Sunday, June 2, 2013

Albion Skin Conditioner Essential ♥

Working like medicated toners/lotions, skin conditioners are an amazing invention! Been using the Hadalabo Skin Conditioner on-and-off since 2011, when I totally hoarded it. (Good decision, it's still not available in Singapore).

The most well-known skin conditioner is the one made by Albion, their Skin Conditioner Essential, and it's so famous that when people say スキコン (ski-con), they mean the Albion one. I've been wanting to try it for a long time, finally got it, and ohemgee the wonders it has done so far!  My skin has become noticeably clearer and smoother, the redness has reduced, pores have become smaller, and dehydration lines have disappeared. This is really it smells wonderful too! ♥ 

The bottle and the box. Apparently the basic packaging hasn't changed since the introduction of the product in 1974...which is why the packaging and font kinda look old-fashioned. Up till a few years ago I only ever knew Albion as the company that made Paul & Joe cosmetics (I love Paul & Joe, their packaging is sooo floral and pretty and the quality is great. It was like "the" Jill Stuart before Jill Stuart started). A stark contrast in image, but because of the prestige/ history of the product, I guess the "trusted" old-fashioned image sells.

The effects of the skin conditioner: 
★ 肌荒れ・荒れ性/ Targets rough, dry skin
★ クリアな肌/ Clears skin
★ 日焼け・雪焼き後のホテリを防ぐ/ Prevents flushness after sunburn or snowburn
★ 肌を引き締める/ Tightens skin
★ ニキビを防ぐ/ Prevents pimples
★ みずみずしい肌/ Fresh, youthful skin

My awkward translation: "The skin conditioner supports the skin, and is a lotion that leads to moisturized and healthy skin. It is a lotion aiming for long-lasting, true beauty; a lotion that can be used for all seasons and ages, for whatever skin problems: to treat irritable skin, to prevent flushness from sunburn and snowburn, and to prevent skin troubles like pimples."

薬用 means for medical use/pharmaceutical, so this is kinda like a medicated toner. The product is vacuum-sealed at the top for hygiene purposes, always a plus point for me. I love products that come with sealed openings.  On the back of the bottle you have the product description, it's a lotion/toner, for sensitive skin. I got the 165ml bottle, which costs 5,000yen (5,250yen with tax) in Japan. Good news is that Albion is available in Singapore (Takashimaya Cosmetics Dept), though it costs S$82 for the 165ml bottle.

There are 3 sizes available:
110ml - 3,675yen with tax
165ml - 5,250yen with tax
330ml - 8,925yen with tax

The instructions say to use it after cleansing and emulsion/moisturizer, but I like to use it as the first step, before emulsion/moisturizer and essence/serum. I guess you could use your hands (like the Hadalabo one), but the instructions recommend pouring it generously on a cotton pad, and patting in all over your face

I love the smell, and because of the menthol there's a cooling sensation after patting the product on. It's not an extreme mentholly cooling feeling, but rather it's a nice, gradual, fresh feeling? I use the cotton method, though sometimes I'll soak a few cotton pads and leave them all over my face for about 15 minutes, kind of like a mask. The result is amazing!  The brightening effect is instantly noticeable, and right after application my face feels sooo smooth, plus the heavenly floral scent stays for awhile.

Ingredients: Dipotassium glycyrrhizate, Water, Alcohol, 1,3-Butylene glycol, Gluthathione, Witch hazel extract, Horse chestnut extract, Job's tears extract, Menthol, Carrageenan, Sesquioleate sorbitan, PEG castor oil, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Fragrance.

The product itself is milky-colored, of a very liquidy consistency. The product contains no coloring, I guess it's milky color is due to the Job's tears (鳩麦/hatomugi, similar to barley). It kind of does look like barley water, doesn't it? It smells amazing ♡ Kind of floral, kind of powdery; a very lingering, luxurious scent, I love it!  The makers were aiming for a floral bouquet scent that leaves a deep impression, and they totally nailed that! Some people might find the scent overpowering though, but for me it's a wonderful scent (´౪`)

 The Albion logo, a simple AL. 

The tagline for the Skin Conditioner is 365日、好き。スキコン。(Sanbyaku-rokujuu-go nichi, suki. Sukikon.) Which means "365 days, I like it. Ski-con." It's a pun hahaha.

An interesting fact about the company name: Albion is an old name for Great Britain, which derives from words meaning white and land. The company took this name because they feel that whitening/brightening is the starting point in the pursuit of feminine beauty, which is quite true for many Japanese/Korean skincare companies, as many products are created to achieve fairer and clearer skin. Fair not in the sense of white, but in the manner of glowing/translucent.

More of the pretty bottle. The Skin Conditioner Essential is Albion's star product. There's a flower embossed on the body of the bottle, it's really pretty! I know that sounds superficial, but having things with nice packaging makes me feel happier when using them (*´ω`*)♪ Isn't that the reason why so many people like Jill Stuart and Paul & Joe? But of course, the products themselves are great too, which is what makes people love them even more! 

Comparing it with the Hadalabo Skin Conditioner, I absolutely LOVE the Albion one!  The smell is sooo amazing, it seems to work faster and has more visible improvements, and I like the texture/ feeling it gives more. The Hadalabo scent is a medicated scent, which I also kinda like, but the Albion scent leaves me feeling all dreamy and happy too~ ♬

Buuuut the down-side is that the Albion one (5250yen for 165ml) costs about 3 times as much as the Hadalabo one (1575yen for 170ml). However, for availability, the Hadalabo one is not available in Singapore, though the Albion one is. But, if you're young, the Hadalabo one is good enough, since you don't have that many problems when you're younger too! If you're older, indulge! Your skin will love you for it, or at least mine does ♥ Anyway, both have the same active ingredient: Dipotassium glycyrrhizate.

I cannot fully describe how amazing this skin conditioner is; I love how much clearer and more radiant my skin has become, and the bottom line is that I'd definitely repurchase this~ ♥ One bottle can last a really long time (unless you use it as a mask everyday), so it's definitely a worthy investment.


  1. Interesting...I bought the Hada Labo one in Japan in December, but I don't like the smell! =[ It's so...TCM-ish/medicinal lol =[ But it works great though!

    1. You should definitely try out the Albion one someday! Works amazingly well for me ♥

  2. Is the skin conditioner always sealed?