Product Review: Shiseido Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence

Shiseido Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence, 6g, US$18 at
Shiseido Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence, 6g, US$18 at

While my skin is generally good, clear and problem free, I do find that as I get older, the pores on my inner cheeks are more dilated, and usually, at the end of the day when I remove makeup, I find debris or whiteheads trapped in them. Foundation tends to sink into those pores as well. I didn’t expect any products to actually shrink pore size (which I was told was not possible), but I needed a product to at least fill the pores so the foundation/makeup won’t settle in them. After a bit of research and reading some reviews, I decided to buy Shiseido Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence, which costs US$18 (plus US$2 shipping by registered mail) on, one of my favourite go-to places for Japanese goodies.


From the product description, it says it takes about 10 seconds for the product to plump the skin around the pores via hyaluronic acid; this is apparently the only way a pore filler/concealer will work.

Shiseido Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence, 6g, US$18 at
Shiseido Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence, 6g, US$18 at

And while you may think 6g isn’t a lot, it actually is. It is in a tiny jar and the texture is very much like a light balm that goes on clear, and immediately mattifies the skin without that taut feeling.


So, after my moisturizer, I apply the Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence on my inner cheeks, chin, between the eyebrows and on the nose and around the sides of my nose, where pores tend to be more prominent. On the packaging there is a little diagram that shows you where to apply, by the way. I had also used it on my forehead but I didn’t find it to be beneficial because it doesn’t control oil, so I tend to skip the forehead and only apply on the rest of the aforementioned areas.


The instruction says it takes 10 seconds for the product to plump the pores. I don’t think it even took that long – the results are fairly immediate. The texture is basically like a balm with silicone but it doesn’t ball up or flake off so even if you layer it on, it will not rub off when you apply something else over it. It feels very smooth and non oily.


I find that when I apply foundation (Maquillage Essence Rich White Liquid UV Foundation), the runny liquid foundation actually glides right OVER my pores where I apply the Aqualabel Moist Coat Essence! It usually sinks right in without the pore concealer. So the result is immediate and visible! It works better than the Coffret D’or Full Keep Base UV EX I bought, which is twice as expensive as this product (though 4x the amount you get for the buck).


While it doesn’t have any oil-controlling properties, I do find that it stays all day, which is amazing. At the end of the day, when I remove makeup and wash my face, my pores are tighter, NO dirt, debris or whiteheads AT ALL. I had been using this for a week and it really seems to work even after I took the makeup off. My skin looks better without the look of dilated pores, and even on my chin, where I usually get some whiteheads, I get none at all now because of the use of this product during the day.

I don’t know if it will work for everyone, but this certainly works for me, and is my HG pore product. You use so little at a time, the 6g jar will last a long time. I hope Shiseido never discontinues this because the day that they do, I will be so sad.

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