Today I’m sharing the #battleofthelotions I promised on IG Stories last week: Hada Labo Goku-jyun Alpha Lotion vs Hada Labo Premium Goku-jyun Lotion… Which one will reign supreme?!?
Before I get started… For those of you who may not know, a lotion in the Asian Beauty world is a hydrating toner. There’s no Western equivalent that I’ve never seen before… But man, are they helpful!! They supply additional moisture to your routine *and* help subsequent products in your routine absorb better. There are soooo many different ones available (both Japanese + Korean, possibly Taiwanese too 🤔), but I prefer the Hada Labo ones I’m comparing today, which are Japanese in origin. They’re great for all skin types, but are especially beneficial for dry/mature skin. I always keep one in my routine!!
Anyway… Onwards to the fight! 🥊
First contender: Goku-jyun Alpha Lotion
What’s it for: This lotion is formulated for anti-aging + hydrating and moisturizing purposes.
Notable ingredients: 4 kinds of hyarulonic acid (humectants), collagen (anti-aging + revitalizing), elastin (anti-aging + revitalizing), lactobacillus/soy milk ferment filtrate (anti-aging + antibacterial), meadowfoam + squalane + macadamia oils (occlusive/moisturizing/antioxidants), vitamin A (in the form of a retinol derivative; anti-aging + exfoliating + antioxidant), plant-based sterols with amino acids (revitalizing), AND peptides (anti-aging).
Brand Claims: Firms and smoothes the look of skin, moisturizes, and helps prepare your skin for better absorption of other products.
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, digylcerine, ammonium acrylates, copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed elastin, Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, hydroxyethyl acrylates/Sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, isohexadecane, lactobacillus/soymilk ferment filtrate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Methylparaben, PEG-20 Sorbitan Isostearate, pentylene glycol, phytosteryl macadamiate, phytosteryl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, polyacrylate crosspolymer-11, polyquaternium-51, polysorbate 60, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, pullulan, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, squalane, tetrapeptide-5, Triethanolamine, xanthan gum
(whew… I had to manually type all that shit up from the label; The ingredients I originally pasted via the internet didn’t match so I wanted to be as accurate as possible 😅)
Viscosity (thickness)/appearance: it’s semi thick and milky white.
My observations: When I used it in the summer I didn’t need to put on heavier occlusives afterwards to keep my skin moisturized (I got away with just oil or a gel type cream!), making it excellent for warmer climes. In the early winter that same trait was definitely beneficial… It’s great for layering! I need allllll the moisturizing I can possibly throw at my face in cold ass Minnesota brrrrr! The anti-aging ingredients are a major plus for me as well. The ingredients chosen for that purpose are pretty impressive… Antioxidants, peptides, collagen, elastin, Fermented soy milk, AND retinol?? 😱 Fuck yeah 😀 I’d never used retinoids before but this is super gentle! It’s at a low concentration + it’s a derivative so I’m not surprised.
Efficacy: this is really moisturizing! It’s also plumping + hydrating. It’s relatively lightweight, making it perfect for layering. It doesn’t take long to absorb and made my face feel really nice after using. After finishing this bottle, I can’t 100% speak to its anti-aging claims (since I also use acids YMMV… that azelaic acid has my face looking soooooo fucking gooooood), but early prevention + ingredient support is always a plus in my book! Better to have those excellent ingredients than not.
How long it’ll last: This bottle lasted about 7 months with 1/2x daily use. Amounts I used varied from a dime sized to a quarter sized amount depending on the day…sometimes ya just need moar of that good good, y’know? 😎
2nd Contender: Goku-jyun Premium Lotion
What’s it for: This is formulated for dry + dehydrated skin types.
Notable ingredients: It contains five types of hyaluronic acid (3D hyaluronic acid, adsorption type hyaluronic acid, regular ass hyaluronic acid 😂, super hyaluronic acid, nano hyaluronic acid; humectants), Aphanothece Sacrum Exopolysaccharides (seaweed derivative; moisturizing + anti-inflammatory), Sorbitol (humectant), Succinic Acid (skin conditioning + antibacterial), and trehalose (moisturizing).
