Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner vs Hada Labo Premium Lotion

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This post is going to comparing two popular Asian Beauty essences: Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner and Hada Labo Premium Lotion.

At the beginning of my skincare journey, I accidentally stumbled my very first essence; the Cosrx Snail Mucin Power Review. (watch out for the review). I wasn’t quite looking for essences as I was fine with my Korean hydrating toners. But then, the hype of the Snail Mucin got to me, I caved in and my skin has never remained the same. While people continue to undermine the importance/necessity of toners and essences in their skincare routines, I will continually champion them because of how much they have changed my life.

If you downloaded my free Dry Skin Product Guide (get yours here), you’ll see that I have used about five essences in the past one year. Well, six if you include my latest: the Benton Snail Bee Essence. I’m always on the market for new essences. So far, I’ve tried a good number of popular ones. I’m also looking forward to trying even more of them.

So today, I’m going to be comparing and reviewing two of my faves; the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner and the Hada Labo Premium Lotion. I’ll be starting with the latter since I used it first. My criteria for reviewing them will be based on the following;

  • Texture of each product
  • Ease of Absorption
  • How I Use It
  • Availability, Price & Size

Let’s get down to business!

Review: Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner vs Hada Labo Premium Lotion

This is one of the products I bought due to the hype. It was all over the Skincare Facebook groups and all my fave K beauty sites. After seeing it for a while, it immediately went on my wish-list. As you can see, I bought the sample size first. This is something I always do with my K beauty products just in case I don’t like them. If I eventually enjoy them, I end up purchasing the full size. I’m always thankful for K beauty for making sample sizes available at all times for most products.

Texture: The first impression I got after using this product was that there is a reason why it is called an essence toner. It manages to combine the runny/watery texture of a toner and the semi-thick texture of an essence. The result is a two in one product that can be used alone or as a first step when layering products. I used this product primarily during the winter as a toner before layering my The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid. I always like to use lightweight toners as it helps the Hyaluronic Acid absorb better into my skin without piling. It’s a dream combination!

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner vs Hada Labo Premium Lotion

Ease of Absorption: As a result of its lightweight, it doesn’t take too long to absorb into your skin. My skin literally drinks it up. But then I have to use a generous amount so that it doesn’t completely sink into my skin. Doing this helps me layer other products easily. So, if you’re worried about this product just sitting on your skin, then you don’t need to. Again, as a result of the essence part of the product, you can feel the slight hydration and smooth feeling it gives afterwards.

How I Use It: As I mentioned earlier, I used it as a toner after cleansing during the winter. I use it as a first step in my hydration routine. It lays a nice foundation which I can follow up with Hyaluronic Acid and other essences and serums. You can also use it in the Summer as it is light enough to be used alone.

Availability, Price & Size: The 200ml size goes for about $15 which is fair, to be honest. Like most Korean Skincare, each full size lasts you a while. So you’re getting a great deal! As for availability, I’ve never seen it out of stock as it is mostly a staple everywhere. You can get yours from an authorised retailer like YesStyle or Amazon

Review: Hada Labo Premium Lotion

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner vs Hada Labo Premium Lotion

Yass! What have I been doing with my skin before Hada Labo? It is a GAMECHANGER! This was also one of the products that I didn’t plan to buy. But then, I got curious about Japanese Beauty and I thought, why not?! I also read so many great things about it. It’s almost like it’s a staple in a lot of people’s routines. I was not about to be left out! So, I got the sample size first, fell in love and repurchased the full size.

Texture: There is a reason why this product is called Hada Labo Premium. The brand has about four different variants of this lotion. But this one is incredibly popular because it contains 5 different types of Hyaluronic Acid. Imagine the hydration! Can you beat that??! As such, it has a semi-thick consistency that I just love slathering on my face. This thick texture means that one layer is usually enough. I don’t think I’ve ever been tempted to use more than one layer. Because one is just enough. If you have dry dehydrated skin, this should be your holy grail product. I promise you, your skin will NEVER remain the same.

Ease of Absorption: Unlike the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner which absorbs really fast, the Hada Labo Premium lotion is quite the opposite. This is expected because it is not a toner. It is more of an essence/lotion than toner. So, it obliviously won’t act the same way. This sits in your skin while giving you that hydration and glow you desire. It’s such an amazing product, particularly for the winter. Continuous use of this product will definitely result in soft, supple and hydrated skin.

How I Use It: I use it as an essence after a proper toner. I try to avoid toners with Hyaluronic Acid when using it just to balance things out. Also, when I use this, I don’t need to layer any other hydrating serum. It’s such a powerhouse. Like I mentioned earlier, one layer works for me during the winter. Then again, it depends on the intensity of the winter. If it’s at the beginning of winter, I use about two layers. There’s no such thing as too much moisture. At the end of winter, towards the beginning of Spring, one layer just works. But for Summer, it’s a bit different because it becomes too heavy. Which is why I’m swapping it for the Hada Labo Hydrating Light Lotion. Watch out for the review of both products after the Summer.

Availability, Price & Size: This is why I will always stan Asian Beauty products. They’re always generous with their product sizes. Such that one can last you for about 6 months. The Hada Labo Premium Lotion is about $17 for 170ml which is REALLY good! It’s a well-distributed product. This means that it is mostly available everywhere. You can get one from YesStyle or Amazon.

Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner vs Hada Labo Premium LotionConclusion

I’m excited to have been able to try two Asian cult beauty products. They’re both amazing products that cater to different skin needs. But if I had to pick one, I would definitely pick the Hada Labo Premium Lotion over Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner. The former is more of a unicorn while the latter can be replaced with better toners. The former is a must-have staple while the latter is just a nice to have. So if you have normal skin and just need a bit of hydration, you should definitely go with Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner. But if you have dry dehydrated skin like me, Hada Labo is your girl!

Which ones have you used and which do you prefer?

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Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner vs Hada Labo Premium Lotion

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Lifestyle & Travel Blogger obseesed with Korean Skincare, strength training and solo travel.

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