Review: Garnier Aqua Defense Essence – H20+ Face Oasis Dupe!

by Paris B on · 49 comments

in Challenges,Cheap and Good?,Moisturiser,Product Reviews

This was supposed to be a review of the new Garnier Aqua Defense Essence Moisturizer but in the process of test running it, I realised it was a passable dupe of H20+ Face Oasis for me! I’ll run this first as a review then to compare it with Face Oasis.

Garnier Aqua Defense Non Stop Intense Moisturizing Essence Review

Garnier Aqua Defense Essence

The Garnier Aqua Defense Essence comes in a light green gel form in a tub. There is a light fresh smell that brings to mind fruits, in particular green apples.

The Aqua Defense Essence contains grape water to protect skin from free radicals, apple water for anti-oxidant action and vitamin E to smooth and protect skin from cellular damage.

What it is is a very light gel that absorbs quickly into the skin. I like how it feels as it feels cool going on the skin. If you have oily skin then this would be perfect for you. It adds moisture without feeling thick and sticky and despite what many people think, oily skin can be dehydrated too! So this is what the Garnier Aqua Defense Essnce is targeted at.

If you have combination or drier skin, the Aqua Defense Essence can be used like an essence / serum. In the day, I use this on its own under my sunscreen. At night, I use it under my usual night cream or the new Garner Aqua Defense Non Stop Moisturizing Gel Cream. The Gel Cream has a slightly creamier thicker texture to suit those with drier skin. If you are oily this essence might suffice.

I’ve even used this as a mask. I scoop out a fair amount and slather it thickly on my face then leave it for about 10-15 minutes. There is a slight tingly feel on the skin but after about 10 minutes, its nearly all absorbed. If there is any excess, I slowly massage it until it is absorbed into my skin and there’s no need for another cream at night. Works pretty well and my skin feels tight and bouncy. 😛

Here’s the best part – a 50ml tub of Garnier Aqua Defense Essence retails at a mere RM19.90!! Does it get better than that?! Available now at a pharmacy near you.

Garnier Aqua Defense Essence vs H20+ Face Oasis

Garnier Aqua Defense H20+ Face Oasis

This isn’t a head to head combat but a quick comparison. Just a small disclaimer – the products and ingredients are not identical nor similar. It just felt similar on my skin and gave similar results. That’s my basis for calling it a dupe.

I did think the Garnier Essence might be a fair dupe for the H20+ Face Oasis so I spent a few days with the Garnier Essence on half my face and the H20+ Face Oasis on the other half.

Both sides of my face felt cool and non sticky (except when I slathered it on) and were kept fairly hydrated. I do have drier cheeks so I apply another moisturizer on top of the gel essence at night.

Both were gels with rather sharp smells but I find the Garnier Aqua Defense smells just a tad better. Both come in a tub. One is blue and another is light green.

H20+ Face Oasis costs RM159 for 50ml whilst Garnier Aqua Defense Essence is RM19.90 for 50ml. No prizes for guessing which I believe may be better value! 😉

Pros : Light, Good for oily skin, Moisturising, Very affordable

Cons: Smell can be a little strong

The Garnier Aqua Defense line is available at local pharmacies. It has already been available in Singapore for a spell, so if any Singapore readers have had experiences with this line, do share in a comment below! We’d love to know which items you recommend :)

Stay beautiful,

Paris B

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[ 46 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

July 2, 2009 at 10:22 am

Thanks for the review Paris!! I was planning on buying the H20+ one to try after my current jar runs out, but now i’m thinking if i should buy the Garnier one instead since you say they’re quite similar, and the price difference is huge!! lol!! 😀


ParisB July 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Hi Jenn

I found them both to be pretty similar especially after I did the half and half thing LOL… Then again looking at the price, its worth a shot anyway eh? :)


Kahani July 2, 2009 at 11:50 am

Ooh! But I’m a little afraid to try since Dimethicone is the first product on the ingredients list. Still…. RM19.90.. hmm.. =P


ParisB July 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Hi Kahani

Hmm… in that case better don’t risk it. I found it similar in texture and everything but you can never tell with how they make these products.


CM July 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm

what is Dimethicone? Is it a bad thing to put on our face?


