I’ve raved about this moisturizer in a number of my other posts, so I think it’s finally time to go ahead and give it a proper review.
You can read about my personal skin type & concerns on my current skincare regime page, but in summary: I’m oily, irritation/acne prone, yet also easily dehydrated. In the USA, this skin type is really not catered to at all by most brands – cosmetic companies here seem to believe that people either fall into young, teenage oiliness without any sensitivity, or older, super-dry skin without any acne or clogging tendencies. Sensitive skin, for some reason, seems to be conflated with dry skin by most brands, so you’ll often find ingredients like shea butter – a big no-no for clog-prone or oily skins – in sensitive skin formulations. In a skincare landscape where options seem to only cater to extremes, you can imagine how difficult it is to find a skin cream that provides adequate hydration without turning me into an inflamed greaseball!
I’ve tried so many brands: Korres, The Body Shop, LUSH (PSA: don’t mess with their skincare if you’re even the least bit sensitive or acne-prone, holy shit), Ole Henrikson, Murad, Burt’s Bees, Neutrogena, June Jacobs, Dermalogica, Alba Botanica, Peter Thomas Roth, Christian Dior – just to name a few.
Out of all my exploration, I can name a whopping TWO creams which didn’t have any awful side-effects of clogged pores, breakouts, or not enough moisture: Peter Thomas Roth’s Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer, which really isn’t cut out to be a primary moisturizer (using it any more than once per day, at night, is a bit too much for my skin – not to mention that the glycolic acid makes your skin photosensitive, so maybe not the best option for a day cream) and Christian Dior’s old HydrAction Sorbet cream – which has since been discontinued and replaced with the new, not-as-good-IMO Hydra Life version.
So as you can see, I’ve had a bit of frustration when it comes to finding a suitable moisturizer. At least, until this baby came into my life!
I first stumbled onto the Dr. Jart+ line when it first showed up at Sephora a couple years back. Admittedly, I was initially attracted by the packaging colors – I love the shade of minty-turquoise that they use for all their Water Fuse products. Once I actually read the product description, my interest was solidified.
Here’s the Sephora description:
What it is:
A refreshing, oil-free gel cream moisturizer infused with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump skin all day.
What it is formulated to do:
This refreshing, oil-free gel cream binds moisture to the skin for long-lasting hydration without stickiness, while olive leaf and cranberry strengthen the skin barrier to boost elasticity.
Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse line is bioferment-based and free of alcohol, mineral oil, colorants, and artificial fragrance for oily and hypersensitive skins.
Sounds pretty good to me! No clogging oils or butters, with promises of all-day hydration, elasticity, and plumping. The mentioning of strengthening the skin barrier was also appealing, since so many products catered to oily skins here in the US seem to do their very best to completely destroy the barrier, not protect or strengthen it!
So, on impulse and with fingers crossed, I ordered the Water Fuse gel-cream. It arrived in a few days, and honestly? It was immediate love.
Hit the read more to find out why!
First, let’s talk about the texture.
As the name implied, it’s really a fusion of a gel and a cream. It has the lightness and sort of cool-moist feel that you’d associate with, say, aloe vera gel, but it’s not sticky at all – rather, it has a sort of airy, whipped, creamy texture that prevents the tackiness that’s common in alot of gel-form products.
In the jar it’s a sort of half-sheer, half-opaque white shade, but it actually applies translucent. I tried to take photos of it on my hand, but my camera isn’t good enough to make them worth posting – the gel looks like water when it’s smoothed over your skin, and I just couldn’t get it to show up with my crappy Kindle camera.
The gel-cream feels slightly cooling, though it doesn’t have any ingredients like menthol to create the sensation – I think it’s honestly just the high amount of water combined with the very light aquatic scent that kind of tricks your brain into reading a “cooling” feel from the product. This really does feel like a nice drink of water for your skin!
I use roughly half a teaspoon for my face and neck – I scoop it out with the provided spatula, then dot it on my cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, and neck and then blend and smooth it in. I do it this way because this cream absorbs FAST, and by divvying it up before I start patting it in, I can ensure that I’m delivering it to all the needy areas equally.
That’s another plus, to me: this cream absorbs very quickly. I’d say only 15-20 seconds, maybe 30 on really hot/humid days, before I feel like it’s fully sunk in and I can move on to my primer or CC cream.
It doesn’t dry matte, which I personally like – the gel-cream gives a very slight dewiness Not on the level of a product marketed for producing a dewy look, of course, but it’s just enough that your skin looks hydrated and plumped after you’ve applied the product. I feel like it makes me look healthy, hydrated and rested, even when I’m not!
The finish is very smooth, light and even – there are tons of creams and sunscreens and even lotions that I’ve tried that leave a slight ‘sticky’ feeling even after they absorb, which I personally hate. This dries down to a very natural, smooth finish, and doesn’t ‘sit’ on your face all day – it actually absorbs, leaving my face feeling hydrated deep-down rather than like I just have a layer of cream on the top of my skin.
Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Sure Gel plays very nice with other products – both OVER and UNDER. By that I mean that primer, CC creams, SPF, etc all glide OVER the Water-Fuse gel very smoothly, but also, this cream is easy to apply on top of my serums and lotions and anti-blemish products (like Etude House Pink Powder Water, benzoyl peroxide cream, or even blemish patches like Lioele’s AC patches) that I’m wearing UNDER my moisturizer without disturbing them.
As a testament to just how light this cream is, and how well it absorbs, I can actually apply acne patches over this cream without any issues. I usually apply my acne patches on fresh skin, but there were a few times where I forgot to slap a patch on to a blemish until after I’d done my whole routine… I decided to see if I could get one to stick to my skin anyhow, and they actually went on as easily and adhered as closely as they do on freshly-washed skin. I think that speaks volumes about just how smoothly and evenly this cream absorbs!
I do not experience any clogged pores, irritation, acne, or dehydration when using this moisturizer. For me, that is almost unheard of, so obviously this was kind of mind-blowing for me. I still like to dabble with other cream samples – usually from Asian brands – but honestly, a cream’s gonna really have to knock it out of the park to dethrone the Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Sure Gel. It’s just that good.
The only time where I have any complaints about the effectiveness of this gel-cream is during the dead of winter. My skin is easily sensitized, and in winter, I react to the elemental stresses (dry heat inside and icy, cold wind outside – especially since I’m usually outside in said cold wind for an hour or two straight each day) by having much dryer skin than the rest of the year. While I can layer this product effectively, it’s not ideal as A) it burns through the product very quickly (and at $38 per tub, that can be painful on the wallet) and B) applying too much of this product can make the finish and absorption a little worse (as is the case with overapplying any facial product, I’ve found). Last year I got around this by layering this cream with the lovely Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid, but this year I have a few slightly-more-hydrating creams to try during the winter months – nothing against the Dr. Jart+ products, but I’m hoping that I can find one decently priced cream that functions as well for the winter as the Water Fuse gel-cream does in the spring, summer, and fall. Paying for one product beats paying for two!
I’ve uploaded the ingredients to CosDNA here – only three ingredients trip any warnings, and they’re all very low-level. Dimethicone and Butylene Glycol both get 1 for acne, while Carbomer gets a 1 on the irritation scale. Either these ingredients are only present in very small amounts or I’m simply not sensitive to any of them, because I don’t experience any ill effects whatsoever from using this cream day and night.
Really, I only have one complaint about this product: the packaging. While I like how it looks aesthetically with its clear plastic and turquoise center, the jar packaging – even though they do provide a spatula – is really not optimal. Each jar lasts me about three months, give or take, and despite my best attempts to only use the spatula, always have freshly washed hands when opening/closing the jar and handling the spatula, and clean the spatula after every use, I’m sure that SOME bacteria has to get into my pot. There’s just too much on our bodies not to, you know?
You can see that they package the jar with a protective seal and a small, clear plastic spatula. For me, the inclusion of the spatula basically is like the company saying “yes, we know this packaging isn’t hygienic, but we’re doing it anyway for aesthetic reasons” which kind of bugs me. Like, look at how the Dr. Jart+ Water Max Sleeping Mask is packaged:
I love it! The slightly frosty, opaque color and the long, sleek airless pump jar = fantastic looks and function. The Water Fuse Water-Sure gel is not so thick that it couldn’t be packaged in a pump. I wish that they’d start packaging it like the sleeping mask, then I wouldn’t have any complaints at all!
So, in summary, let’s do a pros/cons breakdown.
- Provides adequate hydration for my oily/combination skin
- Doesn’t clog pores or give acne
- No irritation or redness
- Applies smoothly and absorbs quickly
- Plays nice with other products like primer, CC cream, sunscreen, blemish patches and creams, serums, etc
- Makes my skin look radiant, rested, and supple without looking greasy or oily
- Feels amazing going on and has a pleasant, light scent that doesn’t induce irritation or headaches
- The packaging could and should be better – Dr. Jart+ has already demonstrated that they can use better packaging in the Water Fuse line, so why not do the same for this product?
- It’s a light moisturizer made for oily skin in mind; those with dry skin types would probably not find this hydrating enough for their needs
- Cost might be a bit high for people used to drugstore prices ($38 for 1.7 fl oz)
- Anyone looking for a matte finish from their moisturizer will need to look elsewhere, as this gives more of a slightly dewy/radiant look
So there you have it! I hope that my Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Sure Gel Review has been helpful. If your skin sounds similar to mine at all, I really do recommend giving this product a shot as it’s been a total game-changer for me. I love love love love love it!
WHERE TO BUY DR. JART+ WATER FUSE WATER-SURE GEL:
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