The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

by Paris B on · 43 comments

in Cheap and Good?,Product Reviews,Sunscreen

Product by:
Paris B

Reviewed by:
On March 14, 2013
Last modified:April 17, 2013


An affordable, effective sunscreen with UVA and UVB blockers and high SPF. Recommended!

About 2 weeks ago I told you about finding a slightly more affordable alternative to my favourite sunscreen from Shiseido. How about that, I appear to have told a little white lie icon razz The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

hada labo sunblock blue5 The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

Yes, I like the Kose Sekkisei one but it turns out, that one has been relegated to third place, now that this one from Hada Labo has entered the fray. Actually I’d started using this a while back then lost it – I don’t know how things go missing, I swear I breed pixies in my house – but its made an appearance again so I’d been using it again and it immediately leapfrogged to 2nd place in my sunscreen index.

This is the Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion SPF50+ PA+++ and if you recall that I too had mostly good words for the Hada Labo UV Moist Emulsion sunblock, you may wonder why there are two different types – one in a white tube and one in a blue tube. No, its not the blue is prettier – although I do like the colour better than the white haha! icon biggrin The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

The reason it is blue is because the Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion comes under the Hada Labo “whitening” range of skincare which has blue packaging. So this is just to keep things consistent. It comes in a simple packaging and can be found at most major pharmacies but if you are really really looking, go to a Guardian pharmacy first. Hada Labo Malaysia had a relationship with Guardian pharmacy so its easier to find their products there than in other pharmacies.

hada labo sunblock blue3 The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

According to the sticker on the front of the packaging, there are 4 benefits in this UV Whitening Emulsion which is – UV Protection, Whitening benefits, Hydration benefits and Makeup Base. I will attest to 3 out of 4 icon smile The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

As a sunblock, this one ticks the right boxes for me. It is lightweight although it feels like a lotion (it does of course say “emulsion” on the tube) and it spreads and absorbs nicely into skin without feeling sticky or drying. I have a major beef with many Japanese brand sunscreens and that’s the drying bit. That’s the reason I don’t use others by brands like Biore or Sunplay – I don’t like the texture.

For moisture, I’d put it thus : Kose Sekkisei > Hada Labo > Shiseido so it depends a lot on the type of formula you like.

hada labo sunblock blue The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

What else is good about this? Like its regular hydating version in the white tube, this one feels very lovely and comfortable on my skin and does not leave a white cast on my skin.

There is SPF50+ and PA+++ which covers the UVA and UVB blocking factors which are physical and chemical. I do note that this product uses Zinc Oxide as one of its UV blockers and my skin usually rejects products with high levels of Zinc Oxide in them, but to my surprise, my skin did not reject this one. Its the same with the Shiseido UV Perfect sunscreen. That too contains Zinc Oxide but my skin does not reject it. So maybe the levels aren’t too high or maybe they have included it in a formula that my skin tolerates comfortably which is of course a good thing. Zinc Oxide is supposed to be one of, if not the best physical blocker for both UVA and UVB rays out there.

In terms of sun protection, I’d say Shiseido = Hada Labo = Kose Sekkisei

hada labo sunblock blue2 The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

What makes this product a little different from the white tube sunscreen is the additional whitening ingredients. Not only does this one protect your skin from the harmful UV rays, it also works to whiten your skin. This is the one feature I cannot comment on because I personally saw no difference using this one as opposed to using a different sunscreen. Freckles and pigmentation are still there in their glory.

As a makeup base, its not bad. It isn’t oily on skin and isn’t too matte either. I do think the Shiseido UV Perfect makes a better makeup base than this one, as that one has slightly brightening effect too but as a base, this Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion makes a far better base than the Kose Sekkisei Sun Protector N as the latter feels more “moist” compared to the Hada Labo.

So as a makeup base, its Shiseido > Hada Labo > Kose Sekkisei icon razz The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

Due to the formulation of this one, you do have to shake it up before using to ensure all everything is evenly mixed before you apply to your skin.

hada labo sunblock blue4 The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

As you can see, dispensing it is easy and you can quite comfortably use it on face and body. The only “wrong” perception I’d say, is the price.

