A daily treatment targeting deep wrinkles and loss of firmness is what this product is supposed to be, but with only one exception it’s another resounding disappointment for L’Oreal-owned Garnier. The sole bright spot is this daytime moisturizer’s in-part avobenzone sunscreen. The sun protection it provides will prevent further damage to skin, but the rest of the product is a joke when it comes to improving the appearance of aging skin. Yes, it feels silky, but the amount of alcohol it contains is likely to cause irritation and free-radical damage, while the amount of state-of-the-art ingredients pales in comparison to the amount of fragrance. This contains shimmery pigments to give skin a glow, but please don’t mistake that cosmetic effect for any sort of skin treatment, because it absolutely isn’t a treat.
A daily treatment targeting deep wrinkles and loss of firmness, for skin that is visibly lifted and smoother.
Active: Avobenzone (3%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%), Other: Water, Isononyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Alcohol Denatured, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Nylon-66, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Octyldodecanol, Behenyl Alcohol, Peg-100 Stearate, Linalool, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Ginger Root Extract, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Disodium Edta, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide Peg-15 Disulfate, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Retinyl Palmitate, Benzyl Alcohol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance, Tin Oxide, Peg-8 Laurate, Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, T-Butyl Alcohol, Tocopherol
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.