Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser
6 fl. oz. for $6.99
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:03.12.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser is a liquid-to-foam cleanser that has a gentle base and an array of anti-irritants (though these are not particularly helpful for skin in a cleanser since it's quickly rinsed from skin). This fragrance-free, water soluble cleanser is a good option for normal to slightly dry skin and is also well suited for sensitive skin. When complete makeup removal is required, a stronger cleanser would be needed.


This light, foaming cleanser with ACTIVE NATURALS® CALMING FEVERFEW® , a natural ingredient related to chamomile, helps calm irritated skin and helps reduce the appearance of redness.


Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Polysorbate 20, PEG-16 Soy Sterol, Citric Acid, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Sodium Cocoyl Amino Acids, Sarcosine, Potassium Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Coco PG-Dimonium Chloride, Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide

Brand Overview

Aveeno At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.

Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar won’t remain stable.

Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).

Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnsonowned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.

Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.

The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!

For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Used for years

Found this years ago when I was taking feverfew capsules for my migraines, was thinking the feverfew ingredient in this product would be gentle of my breakout prone skin. I continued using up until very recently when my skin began changing (post-menopausal and dry). Anyway I found it to be a thorough cleansing that left my skin feeling soft and did indeed lessen redness throughout the approximately ten years I used it. I liked the foam, it was less messy to dispense.

Reviewed by
Kathy M.
works for me

I've been using this cleanser for a long time now and I've had no problems. However, I need to start adding a sunscreen to my regimen.. will this effectively remove sunscreen? I really don't want to use an oil based cleanser and I don't see where Paula has addressed how to remove sunscreen. I don't really wear any makeup.

Reviewed by
Not what I was hoping for

Aveeno claims this Gently cleanses irritated, sensitive skin w/out over-drying. Not true in my case. They also claim it removes make-up...nope. Eyeliner and Mascara still there ! It does remove foundation & blush but that's about as good as it gets. I was looking for what the name states... "Ultra-Calming & Gentle. I perceived that to imply, smooth, no flakiness. I'm Disappointed. I've been using this face cleanser for a month. Tomorrow I will be buying something better.

Reviewed by
Pattie M
Unexpectedly drying

it claims to be "ulta calming" but it strips my skin. A lot. I started using this when I ran out of neutrogena's cleanser, especially for the area around my eyes to remove mascara and eyeliner. It doesn't do a great job of that, but I figured it was better than soap. My skin, especially the area around my eyes always feels dry and kind of rough after using using it. This is a foaming cleanser, which I read is more drying than a liquid/cream cleanser. Maybe that accounts for it?

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