This surprisingly emollient moisturizer would be a great option for dry to very dry skin if it didn’t contain fragrant lavender oil along with fragrant ingredients that pose a risk of skin irritation with each use. See More Info to find out why lavender oil is not a pleasant ingredient to see in skin care, despite its association with calming one’s senses before sleep.
Described as providing the hydrating power of a mask with the lighter feel of a cream, this moisturizer contains some very good skin-softening and hydrating ingredients. The best among them, like jojoba oil and a castor oil derivative, won’t remain as stable and effective as possible because this night cream is packaged in a jar. See More Info to learn why anti-aging products packaged in jars don’t equal money well spent.
Although this moisturizer contains denatured alcohol (the bad kind of alcohol for skin), the amount plus the heavier emollients that precede it likely mean it poses minimal to no risk of irritation. Still, even small amounts of lavender oil are problematic, and this night cream simply doesn’t have enough going for it to earn a recommendation from us—not when there are so many brilliant moisturizers that take beautiful care of dry skin.
Last, this moisturizer contanis a form of the beta hydroxy acid ingredient salicylic acid and has a pH that would allow it to work (to a degree) as an exfoliant; however, the amount is most assuredly less than 1%, so it cannot be relied on for exfoliation.
Lavender oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it’s fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Jar packaging: The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you’re introducing bacteria, which cause further breakdown of key ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
The hydrating and recharging power of a mask with the light refreshing feel of a cream. This anti-aging formula reduces signs of dull, dry and tired looking skin. Infused with Lavender Essential Oil, Rare Plant Extracts & Adenosine, it absorbs fast and works nightly boosting cell renewal to regenerate skin’s surface layer, helping to repair skin’s moisture barrier and reduce wrinkles. Skin is firm, looks younger and well rested.
Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil Dimer Dilionleate, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Octyldodecanol, Adenosine, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Red 40, Yellow 5, Citronellol, Darutoside, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Phosphate, Geraniol, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Limonene, Linalool, Methylparaben, Poloxamer 338, Polysorbate 60, Ruscus Aculeatus Extract/Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Silica, Sodium Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Nitrate, Xanthan Gum, Parfum/Fragrance.
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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