August 18, 2010

Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream Review

Well Garnier, I have to give you credit where credit is due. You’re consistent with your skincare and you create a variety of products that promise the world to womankind.

You have to give props to the Garnier Nutritioniste Collection just for the sheer volume alone of products they release each year. Wrinkles, crows feet, age spots, you name it and Sarah Jessica Parker is probably smiling from your TV set selling it to you. I’ve ventured into Garnier a time or two but I’ve never found products that have caused mega, wow aspiring effects to make me look fresher, younger, or more gorgeous.


However, I will tell you about a winner of a product that Garnier has introduced recently.

Def worth your time.


An oil-free, gel moisturizer that locks out dryness and keeps skin moist and hydrated for up to 24 hours.

First off, FINALLY a Garnier product that is not promising me the world. Most of their products really get all technical about the functions they perform and how they are not only going to clear up your face but also walk your dog for you. This does none of the above. It’s simple and to the point. A moisturizer that blocks dryness and locks in moisture. No washing the car, no walking the dog, no clearing up your wrinkles and pimples…just a hydrating gel moisturizer that hydrates skin. Simple, straight to the point.

Outside of the Asian market, gel moisturizers aren’t too common. The Asian market is flooded with moisturizers in a gel format and in most cases many popular brands sport a gel formula simply because Asian women tend to have oily skin in many cases and gel is alot lighter than a traditional cream moisturizer. I can’t think of another gel moisturizer that can be purchased at a drugstore within the US to be honest so this is indeed a rarity.

The formula has a fresh, floral scent that kinda smells shampoo-ish in some ways. If you’ve tried Garnier skincare prior to this, you’ll totally get the scent as it’s pretty much the same one they use for many of their products. It’s very pleasant to my nose but some may find it overpowering.

Now the formula is really what’s special here.

As mentioned in the rant above, Garnier has a knack for promising the world however this is a simple, gel moisturizer that promises all day hydration and guess what? It really works. See Garnier, sometimes simplicity is best.

The gel comes in a heavy glass jar and is a pale shade of sour apple green. It’s kinda pretty and looks rather nice propped on my vanity. The formula contains grape water extract and Vitamin E. The consistency of the product is obviously, as per its name, a gel formula. Gel formulas are great as they absorb in a snap upon contact with skin and feel so soothing and hydrating. They absorb much like water and leave skin super dewy and hydrated. The formula is oil free so you aren’t left feeling greasy after use nor does it feel like you have a heavier cream on your face. Facial moisturizers are tricky and they do occasionally feel like they are laying above the surface of your skin rather than absorbing fully which is why gel’s are so much more user friendly.

Now you may be wondering does it really hold hydration in?

Yes, it does but it depends on how dry your skin is. Combination, Normal, Oily skin types will see hydration that lasts quite a good deal, even all day in most cases. Your skin will feel dewy and very soft to the touch however those with drier, flakier skin may not see such benefits. My own skin is performing at a combination point at the moment and this pretty much keeps me hydrated over 12 hours. My skin just feels and looks fresher after use. Dry skin types will like this as well as it feels so incredibly cooling and hydrating on but they may notice that it doesn’t cure all their woes and you may still notice flaky areas and dryness, even with continued use. However, if nothing else, it’s a fabulous prep for makeup since it works much like Make Up For Ever HD Elixir in the fact it smooths roughness on contact and eases the way for foundation and bases.

Price wise it’s very affordable at $7.99 for a 1.7 oz jar but in many cases you’ll find it on sale at local drugstores, Target Etc…

It’s a little late in the season but this is ideal for a Summer moisturizer when you simply can’t use that heavier facial cream that your skin needs in the colder months!

You may not find this is a cure all for dryness however it does work as a fabulous prep for makeup and feels incredible on your skin due to it’s super fast absorption.

It does leave a slightly tacky film after use but that goes away quickly and isn’t too bothersome.

