Garnier Nutritioniste

BB Eye Miracle Skin Perfector Daily Eye Roller

0.27 fl. oz. for $ 12.99
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Here it is: Yet another "BB" product to join the bandwagon (click through to find out what the BB buzz is all about).

This one is packaged as an eye roller that disperses a fluid BB cream intended to correct dark circles, minimize puffiness, awaken skin, even skin tone, and hydrate.

Sounds amazing, right? Unfortunately, this self-proclaimed "miracle" worker fails on many fronts. Let's address them one by one.

1. Corrects dark circles? BB Eye Miracle Skin Perfector goes on far too sheer to camouflage under-eye dark circles. Not only that, but the Fair/Light shade is a too dark for light skin tones so unless you have closer to a medium skin tone, this will only make the under-eye area darker. That's the last thing you want to do. And ingredient-wise, this doesn't contain anything to fade dark circles.

2. Minimizes puffiness? Garnier claims the combination of their "cooling" roller-ball applicator and the trade-name ingredient Haloxyl work together to correct puffiness. Using a roller-ball applicator only redistributes the fluid around the eye. Some may find it helpful, but most won't see much improvement. And a gentle fingertip massage works just as well.

As for Haloxyl (which is a blend of synthetic peptides and moisturizing agents), there is no published research proving it can reduce puffiness (or dark circles, for that matter).

3. Awakens skin? That's open for interpretation, but we really didn't find this product brightening or "awakening" for the eye area.

4. Evens skin tone? The sheer coverage that this provides can slightly even out skin tone, but it can't do much for more noticeable imperfections--not even if you try to build coverage with the lightweight, creamy fluid formula.

5. Hydrates? To a tiny degree this claim is true but the formula isn't one we'd consider all that moisturizing for those with dry skin around the eyes.

Besides all of the above, the fragrance-free formula contains a concentrated amount of denatured alcohol which can potentially damage skin (see More Info for the full scoop). Even if all the other issues weren't present, the shade range really only works for medium-to-tan skin tones which is pretty limiting considering the vast array of skin colors out there.

All things considered, BB Eye Miracle Skin Perfector is more likely to hurt than it is to help.

  • Fragrance free.
  • Too sheer to conceal dark circles.
  • Won't alleviate puffiness as claimed.
  • Isn't as hydrating as it's made out to be.
  • Shade range will only work for medium-to-tan skin tones.
  • Contains a potentially damaging amount of denatured alcohol.
More Info:

There is actually a significant amount of research showing denatured alcohol (ethanol) causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels. Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products use amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol causes skin cells to self-destruct! The research also showed that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer exposure to alcohol occurred two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day and that's at only a 3% concentration (Sources: Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2009, pages 20–24; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; Alcohol, Volume 26, Issue 3, April 2002, pages 179–190; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, April 2001, pages 109–166; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes
Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Bis PEG/PPG 14/14 Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Magnesium Sulfate, Talc, Phenoxyethanol, Nylon 12, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Caffeine, Aluminum Hydroxide, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide 7

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'tdid 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 facerated 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 purchasebut 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 consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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