ParisB July 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm


Dimethicone is a silicone product present in many skincare and cosmetics. Its not “bad” per se but some people maybe sensitive to it. Try reading this previous post about whether silicones are good or bad for you. :)


Connie July 2, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Very tempting! I’m saving what’s left of my Face Oasis. But damn!!! Apples!!! Should I just buy it anyway and hope for the best? *sighs*


ParisB July 2, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Hi Connie

I think its like McDonald’s apples – not really apples 😉


Wong Jo Yenn July 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I am using H2O+ hydrating treatment for many months and is in to my 3rd jar and has seen a remarkable improvement on my skin.
My comfort level is still with H2O+ despite the better price comparison to the dupe. Sea botanicals are natural and probably more difficult to extract and process, hence the price different. No way,……. I am not putting my face to the test after finding a product that has been so ‘friendly’ to my face. Cheers…………………


ParisB July 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Hi there Wong Jo Yenn

That’s good to know that your skin loves H2O+ so does mine really. Not saying they are the same, but they sure felt the same to me – much depends on your personal comfort level :) Thanks for the input!


July 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Thanks for the review. I’ve been wanting to check out the H2O one, but methinks I’ll see if I can get this one at Priceline instead. The price sure looks better 😛


ParisB July 6, 2009 at 10:02 am

Hi Tine

Not sure if this is available in Australia – do let us know yeah?


Ms. Blacklace July 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm

I saw it in singapore before. But I forgot to check it out. I must say, the color is very pretty….


ParisB July 6, 2009 at 10:09 am

Hi Ms. Blacklace

Haha… I didn’t think about the colour but it does smell quite refreshing to me.


July 2, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I’m definitely gonna buy this to try in the office! Much much cheaper than splashing out for the H20, eh?


ParisB July 6, 2009 at 10:03 am

Hi Rinnah

Do let me know how it goes for you yeah?


beetrice July 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm

bad bad Paris! now you’ve got me wanting this….eeeps!!


ParisB July 6, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hey Beetrice

Oops! LOL….


Sylvia July 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm

It never come to my mind to try out Garnier skincare products, but then again, I don’t trust my skin is suitable to any pharmacy skincare product due to bad experiences years ago. But this review makes me think that maybe I’ll give it a shoot after all.


ParisB July 6, 2009 at 10:06 am

Hi Sylvia

Some people are more sensitive to products. Fortunately mine isn’t 😉 Try to patch test a sample and see if it works before getting the whole tub


Alice July 5, 2009 at 10:09 am

i got this at RM17.89 at tesco


dodo July 5, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Hey is that a discounted price may I know?


Synaesthesia July 10, 2009 at 11:18 am

I’d tried Garnier’s products before but it got me rashes for 2 weeks. I was blurred enough not to noticed in fact it was my Garnier eye cream. Since then, I’m stop using Garnier in anyway… I just bought H2O, although it doesn’t give me the result that I’m wishing for but at least my skin doesn’t hates it… hahaha.. I’m not so sure with Garnier Aqua Defense Essence Moisturizer. Wish to try it so much, but I don’t want to take the risks… 😛


Phoenix July 16, 2009 at 9:33 am

As a user of ~H2o+ Face Oasis Hydrating Treatmnet, I must say this product works wonders on my skin – with dehydration problems. After trying out countless moisturiser on the market, from the pharmacy brands to those from counter, this product fixed my dehydration problems in the best way. I use it not just as a moisturiser, but as a mask too twice a week or just before attending any function.


Thavie July 22, 2009 at 3:53 am

I have been a faithful user of Face Oasis since I was a teenager (over a decade ago), when I didn’t know what to do with my skin. I had blemish problems and dryness in certain spots. Face Oasis evened me out and made my skin look healthy without leaving a greasy residue. I had fewer blemishes as a result, and now my skin has a healthy glow that is enhanced the minute I apply this amazing moisturizer. I truly believe it’s the closes thing to our skin’s natural moisture out there. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I have extremely sensitive skin and I find Face Oasis to be soothing and refreshing and never irritating like some moisturizers I had used long ago. I can recommend Face Oasis for all skin types. If you need heavy-duty moisture it packs a great punch, but if you’re oily it’s light enough to moisturize without adding to your problem. There is even a shine-reducing version of it. It’s also mild enough to use as an under-eye moisturizer! And a little bit goes a long way, so you save too!


Ruthie July 22, 2009 at 3:54 am

As a marine scientist, I know what great powers the seas hold. Ever since I discovered H20+ over five years ago, I’ve been hooked, and I have yet to find an H20+ product that I don’t LOVE. Using rich emollients from the seas for hair, face and body products definitely improves vitality, quality, and health. I have introduced it to everyone I know! I just can’t get enough!