Brand claims: great for dry + dehydrated skin, has a lasting moisturizing effect, helps prepare your skin for better absorption of other products.
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Ammonium Acrylates Copolymer, Aphanothece Sacrum Exopolysaccharides, Carbomer, Diethoxyethyl Succinate, Diglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Succinate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Methylparaben, PEG-32, PEG-75, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-51, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Sorbitol, Succinic Acid, Triethyl Citrate
Viscosity/appearance: semi thick and clear.
My observations: Ahhh I was obsessed with this the first time I tried it back in 2016… A friend on IG sent me a decant of it and after a week of using it, I promptly ordered a full sized refill to put in my old regular ass Gokujun bottle I’d recently finished (I don’t like that one as much tbh 😂) This bottle pictured is my first bottle/2nd refill… So it’s technically my third bottle 😂 So yeah, I really like it! It’s not as moisturizing as the Alpha however; hyaluronic acid is a humectant (which means it helps draw water to your skin to help hydration 💦), but HA isn’t inherently moisturizing on its own. The additional moisturizers added don’t compare to the oils in the Alpha, but it’s still an excellent addition to your routine, especially if you suffer from dehydration. This is also great for layering, but unlike its sister it takes a little longer to absorb for some reason 🤔
Efficacy: This leaves me with plumper, more hydrated skin which is always a plus. Hydration does not equal moisturization though (I like to think of it as hydration = water, moisturizing =. Lipids/oils) but you ideally need both. That’s not a deal breaker though; especially since I always layer as much hydration as possible and then seal it alllllllll in with an occlusive cream and/or oils. I like to use this, then immediately mist and pat it in for maximum effacacy… All that HA just drinks it upppp leaving my face what Koreans call chok chok (hydrated and plump) 👌🏾
How long it’ll last: It has lasted me an average of 5-6 months the first 2 times I’ve used it. I’ve been using this bottle for about a week now and I’ve just cracked a dent in it so I’ll assume it will last about the same time frame. Amounts used are similar to what I wrote for the Alpha version.
And the Winner is…..!
I really like them both, but if I *have* to choose a winner (that’s the point of this section right??)……
I choose the Alpha Lotion….!!!!!!
Why? It really comes down to the moisturizing factor. As someone who has mostly dry skin and is currently living in a fucking tundra, that’s really important to me. The Alpha is more moisturizing than the Premium and the added anti-aging benefits outweigh the featured 5 HAs in the Premium IMHO. They’re pretty similar in terms of hydrating; the Alpha lotion has 4 different kinds of HA anyway (which it shares in common with its sister product) and tbh I’d trade that extra hyaluronic acid for those sweet wrinkle fighting ingredients any day 😎 As I get older, I want to have as many anti-aging ingredients as possible in the products I add to my future routines #preventionisthebestcure 🙆🏾
With that said, I’d still rebuy the Premium in the future… It’s great at plumping up skin, and those 5 HAs come in handy for us poor dehydrated peeps. It’s excellent for DIY wash off masks (it’s a great mix in!) or even DIY sheet masks! 😀 It’s also a better choice for those who may have oilier skin types, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re interested in trying one of these.
If you’re under 25, you might want to use the Premium version as well… I recommend starting to incorporate anti-aging ingredients/products in your mid-late 20s… Prevention is keyyyy but you don’t have to start too early! Otherwise, if you’re looking to add extra hydration or moisturization to your routine, you can’t go wrong with one of these lotions 👌🏾
So that was my first product battle post! I’m thinking about making this a regular feature here, as I have a few sets of similar products that people might be interested in seeing comparisons on. Otherwise, please let me know if you have any suggestions for future product battles! I’d love to see what you come up with (and I need an excuse to buy moar shit 😂)
I hope you enjoyed this post! It was kind of fun to put together… Definitely different from my usual review style 👌🏾
Until next time,