  • Those with oily skin who need a light moisturizer that doesn’t make their face greasy or more oily!
  • Those who live in warm environments who need a lightweight moisturizer.
  • Anyone who needs a good prep for makeup to ease the way for foundations and bases.
  • Anyone who simply hates that their normal facial moisturizer seems to be just laying on top of their skin!
  • Anyone seeking an affordable moisturizer that keeps their face hydrated all day!

  • Super dry folks might not see the benefits of this!
  • Anyone sensitive to smell (some may find the scent overpowering!).

This was hands down a huge winner for me and that’s saying something because I am an incredible skincare snob and rarely use drugstore brands within the US when it comes to moisturizers, eye creams, etc…..The formula mimics that of many Asian brands and actually keeps its promise of locking moisturize in for hours on end. It kept my skin feeling so soft, smooth, and hydrated for the entire day well into the evening. If nothing else, I’d highly suggest grabbing it to use after your regular moisturizer prior to foundation application as it’ll create a fantastic working canvas for your makeup and works like a cheaper version of Make Up For Ever HD Elixir.

Absolutely loves it!

Very Muse Approved for purchase!

An ideal beauty budget skincare pick that’s worth trying out in my opinion!

Anyone see or try this yet?

What did you think?

Do share!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • JoElla

    I have been quite curious about this. With it being so dang hot this summer, I am really having a hard time finding the perfect daytime moisturizer.

    It looks like it might feel like Clinique Moisture Surge.. would you compare it to that?

    • the Muse

      try it Jo I think you’ll likey 😀 Similar texture as Moisture Surge but a little thicker…kinda…and of course cheaper lol!

    • the Muse

      SWEET jo! 😀 get it dude. and come back tell me whatcha think! They also have the SPF lotion one too which I am reviewing shortly and it’s pretty decent as well, very light for warm weather plus sun protection (but 15 isn’t so fab but still…)

  • meghan

    Ooooh this looks nice, L’Oreal had a gel moisturizer years ago that I loved!

  • astatine

    I believe this product is sold over here in Asia under the Aqua Defense line. Great little moisturiser (I’m almost at the end of my second jar!). I love the apple scent of it and the rest of the line (other than the body lotion) I hear isn’t too shabby either 🙂

    • the Muse

      I think it is astatine 😀 I don’t get much apple from it, more fruity floral 😀

  • Audrey

    I saw an ad for this and was so intrigued… I have combo skin and live in the south so I really like using gel moisturizers. I used Korres’ Pomegranate Gel Cream for a while and really liked it, but since I ran out I’ve only been using Shiseido’s White Lucent emulsion.
    The Korres isn’t so expensive, but $8 compared to $30, I might just have to try this…

  • courtney

    Do you think it’d work for a teen girl (oh the acne days!) with combo skin,
    slightly oil, and pimple prone? My friend wants to buy it for her daughter.
    Also- Why buy a moisturizer if your skin is oily? I don’t understand.

    • the Muse

      hi courtney just because skin is oily doesn’t mean you don’t have to moisturize hun. You just need to be sure you get the best moisturizer for oily skin. Teen skin should prob skip it since the heavier fragrances might be irritating for those who are acne prone. It really depends and it’s something that needs to be tested as one never knows how things will react on other skin. Just keep the receipt and return if it doesn’t work 🙂

  • MG

    yayy im so glad you reviewed this! I saw an ad for it in a magazine and was wondering if it’s good or not…b/c of course w/ oily skin everything makes me even more oily….will def pick this up now…thanks for the review!!

  • Holly

    I love this stuff! I’ve been looking for a cheaper version of Clinique’s Moisture Surge, and this is a pretty close match. Perfect for summer, we’ll have to see how well it stacks up in the winter. I haven’t been able to find anything that works as well as Moisture Surge in the dead of winter.

