I like eating sugary stuff. But, putting it on my face seems like a whole new level.
Yet, skincare brands like dear, Klairs have deliberately sweetened up their beauty products. Maybe they’ve decided sugar-based products will be just the thing to entice people like me. And, as you can see from the title of this post, boy, are they right.
Who is dear, Klairs?
dear, Klairs is an indie Korean beauty brand focused on “simple but enough” products for sensitive skin types. Expect products free of chemicals, alcohols, parabens, artificial colors, and perfumes.
The brand’s name, dear, Klairs, represents a letter to a fictional girl with sensitive skin who — you’ve guessed it — is called Klair.
dear, Klairs’ Achievements in the Beauty Industry
Aside from its unconventional naming, dear, Klairs is best known for its meticulously crafted skincare products that are consumer-focused. This has helped cultivate a loyal fanbase for the brand.
If you need evidence of Klairs being a cult favorite, check out the no. 1 ranking of its Supple Preparation Facial Toner on Glowpick (a Korean beauty ranking website). This toner stayed in its top spot for weeks on end in 2016, signaling the immense love Klairs’ customers felt towards its product.
Another great example lies in Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop. Being an active ingredient, vitamin C has a propensity for sensitizing the skin. Klairs took this into consideration and created a low-irritation vitamin C serum that even sensitive-skinned individuals can safely use. In fact, the serum has recently sold one million bottles, showing us that the hype around its potency is indeed legit.
With the rising demand for vegan skincare, Klairs is also getting on the bandwagon. Recently, the Soft Airy UV Essence, Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask, and Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask have been certified vegan. Other Klairs products will soon follow suit, too.
Introducing dear, Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish
Onto the star of this post: dear, Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish is a physical scrub made with black sugar, shea butter, and cranberry seed oil.
Interestingly, black sugar is made from boiled sugarcane juice that’s left to solidify for a few hours. The origins of black sugar can be traced back to Okinawa, Japan.
You may wonder what’s the difference between black sugar and plain ol’ white sugar. Compared to white sugar, black sugar is unprocessed and retains more of the essential minerals necessary for good skin health. The distinctive smoky, caramel aroma also sets it apart from regular white sugar.
The sugar granules in the scrub slough away the buildup of dead skin cells, sebum, dirt, and other skin impurities that are clogging your pores. It may seem counterintuitive to use a physical scrub on sensitive skin. But, rest assured that the black sugar particles are mixed with the right proportion of moisturizing ingredients (read: Shea butter and cranberry seed oil) to ensure the scrub isn’t too abrasive on your skin.
Here’s Why I Bought the dear, Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish
Being a widely-raved-about brand, Klairs has always been on my to-try list when it comes to K-beauty products. A recent #quarantinehaul made this a reality when I added the Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish to my cart.
At that time, I was toying with the idea of using a physical exfoliant again — I’ve been using either chemical exfoliants and/or clay masks for a while now. But, I also didn’t want to risk microscopic tears in my skin from too-harsh abrasives (*cough* St. Ives *cough*).
So, my physical exfoliant has to be super gentle on the skin but still degunk my pores.
What Does the Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish Claim To Do?
Here’s what the Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish promises to do for your skin:
- Exfoliate dead skin cells
- Control blackheads
- Moisturize dry patches
It’s also worth noting that black sugar acts as a humectant, i.e., it helps your skin attract water from the surroundings for optimal skin hydration levels.
The dear, Klairs Facial Polish also features moisturizing shea butter — a non-comedogenic emollient and occlusive — and antioxidant-rich cranberry seed oil to soothe sensitive skin.
While all these sound superb on paper, using the product IRL is, more often than not, a different story. After all, YMMV is a phenomenon the beauty community understands all too well.
Still, the skin-safe ingredient list did heighten my anticipation as I waited for my package to arrive.
My Experience — The Expected and Unexpected
The first thing that tickled my fancy is the petite, cute tub the scrub was housed in. Coupled with the minimalistic label on the front and a spatula for convenient scooping, it was like a cup of black sugar-flavored ice cream waiting to be eaten.