You see, this one retails at RM49.90 for 38ml. The bottle is compact and 38ml can easily last you a month or two depending on your use and how heavy handed you are (I am quite heavy handed so I get just slightly over 1 month’s use out of it) The Kose Sekkisei one retails at about RM110 for 60ml so if you do the math, it actually comes up to roughly the same price per ml! Now, does that surprise you? icon smile The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

So, if you ask me, I’d say this isn’t quite the budget option I expected it to be, but it will come under the budget category because its entry price is low.

So pricewise, I’d place it at Shiseido RM150/50ml > Hada Labo RM49.90/38ml = Kose Sekkisei RM110/60ml

In a nutshell

I like this sunblock. It feels lovely and comfortable on my skin and I like the high sun protection factors and UV screening. It is compact to carry about and it does not feel dry or uncomfortable on my skin. There is no white cast  and it does work well as a makeup base, albeit not as well as the Shiseido but the latter comes in at almost triple the price. While I wouldn’t quite consider this a “budget buy” due to various price comparisons, I will still say that this is a good buy because the entry level price is low and its easy to find. I am happy to use this interchangeably with the regular white version but I still won’t use it as a primary sunblock because for that, Shiseido gets pride of place. I’d use this as a back up, and perhaps for my body (arms) because I like the texture. That will make it pretty pricey though icon razz The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

Pros: Non greasy oily or sticky texture, Easily absorbed, Good makeup base, Can be used on face and body, High sun protection and UV protection factors, No white cast

Cons: Works out to be rather pricey on a per/ml basis, No visible whitening effects

Who will like this: Anyone who wants a hydrating sunscreen with high sun protection factor, Anyone who wants a non oily, greasy or sticky sunscreen

Here is the ingredient list for those interested to know whats in this:-

hada labo sunblock ingredients The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

Don’t you love the little warning in the Caution message? LOL! If staying out for long hours in the sun, make sure you reapply your sunblock at least every 2 hours. Its something we’re supposed to do anyway on a regular basis but honestly, how many of us do that? It’d mean having to do our face every 2 hours! I don’t think bosses will appreciate that a lot LOL!

Have you tried this sunblock or any from Hada Labo? What do you look for in a sunblock or sunscreen?

I have liked both versions (white and blue) that I’ve tried from Hada Labo so far. I’m waiting to see this one go on sale so I can pick up a back up because its almost finished. Sunscreen is one skincare item I almost always finish up without fail icon biggrin The sunscreen that leapfrogged its way to No. 2 on my sunscreen index: Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion

Paris B

Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion Price: RM49.90/38ml Availability: Most leading pharmacies but try Guardian pharmacy first

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[ 43 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Rainy Days & Lattes March 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm

You are quite convincing you know that? ^___^ I have 3 new bottles of the other japanese ones… I can’t even remember its name! LOL


Paris B March 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Hahaha should I be a sales person now? ;) Do you like Japanese sunscreens too?


Lily March 14, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I do like the texture of the Hada Labo sunscreens… If only they don’t break me out!


Paris B March 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Yikes! Must be something in there that doesn’t agree :(


Bugs March 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm

At the moment I’m using this one or the Kose one depending on my mood or whether I’m going out as I feel this one does not give me enough protection. I brought this along when I was at a not so high above sea level mountain in Sarawak few months ago. And about 2hrs later I got sunburnt on my nose, neck and arms even though it was a cloudy day. If my feet alone got sunburnt that’s my fault but I always apply generous amount of sunblock on my neck, ears and arms as well. Don’t know what went wrong… Haha


Paris B March 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hmm I haven’t tried taking this one to the beach but thanks for the heads up! I do personally feel that the Shiseido one gives me better protection one way or another. When I know I’m out and about in the sun, I always go back to that one “just in case” LOL Maybe its just that you’re right and the level of protection may have worn off more quickly in the Hada Labo. Or maybe the sun was super duper strong! ;)


Jess March 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

My favourite too! Try our Shiseido Senka one… almost same texture but this one better!


Paris B March 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I haven’t tried the Shiseido Senka but I’ll take your word for it! In that case, I won’t bother trying Shiseido LOL!