      • electronicfly

        Wee then we’re all talking about the same thing 😀

        Why can’t companies just name their items the same everywhere (if they didn’t change the formula that is)? With the power of the Interwebs and Google you would think they’ll want to harness the power of word-of-mouth/blog more :/

        • the Muse

          agreed electronicfly so damn confusing otherwise 😀 and exactly it would make for easier search and marketing!

  • Ashley

    I use Clinique’s Moisture Surge & I think it moisturizes my dry skin very well.. . but I want to try something cheaper in terms of price. Hmm, this will be a maybe!

  • electronicfly

    I think that’s the US equivalent to the Asian Garnier Aqua Defence Essence. If it is, I loves it 😀 Agree that it’s not thatttt moisturizing actually, but it feels great on the skin 😛

    • the Muse

      electronicfly believe so 😀 def not HIGHLY moisturizing but it does lock moisture in pretty well 😀

  • Lindsay

    Me & my oily skin will definitely be giving this a try! I usually avoid day moisturizers because they just make my oily skin worse, but this seems like a great product & I’ve never used a gel before, I’m excied to give it try!

    • the Muse

      lindsay it’s very light and weightless 😀 I think you’ll likey! Let me know how it works out for you!

          • Lindsay

            Well I have found it! & I’ve been using it day and night for the past 3 days. And if anything I really like how refreshing it feels on the face. However luckily for me I’ve noticed some other benefits. Especially after applying at night time, I wake up in the morning and the redness in my face in considerably toned down, maybe due to the vitamin E? My skin feels very smooth and soft, I don’t even want to wash my face in the mornings.
            And I’m loving the gel concept of a moisturizer. As a gal with very oily skin I was convinced I couldn’t ever do a day moisturizer, well this has convinced me otherwise!
            It also makes my make up go on quite smoothly and helps with any random dried up blemish that would normally look horrible when make up is applied over top.

          • the Muse

            that’s incredible Lindsay :_D so glad you had such amazing results! I really like it too! great little cheapie moisturizer 😀

  • Mollie

    This one does NOT contain SPF, right? I’m thinking of using it as a night moisturizer. It sounds awesome.

  • Todd

    Just tried this for the first time… I definitely love the instantly smooth and soft feeling and look that comes with it when applied. Can’t wait to see how it performs over time.

    • the Muse

      awesome todd. it’s quite nice, haven’t noticed anything long term yet myself but even if it doesn’t do much I still love it as a makeup prep 😀

    • the Muse

      jasmine yes sorry failed to mention it but lucky enough didn’t dry me out in the least!

  • Jenny

    I got this gel cream last week and just came across your review! I am really in love with it 😀 I have the oiliest skin a person can have, and this little thingy makes it feel fresh and soft… I am really looking forward to read your review about the Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Lotion with SPF 15. I had it in my hands yesterday, but just wasn’t sure if it was worthy or not….. I ended up putting it back. So, I’ll wait for your review 🙂 thanks so much!

    • the Muse

      that’s awesome jenny so happy to hear it 😀 I’ll def have a review of that shortly 😀

  • KAY

    i bought this today!!! and its on sale for $4.99!!!! of cus im getting it, i have combo skin/maybe oily and gel is def lighter for me. yeah the scent is lighter compared to Skin Renew Radiance cream im using. i’ll try it tonite on my face instead of my hands (LOL) but im giving it a 4 star already! love garnier’s packaging and products

  • Susan

    I am debating between this or grape seed oil (not sure what brand yet), which should I get?! I have really oily skin and it is because my skin underneath is dry, so it is over compensating by producing more oil.

      • the Muse

        hi susan I’m not really familiar with aloe vera and the effects on oily skin to be honest. alcohol dries skin out and is considered a bad ingredient in moisturizers, toners, etc…

        • Jenny

          I just found out that not only does Alcohol dry out the skin, it breaks down collagen over time! I think everyone should stop using this, no? Muse, do you happen to know another alternative to this that is alcohol free? Preferably around the same price (not Clinique-price range). I am trying to find a gel-like moisturizer that is not STICKY nor OILY. This seemed perfect until I found out there is Alcohol denat…

          • the Muse

            hi jenny entirely up to whoever owns it if they want to ditch it or not. I’ll prob keep using it regardless. I switch skincare on and off anyway so I imagine I’m doing all sorts of insanity to my skin already eep!

