The Ultimate Cleanser 3-Way Clean, Oil-free
5 fl. oz. for $7.99
Last Updated:06.14.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

The "3-way" part of this product's name refers to the fact that it can be used as a cleanser, a scrub, or a mask. The formula is closest to that of an absorbent clay mask for oily skin, and that's how it works best—but there are warnings all the way around no matter how you use it.

As a cleanser, this is tricky to use, and it doesn’t contain much in the way of cleansing ingredients. It isn't adept at removing makeup, either.

As a scrub, it contains standard polyethylene (plastic) scrub beads, but the clay base makes it harder to use than a regular facial scrub that also contains cleansing agents because it is hard to move around on your skin and it's difficult to rinse.

Although this may seem like a convenient product, no matter how you use it, your skin will suffer irritation from peppermint and menthol. This kind of irritation causes collagen to break down and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore.

Last, but not least, whether used as a mask, cleanser, or scrub, this is difficult to rinse.

  • None.
  • Doesn't work well as a cleanser.
  • Difficult to rinse, whether used as a cleanser, scrub, or mask.
  • Contains irritating ingredients that cause collagen breakdown and can stimulate excess oil production.
  • Strong fragrance, which can cause irritation. Fragrance is never skin care.

Over time, skin regeneration naturally decreases: dullness, rough texture and uneven tone appear on skin. Skin Renew Resurfacing 3-way Cleanser is right for you if you want to reveal deeply clean, smooth and radiant skin without a complicated cleansing routine.


Water, Kaolin, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Zea Mays Starch/Corn Starch, Titanium Dioxide, Decyl Glucoside, Polyethylene, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Limonene, Linalool, Mentha Piperita Extract/Peppermint Leaf Extract, Menthol, Methylparaben, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera Extract/Grape Fruit Water, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance

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 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.

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