Once you unscrew the cap, a woodsy honey scent engulfs your senses. While I personally like the smell, those who aren’t a fan of scented products may find it a bit much.
The first dip into a perfectly smooth texture is always satisfying (heh).
Scooping out a dollop of the scrub, the individual specks of sugar catch the sunlight, promising a good exfoliation ahead.
Here’s a close-up for your visual pleasure. Doesn’t that dark golden hue look absolutely tantalizing? You may be tempted to lick it, but please refrain yourself.
How To Use dear, Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish
According to dear, Klairs, you should mix the Facial Polish with a few drops of water before applying it to your face. And that’s what I did.
It turns out that adding a tiny amount of water is absolutely crucial. Without it, the scrub is too dry to spread across your skin easily. The sugar particles will also feel exceedingly rough on your skin, increasing the risk of abrasion.
Once you’ve mixed the scrub with water, it will emulsify a little to form a paste. Next, spread the paste on your face. I like to rub it into my skin in slow, circular motions to level up the exfoliating effect. I actually got carried away during the process, which caused my skin to turn slightly red once I’ve washed off the scrub — oops!
Unlike some physical scrubs that cling to your skin, this one dissolves almost instantly during rinse-off. As a bonus, it didn’t leave behind a tacky residue.
After washing off the scrub, I felt an immediate improvement in my skin texture — eggshell-smooth and pudding-soft — which symbolized an exfoliating job well done.
In the mirror, I had also noticed my blackheads were significantly less visible (though not completely gone). The exfoliant’s hydrating properties also meant my skin didn’t become overly tight, especially my chin and nose areas, which are most prone to dryness.
Does the Scrub Live up To Its Claims?
First up, I have to declare that my skin type is oily and acne-prone. In other words, I center my skincare routine around redness reduction, sebum control, as well as acne treatment and prevention.
So, did the Facial Polish accomplish all of that? Frankly speaking, the exfoliant neither improved my skin clarity nor regulated shine.
Yet, I should be fair in pointing out that this exfoliant is made with sensitive skin in mind (even though the product description says it’s suitable for all skin types). While the Facial Polish did a fine job of clearing away dead skin cells and minimizing blackheads, this isn’t the exfoliant for other skin concerns.
But don’t let what I’ve just said stop you from getting this scrub! In fact, the Facial Polish is just the thing you need in your beauty routine if you’re looking for everlasting radiance. Or, in this case, a glowing complexion that lasts from right after you’ve washed off the scrub till the very next afternoon (P.S. I used it as part of my evening routine).
This was the part that wowed me so much I had to write a review about it. Do note that my face is completely bare in this picture, i.e., no makeup, sunscreen, or other skincare product. No photo filter was used either, and I took this shot with an iPhone.
It just goes to show how insanely capable the Facial Polish is when it comes to boosting skin radiance. Talk about a glow-up in the most literal sense.
Is dear, Klairs Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish Worth It?
So, the million-dollar question (or, in this case, USD 23 on Wishtrend), is this physical scrub worth buying?
It depends on what your skin concerns are. Those with sensitive yet flaky skin may want to give this gentle exfoliant a test drive without worrying (too much) about irritation. Dull skin types may also benefit from the product’s glow-up power. And if you’re one of the fortunate few with normal skin type, the Facial Polish is basic enough to spring-clean your pores while adding a touch of radiance.
Personally, I’ll use this up but won’t be repurchasing it. That’s because I have oily, acne-prone skin, and this physical scrub isn’t covering all my skin bases, unfortunately. I’ll probably stick to my chemical exfoliants after I’ve finished this jar of Facial Polish.
In general, I find chemical exfoliants with a combination of AHAs and BHAs way more effective in getting rid of blemishes and pesky closed comedones.
Overall, this Facial Polish is a nice-to-have whenever I want to up my Face Glow game. It’s a pity my skin type and this physical scrub aren’t a perfect match. But, I suspect that sensitive, dull, and normal skin types will enjoy it immensely.