Ashley March 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Oh Paris, I recently purchased the regular version of this sunblock after checking on your review a few weeks ago. I’m glad there aren’t any major differences or I’d be forced to buy this one too! Knowing me, I’ll probably do so anyway :P


Paris B March 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hahaha Ashley :D No, I don’t think there are any major differences between the moisturizing one and this one except that this one feels a tiny bit more “matte”. Still, you’d probably find it out for yourself some day hehe… Are you liking the regular version? :)


MakeUpMonster March 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Fantastic review, I love my sunscreens so must check this out!


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Thanks, hope you get a chance to try it soon :)


Jyoan March 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I don’t like this. T_T Good that you like it! Mine is sitting there doing nothing, as I just don’t reach for it. Wasted money.


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Sorry to hear that, Jyoan. Which is your favorite sunscreen for now then?


Candy March 14, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Interesting! I’ll probably check it out when I’m in Japan, to see if there’s much of a price difference between this and Kose’s. A pity it’s rather expensive for a drugstore sunscreen


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

On a per ml basis, yes it’s rather pricey but I think it isn’t too bad a price for something from the pharmacy generally. Biore is cheaper I believe but I don’t like the texture of that one as much as many do ;)


Victoria March 15, 2013 at 10:46 am

I think your favourite Shiseido sunscreen is selling for RM130 for 50 ml as that is the price I paid for when I bought it in January. Thanks for the review of this sunscreen. It is definitely a cheaper alternative to Shiseido but I have never used Hada Labo products before and worry if it would break me out. Will keep this in mind if I do switch sunscreens :-)


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Victoria! I thought I’d paid RM130 at Isetan, but someone said its RM150 so I got confused. Some people have reported breakouts with Hada Labo and sensitivities with concentrations of hyaluronic acid so if you have that sensitivity then better stay away :) glad the Shiseido works for you!


Tine March 15, 2013 at 10:46 am

Oooh I bought this! I have the original white bottle (non-whitening one) and I loved it. It’s not sticky and makes a great base for makeup. Can’t wait for my current sunscreen to finish so that I can rip open the packaging for this wee blue bottle :P


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:02 pm

If you liked the white one I think you’d like this one too. Feels about the same for me, but this one seems to feel a bit more matte. Could be my imagination though :)


jk March 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

After reading your review on this yesterday, I (ahem) happened to walk by Guardian whilst coming back from lunch the same day and picked up this blue bottle.
(NB – Not an advert but Guardian’s having its usual sale of some items and the Hada Labo range falls under the items – got this @ 10% off).
Have not started using it yet. I had picked up Biore UV Perfect Milk (the white bottle) after the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards – and have been using that on my face before swimming. Can’t really tell if the Biore works (my face is still pretty tanned/brown) but I really like the smooth feel of that Biore UV PM. So if the Hada Labo is anything like the Biore – whoopie!


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Haha you’re quick, JK! Thanks for the sale update! I personally prefer the Hada Labo one simply because I’m not very good with Biore sunscreens although many people rave about it. Still, they’re both very affordable :)


Firn March 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I REALLY wanted to like this because it has zinc oxide, but I think I am even more allergic than you to it! I broke out in clogged pores 1 day after using it. Even with prior makeup removal and double cleansing my face in the shower. :(

Did the original Hada Labo one break you out? I have the original one that I’m using for my neck and hands now.


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Yikes! Sorry to hear that. The original one works for me too. Thus far,only this Hada Labo and Shiseido that contain zinc oxide don’t break me out. Others tend to :(


Shieja Rahim March 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I’m still happy after reading your shiseido review and quickly went to purchased it without even trying it first on my skin. I can tell u, its so worth it. I uses this everyday except on formal occassion I switch to my also fav Prep + prime spf 50. Anyway, just to tell ya the Shiseido from Sephora will cost Rm150 but I got it from Isetan for Rm130 last month. I actually went to Isetan first thenSephora and back to Isetan again. I save Rm20 and bought my fav Gong Cha after that :)


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Am so happy you like the Shiseido too because its seriously my No. 1 sunscreen! So awesome right? Thanks for the tip about the price difference. I thought there was something funny about the price. I’ll stick to buying from Isetan ;)


Jennifer March 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Hahaha, your pixies must be very beautiful ones :P I started using Hada Labo UV Moist Emulsion sunblock a few months back and loved it for its moisturizing effect. However, because I have oily skin, the effect turned my skin dull and felt like there’s a layer of grime. I use it on weekends when I know I’ll be out and about for a couple of hours. For weekdays, I use Biore UV Perfect Face Milk which is awesome for oil control and as make up base. Thanks for the comparison among your favourites. The Kose one is worthy of trying.


