Product Review: Hada-Labo BB Moist Cream SPF32 PA+++ (01) **UPDATE 5.19.2012

Hada-Labo BB Moist Cream SPF32 PA+++ 45g, about US$17
Hada-Labo BB Moist Cream SPF32 PA+++ 45g, about US$17

It took one brand – Hada Labo – for me to get back into the whole BB Cream (or, what I consider to be, tinted moisturizer) fad again.

I had sworn off most J-brands but since Hada Labo doesn’t test on animals (read their statement here), I was only too happy to try out their products. I am 36 with dehydrated combination skin (in the Spring/Summer; dehydrated dry skin in fall/winter), so the hyaluronic acid in the Hada Labo line appeals to me.

Initially, I was only going for its UV cream for the sunscreen – but after I read some reviews about this BB cream being very sheer, I wanted it. I don’t need coverage – I just want something sheer to even out my skin tone, especially for the past 4 months I averaged about 3 hours of sleep each night. My skin is very dehydrated, sallow, and my freckles came back (after I stopped using The History of Whoo’s Seol). I took the one in light beige, being the lighter one, since I was afraid of oxidation.

Ok, this part is graphic. I hate doing swatches right on my bare skin on my face in such closeup (showing every – gasp –  pore!)but here it is. You can see the freckles on my skin – honestly, the month I stopped using Seol, all the freckles returned with a vengeance! I digressed. So here is how the Hada Labo BB Moist Cream (#01) shows up on my skin. The texture is very light, milky, very much like the Kanebo Freshel Most Lift BB Cream I used before. This one is slightly less runny but it definitely has the texture of a cleansing milk. I hate it when every brand jumps on the BB cream wagon and yet most of them felt more like a milky emulsion rather than a real cream, or blemish balm!

On this picture, all I had on my skin prior to applying the Hada Labo BB Moist Cream was one thin layer of Bobbi Brown’s Vitamin Enriched Face Base (one of my favs). I tell you, the Hada Labo BB Moist Cream isn’t balmy like the Dr. Jart BB Cream I used before. I love balmy texture because I have dehydrated skin; but this one is very thin, and it takes a long time to blend on my skin.

I would say it takes at least 2-3 minutes just to blend the cream in. I still needed to fine tune upon close observation – for something so sheer, it’s a pain to see that it leaves uneven streaks. Once it dries off, it leaves a matte finish. And it dries completely too, so if you leave streaks or uneven patches, it’s hard to blend and smooth it out. The coverage is very sheer, but for something this sheer, it actually does fade/smear off midday, even though I hardly have any sebum at all.

The only good thing about this product is that the shade is a perfect (I mean, really perfect) match to my own skin tone. It leaves no line of demarcation against my neck; but the super super bad thing about this is that it oddly accentuates my pores. I don’t even have large pores but for some strange reason, this sinks into my pores every time. I had tried using a moisturizer under it; I had tried using a moisturizer + primer under it; I had tried using this on its own without a base or moisturizer, but the result is the same. Actually, on my bare face, because my skin is so dehydrated, it sucks this product in right away, which probably explains how it sinks into my pores.

At first, I would say this is comparable to Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer (not the oil-free version) – in terms of texture, they are close. But Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer is slightly more orange than this (in Nude, compared against Hada Labo’s #1 light beige shade); and also, Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer does not accentuate my pores or leave a matte finish. As a tinted moisturizer, I prefer Laura Mercier’s, but it’s not really fair because Laura Mercier is twice the price of this. Hada Labo BB Moist Cream has a much higher SPF (32 v. 20) though.

If Dr. Jart’s BB cream has Hada Labo’s shade I think it would have been the perfect BB cream for me.

I think this product is better suited for normal and/or oily skin types. If you have dehydrated and/or dry skin, you definitely need to moisturizer prior to using this, and it does take time to blend, so whatever time-saving benefits this touts (5-in-1!) you are not getting them.

All in all, I deeply regret not sticking to my guns and just purchase the sunscreen. (And no more BB creams for me!)

Note: This product is alcohol, fragrance and colorant free, weak pH (good for skin) and not tested on animals.

Pictures were taken without flash.

**UPDATE: 5.19.2012

I don’t want to throw this away, so I have tried to work with this runny ‘cream’. First, I discovered that when I use Fusion Beauty PrimeResults Anti-Wrinkle Primer under this BB Cream, the BB Cream doesn’t sink into my pores. However, it still feels very heavy, as in ‘made up’. I hate that heavy foundation feel.

Second, the amount I use is literally a grain of rice’s worth. Any more than that, it streaks and doesn’t blend (it takes forever to blend). However, that size is absolutely inadequate for sun protection. And for a ‘convenience’ type product (3 in 1, 4 in 1 or whatever it claims to be), you will definitely need to use a moisturizer and a sunblock prior to this, especially if you have dry/dehydrated skin like mine. Not very convenient!

Third, and this is a big one, I wore this over a primer, set it with powder, and under 26 degrees of heat today, it completely melted on my face. I don’t have oily skin (dry and dehydrated instead) and I hardly had any sebum on a regular day. Total disappointment – straight to the garbage can!

2 comments on Product Review: Hada-Labo BB Moist Cream SPF32 PA+++ (01) **UPDATE 5.19.2012

  1. Mars
    February 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm (3 years ago)

    I am unsure if this company tests on animals or not. Their website says that “products not tested on animals” but says nothing about ingredients. It also does not say if they sell in China where testing in mandatory. I contacted them anyways.
    If you are looking for J brands not tested, the Japanese Anti Vivisection group gave me a few. Taiyo, Canmake, and Koji. However they were unsure if they sold in China. I contacted Canmake and Koji, and Canmake does not sell in China. Still waiting to hear back a confirm on Koji. I hear that Cure an KPalaette are not via internet(not exactly reliable) but cannot get confirmation. And in an age where companies like MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Avon, Laura Mercier, Shiseido, and Amore Pacific to name a few all claim not to test, they admit to testing to sell in China. :((

  2. Max
    October 3, 2014 at 7:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi, sorry I dont seem to be able to find your review on the Whoo Gun Gold Ampoule. Basically, I want to know how wonderful and how effective it is. I am in my 50s with quite good skin but a bit on the dry side esp eye area very dry and lines, laughing lines and can see sign of loose skin around chin area.

    Thank you


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