            I don’t have any suggestions in the same price range unfortunately. good luck finding something similar sans alcohol and do let us know if you do! 🙂

  • Susan

    one more thing! haha sorry i keep remember stuff every time i leave the page, i read from some comments up there that this has alcohol in it? how come? is that bad for your skin?

  • Jenny

    I think I may start trying to wean off products! I spent this whole week looking into moisturizers and while researching for the right one, I came across articles and threads of people starting to shower less and using less harsh cleansing products. I have a friend who recently stopped washing his face with cleanser every time (I think she only washes once a day or once every other day now) and she now produces less oil and her face is much clearer. I am not sure how this would work for everybody else who reads this so please consult a physician or dermatologist before starting this routine. I’m going to start using Purpose’s cleanser instead of my exfoliating scrub and start alternating with just-water washes.

    • the Muse

      Hi Jenny. Good luck with it hun. I honestly doubt you can convince me to shower less no matter how harmful it is. It’s a matter of personal hygiene for myself. I do like a good shower daily. As for washing my face less that probably won’t happen either considering I wear makeup, as hey here we are on my beauty blog haha, so it’s a little hard to say ok I won’t wash my face today. That will do more bad than good if I sleep in an entire face full of makeup. Washing my face once every other day simply won’t cut it either. Maybe for someone who doesn’t wear alot of makeup this will work? I’ve no idea but I don’t suggest not washing one’s face or body but I’m def not an expert.

      If it works for you! go for it :-D!!!!

  • Jenny

    Hi Muse,
    Is there a way you can display the rest of my previous post? I feel that it is responsible for everybody to read the website I posted if they are going to start weaning off products.

    • the Muse

      Hi Jenny your entire post is showing. if you posted a link it may have been removed with the auto follow plugin I use on wordpress. You can of course post it on your own blog and tell people about it but it’s not really fitting for here as I do review product, etc….that is the point of Musings of a Muse. If it wasn’t for makeup, skincare, etc…the blog would probably be difficult to maintain if I had to concentrate on what was harsh or bad for different skin types. I def do all my reviews with a grain of salt, I don’t claim to be a chemist or expert makeup artist or an ingredient guru. I wish I was but sadly I don’t concentrate on greener beauty here on Musings. The reviews here are based on my experience with a product and folks can choose to try these items out or skip them for reasons such as your own or because of a price point or b/c they are simply not interested.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

    • the Muse

      PS you seem to be commenting as both susan and jenny on here so wasn’t sure what name I should be using?

  • Jenny

    Hi Muse,
    Yeah sorry that was my cousin. She asked me if it’s a good idea to use a moisturizer with Alcohol so I researched for her.

  • Lora


    I was in the Jack’s store on 45th btw 5th and 6th today, and they have this for $2.99! Score!

    • the Muse

      SWEET lora ;-D Have you used it yet? whatcha think!? Any left? LOL ;-D Will head over for that price ;D

  • Lora

    I actually really like it! At first, I was like “whoa, this is way too wet and weird” but it absorbed super fast and my face felt nice and soft ALL day.

    They actually had a bunch left. When you go in the store, head past the stairs on the right side – theyre in an aisle on the right – not in boxes though. The jars are on a shelf. I may go and pick up a back-up or two myself!

    • the Muse

      thanks lora! I love it ;-D It works a treat particularly in the Summer when my skin doesn’t need a ton of moisture ;-D Really lightweight and fast to absorb ;D!

