04.01.2015
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Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer
Rating
1.7 fl. oz. for $16.99
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:04.01.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Housed in one container is a swirled moisturizer and serum said to firm skin and reduce wrinkles. But far from being a 2-in-1 miracle, this product, whose texture is more moisturizer than serum, is mostly disappointing. It contains a standard roster of slip agents and thickeners to create a cushiony feel, but the state-of-the-art ingredients are in short supply.

This is said to contain “pro retinol from nature” but the form of vitamin A used is retinyl linoleate, which may be natural or synthetic. This form of vitamin A is retinol combined with linoleic acid, and both are good cell-communicating ingredients. However, there is considerably more research on pure retinol benefiting skin than retinyl linoleate, and even so, Garnier isn’t using much of retinyl linoleate in this product.

Along with the retinyl linoleate is a tiny amount of antioxidant vitamin E, likely not enough to offer any anti-aging impact. This serum plus moisturizer makes some big promises, but the formula simply isn’t capable of fulfilling them. For certain, it cannot lift sagging skin; no skin-care product or ingredient can do that because the multiple factors that lead to sagging cannot be completely addressed by skin-care products. In terms of instant firming, this contains enough film-forming agents to make skin feel a bit firmer, perhaps even a little tighter, but skin feeling firmer or tighter isn’t the same as it actually becoming firmer or tighter—it’s just a tactile sensation that may make you think the product is doing something. If you decide to try this, it's best for normal to dry skin.

Claims

Instantly firms. 2X pro-retinol from nature. 2-in-1 Innovation. Dual-fusion delivery: Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer is precisely mixed together only at the time of use to provide powerful anti-wrinkle results vs. a daily moisturizer alone Upon application, the fast-absorbing serum penetrates deep throughout skin's surface layers, and when fused with the daily moisturizer, instantly firms and hydrates skin.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Triethanolamine, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Silica, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Panthenol, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Argania Spinosa/Argania Spinosa Kernel Extract, Acrylamide/Ammonium Acrylate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Retinyl Linoleate, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Polyisobutene, Parfum/Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Polysorbate 20, F.I.L.D 48880/1, 9991172

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 Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-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.

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02.05.2014
GREAT MOISTURIZER FOR DRY SKIN

Forget about the ultra-lifting and firming claims and concentrate on the moisturizing effects. I have extremely dry skin and bought this to fill in for my regular moisturizer, which I forgot to pack for a trip. I bought this as an inexpensive hold me until I got home. I was pleasantly surprised at the results. It turned out to be an outstanding moisturizer and I would highly recommend it for dry skin. Added benefits included availability and easy on the wallet.

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