Earlier last year, I felt like I finally had a great handle on my dry, acne-prone skin. I had a skin-care routine that I absolutely loved, and I was pretty much ready to marry it. However, just last summer, I started experiencing a few really bad breakouts. I spoke with my dermatologist, who recommended tretinoin (a retinoid), but she cautioned me that the product could be extremely drying if not used carefully. After going over the products I was using on a daily basis, she mentioned that I might want to switch my current moisturizer out for something thicker and more protective. Hearing this, I kinda wanted to cry, LOL. I had just spent months finding a moisturizer that I really liked, and I was not excited about searching for something new.
Lucky for me, early on in my search, I found a Reddit page dedicated to tretinoin and products users had had success with. The number one suggestion for moisturizer when using tretinoin? The Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Hyaluronic Milky Lotion ($17). Not only was it praised highly on Reddit, but it had over 500 five-star ratings on Amazon. I bought it faster than you can say "hydration," and I'm so glad I did.
While the packaging is nothing that will stand out if you're looking for a cute IG shelfie, the contents inside certainly pack a punch. It's formulated with five different types of hyaluronic acid, and it's free of alcohol and fragrance, which is a plus. I've occasionally found products with fragrance to be irritating to my sensitive skin. This moisturizer has a milk-like texture, but it's lightweight without being greasy. Also, heads up: a little goes a long way. I use a little less than a quarter-size amount and it covers my entire face and neck easily. That means just one container lasts me more than seven months, even when applying twice daily.
A lot of reviewers have had success applying this moisturizer when their face is still damp, but personally, after cleansing my face, I wait for it to completely dry before I apply a vitamin C serum. After that has sunk in, I then apply the moisturizer. Afterward I always make sure to follow up with an SPF.
While my face does continue to glow on the daily, the reason I know this moisturizer truly does what it says it will: I've been using tretinoin for almost a year, and I haven't experienced the extreme dryness that Reddit posters and my dermatologist warned me about. Since my skin is already dry, I definitely attribute this to the changes I made in my skin-care routine — especially this moisturizer. It worked for me through summer and even this winter, when I tend to get especially flaky. It didn't clog my pores, and everything I noticed was for the better. I can wear this moisturizer confidently under makeup without worrying about pilling, it didn't trigger any acne, and it genuinely moisturized TF out of my skin.
This is one billion percent a product I cannot and will not (!) live without. If you're looking to pack in some extra hydration and fight off dryness all while gaining a glowy complexion, Gokujyun Premium Hyaluronic Milky Lotion will become your skin's new BFF.