Garnier Nutritioniste
Moisture Rescue Fresh Cleansing Foam
6.8 fl. oz. for $5.99
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:09.10.2014
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes

This foaming cleanser contains some potentially drying cleansing agents as well as a high amount of potassium hydroxide (that’s lye), an alkaline ingredient that can destroy skin’s protective barrier and leave your skin feeling dry and tight, a sensation that doesn’t mean your skin is clean. Add to that the strong kick of fragrance and the claim that this cleanser is hydrating and it becomes a bad joke. If you’re shopping for water-soluble cleansers at the drugstore, look to those from CeraVe, Olay, or most of those from Neutrogena instead.


Deep cleans and detoxifies. Eliminates impurities and moisturizes. Instantly: skin is cleansed, refreshed and hydrated.


Water, Palmitic Acid, Myristic Acid, Lauric Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, PEG-150 Distearate, Glycerin, DMDM Hydantoin, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Propylparaben, Parfum/Fragrance, Pyrus Malus/Apple Fruit Water, Disodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Vitis Vinifera/Grape Fruit Extract, BHT, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Sodium Chloride

Brand Overview

Garnier Nutritioniste At-A-Glance

Strengths: Interesting and potentially helpful cleansing oil and foundation primer.

Weaknesses: Insufficient UVA protection from some of the sunscreens; average to below average moisturizers and eye creams; mostly irritating cleansers; no effective products for blemish-prone skin; jar packaging.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Only cleanser that works for me!

So surprised this is rated as Poor, it's the only thing that works for me. This creamy cleanser is more cream than foam in my opinion, and that's why it feels so good on the face. It feels SO smooth and creamy and at the same time like it's cleaning deep down to my pores. My skin never feels stripped and the tube packaging is great. This cleanser costs only $8 too, I've used products way more expensive that give me poorer results. Try it!

Reviewed by
Christy C.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Love this cleanser

I love this product, I can not believe it was discontinued, I have to buy it in bulk now on ebay to put away in my closet. This product has kept my skin so clear and soft and it last so long because you need so little. Why do companys always discontue products that are so good. I think they probably did so because each tube last so long they were not selling it enough like other cleansers you runout of so fast cause you need a lot of product to clean your skin,

Reviewed by
Friday, August 22, 2014
This has been the only cleanser that works for me.

I had to leave a review on this product because the one here is so bad. I've used a myriad of supposedly "better" products like Neutrogena, Andalou, CeraVe etc. This cleanser keeps my skin fresh and clean, feels therapeutic to put on, is gentle on my skin and saved my skin from a very bad dry spell. It easily removes all makeup. It does tend to sting if it gets in your eyes, but I've yet to find a cleanser that doesn't, so I use a separate eye makeup remover for that area. Give this a chance.

Reviewed by
Christy C
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Wish I had seen this review before buying

I bought this when I ran out of cleanser one evening.I was in a huge rush - it was one of only 4 options in the grocery store. Within one use - no joke - my face was burning, red and so painfully dry and looked "plastic" (shiny, stretched out appearance!!). I have combination skin and no cleanser has ever irritated me this way before, I threw it out that same night, would not even give it away esp after reading the ingredients list and then this review. Garnier should be embarrassed.

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