Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream
1.7 fl. oz. for $8.39
Last Updated:03.31.2015
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

How moisturizing can a product that lists alcohol as its third ingredient be? Well, given that alcohol dries out the skin, it’s obviously not very moisturizing, although this fact obviously wasn’t apparent to Garnier. Between the alcohol, which causes free-radical damage and collagen breakdown, and a shockingly basic, highly fragranced formula, this is a terrible moisturizer for all skin types. We could comment on the problems with jar packaging, but there’s so little of value in this moisturizer that it just isn’t worth the explanation.


Locks in moisture for 24 hours. Blocks out dryness. Oil-free. Instantly: skin looks and feels supple, smooth. Stays hydrated for 24 hours. In one hour: skin’s moisture barrier is strengthened to prevent dryness. With regular use: continually moisturized, skin is strengthened and looks healthier.


Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denatured, Dimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Carbomer, Dimethiconol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Grape Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Menthoxypropanediol, Magnesium Gluconate, Sodium Citrate, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Calcium Gluconate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol

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.

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The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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It goes on feeling like putting cool water on your face, giving a hydrated look. But beyond the first few minutes, I can't tell that it makes any difference. It's not powerful enough to use alone as your main moisturizer. I just pat it on my face after I've put on moisturizer and makeup to give it a dewy look. As for lasting the entire day, I don't really think so. It's one of those products that is pretty cheap, so you go with it, but the value in doing so is questionable.

Reviewed by
Works for me!

A nice, light moisturizer! Goes on smooth, absorbs quickly. Great for me because I live in the desert Southwest and it is excellent to use during the summer. No drying effects whatsoever and my skin isn't oily at the end of the day.

Reviewed by
The HOLY GRAIL of moisturizers for me!

I can't tell you how many moisturizers I have been through over the years. Some sting, some burn, some leave me oily, this one however is different. I use this every night after my shower and it has NEVER let me down. I know Paula didn't like this product but for me is its worked wonders and I don't say that lightly. It hydrated my skin, kept it plump and soft and best of all NO BREAKOUTS! This paired with Paula's Balancing Cleanser in the winter and i am good to go!

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