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Dr. Jart

Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 39.00
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Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel not only fails to make good on its claims, it also contains irritants that will leave skin in a worse state. Hydro dud!

While we were initially excited to see several skin-restoring and replenishing ingredients in this formula, things quickly turned south with the onslaught of sensitizing ingredients, including several irritating citrus oils that contribute to the scent. The major issue is these irritating ingredients can impair skin's barrier and accelerate the symptoms of aging skin—eek!

As for the claims that this gel contains "AquaMinerals that help direct waterflow, helping to maintain balanced moisture levels," and "Belgium hot spring water" which supposedly "aids in expelling impurities from pores"… to put it simply, that's pure hogwash. There's no research to back any of those claims up, not to mention it is all physiologically impossible.

While the refreshing gel texture may feel nice, the failed promises and exposure to irritating ingredients are anything but good. Check out our top-rated nighttime moisturizers for superior options.

Pros:
  • Refreshing gel texture.
Cons:
  • Fragranced formula contains several irritants that can impair skin's barrier and contribute to prematurely aged skin.
  • Over-hyped ingredients can't live up to their claims.
More Info:

We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don't get lulled into thinking that if you don't see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it's best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there's no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:

Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36

International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385

Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes
Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel is an ultra-lightweight gel-cream that instantly cools and refreshes the skin while providing a boost of hydration. This formula contains a blend of AquaMinerals that help direct the water flow, helping to maintain balanced moisture levels while improving water absorption to boost visible firmness and elasticity. Belgium hot spring water and natural barrier complex aids in expelling impurities from pores and provides both soothing and antibacterial benefits. The energizing cream keeps skin looking and feeling fresh and healthy.
Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Niacinamide, Cyclopentasiloxane, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Olivate, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Sorbitan Olivate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Diisostearyl Malate, Tromethamine, Carbomer, Hydroxyacetophenone, PEG-2M, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sucrose Distearate, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Amino Esters-1, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Zinc Gluconate, Magnesium Aspartate, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Onsen-Sui, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Copper Gluconate, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Amyris Balsamifera Bark Oil, Maltodextrin, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Sodium Glycerophosphate, Sodium Lactate, Potassium Magnesium Aspartate, Polysorbate 20, Calcium Gluconate, Magnesium Gluconate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cinchona Succirubra Bark Extract, Abronia Villosa Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Psidium Guajava Leaf Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid.

Dr. Jart+ At-a-Glance

Strengths: The BB creams (Beauty Balms) provide broad-spectrum sun protection and are fragrance-free.

Weaknesses: Expensive; BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; the masks are gimmicky and minimally helpful for skin.

Dr. Jart+ is a line of skin-care products based in Korea. Its most popular products are the Beauty Balms, known in the United States as BB creams. Before we discuss this brand's contribution to the BB cream craze, we want to state that at this time we are reviewing only the Dr. Jart+ products that are available at U.S. Sephora stores. If you visit the Korean Dr. Jart+ Web site, you'll see several other skin-care products are offered. We might review those in the future, but it's clear that the questions we've received about this brand have to do with the BB creams.

No information is available about an actual Dr. Jart, and our Korean friends tell us there is no actual Dr. Jart, so it is a made up name to help give the line some credibility. According to the company's English Web site, the brand is supposed to be the brainchild of multiple dermatologists as well as 21 "medical specialists." That's a lot of cooks for one product line, but as we've reported before, and as many of you know from experience, there are plenty of doctors' products that are terribly formulated and that come in bad packaging. All that really counts is whether or not you should give this line a closer look, despite the marketing claims

It didn't take much review to discover that there is nothing particularly medical or dermatologist-oriented about these products. The people behind Dr. Jart+ don't have access to any special ingredients other cosmetic companies can't use, and their products contain no unique ingredients that have any research showing that they improve skin. U.S. Sephora stores sell two BB cream options from Dr. Jart+; one of them is great and the other is lacking in too many areas to make it worth purchasing. But the question remains, should you purchase a BB cream at all? They are not must-have products, and most are far from being the "new idea in skin care" they're made out to be. Essentially, whether they're called BB creams, Blemish Balms, or Beauty Balms, all of these products are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. Some include a helpful amount of beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (vitamin C, arbutin) to improve brown spots. Such discolorations are considered a blemish in Asian cultures, but that's the only distinguishing feature. Compared with standard tinted moisturizers, BB creams typically provide slightly to moderately more coverage. In that sense, they fall between tinted moisturizers and foundations, but many BB creams go on sheer also; so, ultimately, it comes down to the individual products. If you're happily using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, there's no reason to forgo it in favor of a BB cream, but there's no harm in testing them out to see if you prefer their effect. Most won't notice much difference between them and a tinted moisturizer.

For more information about Dr. Jart+, visit http://www.drjart.co.kr/global/eng/.

Note: The company does not publish a phone number on its Web site, which doesn't bode well for building consumer trust or obtaining any help from customer service, so buyer beware.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.