Figuring out a skincare routine can sometimes seem like a merry-go-round. What should I use? What’s good? What’s bad? Will it work? Will I just be wasting my money? Should I switch to something better? IS there something better? Add anti-ageing to the matrix, and it’s enough to make your head spin.
I’ve simplified my skincare routine of late, and really have to give much of the credit to a dermatologist on YouTube, Dr. Dray. She’s become my go-for skincare because she is extremely knowledgeable and her recommendations are based on science and research, not marketing hype.
Furthermore, she’s a trustworthy source (dermatologists have a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree), she is unperturbed to give a product a bad review (always with good reason); sees no need to spend a lot of cash to care for your face; and is one the biggest advocates for sunscreen you will encounter on YouTube, even making it part of her channel’s mantra: Sunscreen and Subscribe.
Andrea is a bit of a beauty professor, and once you watch her informative and concise videos, you quickly learn to read an ingredient list and soon become adept at identifying which ones to avoid (like fragrance) and which ones are fine, despite hysteria to the contrary (like mineral oil). Thanks to Dr. Dray, I’m a more discerning beauty consumer, have saved a great deal of money, and—the best part—have better skin.
Being a minimalist when it comes to skincare, really is best. Now when I watch Sephora junkies extolling the virtues of $300 serums (a meaningless marketing term says the good doctor), I look up the ingredients, and then move on. Knowledge trumps knowing how to use a credit card.
Although Dr. Dray loves and uses CeraVe herself (Hydrating Cleanser and Moisturizing Cream), which I have also used for years, I decided to try a few other products she gives her approval to. This trio by Japanese brand Hado Labo (Hada” means “skin” in Japanese and “Labo” stands for laboratory), features their signature ingredient: Super Hyaluronic Acid.
HADA LABO OIL CLEANSER
This wonderful cleansing oil is affordable and effective. It melts make-up and swiftly removes sunscreen using olive and jojoba oils, not coconut oil, so it won’t clog pores. Simply apply to dry skin, including eyelids and lashes, massage lightly, then rinse. With a pump dispenser, it’s hygienic and mess-proof, plus you don’t need cottons or cloths. Easy and awesome. Leaves no oily residue but neither does it strip the moisture barrier. (You inadvertently begin to speak like DD.) You’ll want to repurchase this one, so save the bottle because refills are available. So smart. (It doesn’t come in a plain bottle like this, I took the label off mine purely for aesthetic reasons.)
HADA LABO GENTLE HYDRATING CLEANSER
A fantastic gentle cleanser, but be advised that a little goes a long way! The first time I used this, I squeezed out a standard amount, and had waaay too much for one face. This tube is going to last a long long time since you really do only need a pea-sized dollop. It got me wondering if cosmetic companies water down their products so you are forced to use more and thus repurchase more frequently. Perhaps the Japanese love of efficiency translates to how they craft their skincare as well. This is a great daily cleanser and great value as well.
HADA LABO SKIN PLUMPING GEL CREAM
This is the product I purchased first, and was so impressed, I ordered the other two. This is a remarkable moisturiser! Chocked full of good things like three types of hyaluronic acid, marine collagen, ceramides, and squalane, it is applied after cleansing to wet skin (a Dr. Dray technique). It instantly absorbs and makes the skin unbelievably soft, smooth, and bouncy. Skin looks fresh and radiant, not greasy. You’ll notice a visible difference the first time you use it, and trust me, your skin will just keep getting better and better. After finishing one jar, I ordered two more.
In a light-weight gel formulation. Again, you need only the tiniest amount.
There is a lot of love for Hada Labo products online with many effusive reviews, Dr. Dray’s being but one. A 68-year-old woman who was blown away with the dramatic results from the Skin Plumping Gel Cream went so far as to say, If amazon ever stops carrying these products, I’ll stop shopping at amazon.
After I stopped laughing, I had to agree.