REVIEW: HADA LABO Shirojyun Essence (Serum)


I love this serum and I've been using it for awhile now with noticeable results to my freckles and acne scars.  The Shirojyun is a "Whitening Essence" produced by the popular Hada Labo Japanese skincare brand owned by parent companies Rohta and Mentholatum.  The concept behind the Hada Labo brand is "Perfect & Simple," something that is reflected in their minimal ingredient lists.  


Unlike other Asian beauty brands that often have a lot of plant and herbal extracts and excessively jam-packed ingredient lists, Hada Labo sticks to simplified chemical formulations (not that plant/herbal extracts are any less chemical to be fair) that have proven ingredients that work such as arbutin (lightens melasma and dark spots) and acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer (retains moisture in the skin while absorbing excess acne causing sebum / oil).

Although it's called an "essence", it's really more of a serum that should be applied after your toner step. It can be used twice a day, morning and night, and will work on all skin types.  I have oily and break out prone combination skin and I've been using this without any problems for a long time now.  


Ingredients

Water, butylene glycol, diglycerin, arbutin, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, dimethicone, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, glyceryl stearate, hydroxyethylcellulose, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, methylparaben, PEG-20 sorbitan isostearate, propylparaben, sodium hyaluronate, triethanolamine.

Notable ingredients obviously include arbutin which is a form of hydrolized hydroquinone that effectively inhibits the formation of melanin, freckles, dark spots from UV damage, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and melasma. Another ingredient worth noting is magnesium ascorbyl phosphate which is a derivative of vitamin c - well known for its ability to brighten dull and uneven skin tone. There is also meadowfoam seed oil which helps to hydrate and rejuvenate dry and damaged skin without irritation.  Rounding up the ingredients' list is sodium hyaluronate, a naturally occurring fluid that is found in our bodies that help our skin and joints stay healthy and moisturized with its ability to retain water. 

The formula contains no mineral oil, alcohol, and fragrance making this an ideal serum for those with sensitive skin types. 


Effectiveness

Did I mention this product is extremely effective? If that didn't come across strongly earlier, well, it is. This damn thing works like a dream and I attribute it to the high level of stable arbutin (not the mulberry extracted arbutin often used by Korean companies that destabilize quickly) used by Hada Labo in making this Shirojyun.  Within a couple of weeks of using this, my skin looks brighter and dark spots lighten significantly.  With several months of use, most - if not all - of my more stubborn PIH spots have disappeared. 



Efficacy
Price
Formulation
Design
Total
Hada Labo Shirojyun Essence 
5/5
5/5
4.5/5

5/5

19.5/20

You can purchase this product at the following, trusted e-shops:
Sasa.com - US$23.00 
Hada Labo USA - US$21.99 

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