Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage SPF 28
Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage SPF 28 has what it takes to make good on its name, because the active ingredients, taken together, can provide reliable broad spectrum sun protection. The in-part avobenzone blend is formulated in a sheer lotion base ideal for normal to oily skin, though if you’re hoping for a matte finish, you’ll need to keep shopping, as this does leave a slight sheen (but does not feel heavy or greasy).
The original version of this formula was dinged for containing too much denatured alcohol, but Garnier has reformulated and this is now a daytime moisturizer we can recommend, though with a bit of caution.
Although it’s great that the formula contains some skin-defending antioxidants from plants and well known vitamins, it also contains a small amount of fragrance ingredients that could pose a risk of irritation, especially around the eyes. As such, this daytime moisturizer isn’t a slam dunk for those with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea. The texture and overall formula are a safe bet for breakout-prone skin, though.
Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage SPF 28 isn’t the last word in daytime protection, but it’s priced below the average, is generously-sized, and does its job of protecting skin from sun damage while infusing it with some antioxidants—all without a slick, thick feel that may discourage daily application.
- Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Inexpensive and generously sized compared to similar options.
- Contains a good mix of plant- and vitamin-based antioxidants.
- Feels light and silky, not heavy or slick.
- The fragrance ingredients pose a slight risk of irritation, especially if applied near the eyes.
Helps reverse signs of sun damage like fine lines, uneven skin tone and sun spots.
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.