Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench

As I started to write this, I wanted to apologize for veering off the path of “reasonable prices” with this product, but then I did a quick Google search and realized I’ve been grossly overpaying for this product for a year or so. $52 at Ulta — $29 at Walmart. Wow. It’s still expensive, and you’ll have to make sure the seller through Walmart is reputable, but just don’t be an ignoramous like me, and you can save $23!

But since I’ve been through two jars of this, there must be a part of me that believes this is worth $52. This is an incredibly light-weight and easy to work with moisturizer that melts right into your skin. It smells fresh (think Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost scent), it doesn’t pill, and over the long-term, shows proof of visible skin smoothing.

Alongside Dramatically Different, this is what I consider one of the best moisturizers for those with acne-prone skin. It doesn’t cause any sort of congestion or burning sensations. There’s definitely no drying alcohols. There’s no break-in period for the product, either, where you might notice your skin breaking out because it’s getting used to the new product — it works great, right away. In fact, since I’ve started using this my skin has overall felt healthier and “bouncier” (I’m sure the five ceramides listed in the first two lines of ingredients may contribute to this).

Even though I’ve noticed long-term effects, the day-to-day longevity of this product really depends on the weather. Although it’s labeled as a cream and takes significantly longer to dry down to the skin like a gel would, it is not, by any means, a heavy cream. By hour six or seven you may experience some tightness in your skin. This moisturizer also isn’t the best under makeup — it might just be a little too thick, with a tendency to break down any foundation quickly, despite it not pilling during the initial application.

This was my go-to holy grail moisturizer during quarantine, though. Provided you aren’t adding any layers of foundation over it, this was phenomenal for wearing around the house and keeping your skin hydrated. My skin started looking so good, in fact, that I was able to stop wearing foundation altogether! If you can pick this up for less than regular retail price, I highly recommend it. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 4/5

How much I actually like this product: 5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes!

Hada Labo Tokyo: Skin Plumping Gel Cream

I used this moisturizer a lot in my early skincare days, and I’m trying to remember why, exactly, I abandoned it. This gel cream is close to HG status for me, with maybe a few flaws that prevent it from ascending to that level. Oh, and if you ever wanted to live out the glory days of the old Clinique Moisture Surge (which, in my opinion, is now a shadow of it’s former self), this is the moisturizer to do it with.

The packaging of this white gel cream is a luxurious square-shaped glass jar, which admittedly, is a kind of awkward to fit in a standard-issue medicine cabinet. And while it definitely looks good for the camera, the packaging is unfortunately pretty wasteful. It really doesn’t hold much product at all, given how much room the jar could technically accomodate. Considering this is $23 out of the buyer’s pocket, I think they could have done with more product, or packaging the product more efficiently.

The gel cream is quite smooth and easy to spread. While I have my gripes about the amount of product in the package, you really don’t need too much to cover your entire face. The gel cream dries down clear. This leaves behind a bit of a residue, but it’s soft to the touch, not tacky, and intended to hold moisture in. Living up to it’s name, my skin looked plump, and seemed more hydrated even after a full day of wearing this.

Because of that remaining residue, this moisturizer doesn’t exactly play the best with foundation over top, or really any other product over top of it. But also not… the worst? A few times I noticed my makeup starting to pill around hour 2 of having both applied — not substantial enough to require re-applying, but enough to make me reconsider using this moisturizer for daytime use. The residue it leaves behind tends to hang onto your skin for dear life, making it difficult to fully wash off your face.

Besides some of it’s hang-ups, this moisturizer does a great job of hydrating your skin. This is oil-free, there are no drying alcohols or anything inherently terrible in the ingredient listing, save for the rampant polymers that are likely to blame for the skin smoothness and pilling alike. This also boasts collagen, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. My favorite thing of all was that it never broke me out!

If you’re ok with splurging a bit, this is a nice face cream for night-time use, or bare-faced use, particularly for users with sensitive skin. Just be warned of this moisturizer’s long-term commitment — it’s clingy, and you’re going to have a hard time getting rid of it. 🙂 ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.25/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

Hada Labo Goku-Jyun Premium Hyaluronic Acid



I REALLY like this product a lot. I just don’t think it quite delivers much in the way of long-term results.

For the price of $14 this plastic bottle has a TON of product. It can be a pain to wait for this to ship from Japan, but you shouldn’t need to re-order it too often just because there is quite a bit of product. You really don’t need a ton of this for application on your face, either.

I’m impressed by the contents and the ingredients overall. Alcohol-free, fragrance-free, oil free, and five types of hyaluronic acid. This has NEVER aggravated my skin in the four months I’ve been using it. This watery gel is colorless, so you won’t have to worry about any white cast.

But… well, the watery gel composition is just the problem. Everytime I read a review that says, “this goes great under makeup!”, I think to myself “what?” Sure, the gel will fully absorb after 30 minutes or so; it’s not going to persist the same way that something like Bio Oil would. But if you wanted a product that was going to make just about anything over or under it pill up, then this is the product to do it. Initially, I thought this lotion was simply removing grit, but no, it just likes to roll off your other products.

So that’s what makes this lotion a little confusing. Where does it go in your routine? It seems like you could use it in place of a regular moisturizer, but if you had an extra emolliant to layer over that moisturizer, well, forget it. And while this lotion IS incredibly hydrating, I don’t find that it quite cuts it in the winter on it’s own. So I’ve been using it as an additive: If my skin dries out after my regular night-time routine, I will very carefully apply this on my skin for an extra layer of hydration.

Probably because I am most likely using it incorrectly, I haven’t seen any noticeable results. It is super hydrating — I think someone with a minimalist skin routine, and normal to oily skin type could probably get by on just using this. But it doesn’t create the effect of “bounciness” in my skin as some of my Cerave products do. Still, the fact that this has never caused any irritation puts this lotion in high regard for me, despite how finicky it can be during application. ~A

Buy Hada Labo Goku-jyun HA Lotion here:https://amzn.to/2DeqM23

Perceived efficacy: 3/5

Longevity: 3/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes