CULT-FAVORITE Japanese skincare brand Hada Labo has finally launched in the Philippines, a feat which took years to do, according to a brand representative.

“Actually, the Philippines is the last Asian country to launch [Hada Labo because] Mentholatum Asia Pacific, the manufacturers [of the brand], couldn’t find the right distributor and they felt the Philippines wasn’t ready yet… it took us three years [to convince them]” Jenny O. Arcellana, marketing head of Hada Labo in the Philippines, told reporters during the launch on Aug. 8 at the Blue Leaf events place in Taguig City.

It was only when the manufacturers saw how their other brands such as Lip Ice lip balms and Sunplay sunscreens did well in the country that they thought of bringing the brand to the country. The products are distributed in the country by Cambert Pilipinas.

“When they saw we did well in distributing their brands, they thought that we were the right partner,” she explained.

Hada Labo, which means “skin laboratory” in Japanese, was launched in 2004 in Japan and is known for its line of skin care products which uses differently sized molecules of hyaluronic acid to attract and retain hydration to the skin.

Their core Goku-jyun line includes the Hydrating Lotion (P685/170 ml and P195/30 ml), Hydrating Face Wash (P385/100 ml), Hydrating Light Cream (P850/100 ml), Hydra and Whitening Face Wash (P295/100 ml), Deep Clean and Pore Refining Face Wash (P295/100 ml), and the Hydrating Water Gel (P850/100 ml).

Those who are new to the brand can purchase a trial kit for P465 which contains 30 ml of both the Hydrating Face Wash and the Hydrating Lotion and 14g of the Hydrating Light Cream.

Aside from the core line, the brand also has a premium line, a line specifically for brightening, another for anti-ageing, and for clarifying, but Ms. Arcellana said that they will first observe the public’s reception before launching the other lines.

The products are currently available in Watsons stores nationwide and online via — Zsarlene B. Chua