Are They Dupes?: Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula VS Garnier Nutritioniste Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil

by Gio

a dupe for shu uemura high performance balancing cleansing oil advanced formula

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils are held to be holy grail material. Too bad they cost an arm and a leg. And lots of us can’t find them anywhere. Shu Uemura has only three counters here in Italy. And they aren’t even distributed all over the country. Nope, they are all in the same area up north! Seriously, what’s up with that, Shu?

Whatever. If you make it so hard for us to get hold of your precious gems, we’ll look for dupes. I have just happened to find one for the High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula. It’s from Garnier, a cheap brand available anywhere. I’m talking about Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil. Their formulas are almost identical. Let’s take a look:

Ingredient Analysis


Mineral, Corn Germ, Safflower Seed, & Jojoba Oils

Cleansing oils use the “like dissolves like” principle to remove makeup. In other words, oils like mineral oil, corn germ oil, safflower seed oil, and jojoba oil, are able to dissolve the oils in your makeup, allowing everything, even the most stubborn of foundations and waterproof products, to be removed quickly.

Cleansing oils are also gentler than other types of cleansers. Usually, cleansers contain surfactants that, allowing water to mix with dirt and oils, remove all impurities. But they can also remove too much of the oils that keep your skin naturally moisturized, causing dryness. If you’re cleansing with an oil, instead, there’s no chance of you removing too much oil. Result? Clean and soft skin!

Polysorbate 85

Polysorbate 85 helps to disperse oil in water. When used in a cleanser, it gives the formula body and prevents the oily and watery parts from separating. This makes the resulting product more effective and more pleasant to use.

Further Considerations On The Formula

Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula and Garnier Nutritioniste Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil have very similar formulas. They contain the same oils and emulsifiers (polysorbate 85), and they are all listed in the same order, so they provide the same benefits. There are some minor differences, but these aren’t big enough to affect the way these cleansing oils work.

Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula Ingredients

Paraffinum Liquidum/ Mineral Oil, Zea Mays/ Corn Germ Oil, Polysorbate 85, Carthamus Tinctorius Oil/ Safflower Seed Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Sorbitan Trioleate, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil/ Jojoba Seed Oil, Camellia Kissi/ Camellia Kissi Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Canola Oil, Squalane, Zingiber Officinale Extract/ Ginger Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Extract/ Rosemary Leaf Extract, Sea Water, Isohexadecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethyl Oleate, Isopropyl Myristate, Tocopherol, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Linalool, Fragrance

Garnier Nutritioniste Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil Ingredients

Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Zea Mays (Corn Germ) Oil, Polysorbate 85, Carthamus Tinctorius Oil/Safflower Seed Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Sorbitan Trioleate, Simmondsia Chinensis Oil/Jojoba Seed Oil, Glycerin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Squalane, Parfum/Fragrance, Aqua/Water, Propylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Linalool, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-DI-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Isopropyl Myristate, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Alpha-Isopropyl Ionone, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, F.I.L. D162171/1

The Bottom Line

If you’re on a budget, can’t be bothered to splurge on a cleanser oil, or can’t find Shu Uemura anywhere in your country, opt for Garnier Nutritioniste Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil. It’s almost an exact dupe for the pricier Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula and works just as well.

Have you ever tried Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula and Garnier Nutritioniste Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil? If so, which one is your favourite?

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BeautySavvy May 22, 2015 - 8:16 pm

You can’t just compare these 2 products based on formula without trying them and actually experiencing the difference. Formulas might be similar as both brands belong to L’Oreal Group but the quality of these two products are night and day. Don’t get fooled thinking that a $7.99 drug product can be a substitute of Shu Uemura’s iconic cleansing oil. If you want to try cleansing oil, try the best first and then see if you can get similar results with the cheaper brands. If you start with Garnier, you will never want to use cleansing oils ever again which is unfortunate as Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils are amazing.

Gio May 24, 2015 - 3:34 pm

Beautysavvy, I don’t think there is too much difference between the two. Yes, the more expensive one may have a more pleasant scent, and different filler ingredients, but if you look at the formulas, the first few ingredients are pretty much the same. They are the ones that do all the work. So yes, the Garnier one may be a little less pleasant to use, but it cleanses just as well.

Lisa @ Midwest Glam May 22, 2015 - 11:37 pm

I haven’t tried either, but it does seem like a darn good dupe based on the ingredients. Both sound lovely. Great post!

Gio May 24, 2015 - 3:34 pm

Lisa, it is! The formulas are very similar.

Annette May 24, 2015 - 6:17 am

I love your dupe posts, really good thorough analysis! I’ve never been able to find Shu Uemura either. And like you said if they make it that difficult to purchase then screw them – I won’t go looking for it!

Gio May 24, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Annette, glad you enjoy them. Beauty products shouldn’t be this hard to find, should they? We have so many options these days, it’s easier to just buy something else.

tirurit May 25, 2015 - 3:12 pm

This is very interesting to know!! I have also been eyeing the the body shop and loccitane oils. For me availability is key and these brands have a store in town 😉

Gio May 26, 2015 - 2:17 pm

Tirurit, those brands use different oils, but their products are both good. And I agree. Its something is not easily available, why bother?

Ryan Reed July 8, 2015 - 10:01 am

Hey, I’d say the Garnier cleansing oil is an affordable alternative to the shu ones if you have really dry skin. I will note though that the Garnier one never emulsifies entirely. You could rinse your face for an hour and still be left with some residue so it’s absolutely essential to double cleanse if you use the Garnier one.

Gio July 9, 2015 - 8:33 am

Ryan, thank you for the tip. Sadly, I think that’s true for most cleansing oils. Still, for the price, it is a great option.

Selene October 29, 2015 - 6:44 pm

I have used Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil for years. I never like the high performance balancing cleansing oil. It never emulsifies very well. The one I like the most so far is the ANTI/OXI SKIN REFINING or BLANC:CHROMA, because they emulsify better. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than the high performance.
I came across with Garnier’s cleansing oil while doing grocery shopping and found the ingredients are not bad. It’s cheap. I bought it, and the oily feeling kills me. I end up use it to cleanse my makeup sponge. I agree that user experience of the high performance cleansing oil is very similar with Garnier. They both leave the very greasy feeling on my face.
Another thing is I never use cleansing oil solely. I use it to remove makeup, and anther cleansing cream or foam is used for double cleanse. If I don’t have makeup on, I won’t even use the oil.
I guess I’m a picky user. Preferably and personally, Boscia and SK-II cleansing oil offer even better user experience.

Gio October 29, 2015 - 8:17 pm

Selene, thank you for sharing your experience. I love cleansing oils, but I understand not everyone likes that oily, greasy residue they can leave. I agree they’re best used as the first step in a double-cleansing routine. Like you, I prefer to use them to take my makeup off (they do so so quickly and gently) and then use a normal cleanser.


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