There’s something special about the brands that have made a big impression on your skincare journey. Those brands that have captured your imagination, earned your trust and skincare dollars over the years.
But as we progress on that journey, we change. Our skin changes, our knowledge deepens and our philosophy around skincare evolves. And sometimes that means those old brands we loved get left behind.
For me, one of those brands was Klairs. I have been a big fan of the brand but recent developments in my skin and ingredient knowledge have seen me moving further away from their products. So when Klairs announced their new Fundamental Line and launched two new products, I was intrigued but uncertain.
Would these new products fit into my new requirements for products? Gentle, balancing and free of essential oils?
I was surprised to take a look into the ingredients and list and find out, YES, THEY DO!
My skin type: Combo/dry, dehydrated, sensitive.
Heads up: products were provided as press samples from Wishtrend.
Klairs has released a new line called the “Fundamental Line,” which is focused on fundamental skincare. It’s about going back to the basics and giving your skin a strong foundation of health. Klairs philosophy about fundamental care comes down to three things: Hydrate, repair and protect. Both products in this line aim to hit all three of these philosophies.
And, don’t be fooled, going back to basics doesn’t mean basic products. Klairs describes their line as “healthy and fundamental care with a premium formulation.” This line is marketed as premium and you might have noticed the 2 new products are a little more pricey than other Klairs products. They’re pushing that these are high quality ingredients and formulations. (we’ll dive into those in just a little bit).
The two flagship products in this premium line are:
Fundamental Ampule Mist described as a mist that works like an ampule to lock in moisture without the need for layering. This features green tea water, rice, cucumber, okra and mugwort extracts. Alcohol, fragrance and essential oil free! Wishtrend* | Yesstyle*
Fundamental Watery Oil Drop described as a water based serum with the rich hydration of a facial oil without any greasiness, heaviness or shine. This is also alcohol, fragrance and essential oil free. Wishtrend* | Yesstyle*
Fundamental Ampule Mist
This is recommended to be used in your skincare routine as a replacement for your toner. It does have other traditional mist uses (as we’ll see) but Klairs does really push that this should be used as a skincare step.
INGREDIENTS: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Betaine, Trehalose, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aqua(Water), Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Panthenol, Sorbitol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceramide NP
- 82% green tea water from Jeju Island. We all love green tea and this mist is packed with green tea goodness. The main benefit, that Klairs is really pushing, is antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect you from oxidative stress that can occur from exposure to pollution, environmental stressors, UV rays and lack of sleep, stress or poor diet… so basically just everyday life. Antioxidants can go in and help repair some of that oxidative stress and protect our skin from further damage. Don’t get too caught up in the claims that antioxidants are for anti-aging alone (although they are fabulous), antioxidants are beneficial for all skin types and ages. With green tea you can also expect anti-inflammation, anti-acne benefits, plus lots of amino acids (hello moisture barrier).
- Cucumber, rice, okra and mugwort extracts bring soothing, calming and moisturizing to your skin. Humectants, hyaluronic acid and panthenol, bring the hydration. And we have a touch of ceramides NP here. Nothing major, but always nice to see.
- An ingredient that may not have caught your attention, but is intriguing nevertheless, is trehalose. Trehalose is a sugar molecule that has awesome water-binding properties! This excites me because this means the product not only has the ability to hydrate skin, but also the ability to help keep the hydration locked down in your skin – a win for dehydrated skin (and all skin, really)!
The most important element of a mist is definitely the mister; nobody wants a mist that spits product out at them! I’m happy to report this is a fine mist (not ultra-fine) that delivers product in an even and thin layer, 2-3 spritzes is all it takes to cover the face.
The texture is very watery but has a rich slip to it that feels lightly moisturizing on the skin. This is not sticky or greasy and absorbs into the skin lightning fast!
This is not fragranced but sometimes we know unscented products still have a smell. I’m happy to say this smells like nothing!
I really like this mist and that’s kind of surprising because I’m not a huge fan of mists! (I’ll get to that in a moment)
Klairs says this can be used in place of a toner, but for me I found this wasn’t quite enough in that routine spot. I have dehydrated skin with a deep need of hydration and while this is hydrating, it’s not enough for my skin’s needs. I start off with 1-2 layers of a watery, hydrating toner and then move on to this, using it more like an essence before moving on to my serum step. For me this was the perfect spot in my routine to lock in hydration and bring balance to my skin.
You can also use this as a traditional mist to give your skin a hydration boost in the middle of the day (this comes in a plastic bottle making it easy to carry in your purse). This is when I became very impressed with the product because I have no business misting my skin. With dehydrated skin, I have felt most traditional mists have ended up further dehydrating my skin by aggravating trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). This is mostly due to the fact that most mists are purely hydrating but have little ability to help lock down said hydration. This mist does have that ability. Because this formula focuses on balancing skin’s water AND moisture, this mist also works decently for those of us prone to TEWL!
