Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review: HadaLabo Shirojyun Arbutin Whitening Mask

Last review of the 3 whitening masks that I tried out this summer! I'm almost caught up with all the skincare products that I crazily bought and tried this summer. Almost.

Sometimes you don't appreciate a skincare product until you use something a lot worse or a lot more ineffective. That was this mask for me. I first bought 2 boxes of 4 of this mask 3 years ago in Japan. I still had 2 masks left and eventually forgot about it. I didn't think much of it because it was the first mask that I've used and I thought all whitening masks do the same.

When I use a sheet mask I look for several things. First is, of course, effectiveness. Second is whether or not it can stick on my face and feel comfortable (or even better, I don't feel it being on my face after awhile). This is because I don't have the patience nor the time to sit there for 25-30 minutes. I need to be doing something while I put on this mask and if I need to fix it every minute because it's falling off my face then that's an instant fail. Third is whether or not it absorbs. If I don't feel a difference in the wetness of the sheet mask after 30 minutes.. then there is a problem with the compatibility of the mask with my face.

Description (taken from
  • Contains the effective whitening & anti-ageing ingredient -arbutin- which penetrates deep into skin and effectively inhibits the formation of melanin, dark spots, and freckles, leaving you a bright skin tone with high translucency. 
  • The vitamin C derivatives help improve uneven skin tone, and effectively improve skin dullness caused by sun exposure. Weak acid, no fragrance, and no oil
  • After cleansing and toning, apply on face. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then take it off. Gently pat on face until the remaining essence is fully absorbed.
My impression:

This mask is the most effective whitening mask I've used so far. I get tanned easily and this summer I was traveling in Asia for more than a month. I got really tanned and bought 2 packs of The Saem's Chaga Whitening Mask. When I initially used that mask I could feel it brightening my face, but after using it for awhile, I saw that its whitening effect became less and less. Then I decided to use the remaining HadaLabo Shirojyun Masks that I had and instantly I saw my face brightening again.

The texture of this sheet mask is like woven fabric, so a bit different than what Korean masks usually use I think. But it adheres to my skin well. I feel comfortable using this and don't feel bothered by it while doing other things. It doesn't fall off my face either.

There is a LOT of essence in each pack and I feel that my skin absorbs most of it because the some parts of the sheet are dry by the time I take it off my face. When I used The Saem's Chaga Whitening Mask, it was still quite wet compared to HadaLabo's.

It's very moisturizing and my skin feels refreshed afterwards, like most Korean masks. HadaLabo is known for "removing all the unnecessary additives, colorant, fragrance and mineral oil that will burden the skin" so there is no fragrance and no oil. I didn't break out with this mask and I'd be surprised if anyone does unless it's an allergic reaction.

On a side note, the HadaLabo Shirojyun Arbutin Whitening Essence from the same line is also quite effective. It also contains arbutin and it is something you can use regularly, since using the mask everyday will not be economically feasible. 


Most effective whitening mask I've tried so far
Sticks to my skin well, feels comfortable to my face
Absorbs well
$17 for 4 masks on eBay

Quality: 4.5/5 because it's the most effective whitening mask to date but I'm not giving it 5 because I have only tried 3 whitening masks so far

Value: 5/5 considering Skinfood's Omija Whitening Mask costs around the same but is uncomfortable and not as effective, HadaLabo's mask is definitely a steal

Repurchase? Yes, but I have to finish all my The Saem's Chaga Whitening Mask first -_-a


  1. Loved your post. Do you know any effective product for very very very oily skin?

    1. Thanks for reading! Are you looking for a whitening product for very oily skin? And do you mean cream or serum?

  2. Hi , your post is really helpful!
    My skin will become oily when comes to the middle of the day. Do you have any recommended oil control skin product? Thx

    1. Hello :)

      I would recommend Etude House Wonder Pore Goodbye Pore Ever Pore Primer Essence but this one does have a bit of color. I find that this helps my oil control during the day during dry winter weathers.

      During the summer or for more humid climates, I use the Etude House Wonder Pore Corrector

      Hope that helps!