Clean + Blackhead Eliminating Scrub for Oily Skin, Oil-Free
It would be great if all it took to eliminate blackheads was a scrub, but anyone who has used a scrub with that intention knows it simply doesn't happen. This scrub, which is okay, but quite standard, doesn't change history. For additional details on plastic microbeads in cosmetics, see the More Info section below.
When you have blackheads and use a scrub, the very top portion of the blackhead (what you see at the opening of your pores) may be removed, but it's back again in no time. Think of mowing over a weed in your yard rather than pulling it out of the ground by the roots. The same concept applies to scrubs and blackheads: Scrubs simply cannot get to the root of the problem deep in the pore, so the blackhead is never eliminated and, depending on how abrasive the scrub is, may make matters worse.
What it takes to eliminate blackheads is a well-formulated, leave-on exfoliant that contains salicylic acid, also known as BHA. Although this scrub contains 2% salicylic acid, it's not in contact with skin long enough for it to work, and this scrub's pH is not within the range salicylic acid needs to exfoliate inside the pore lining. Only with the proper ingredient, the right pH, and time on the skin will blackheads go from a daily problem to a distant memory.
Scrubs have their place in terms of offering an extra measure of smoothness or a more thorough cleansing, but if blackheads are your concern, a BHA exfoliant is the way to go. See our list of Best BHA Exfoliants to find one that's right for you. Otherwise, if you simply want a scrub for extra cleansing, this inexpensive option is suitable for all skin types except sensitive, due to the small amount of fragrance it contains.
- Leaves skin feeling clean and smooth.
- Rinses easily.
- Contains rounded polyethylene beads for gentle exfoliation.
- Cannot eliminate blackheads.
- The salicylic acid it contains is not in contact with skin long enough and the formula's pH is not within the range it needs to exfoliate.
Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics: This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyurethane beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013).
Additional research published in December of 2013 demonstrated that polyurethane beads have the potential to absorb pollutants while in waterways. This research was conducted to establish the potential of absorption, however, and was not conducted using samples from actual waterways (Cell, 2013).
Beautypedia does not take an ideological stance in reviewing skincare products; rather, our reviews are based upon each product's potential harm or benefit to skin contingent upon what independent peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated. On issues like polyethylene beads in cosmetics or animal testing, we present the facts without judgment so that you may make your own decision whether or not this product is right for you.
Gel exfoliator with micro beads deeply cleanses, tightens pores and smoothes skin.
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.