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:39 pm

My pixies are a nuisance >.< or maybe just my bad memory :P sorry to hear about your experience with the Hada Labo sunblock but glad that the Biore one works for you. Maybe because it works for oily skin, it doesn’t work for my drier skin ;)


Michelle Beh March 15, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I haven’t try out the Hada Labo sunscreen before yet as I still stick to my Shiseido UV Protector SPF 50Pa++. I ll have a try . Thanks for sharing this ~~


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I personally would stick to Shiseido too lol!


Laura March 16, 2013 at 7:53 am

Oh, how I wish Hada Labo were easier to source locally in the US. I can’t think of any place that would allow you to try before purchasing.

One question – you didn’t really name any differences between this one and the same one in the white tube. Is there some reason you like this one better?


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Maybe because of the promise of whitening, perhaps lol! But seriously, it maybe my imagination but it feels a bit more ‘matte’, and it promises to help protect against the sun and also to help with existing pigmentation. Didn’t notice anything but who knows if it really works eh? ;)


Angela March 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

I have yet to try a sunscreen from Hada Labo, but you convinced me to give this a try. I tend to go for Asian brands sunscreens because they are much lighter and doesn’t have that greasy feeling.


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm

You’re right about Asian sunscreens. They have perfected the texture bit, that many Western brands still haven’t. Hope you get to try this one soon :)


Melanie March 17, 2013 at 10:30 am

I’ve been using the Hada Labo sunscreen in the white bottle for a couple of years. I live in Japan and can usually get it on Japan’s Amazon site for around ¥700 so it’s pretty cheap compared to other sunscreens I’ve used. It also works well on my sensitive skin.
I got a rash all over my neck and up my cheeks when I used the Sekkisei sunscreen. I think it was caused by the fragrance since my skin has been rejecting pretty much everything with fragrance lately.
Another Japanese sunscreen I like from Dr. Ci Labo, it’s the UV&White Moisture Milk SPF 50 PA+++. It’s much more expensive at around ¥3,500 per bottle. It does have that powdery feel lot’s of Japanese sunscreens have so I make sure to put on extra moisturizer before using it. I used it for a few months and felt like my skin tone was more even, not lighter just less blotchy.


Paris B March 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Melanie :) we have Dr. Ci Labo here but I didn’t know about the sunscreen, maybe I can give it a shot some day. Thanks!


wan April 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

I have been using Shiseido sunscreen b4 ur reviews..when its about to finish..u just come with this..right on time..
got it – using – satisfied…hehe
thx Paris B


Paris B April 8, 2013 at 4:42 pm

And your wallet heaves a sigh of relief! ;) Thanks for sharing, Wan!


wan April 16, 2013 at 8:25 pm

indeed…thanks to you for sharing great review..
about the texture and all..
used the Biore(White bottle) one before, also drying on my skin…
maybe our skin condition is quite similar…


Paris B April 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm

It does sound that way! Good to know at least something works :)


Irene April 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Hi Paris!! How about your eyes? Do you put sunscreen on them as well? This one okay with the sensitive skin around them eyes? Thanks! Love your blawg :)


Paris B April 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Hi Irene, that’s an interesting question but no, I don’t apply sunscreen around my eyes. I think there are some eye creams out there that have SPF in them but I don’t use anything around my eyes. Bad I know but if I go out, I wear sunglasses so I guess it helps some :P


Irene April 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

Haha! U know what, I know all that they say about the skin around the eyes needing special care, and I do use an eye cream morning and night, but when I use my Hada Labo lotion, the Trilogy face oil, or almost everything else I use on the rest of my skin, I use the palm of my hand to gently press some products on my eye area too (to avoid tugging and pulling). So far it’s been okay, with no reaction or milia. Been doing that with this sunscreen too and it seems to be okay!


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