Clean + Invigorating Daily Scrub is a disappointing formula, largely due to the irritation risk presented by the fragrance, peppermint, and menthol. The peppermint and menthol may feel invigorating, but that sensation is your skin telling you it's being irritated, not refreshed, and that is a serious problem. (What is it with these skin-care companies: These are bad ingredients, stop using them, get over it!) See More Info to learn how irritation can make oily skin and large pores (two concerns this scrub is supposed to improve) worse.
Minus the irritants, this is a very standard scrub that contains polyethylene beads as the abrasive agent and, like most scrubs, also contains cleansing ingredients so you don't need to wash first, and then scrub. Despite that seeming convenience, this scrub is one we cannot recommend.
- Leaves skin feeling smooth and cleansed.
- Contains several potentially irritating ingredients, including menthol and peppermint.
- Highly fragrant, which adds to the irritation potential.
- Irritation can make oily skin and enlarged, clogged pores worse, not better.
Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).
Gel scrub with Jojoba Beads deeply cleanses and polishes to refine pores.
Aqua/Water, Butylene Glycol, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Polyethylene, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Coco-Glucoside, Vitis Vinifera Extract/Grape Fruit Extract, Jojoba Esters, Mentha Piperita, Extract/Peppermint Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Salicylic Acid, Tocopheryl, Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Alcohol, Benzophenone-4, Decyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxystearic Acid, Menthol, Polyethylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Trideceth-6, Triethanolamine, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Methylparaben, CI 42090/Blue 1, CiI47005/Yellow 10, CI 77289/Chromium Hydroxide Green, Parfum/Fragrance, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Linalool.
Debuting with permanent hair dye and then making the segue to a full line of hair-care products emphasizing carefree, casual styles with can't-miss-it colorful packaging has been Garnier's formula for penetrating the U.S. market. Several well-known actresses have had dual roles as spokesperson for Garnier's hair dyes and skin-care products, with splashy ads appearing in magazines and on television commercials.
Unfortunately, this group of products hasn't got much going for it except the lure celebrity spokespeople provide. The amount of fragrance is perhaps forgivable for a French-owned product line, and in most of the Nutritioniste products it's not too intrusive. What is deplorable is the lack of sufficient UVA protection in the sunscreens. A skin-care line has no right to speak about the anti-aging benefits and "breakthrough approach" of its products when they cannot get this fundamental aspect consistently right.
It's also disappointing that some products contain irritating peppermint, which made us wonder whether the dermatologists who consulted for Garnier had any idea of what's good for skin and what isn't. It seems they didn't, because what they ended up with is a mix of pro and con products that make it impossible for consumers to assemble a sensible skin-care routine, not to mention products that make skin-lifting claims most dermatologists would dismiss as cosmetics puffery.
The hook for this line is the way it is said to bring nutrition and dermatology together. The products are "fortified" with antioxidants such as lycopene and nutritional ingredients such as fatty acids, vitamins (A and C, never present together in the same product!), and minerals. Garnier wants you to think this is a revolutionary idea, but it isn't—did they also overlook that everyone else, from L'Oreal (Garnier is owned by L'Oreal) to Estee Lauder and Clinique, has been using such ingredients in their products for years? And why consult a nutritionist (as Garnier did) when their training and professional expertise has little to do with application of anything to the skin? The whole scenario proves Garnier was more concerned with creating an attention-getting story for this line rather than formulating truly breakthrough products.
Despite our disdain for the way Garnier's marketing takes precedence over making the products as good as they could be formulary-wise, there are some bright spots. Because Garnier is owned by L'Oreal, it's no surprise to find that there are lots of similarities between the better and worse aspects of L'Oreal's skin care as well as with L'Oreal's department-store sister company Lancome. In some ways, Garnier's formulas best those of both companies by including a greater array of antioxidants and intriguing skin-identical ingredients. The occasional jar packaging choice reduces the effectiveness of some of these products, but other than that, Lancome users should take note of the happy face–rated products in this line. You'll be getting a better product for considerably less money here (though, at least for now, no free gift with purchase—but you can buy Lancome foundations or mascaras instead when gift time comes around).
For more information about Garnier Nutritioniste, call (800) 370-1925 or visit www.garnierusa.com.