Tested on animals:No
This gel-textured, low-foam cleanser contains a high amount of the alkaline ingredient sodium hydroxide. At this concentration, sodium hydroxide has a strong potential to aggravate skin, which can leave skin feeling tight and dry (i.e., that “stripped” feeling). Over time, this type of cleanser can make oily skin even oiler (see More Info for details).
What about the “exfoliating” claim? This refers to the AHA exfoliant ingredient glycolic acid that’s present in the formula. When used in a well formulated leave-on product, AHA can work beautifully to gently exfoliate skin. However, AHA is far less effective for exfoliation, if at all, in a cleanser. That’s because it's rinsed off before it can begin to work. If you are hoping for this cleanser to provide exfoliating benefits, think again. Some companies recommend leaving these types of cleansers on skin for a longer period of time so the AHA can absorb, but that means the cleansing agents would also be left on too and that can cause dryness and irritation.
There’s also the added risk of getting these ingredients in your eyes when they’re present in a cleanser, which is especially true for this formula given its high amount of sodium hydroxide. The tight, dry feeling this cleanser leaves (the result of its harsh nature) is probably what is mistaken for exfoliation, but in fact, all that’s removed are lipids and other substances that help keep your skin healthy.
Neocutis claims that this fragrance-free cleanser is “specially formulated to work together with Neocutis skincare,” but that would be equally true of any cleanser, so you needn’t believe this oldest of cosmetics myths. There is no reason not to mix products from different skincare lines, so long as they’re well formulated and appropriate for your skin type.
When you consider the drawbacks, there is no reason to consider Neo-Cleanse Exfoliating Skin Cleanser over the many better alternatives on our list of Best Cleansers. If you would like to see what a well-formulated leave-on AHA or BHA exfoliant can do for your skin, check out the Best AHA Exfoliants or Best BHA Exfoliants lists, too!
- Ineffective as an exfoliant.
- Potentially irritating and drying base (especially if you get it into your eyes).
Not Being Gentle to Skin Can Increase Oily skin & Breakouts: Whether you can see it on the surface of skin or not, using harsh, skin-aggravating ingredients or cleansing brushes with stiff bristles, is a serious problem for all skin types but uniquely so for those with oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin.
Research has clearly established that when skin is aggravated the oil gland is stimulated by nerve endings to make more oil creating a perfect environment for blemishes, breakouts, and clogged pores to get worse.
Using any product that’s gentle and completely non-irritating is without question the only approach to taking the best care of your skin; doing otherwise hurts your skin.
It’s also vitally important to use appropriate products that research has shown are beneficial for oily skin and blemishes. The two gold standard ingredients are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Aesthetic Dermatology, January 2016, issue 1, pages 25-30
Journal of European Dermatology and Venerology, May 2014, issue 5, pages 527-532
Journal of Dermatology, May 2012, issue 5, pages 433-438
Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, April 2011, pages 41-53
Dermato-Endocrinology, January-March 2011, issue 1, pages 41–49.
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, issue 10, pages 821-832
European Journal of Dermatology, September-October 2002, pages 422-427
Journal of the American Medical Association, August 2004, issue 6, page 764
Dermatology, January 2003, issue 1, pages 17-23