Review | Shiseido Aqualabel Jelly Essence a 4-in-1 essence? It depends

“Shiseido Aqualabel Jelly Essence a 4-in-1 essence? Don’t count on it.”

That was the original title of my draft based on my usage a couple of months ago. Today, I have to rewrite the entire post. Here’s why.

Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Aqualabel Jelly Essence 


A 4-in-1 Essence, but only during Hot Climate

Shiseido Aqualabel Jelly Essence was marketed as a product that replaces 1) Astringent, 2) Lotion, 3) Serum and 4) Emulsion.

Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Aqualabel Jelly Essence

When I tried this product earlier this year, I thought I was conned. The 4-in-1 essence felt like a 1-in-1 or probably 2-in-1 if you include the astringent. The jelly essence only replaced the first step of my beauty regime, i.e. toner. If there was any moisturizing ingredient, I couldn’t detect it. I could even recall a squeaky clean after-feel.

Today, just before I was about to click the PUBLISH button, I decided to give it another try…just to be very sure. It was a revelation. The essence that offered a squeaky-clean after-feel months ago now presents a slightly sticky and hydrating finish. The only reason I could think of is the change in climate – extremely hot and humid climate (about 34 degree celcius) now vs 26-degree drier climate earlier on.

Related: The only serum I dare use before a jog – PURITO Centella Green Level Buffet Serum


Sleek Packaging

Comes in a 200ml pastel-blue bottle, the essence is colorless and decorated with tiny air bubbles.

Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Colorless essence
Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Cute air bubbles

It has this strong smell, reminding me of the Snake Brand Prickly Heat Powder. You know, the one our army guys like to use in place of bath (oops!).

As compared with a toner, Shiseido Aqualabel Jelly Essence is definitely more viscous. It takes some effort to control the amount you need, and I tend to pour out too much (because it comes out in one lumpy mass).

Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Thick consistency


Lightweight Hydration (Summer Climate)

When you first rub the essence into the skin, there’s a cooling sensation coupled with slight stickiness. Once the product has fully absorbed (or dried up), the stickiness disappears, forming a lightweight barely-there hydrating layer over your face.

Aqualabel Jelly Essence
Lightweight barely-there hydration

I do find it more apt to call this product a 3-in-1 as I find myself having to top up with emulsion or moisturizer to achieve the hydration level I’m used to. But I reckon it would be perfect for those with oily skin or men who seem to dislike having heavy stuff on the face.


How it fits into your Beauty Routine

If you are always on the go and have only time for one or two face products, you may love the convenience offered by this all-in-one essence.

Those who are into a more extensive beauty routine would probably face some difficulty in fitting in some beauty products. For instance, I find it hard to fit in my Vitamin C serum which is supposed to be applied in between toner and moisturizer. How do I sandwich this when using an all-in-one product? 


Any Whitening Effect?

Similar to the Aqualabel Toner which I’ve reviewed, this jelly essence contains skin-brightening agent, m-Tranexamic Acid to target dark spots and pigmentation.

Related: Shiseido AquaLabel White-up Lotion S | Good Basic Toner

I am not a firm believer that mass-market product can achieve obvious lightening results, as such off-the-shelf products are not supposed to penetrate too deeply into the skin. Hence, you may not want to be too hopeful. A vitamin C serum would work better if whitening or radiant skin is what you are after.



I bought it for about Y1800 (S$20). It would cost S$30 if you get it locally.



Aqualabel Jelly Essence (Ingredients)


In Summary:

What’s Good about Shiseido Aqualabel Jelly Essence?

  1. Convenient All-in-One product (only during Summer)
  2. Has a cooling effect, great for summer
  3. May be suitable for men or those with oily skin

What’s Bad?

  1. Those with dry to normal skin would need to add moisturizer (even during summer)
  2. A 2-in-1 (not 4-in-1) product during colder climates
  3. Those with an extensive beauty routine may find it hard to pair this with other beauty products.

If you think you are a suitable candidate, this summer season is the best time to give Shiseido Aqualabel Jelly Essence a try. Rating: 3.5/5 


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