Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser Review

Neutrogena Naturals is one of my favorite drugstore skincare brands. The line features products that are “ecologically friendly” and free of harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes and phthalates [Neutrogena].

This week, I’m taking an in-depth look at Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser–a clear face wash that was just featured in Allure’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

Description & directions from the Neutrogena website:

This face wash contains natural salicylic acid found in Willowbark bionutrients to penetrate deep into pores to detoxify and help remove dirt, oil and makeup, while rinsing clean without pore-clogging residue.

Wet your face and hands with lukewarm water. Pump cleanser into your hands and work into lather. Massage lather onto skin with a gentle, circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel.

What exactly is Willowbark?

Willowbark is the bark from a willow tree. It has several potential health benefits, including pain relief, weight loss, and acne alleviation [WebMD, Medical Daily]. Furthermore, Willowbark contains salicin, which is converted to salicylic acid–a well-known ingredient of acne treatment products.

According to Neutrogena, “Willowbark is rich in bionutrients such as Vitamins C, B, and E,” and has been “used for centuries by Greek, Chinese and Egyptian civilizations to treat a range of ailments.”

  • Packaging: I like that the bottle is semi-transparent, so that you know just how much product is left. The lockable pump is also a big plus.
  • Scent: This face wash has a pleasant, slightly fruity smell. The fragrance is quite light and does not bother me at all.
  • Texture: The clear gel-like soap turns into a soft foamy lather with the addition of water.
  • Experience: I have been using this face wash intermittently for a while now. When I use this cleanser alone, I find that it only removes 50% of my makeup (hello, raccoon eyes). If used after makeup remover or oil cleanser, the Purifying Facial Cleanser works pretty well. It makes my skin feel smooth and clean, but stripped of some moisture. As a result, I highly recommend using this product as part of a double cleanse routine (oil cleanser then foam cleanser), and following up with a hydrating face lotion or cream.
    Pros — No residue, gentle formula, skin feels clean
    Cons — Drying, does not fully remove makeup
  • Rating: 3/5. It does a fairly good job of cleansing my skin, but there are much better alternatives on the market.

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