Other uses include straight out of the shower to keep skin comfortable while toweling off before jumping into your skincare routine. Klairs also suggests use as a toner mask but I cringe to saturate a cotton pad in such an expensive product.
I’m impressed with this product and its multiple uses really opened my eyes to the possibilities of this product. I think most skin types will enjoy this as it’s super light and balancing, but I think those struggling with dehydration (either dry-dehydrated or oily-dehydrated) will be best served by this product.
Fundamental Watery Oil Drop
This product confused me slightly because while this is described as a water based serum with the benefits of an oil, this contains no oil! (Was I the only one confused? Just me? Ok.)
INGREDIENTS: Aqua(Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Bifida Ferment Extract, Betaine, Dipropylene Glycol, Sorbitol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aspergillus/Rice Ferment Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Arginine, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Ceramide NP, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8
- Key Ingredients
- Green tea water from Jeju Island makes another appearance here. We can count on this to deliver the antioxidant protection, anti-inflammation, anti-acne and detoxifying properties found in the mist.
- What is different from the mist is the use of fermented ingredients. We have fermented yeast and rice extracts here that are upping the antioxidant and amino acid profile of the Watery Oil Drop. Fermenting ingredients also helps the entire formula absorb into your skin deeper which results in better and faster results.
- We also have 2 peptides in the ingredients list: copper tripeptide-1 and acetyl hexapeptide-8.
- Copper peptides are often thought of as the gold standard in the peptide world. They can help wound healing and skin repair, plus they can stimulate collagen and elastin production on the skin. Expect them to help smooth, firm and clarify the skin and potentially improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles!
- Acetyl hexapeptide-8 has one interesting benefit for skin – the potential to firm and plump almost immediately. This is sometimes referred to as the “Botox peptide” which is probably going a little far, but it does seem to have a quick, if temporary, effect on skin.
- Honorable mention goes out to ceramides NP and hyaluronic acid.
I know this says watery in the name, but I was still surprised to find this was a very thin and runny serum! I think of this somewhere between the texture of a thick toner and a light serum; it’s almost essence-like in its consistency.
This has a very hydrating feel on the skin, but it also has a decent nourishing effect, which you might not expect from such a thin and easily absorbed serum. This has a rich slip to it when you run it between your fingers indicating the moisturizing effect it will have for your skin.
This does give a nice, subtle glass skin glow to your face. I wouldn’t call it a shine, but it definitely is dewy and glowy.
I honestly don’t find this has much in common with a facial oil, but I appreciate that they are trying to communicate its balancing and moisturizing effect on skin.
Like the mist, you can expect this to have no scent.
I didn’t like this at first!
Key words here: at first. When I first tried to add this into my skincare routine, my skin wasn’t its normal self. It was all kinds of wacky, super dry and severely dehydrated. Needless to say, this didn’t do much for my messed up skin and I was really disappointed.
I got my skin back to its normal self, much more balanced, and then I tried it again. Wow, it was like a different product!
Here are some observations:
This does offer a lot to skin in such a surprisingly light layer. I often fall into the thinking that thin means not very powerful at moisturizing, and thick means super nourishing; and yet, that thinking is being challenged with products like this.
I don’t necessary feel this delivers what a facial oil would in my routine, but I do feel like it brings that balance between hydration and moisture my skin craves.
I’m loving the ingredients here and I totally feel like this is fulfilling Klairs promise to hydrate, repair and protect. I’ve noticed that this has such a nice, smoothing and plumping effect on my skin after application, it really makes my skin feel chok-chok!
I’m totally into the gentle approach of this formula and love that I’m getting lots of antioxidant and peptide protection without any harsh ingredients.
The texture is really pleasing. It’s hard to describe, but it just feels so light and nourishing going on and my skin just drinks it up!
I also felt like this played well with my other skincare layers and it wasn’t difficult adding this into my existing routine.
I think this will best serve combination (combo-dry AND combo-oily), normal and dehydrated skin types. If you are very oily or very dry, I’m not sure this will be as impressive for your skin.
The Final Word
Do you need both of these products? Maybe not. I have used these both together in the same routine and they do pair well for my combo/dry and dehydrated skin, but I don’t think it’s necessary to pair them together to get awesome results. If you can only get one and have more oil on your skin, you’ll love the mist. If your skin is on the dry side and you need lightweight moisture, go for the oil drop serum. And of course, if you’re sensitive to ferments or prone to fungal acne, the mist will be your best friend!
Are these products mind-blowingly exciting? Maybe not, but I’m not so sure that fundamental care should be! These products effectively deliver a really well rounded foundation of hydrating, repairing and protecting ingredients. These formulations take care of your moisture barrier and oil/water balance while still helping to improve the overall appearance and health of your skin. I’m impressed that Klairs has taken such a well-rounded approach, as so many K-beauty companies seem to be following the trend of barrier-focused products that are mostly just a few ceramides blended into a rich cream. Klairs has definitely thought out their approach to fundamental skincare for all skin types and created all-encompassing products that definitely have earned their “premium formulation” claim.
Where to buy Klairs Fundamental Line:
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