Anticipating my family's visit over the holidays, I bought a big 200mL bottle of Aqualabel Aging Care Lotion EX for my mom to use during her 2-weeks stay. But she never touched it. I'm guessing she must have tried it and didn't like it?
The Aging Care EX line is in the gold bottles, versus the Whitening line in blues and the Moisture line in reds, both of which I've tried and reviewed (spoiler: I like the red line best). For the lotion, there are 2 types available: an R Moisturizing (しっとり) which is what I have, or a RR Enriched (とてもしっとり). The Lotion R is runny and watery, and I'm guessing the Lotion RR would be more viscous.
I forgot to take a photo of both the packaging and the bottle itself, so I'll post a stock picture for now and will update later with more photos.
So I think I know why my mum didn't like this lotion: it's mildly scented but feels tacky going on. So when she left this bottle unused, I thought I could try and use it but couldn't deal with the tackiness either. At the same time, dumping it out seemed like a colossal waste.
And then one evening I was at the sento, I saw a few Japanese ladies slathering face lotion (toners) all over their bodies prior to applying body lotion/cream. This flipped a light switch in my head. I guess it makes perfect sense now that I think about it. The point of applying lotion (toners) to the face is to prep the skin for whatever treatment that goes on next, and plus it helps with absorption and retention of moisture. Recently, my skin has been so dry that even oils like ABS and Yanagiya aren't enough.
The next night I gave it a test run. Right after the shower, I applied the body oil as usual when my body was still damp, then once dried off, I slapped on this lotion to seal in the moisture. What do you know, not only the lotion wasn't sticky on my body, it made me less oily from the just-applied body oil, and it kept all of me soft and smooth throughout the next day, elbows, knees, feet and all! So those ladies were onto something after all, and since then I've been using this Lotion EX all over and it's a win. So the next time when I get a facial toner dud, I'll just "demote" it to the rest of my body, the same way I've been "demoting" meh face serums and creams to my neck. Problem solved.
Anyway, this revelation got me curious enough to explore Aqualabel's website and found 2 other items that look interesting, a Whitening Jelly Essence from the blue line and an Aging Care Royal Rich Essence from the gold line. The Jelly Essence is supposed to be a 4-in-1 product that's an astringent, lotion (toner), essence/serum, and moisturizer that also lightens up dark spots. I'm more curious of the cooling jelly texture and not so much the whitening. The Royal Rich Essence contains fermented jelly, and again I'm curious about the supposedly "watery fresh" texture.
***Stock photos from Shiseido Aqualabel JP.
This online exploration also led to the discovery that Aqualabel has "repackaged" their products since last fall when I bought this Lotion EX. At least that's the most visible change, so who knows if any reformulation has taken place also. However, when I was at the drugstore I did notice something else also: the majority of the products are no longer made in Japan. With the exception of a few things, like the 2 essences above, everything else is now made in Vietnam. So I suspect a reformulation has taken place indeed.