Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil

Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil Review

At last! There's a drugstore cleansing oil option on the market for those of us who have been seriously obsessed with the higher end stuff.  Those were my thoughts when I first heard that Garnier was releasing their Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil.

For those of you new to cleansing oils, they're fantastic. They gently remove makeup then breakdown quickly and rinse away easily with just a splash of water. Even the most long-wearing, waterproof makeup is not match. Best of all, you can get all that stubborn makeup off sans tugging or pulling on your skin. It simply melts away and it leaves your skin feeling clean, but never tight or dry -- no matter what your skin type (yes, even oily-skinned girls love cleansing oils).

I've been a fan of cleansing oils for a few years and have used various brands including: Origins, Philosophy, MAC, Sephora, and Shu Uemura. This is all to tell you that I've got some cleansing oil experience under my belt. This is not a fly-by-night obsession we're dealing with here.

Needless to say, I was seriously psyched when I found out that Garnier planned to release their own version. Finally, there'd be an option to save a few dollars on a skincare favorite.

When I stumbled on it at Walgreens ($7.99 for 4.2 oz), I purchased it immediately. About a week later, I saw it at my local Target priced $2 cheaper (just FYI in case you want to save a little extra).

Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil
Garnier Clan+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil $7.99 at Walgreens

The first thing I noticed before even making the purchase is that Garnier is marketing it as a product formulated for dry skin. But based on my past experience with cleansing oils (good for all skin types), I ignored this and bought it anyway. (We'll discuss why this is important later)

Before we get into how Garnier's cleansing oil fared, here's what Garnier says about it on their site:

Nourishing Cleansing Oil

    Is it right for me?
    Dry skin types have different cleansing needs in order to look and feel their best. Often, the wrong face scrubs are used for specific skin concerns. As a result, skin does not get the right care it needs to look and feel its best. 

    How is it different?
    Customized Cleansing + Skin Type Specific Care
    Customized Cleansing: Cleansing oil instantly dissolves impurities and long-wear makeup with no greasy residue.

    Skin Type Specific Care: Formula, infused with nourishing Jojoba and Macadamia Oil, helps replenish skin's moisture balance.

    How do I use it?
    Make sure that hands and face are dry. Apply 1-2 pumps to fingertips and massage onto skin. Close eyes to remove eye (area) makeup. Wet face to emulsify oil then rinse thoroughly.

    How do I use Clean+ products together?
    For optimal results, alternate use with Clean + Smoothing Cream Cleanser.

    For advanced care, incorporate into your routine:
For advanced care, incorporate a Garnier facial moisturizer for dry skin and eye roller into your routine. 

Now on to the review:


I'd like to give Garnier kudos for packaging this in a pump bottle. I know this might seem small and insignificant, but not all cleansing oils are packaged this way. It's a much easier and less messy way to use the product because you're less likely to over pour or have oil run down the outside of the container and get on your counter.

Use and performance:

If you're new to using cleansing oils, heed the instructions. Your hands and face must be dry when you apply this. If your skin is wet, it will simply emulsify the oil before you get to apply it. I know it takes some getting used to if you're used to washing with regular cleanser, but it's a pretty quick and easy switch. Garnier's oil is no different. 

Garnier recommends one to two pumps of oil to cleanse your face, and that allotment is totally accurate. I found that two pumps worked best for me and removed my makeup with no problem. Just gently massage the oil onto your face in circular motions and then rinse. I pay particular attention to my eye area because I like a few coats of mascara. As long as I don't try to rush through the removal process, this oil dissolved and removed all of my makeup on most days.  I say most because on a day-to-day basis, I could get all my makeup off and have stain-free hand towels (you know what I'm talking about) -- even long-wearing makeup. But, when I wore heavy eye makeup, like on a night out,   this fell a little short. It still dissolved all the mascara, eyeshadow, and liner, but it didn't rinse them all away. I'd still have some black residue left under my eyes.

I also noticed that it doesn't rinse off as easily as other cleansing oils. Normally, my cleansing oils will turn white and emulsify immediately when they come in contact with water. I can normally rinse them completely clean by the time I've splashed my face with water three times (and that third time is usually for good measure). With the Garnier cleansing oil, I need to spend a little extra time rinsing it off. It just doesn't emulsify as quickly.

Another thing I noticed was that it leaves a bit of residue behind. No matter how much I tried to rinse it away, there's still a very light film. I think this is why Garnier specifically markets it for dry skin. That film feels almost like a moisture barrier that's meant to trap moisture in your skin. I think this would feel really nice for someone who battles the tightness that can result from regular cleansers. 

I have combination skin, so I didn't necessarily need the extra layer of moisture left behind. 

After a bit of trial and error, here's what I found:
  • This works best for me if I use it as a makeup remover and follow it up with a cleanser to remove the film. Here's what my first few days went like: 
    • Day 1:  Removed makeup with cleansing oil,  applied nightly moisturizer/skincare routine. Woke up with a blemish the next morning. 
    • Day 2: Removed makeup with cleansing oil, washed my face after with a cleanser,  and applied my nightly moisturizer/skincare routine. Woke up with a blemish (Wah!). 
    • Day 3: (almost ready to give up): Removed makeup with cleansing oil, washed face with regular cleanser, and skipped nightly skincare/moisturizer routine (Gasp! I know, don't judge, please). Woke up with clear skin. 
    •  Day 4:  Not wanting to abandon my nightly moisturizing and skin care regimen, I removed makeup with cleansing oil, washed my face with regular cleanser, then applied my nightly skincare but used less product. Woke up with clear skin (Eureka!)
    • Day 5: Followed same procedure as Day 4 with the same results. As such, continue to use the product in this manner.


Garnier's cleansing oil feels a bit thicker than the higher-end competitors I've tried. But it's not overly thick. If you've used jojoba oil as a makeup remover, this feels really similar (makes sense, this product contains jojoba oil). If you haven't, it's not quite as thick as olive oil, but not as thin as water. 


Like many Garnier products, this one has a fruity scent. However, the aroma is not overpowering.  If you prefer unscented skincare products, you'll want to skip this one. 

Ingredients to note:

While this isn't something that bothers me, this cleansing oil  contains mineral oil. I know there are many of you out there who try to avoid it. You've been warned. 

Overall thoughts:

Unlike other cleansing oils out there, I think Garnier's cleansing oil really is geared to specifically benefit dry skin. Big surprise, considering the label actually said so. That's what I get for ignoring it. 

I felt it did a satisfactory job of removing makeup, and now that I've figured out the best way to use it for my skin, I like it better than I did those first two days (when I was super disappointed). That being said, if you're used to higher-end brands, Garnier's version may not completely bowl you over. With my previous cleansing oils, the experience was love at first use. This time, there was a learning curve. 

All in all, I'd still say I like this product now that I've figured out the best way to use it for my skin. It's just not my number one choice compared to the other cleansing oils in my beauty arsenal.

I'm kind of hoping that this is just the beginning and that Garnier is testing the market. Perhaps if they receive a favorable response and customer feedback, they'll release follow up formulations that are suitable for other skin types. After all, they started out with one BB cream, and have since released formulations for oily/combo skin and mature skin. I have my fingers cross that this will happen with their cleansing oil.  

Are you a fan of cleansing oils? Have you tried the new Garnier Clean+ Nourshing Cleaning Oil? Did you have a similar or different experience? If you haven't tried it yet, do you think you will? Comment below, let's chat about it. 

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