Yums August 19, 2011 at 2:18 am

Hmmmm, wow the last 2 posts were so articulate it almost sounds like advertising…


linda August 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm

y first day i use then my face become so many pimples


Sarah August 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Hi Paris! Thanks so much for the review – now you’ve got me lemming!!!
Do you think you could post up a picture of the ingredients though? I am THIS close to getting it.. but I have sensitive skin and need to double check if there’s any strange stuff in it.

Thanks in advance! <33


ParisB August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am

Hi Sarah

Unfortunately my tub had no ingredients on it – you might have to check online.


September 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I got mine (and the rest of the line hehehhe) from Jusco’s farmacy with 10% off. =)

Love the moisturizer, meh on the toner and not tried the facial wash yet.
And have I said I love the moisturizer?


Sindy September 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm

I have an issue!
I really want to try this product but it seems that it isn’t available here in Bangkok….I wonder if you Paris or anyone in here would agree to buy and send this product to me if I pay through paypal? (product price + shipping)

After reading your article, I was out to the mall and drugstores to find it but to my disapointement :/

And is it always retails for RM19.90?


solsekuin44 March 14, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Hey you.. I bought it too..
Now has been using it for a week, super ??? this!! Eh, electronicfly is here too?
Ahaha.. Thanks for the review ParisB..

My skin is oily when using lotion, cream.. Gel is the only option.
Dimethicones? Did nothing harmful to my skin. No breakouts whatsoever. =)


aNNe March 15, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hye, I think Garnier had improved The Garnier Aqua Defense Essence to Garnier Aqua Defense non stop intensive moisturizing Essence, and it retails at rm 23.00+(can’t remember exactly). Packaging still looks the same tho. I bought it because I was really attracted to the colour of the packaging. Hehe. And also because the Clinique’s moisturizer I used before didn’t do much improvements.

Tried it for almost a week now, and oh-so-loving-itt! I have a fairly oily skin, especially at my nose and forehead areas. Everytime I wash my face I would apply this, and then my skin would feel so soft, the pimples I had before had started to disappear! Before this my skin was really dry after cleaning, and then after some time would get so oily at the mentioned area, and it’s really bad coz pimples kept coming. :(
Now I feel like I’ve found the right product!


solsekuin44 April 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

aNNe, 23+ is the promo pack for Garnier Aqua Defense. It comes with a tube of Essence Gel Moisturizer and a small body lotion from the same range =)


coco April 23, 2010 at 1:55 am

i think this product is my destiny, finally i found you.


Lea June 20, 2010 at 3:10 am

I cant find Garnier Aqua Defense here in Alberta Canada, I usually use it when I was still Taiwan and I can say that it is really good on my face..
Do you know where I can buy it ?


owly November 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm

hi paris,
was it good for oily skin too?


ParisB November 1, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I don’t have oily skin, but those who do have said it works. It should because its a very light gel texture but you’d have to try it for yourself.


kancho February 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm


i am using the biotherm aquasource in the green gel moisterizer. have u used that product?

would you say that is a dupe for that product as well?


ParisB February 20, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Yes I’ve used it before. My review is here :

I haven’t used the Garnier gel in a very long time so I’m afraid I cannot compare anymore. Off hand from memory, it feels similar on the skin but the Biotherm one may be a little more moisturizing. But as I’ve said, its been a while.


noobiequeen May 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm

you totally had me wanting this product!… and (i must admit) out of impulse, i purchased it from Watsons in China (but i’m Singaporean!). it’s about 3 MYR more than in malaysia but I hope that this cream might work as a good moisturising mask for me :3

I have a question to ask! When I was alternating between Shisedo White Lucent Moisturiser (at night) and Neutrogena Water Gel (in the day), I had a MASSIVE breakout that lasted for months!

What is your view about alternating skincare products? :)


ParisB May 8, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I actually don’t use products that are all from the same brand so I mix and match a lot. Sometimes, it might just be that the product you were using did not suit your skin hence the breakouts. I don’t know when its been that I’ve ever used a whole line of skincare – probably years! 😛


rachell anne bernabe July 31, 2011 at 7:32 pm

i just want to know is this safe for pregnant women like me??


kahling August 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Is the Garnier Aqua Defence Essence suitable to apply on the neck area?


Precious October 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I admire Garnier skin products
Are this products available in Tanzania…..?


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