Miracle Skin Perfector Daily Anti-Acne BB Cream joins Garnier's expansive group of BB creams, this time adding an anti-acne twist. Does it deliver the goods in the battle against breakouts? Sadly, no. Despite being medicated with 2% salicylic acid (an anti-acne superstar ingredient), the formula's pH is well above the range this ingredient needs to work—but if you have normal to oily skin, you may still want to consider this for other reasons that we'll discuss.
This offers sheer coverage akin to a tinted moisturizer, which is enough to even out skin tone. The colors are versatile enough to work for most skin tones, except notably fair or very dark.
We like that this BB cream's soufflé-like texture blends easily, setting to a natural-looking satin finish that leaves a healthy (not greasy) glow. As the formula contains absorbent clay (kaolin) it feels matte but doesn't look matte, which is a finish that some may prefer because there's little chance of this making skin look dry or dull. If you have oily skin or oily areas, this won't keep them shine-free for long, but it won't make them look extra-greasy, either.
BB creams are often said to provide multiple benefits, and that's where this product falters in living up to its marketing promises. We mentioned the 2% salicylic acid not being able to exfoliate, but the formula also lacks ingredients that could help reduce inflammation, including red marks from past breakouts. Given this product's positioning for acne-prone skin, we were disappointed such ingredients were left out given the enticing claim of "One product, five results."
Beneficial anti-aging ingredients are barely present; you get a couple of antioxidant vitamins but both are listed after the fragrance. True, Garnier isn't making anti-aging claims, but in light of the disappointing results from the anti-acne claim, a greater array of such ingredients would've been welcome.
At best, Miracle Skin Perfector Daily Anti-Acne BB Cream provides sheer coverage to softly even-out your skin tone without a risk of making breakouts worse. On the flipside, don't expect this BB cream to replace your anti-acne skincare routine or provide anti-acne benefits at all in contrast with its marketing claims, which is why this missed our earning top rating.
Note: Despite the prominence of fragrance and presence of other fragrant ingredients, this BB cream isn't knock-your-socks-off fragrant. However, the combined amount of fragrant ingredients likely poses a risk of irritation, especially if you plan to apply this around your eyes.
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
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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