      I’m heading over there tom! the price can’t be beat ;D

  • MissTat

    I was at the drugstore today and saw this product for the first time ever. So I googled it from my phone and your review came up. I trust you. So I got it 😀

    I looove love love! I also got the face wash, and the spf lotion for day. A coworker had recommended Kinerase Cream for my dry skin, but it’s soooo extremely pricey that I was crying a bit (drama, drama). This is in no way close to the ingredients in Kinerase, of course, but it feels so good and refreshing on the skin! Thanks for helping me make my decision 🙂

    • the Muse

      awesome Misstat so glad to hear it ;-D my pleasure I’m so glad you like it hun!

  • Lenaa

    i just bought this product and i think its great that garnier made it simple and the product does what it says its going to do however theres alchoh in there, isnt that bad for your skin? but besidea that i think it provides pretty good hydration =)

  • Yvonne

    I’m so glad I found your review on this. Neutrogena had a similar gel moisturizer that I loved and then they quit making:( I had been trying to find something similar with no luck. When I read your review, it sounded so similar, I immediately went out and got some. (Wal-Mart on sale for $5.47) And…Yay! I love it. It has the same qualities that I liked about the Neutrogena. Absorbs quickly, very light, not greasy, skin feels great. I have normal to oily skin.

    By the way, my husband was thrilled when I went into the store and immediately picked up this. I generally spend what seems like hours poring over the various moisturizers before picking one that I usually wind up not liking. He’s not very patient, lol.

    • the Muse

      LOL yvonne I’m glad I saved your husband some time hehehe ;-D so glad to hear you’re liking this! ;-D They also have a foaming cleanser and lighter emulsion with SPF, you should check them out, both are fab, I have reviews around here somewhere ;D!

  • Roanne

    wow! hopefully this is available in the Philippines! i find cream moisturizers to heavy and for me, suitable only for night face routine! Thank you and nice review! =)

  • Caroline

    Hi, I know it’s been awhile since you wrote this review, but it seems like it’d be perfect for my skin, except that it doesn’t have SPF. Do you think if i mixed it w/sunscreen then put it on my face, or put on the moisturizer then put on SPF, it would negate the effects of the moisturizer (i.e., just make my skin greasy- I have normal skin w/oily t-zone)? I’ve never used a summer moisturizer without spf so I’m a bit clueless, lol. Thank you for your fantastic reviews! 🙂

    • the Muse

      hi caroline sadly mixing with spf would prob not be a good idea as the formula is very thin. I normally put on moisturizer followed up with SPF ….you also have to be aware or ingredients in your moisturizer as it could render your SPF useless sometimes. But normally I go for moisturizer first followed by SPF.

      hope this helps!

      • Caroline

        yes it does! thanks for the advice, i shall try this! ended up caving and buying the garnier yesterday, lol, used it before bed last night and loved it!

        • the Muse

          yeah so happy to hear it caroline ;-D! it’s really a great summer moisturizer ;D!

  • Jaime

    Oh my gosh I love this stuff. It’s wonderful, I bought this before finding it here, but I still love it. 😀

  • Shasta

    Just found this product and I find it to be amazing on my combination oily skin. I hate heavy moisturizers because they make me super oily and most that claim to be light actually dry my face terribly. This one sure seems to be a winner. Seems like when I find the rare product that actually works for me it is discontinued and the hunt must start all over again. Really hope they keep this one. 8)

  • Kai

    fyi i believe H2O+ has a gel moisturizer (i forgot the name but i used it for a while before skipping off to use japanese gel moisturizers, right now HG being Sofina Jenne jelly moisturizer and the Hadanomi pink light gel!)

  • blue_ice

    hi, curious to know, is this product non-comedogenic? thanks

  • brittany

    Hey muse,

    Would you say that it is similar or comparable to Belief’s Aqua Bomb gel moisturizer? I know you did a review on that product on well but I’m trying to figure out if I should splurge or not? What do you think? Thanks so much <3 (:

    • Isabella Muse

      Not really Brittany, they are different textures with very different moisture levels 🙂 Belif is worth splurging on if you have dry skin and need a super boost of moisture!