The serum that’s breaking the Internet

Elf Prep & Hydrate Balm

Name: Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Hyaluronic Acid Solution (Phew haha)The cult Japanese Skincare brand.

Price: Varies, depending on the seller, but its near the £12 mark on Amazon.  You can also buy it from Ebay or Yesstyle, the latter being a verified source. As you can see its very affordable.

Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium...aka serum of dreams
Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium…aka serum of dreams

Range: Ok, so South East Asia, primarily Korea and Japan have been in the buzz for their really effective, affordable, well packaged skincare ( they get lumped under the category of Asian Skincare, but I digress …) the Hada Labo range has so many derivatives for each item ie the serum comes in so many varieties from its white range, to the mentholatum range, the retinol this gold hydrating hyaluronic variant and a few more variants… plus every range has a lotion, moist, serum variant. Confused? Yeah so am I…

Cons:  The bottles are usually written in Japanese, so buyer beware. Please use Google translate if you’re unsure.


Hyaluronic Acid firstly isn’t a scary word, or it shouldn’t be. The word acid is misleading, Unlike a AHA/BHA, Hyaluronic Acid is ( to be geeky) actually a compound called a Polysaccharide which is naturally occurring in our skins, and decreases as we age ( boo 😦 ) One molecule of Hyaluronic Acid ( HA from henceforth, forgive me for being a lazy typist ) can hold a 1000 its own weight in water, so it has an immediate plumping and hydrating effect when topically applied. ( this is also one of the component of injectable fillers that we read so much about. If you want, and do let me know in comments, I can write a post about fillers )

This out of the way… this Premium Gold serum has 5 different molecular weights of HA. This means that each type of HA penetrates the skin at different levels. Ensuring that your skin is hydrated from within, or if even if this is cod science… this topic deserves a blog post of its own. Watch this space! I have reams to say on this subject, forewarned is forearmed.

I know that the minute I used this serum, it was LOVE<3 . With a capital L.  This is a light transparent lotion and it has no fragrance ( to my knowledge) It sinks in easily, but expect some tackiness – this is a HA after all, and I would give it a few minutes to sink in. After this I’d follow it with a milky serum, the reason being that HA attaches itself to molecules of water, and if left too long on the skin, it can suck in atmospheric water and evaporate. ( Trans-epidermal water loss… a topic which deserves a post of it’s own)

If you had to buy just one serum, or save one item of your skincare from a burning house. It would be this… BTW really…. its unfair for me to be expected to choose, I have (thirty) three on constant rotation, any another segue- I cannot recommend this highly enough. It suits just about everyone( there’s always exceptions… you know who you are;))

This is cheaper than more expensive HA serums in the market, but it beats them out of the competition by far. IMHO. If you have oilier skin, then this one is lighter ( as it supposedly has three Hyaluronic Acid molecules as opposed to 5 in the gold version…again, I’m sceptical about the science behind how this claim makes a difference ) anyway its runnier and lighter than an already light lotion. So its worth thinking about.

Ingredients List:

Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PPG-10 methyl glucose ether, hydroxyethyl urea, sodium acetylated hyaluronate (super hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid (nano hyaluronic acid), hydroxypropyltrimonium hyaluronate (skin absorbent type hyaluronic acid), sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer (3D hyaluronic acid), aphanothece sacrum polysaccharide (sacrum), hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, glycosyl trehalose, diglycerin, sorbitol, pentylene glycol, triethyl citrate, carbomer, polyquaternium-51, PEG-32, PEG-75, ammonium acrylates crosspolymer, disodium EDTA, potassium hydroxide, diethoxyethyl succinate, disodium succinate, succinic acid, phenoxyethanol, methylparaben

Final thoughts:

It is cheap as chips and works better than some high end serums that are more that double the price.  With most Hyaluronic Acid toners… I’d highly recommend a less is more approach. Give or take a few inches of facial real estate, I’d recommend 2 teaspoon’s worth. ( Unless you’re really particular, I wouldn’t bother keeping a teaspoon on my dresser. Just eyeball it please ) It can get tacky like mentioned above, but please give it a moment or two and do as I do and follow it with a thicker serum or even a straight on moisturiser.

This can be used day or night, and I’ve also patted ( a teeny penny sized amount ) on top of makeup for extra hydration.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that when you finish this bottle, that you can buy refills, instead of a new bottle.  This is both cost effective and eco friendly 🙂

Stop reading this post NOW, look for it on Amazon , your skin will you for it. You’re welcome and you can pop that cheque in the post 😉

Have you tried this serum…what are your thoughts on this, do let me know in comments please ~Love Elle xx

Note of disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I have no affiliations with any company, there are no affiliate links on this post and all products are purchased with my own money . Please check ingredients list of all products that you buy, in case you have allergies to any of the products that I mentioned. If you are particularly sensitive or even if you’re not, allergies can happen suddenly, even with products that you have used for years. If unsure, please do a patch test on your elbow, and wait 48 hours before using any of the products I’ve suggested. Please do not copy, publish any photos on this blog or contents in its entirety or otherwise without my express permission.

*Sources Article in Telegraph here



Published by Lav Mell

Beauty Musings, Makeup reviews, Skincare lover, I am a self confessed makeup and skincare magpie and this is my little corner of the blogiverse.

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