Like many others, I love Hada Labo, a Japanese skincare brand that is known for being affordable all the while having top ingredients. In particular, they are known for their hyaluronic acid products – their premium lotion is one of my HG all time favourites, which I will write about in an upcoming post.
For today though, let’s talk about their oil jelly, which at first glance seems quite intriguing. At second glance, perhaps not so much? You be the judge.
TL;DR: This is essentially vaseline, repackaged nicely.
First of all, look at that ingredients list. Nice and short! Non irritating apparently, though apparently cosDNA doesn’t like petroleum jelly much as an ingredient.
Yes, petrolatum is essentially petroleum jelly – the same ingredient as in vaseline. And it’s first on the list, leading me to assume that this product is mainly just that.
Personally, I hate petroleum jelly on the lips as a lip balm – I find that it dries my lips out if used on its own.
I have however used petroleum jelly as the last step of my skincare in the past and found that it was a good, basic last step in that it sealed all the goodness from previous skincare steps in, even though it did not do anything in itself to contribute to my skin health. I no longer use it these days but it never broke me out or exacerbated acne. From my personal perspective, petrolatum works for me if there are hydrating layers of product underneath. Let’s get into that aspect further down in the review.
Price & Availability: I have seen it at both Olive Young and Lalavla Korea for somewhere between ₩30,000-40,000, though they frequently go on sale for much less. If I remember correctly, I paid ca. ₩25,000 (ca. USD23) or thereabouts when it was on sale at Lalavla.
Opinion: I really like Hada Labo as a brand. They were one of the first companies to make hyaluronic acid products available at very reasonable, affordable prices. All products that I have tried are well formulated and cosmetically elegant, and they all do a great job of improving my skin, not just maintaining it.
I cannot in all honesty however say that I was impressed by the product. To clarify, this is a clear jelly and looks like any petroleum jelly that you can find at the chemist’s.
I was looking for a bit of a miracle worker I guess, given my positive experiences that I had had up to that point (and have continued to have since!). I love oils as a last step in my routine, so I was looking for something that would give me the same results as a facial oil such as rosehip oil.
This worked exactly like Vaseline for me. Personally, I am not convinced that the other ingredients in the balm are doing much of anything at all. Yes, it did seal in all the other ingredients but I did not see any improvements in my skin like I usually do with Hada Labo. On the plus side, it did not break me out nor did it make existing blemishes worse.
The way I used this was as a nighttime sealant so as to layer all of my other skincare products first (makeup removal, double cleansing, acid toner, toner, hyaluronic acid lotion, toner, essence or serum, moisturiser) and then top it all of with this oil jelly. I would not recommend it as a day time product for it is quite oily and glistening on skin and does not wear well under makeup, but obviously, you do you.
Save your hard earned cash, get vaseline instead.