Review: Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV Lotion SPF 15

I’ve really liked some Garnier facial cleansers in the past, and I’ve even gotten my brother and my husband hooked on the new Garnier Fructis Anti-Dandruff Intense Cleanse Shampoo—they tell me it ROCKS!  But I’m putting it out there into the universe that I have found the most perfect basic daytime moisturizer for my own needs, and it has come from the most unlikely of places when you consider my borderline-obsessive expensive moisturizer history.  It’s from Garnier, it’s under $10, and you can buy it at the drugstore (and even some supermarkets).  Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV Lotion SPF 15 is one of three skincare products in their new Moisture Rescue collection.  You’ll also find a new facial cleanser and gel-cream moisturizer which I do like—but I have to sing the praises here of what turned out to be the hero product of the three in my opinion.

I have combination skin with that dreaded (and inevitable) t-zone shine.  If I use anything even slightly too heavy under my makeup, I’m doomed for sure.  But even on the days I’m not wearing foundation, I don’t want my moisturizer to make it look like I lost a fight with a wayward bottle of Crisco in the kitchen.  And yes—I have waltzed into the ladies’ room in a public place like I owned the joint, only to shamelessly blot my face with a fresh toilet seat cover.  Sometimes I don’t have blotting films on me, and hey—a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?  In that case, it’s nice to have a moisturizer that at least doesn’t add to the oil-production madness.  And with Moisture Rescue Lightweight UV Lotion, it really isn’t an added issue.  While this doesn’t necessarily make my skin “matte”, it doesn’t make my skin look or feel greasy and I find it to absorb pretty easily after it’s been applied.  Score one there for Garnier!

As a huge proponent of sunscreen on a daily basis, I also appreciate the added benefit of an SPF 15.  In a truly perfect world, I would really love for this to be an SPF 30—but for sitting at my desk and just running around for a little bit in the afternoon, I find the SPF 15 benefit is totally sufficient for protecting my face during short incidental sun exposure.  This isn’t something you’re going to wear to the beach or to run a marathon, as it’s definitely not enough protection for doing so.  But at the end of the day, only you and your physician can decide what level of sun protection is best for you!  If you’re curious about the SPF topic, you might want to check out this info on the Skin Cancer Foundation’s site.  Since I’m typically only in the sun for a few minutes here and there during the day on most days, I find this to be adequate protection for myself at this time.  Other times, it’s an SPF 30 & up for my pasty self!  I’d rather have the 15 over a whopping zero protection, any day.  For that, Garnier scores again!

  • Ingredients: This product does contain some skin-protecting antioxidants to help combat against environmental aggressors in the form of a combination of vitamin E, with both grape and apple water extracts.  The Moisture Rescue lotion is 99.9% oil-free and does contain a noticeable fragrance like most Garnier products.  I actually really like this fragrance, it’s a fruity melon-like scent and I don’t think it’s too much.
  • Value: This product is excellent on the budget.  The bottle is 4.5 ounces with a suggested retail price of $7.99 which would put it at about $1.78 an ounce.  I’ve seen it on sale for about $1 less than that lately and as of publishing time, Garnier is also offering a $1 off coupon on their site.  If you play your cards (or your coupons) right, it could even wind up at about $1.33 an ounce.  I’ve been using mine in the morning consistently for several weeks and I’d say I’ve used a little less than ¼ of the bottle, so I think it’s cost-effective.

If you’re looking for a great basic and inexpensive daytime facial moisturizer that doesn’t load your skin up with excess oil and contains a little bit of sun protection—you may wish to clip your coupon and check this one out!  If your skin is especially dry or prefers moisturizers a little on the heavier side, you like a lot of bells & whistles in your products, you prefer fragrance-free products, or if you require a higher level of sun protection for your average daily activities, this one may not be for you.

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An editorial sample was provided by the company and evaluated to determine my opinion of the product in this post.  Please see the Disclosures page for further information regarding my policies for using editorial samples.
  • dilara

    Really? I believe and totally trust you…I am going to have to get some. You know me and my moisturizers!

  • Ashley

    Just wanted to let you know that this sunscreen does not provide adequate UVA protection. UVA is what causes deep sun damage that results in wrinkles. UVB is what causes tanning only b/c it stops at the first layer of skin. for it to have UVA protection it would have to have avobenzone stabilized with octocrylene (which it has neither according to the ingredient list I looked at) OR Meroxyl OR Tinosorb. (those are all for chemical UV protection). For physical UV protection from UVA it would have to have zinc oxide, and a pretty high percentage of it to do much, like 14 or 15% at least. So you can wear this to prevent tanning but you are not preventing any real deep sun damage and future wrinkles :-(. I learned all this from the skincare board and the sunscreens and sunscreenfaq notepads on

  • Amber

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks so much for sharing your findings and for pointing that out. You are indeed correct, without broadspectrum protection, no sunscreen product will protect against both photoaging AND burning rays at the same time. All sunscreens vary in their abilities to protect against both UVA’s & UVB’s and this product is no exception.

    Garnier’s chief claim here is that it prevents against sunburn (UVB), and with an SPF 15 it will do that long enough for short periods of incidental sun exposure like I described for my personal needs. Perhaps I should have been more clear about the UVA’s.

    While the Garnier product does have Titanium Dioxide listed in it’s ingredients (which is a physical sunblocking agent known to help protect the skin against short-wave UVA rays), it’s usually not the first choice for the job. Zinc oxide would be better in my opinion, and most experts agree zinc oxide is the best as it alone blocks UVA’s & UVB’s, but then this really wouldn’t be a lightweight lotion anymore. Another point I want to make–the titanium dioxide in this product is not listed as an active ingredient. In my educated opinion, it’s probably not listed as “active” because there’s not enough to even make a dent in the UVA’s–and perhaps it was put in the formula to serve another purpose. My guess is that it was included in this formula perhaps to stabilize the product for a longer shelf life, or to contribute to the lotion’s white color. I have a feeling this product was only meant to give us something that was better than nothing in terms of SPF protection for a short period of exposure 😉

    And taken from The Skin Cancer Foundation’s site: Many of the sunscreens available in the US today combine several different active chemical sunscreen ingredients in order to provide broad-spectrum protection. Usually, at least three active ingredients are called for. These generally include PABA derivatives, salicylates, and/or cinnamates (octylmethoxycinnamate and cinoxate) for UVB absorption; benzophenones (such as oxybenzone and sulisobenzone) for shorter-wavelength UVA protection; and avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule (MexorylTM), titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide for the remaining UVA spectrum.

    Thanks Ashley for pointing out something so important! I have smart readers 😉


  • cathy

    I love this stuff. It doesn’t just sit on my face; it actually absorbs. It is great under makeup, no shine and no blotting with powder during the day. good find- excellent price!

  • kat

    Remember that even though your moisturizer has a sunscreen in it, and if your are counting on the sunscreen protection, it must be reapplied every two hours, as with any sunscreen.

  • Stephanie

    I just recently bought this because I am on an extremely tight budget and saw this on clearance. It…works, amazingly. And a study on msn just found that even generic brand moisturizers are just as effective as the expensive stuff. Garnier Moisture Rescue is lightweight, oil-free, and is perfect for combination skin like mine; I use it after my cleansing routine for my dry cheeks and under eyes. Works wonders and stays put. : ]

  • Nicole

    I tried this product once and I liked it but felt like it was a little bit on the greasy side for my overly-oily face. I tried the gel moisturizer however, and I loved it.