Clinique Moisture Surge vs. Garnier Moisture Rescue


The Clinique Moisture Surge 72-hour Hydrator is a moisturizer that I started using 10 years ago. Back then it was just called Moisture Surge, and I remember my mom getting it for me once or twice a year and I loved it. It was the only moisturizer that didn’t break me out and felt comfortable on my skin. When I got to grad school, I was looking for a less expensive alternative, and came across this similar gel crème from Garnier called Moisture Rescue (for Dry Skin). I was struck by the similarity of both the product and the name, and I used it for a few years as my main moisturizer before I branched out into Korean skincare. Recently I’ve been seeing the Clinique Moisture Surge all over, and I thought it would be interesting to compare these two products head-to-head. Keep reading to see how the Garnier Moisture Rescue for Dry Skin (at around 8 dollars at the drugstore) compares to the cult-favorite Clinique Moisture Surge!

Left: Garnier Moisture Rescue, Right: Clinique Moisture Surge

Garnier Moisture Rescue / Clinique Moisture Surge

First off, there are two kinds of Garnier Moisture Rescue – one for regular skin and one for dry skin. I would say I have normal to combination skin (oily in T zone and dry on cheeks) and the version for regular skin was definitely not hydrating enough. I then tried the version for dry skin (it’s pink instead of pale green) and that worked a lot better. That’s the one I’m comparing to the Clinique Moisture Surge.

So the similarities – both moisturizers are gel-creams. I find that these just work so much better on my skin – heavy creams tend to break me out even if my skin is dry. They are both pink and claim to impart a ton of moisture into the skin. Upon opening the jars and swatching them on the back of my hand, I noticed that the Clinique was a little denser gel, whereas the Garnier was lighter and more watery. The Clinique definitely sank into my skin faster than the Garnier. I did an internally controlled “study” where I put the Garnier Moisture Rescue on one half of my face, and the Clinique Moisture Surge on the other half. I could tell an immediate difference in how they felt – the Clinique was smoother and did absorb onto my skin better. I would say that about 10 minutes later, the Clinique side was very smooth, whereas the Garnier side was still sitting on my skin just a tad bit. On some days when the weather was colder, I would run my fingers along both sides after about 30 minutes and the Garnier side kind of “caught” on my fingers (drier skin) than the Clinique side, which was very smooth. Now that it’s warmer, I haven’t noticed this really. Waking up the next morning however, I don’t notice a difference in the hydration of my skin between the two.

I think the Garnier Moisture Rescue is a great affordable moisturizer that has many similar qualities to the Clinique Moisture Surge. If you have combination skin and want a good gel cream moisturizer at a fantastic price, go for the Garnier. However, I think the Clinique is undoubtedly more luxurious, and I am just reminded all over again every time I’ve used it recently what amazing stuff it is. I’m thinking of trying out the Moisture Surge mask along with it soon! Thank you so much for reading! x

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