Hada Labo Gokujyun Alpha Mask

In the final installment of Hada Labo Masks, I present you my most favorite mask from the line, Gokyjyun Alpha.

This mask, thankfully, contains no alcohol. Indeed, although it has the same refreshing gel-feel, this one feels a bit richer. I'm not sure what's the claim on this mask, but there are obviously two derivatives of vitamin A in this one: beta carotene and retinyl palmitate.

A bit of a detour about vitamin A. Beta carotene is a form of vitamin A that is also called "Pro-vitamin A," in that it has to be converted into retinol/its dervative before it can be used by the human cell. The conversion happens in liver (in the case of mammals). The liver converts beta carotene to retinol derivative and store them for future use. Retinol and its derivative is toxic if ingested in high amount, beta carotene is not (that's why a rabbit can eat pounds of carrots without getting OD-ed). So far, evidence only points out to retinol derivative as the topically "useful" derivative of vitamin A -- it is taken into the cell to increase cellular turnover. Beta carotene in this mask is practically useless -- the skin is lacking the enzyme needed to convert it into the useful form. It does not mean that beta carotene has no topical activity -- I think one paper I came across studied beta carotene use in acute sunburn.
  • Slight yellowish tint to the mask, due to the beta carotene
  • Slightly fragranced? I detected a hint of waxy smell
  • Feels v. thick and moisturizingly rich
  • My favorite among the sisters, although again the effect does not last overnight
On the next installment, I will close with a recap of these Hada Labo reviews.

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