydrate very well although the Milk takes a slightly longer time to absorb completely. They do not sting my face like how some moisturisers do and my skin feels very comfortable. Sometimes for added moisture, I like to mix both together and then apply on my face.

skincare routine

The final skincare step during the day is adding sunscreen. I keep telling people that the best anti-ageing product you can have is a good sunscreen. Living in the tropics, the sun exposure is very high even if you’re indoors most of the time. You still get exposed when you’re commuting to work or walking (even for a short while) outdoors.

I have been loving the Biore Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence sunscreen with SPF50 PA+++ for a while and they recently introduced a BB cream version, which is also very nice. Both products spread and absorb very easily without leaving a white cast. The BB version has a bit of a beige tint to it but it blends and fades very well into my skin. I use the regular version (in the blue tube) on my arms and neck too, basically any area that can get sun exposure.

These drugstore products have been working so well on me and I am very happy that they are easily accessible too. They all have a common key ingredient, which is hyaluronic acid and this ingredient is known for hydrating skin and locking in moisture.

So you see, I don’t really need the super expensive stuff and it looks like my skin is pretty happy with the cheapies. I spend quite a fair bit on skincare every year and will continue to use some of the higher-end products to supplement my existing routine. There are a few things that I will still splurge on, namely serums and eye care, and as my skin changes, so will the requirements.

My Skin Type:
– relatively sensitive
– prone to redness
– dehydrated
– can suffer from minor breakouts / allergies
– combination (oily t-zone, dry cheeks)

Price Listing (of featured products):
* Hada Labo es Foam Wash (160ml) – RM39.90
* Hada Labo es Lotion (170ml) – RM55.90
* Hada Labo es Milk (140ml) – RM61.90
* Hada Labo es Cream (50g) – RM65.90
* Juju Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Essence (30ml) – RM98.90
* Biore Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++ (50g) – RM32.90
* Biore Aqua Rich BB Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++ (33g) – RM32.90

These products are available at most drugstores such as Guardian or Watsons and Sasa.

What is your existing skincare routine and your must-have product? Have you tried any of the products listed here? Do pop by and share your thoughts.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Lily April 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

That’s a nice set of skincare you have in your routine :-) I tried the HL sunscreen but it broke me out. I wonder if this ES line will be better… I’ve read a lot about this Juju Aquamoist too. Gotta try it soon :-)
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lyn April 30, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Hi Lily, I am loving this routine now because my skin has been ridiculously dehydrated. I have just managed to get it back on track. The Juju Aquamoist essence is fantastic. It may be sticky at first but after it dries down, my face feels really soft and smooth. Love it!


Kiss & Make-up May 4, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Thanks for all the info! Glad to hear that you found a routine that works for you :-)
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lyn May 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Hi Melissa, Thanks for stopping by. I’m really happy to have found a skincare routine that works :-) My skin has been getting a lot better and doesn’t feel as uncomfortable and dehydrated as before. It’s a shame that these products are not as accessible outside of Asia though.


Sandra June 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Thanks for sharing your review of the Hada Labo ES range. I’ve been wanting to buy them since I have sensitive, combination and dehydrated skin as well. I’ll definitely check them out at Watsons. :D


lyn June 28, 2014 at 8:05 AM

Hi Sandra, Yes… do check out this range. Although I have moved on to different skincare by now, I’m still using the lotion (toner) and moisturiser if I want to layer on more hydration. I think it’s a good and budget-friendly range.


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