Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover

by Neutrogena  Neutrogena Naturals
Price:
$7.49 - 6 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:
4/1/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This inexpensive cleanser is not "bionutrient rich," which is the term Neutrogena uses to describe the plant extracts. It is, however, a very good water-soluble cleanser for all skin types except sensitive, because the formula includes fragrance. True to its name, this removes makeup, too.

Pros:
  • Gentle, water-soluble formula cleanses without making skin feel dry.
  • Works to remove makeup.
  • Rinses without a trace of residue.
  • Low amount of fragrance.
Cons:
  • None of significance.

More info:

With Neutrogena Naturals, the big deal is the company's claim that at least 90% of the ingredients in this scrub are naturally derived. They define "naturally derived" on their Web site as follows: "The majority of our ingredients are derived from a mineral, plant or fruit based source. All ingredients in personal care products are processed to some degree, both for safety and for suitability of use in product formulations. The naturally derived ingredients in Neutrogena® Naturals originate from mineral, plant and fruit sources that are then combined to produce our gentle, clinically proven products."

That sounds impressive, but in reality what they're stating is neither unique nor revolutionary. What they're telling you is true: Lots of cosmetic ingredients have a natural source, but the process many natural ingredients go through to make them suitable for use in cosmetics is anything but natural. In that sense, the question comes down to how a company and individual consumers define "natural." There certainly isn't a mutually agreed-on definition within the cosmetics industry, but we applaud Neutrogena for explaining it in a way that’s much more straightforward than what many so-called "natural" brands claim. Interestingly, Neutrogena also mentions that their Naturals products contain synthetic fragrance.

Completely cleans skin and removes makeup in one step without stripping skin’s natural moisture. This Peruvian Tara seed bionutrient rich cleanser leaves skin soft and rinses clean. Developed for gentle eye area.

Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Glycol Distearate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance

Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena has been around for over 50 years, and they've come a long way since they launched their first transparent, bronze, detergent-based bar soap (it also contains tallow). The bars are still sold, and while we still don't recommend them (they are too drying for all skin types), the good news is that Neutrogena has come a very long way from where they started. In fact, several of their products represent truly state-of-the-art options.

Strolling the skin-care aisles of any drugstore or mass-market store reveals that Neutrogena vies for shelf space and prominence with only one other brand, Procter & Gamble's Olay. For the most part, both companies offer a similar assortment of products, with Olay being slightly more focused on anti-aging products and Neutrogena going for broader appeal, offering a nearly equal amount of antiwrinkle and anti-acne products. Regrettably the latter category presents few viable options.

Where Neutrogena really excels (and has for years) is with water-soluble cleansers, AHAs, retinol, and sunscreen products. Their Healthy Skin lineup offers some beautifully formulated moisturizers with glycolic acid, and the sunscreens offer something for everyone, including some ingenious options for those with oily skin (or anyone who finds the texture of high-SPF products as unappealing as slathering your skin with Crisco).

A recent self-proclaimed advance in sun protection came with Neutrogena's Helioplex complex. It is not the superior breakthrough Neutrogena makes it out to be. It's a good system to keep avobenzone stable for longer, but Helioplex isn't the only way to get the most out of this important UVA sunscreen. If it were, why didn't Neutrogena scrap all of their other sunscreens that don't use Helioplex technology? And why do they still offer a handful of SPF-rated products that leave skin vulnerable to UVA damage? Although they offer a proportionately greater number of sunscreens that provide excellent UVA protection, it's hard to unequivocally deem them a sun-care leader when they still sell inadequate sunscreens.

It's common to see commercials and magazine ads for Neutrogena's plethora of products designed to combat breakouts and blackheads. It's nothing short of amazing that, after all these years, the majority of these products, while well intentioned, still don't get it right. Far too many of them contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, and menthol, none of which are the least bit helpful for someone struggling with breakouts. If your dermatologist recommends these products for acne without reservation, definitely consider a second opinion! Even Neutrogena's on-the-spot benzoyl peroxide product contains some potentially problematic thickening agents. Despite this, if you choose carefully, there are some great products (including a BHA lotion) that can make a positive difference.

What's most frustrating and, frankly, surprising, is that Neutrogena's enormous assortment of products represents both the best and the worst the cosmetics industry has to offer. Given their worldwide distribution and research capabilities, they really should be offering a consistent range of effective, irritant-free products to address a variety of skin types and conditions. As things stand now, healthy, protected skin is only assured if you know which Neutrogena products to look for and which ones to never put in your shopping cart.

For more information about Neutrogena, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (800) 582-4048 or visit www.neutrogena.com.

