This is the latest in Garnier's line of Miracle Skin Perfector BB Creams, and it's the best of the bunch. Unfortunately, that still doesn't mean it's a miracle of any kind, or even a great choice if you're looking to try out a BB cream.
Before we discuss this product further, a little background on BB creams: Generally, BB creams from U.S. cosmetics brands are similar to tinted moisturizers, whereas BB creams from Asia are generally thicker and have a high SPF rating. BB creams typically provide sun protection and may or may not include beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents. BB creams are not as revolutionary as they're made out to be (much of it is unwarranted hype), and there is certainly no consistency among products from different brands, which makes choosing one confusing.
Garnier's Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector Anti-Aging BB Cream comes in a tube and has a creamy, somewhat thick consistency. It spreads easily, feels moisturizing, provides broad-spectrum sun protection (though not great protection, with only an SPF 15), and does not contain alcohol like Garnier's other BB creams. Unfortunately, that's where the positives end!
Miracle Skin Perfector Anti-Aging is too emollient, appearing greasy even on dry skin, and it remains somewhat sticky even after several hours. It's also very fragrant (this much fragrance is bad for everyone's skin), and the fragrance lingers the entire time you're wearing it, making this product a terrible pick for anyone with sensitive skin, or any skin type for that matter. Add to that the fact that this comes in only two colors—both of which have an orange cast—and Garnier still has a long way to go when it comes to formulating a great BB cream, something many other brands have done beautifully.
- Applies easily.
- Feels moisturizing.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Is emollient to the point of being greasy.
- Remains somewhat sticky throughout its wear time.
- Very fragrant, and the fragrance lingers the entire time you're wearing it.
- Fragrance is irritating for all skin types, especially when present in this amount.
- Both shades are too orange to appear natural on their intended skin tones.
Active: Octinoxate 3%, Titanium Dioxide 3.6%. Inactive: Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Brand Oil, Propanediol, Stearic Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-20 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Beeswax, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Isohexadecane, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Caprylyl Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Dimethiconol, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Polysorbate 80, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Cinnamic Acid, Phloroglucinol Trimethyl Ether, Benzyl Alcohol, Geraniol, Citral. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.
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.