Neutrogena Makeup

Neutrogena's "beautiful and beneficial" pronouncement is a great tag line, but most of their makeup doesn't live up to that assertion. This line was lacking in several key areas when it first hit store shelves in 1999, and although some things have improved, the number of problematic products is a bit startling. (I'm not aware of any cosmetic line that uses menthol or its derivatives as often as Neutrogena.) Each product carries on about the vitamins it contains, yet compared to the leading roles played by cosmetic staples like silicones and thickening agents, the vitamins have mere cameo roles, and as such have little to no impact.

There are a few key items to seek out, especially if you're looking for makeup with excellent sun protection. We also found their lip gloss to be one of the best at any price, and a few of their foundations successfully bridge the gap between skin care and makeup.

The most frustrating aspect of this line is that almost all of it is packaged so you cannot see the color. Even worse, the color swatch on the box is a poor representation, not only of how the color looks in the compact, but also how it looks on your skin. What would truly be beneficial is for Neutrogena to offer more revealing packaging or provide testers or offer trial sizes. Their overall collection and in-store displays aren't nearly as tempting as most other drugstore makeup lines, so in most cases they're relying on their constant magazine and television ads to drive shoppers to explore the world of Neutrogena makeup, or they're relying solely on those who don't mind guessing what color they are really buying. It's obviously working, because despite the problematic elements, this is a line that has survived and is very well distributed.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Rahel
    Reviewed on Wednesday, June 04, 2014
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Smells awful
    • It washes your face and removes makeup well, but it has an AWFUL strong green apple smell that bothered my nose and my skin. :/ Sad, because I wanted so much to like it.

  2. MAngulo
    Reviewed on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    Terrible
    • I swear this is dish-soap. The fragrance is assaulting and the formula stings my eyes and lips. Leaves me skin very tight and dry afterward and yet manages to NOT REMOVE MAKEUP. Ugh.

  3. robyn B
    Reviewed on Thursday, February 06, 2014
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    stings the eyes
    • This was not for me, shame i wasted money on it, bought it as it was recommended from paula, i recently moved from London to Sydney and could not get my previous favourite cleanser. This product left my skin dry and feeling tight. This is very thick and needs to add lots of water to lather up, it did not remove eye makeup, and stung my eyes. I am debating weather to use as a hand wash to use it up or just throw it out.

  4. Judi G
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 29, 2013
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Neutrogena Naturals Fresh cleansing +makeup remover
    • This makeup remover does not remove any of the many eyeliners and shadows (most all) that I use. It smears the shadow and the eye liner usually remains and I need to use one of my other makeup removers. Before I purchase any beauty product, I check to see Paula's opinion and comments on her website. I have been a follower of Beautypedia since I read her first book about Blue eye shadow and I have read all of her books since then.

  5. Mary M
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 14, 2013
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    Nothing special
    • I didn't find anything to rave about with this cleanser--I'm always skeptical about the benefits of so-called "natural" products. In general, I like the Neutrogena brand, but this company makes other cleansers that I prefer, and there are better cleansers out there that DO target acne and oily/combo skin. Not worth the hype.

  6. LINDA k.
    Reviewed on Wednesday, September 11, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    great cleanser
    • Love this stuff! My face feels really clean after washing. One of the best cleansers from Neutrogena!!

  7. Kat V.
    Reviewed on Monday, September 09, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Love it - gentle but thorough!
    • I've been using this cleanser over a year now and I love it. It gets all my makeup off, plus the greasiness left over from my eye-makeup remover. (It can handle the eye-makeup, too, but I find a regular eye-makeup remover works quicker and is gentler on my lashes.) I have combination skin, adult acne, and very sensitive skin. Not to fragrances, but certain chemical ingredients, and this cleanser doesn't aggravate my skin. It also doesn't clog my pores and almost everything clogs my pores.

  8. Kay F
    Reviewed on Monday, September 09, 2013
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    Good, not gret
    • I was looking for a drug store cleanser and tried this based on Paula's review. It was okay and it did the job without leaving my dry skin too tight. I really wish it was fragrance free. I was not impressed enough to continue purchasing it over Cetaphil or Cerave from the drugstore.

  9. bs
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 08, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    perfect
    • thoroughly cleans my face and leaves it feeling great

  10. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 07, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    tests on animals
    • I try not to buy products that use animals for testing.

  11. Susan W.
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 07, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    good, but
    • good but sometimes irritates my eyes

  12. De B
    Reviewed on Saturday, September 07, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Thorough but gentle cleanser
    • Gets every bit of makeup off, even eye makeup. It is very gentle and not drying. I use it year round as my nighttime cleanser.

  13. Olivia
    Reviewed on Sunday, June 09, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    really good
    • I really like this cleanser!! It removes all my makeup (not sure about eye makeup, I always use eye makeup remover first) and it leaves my skin feeling clean but not tight. I really like the smell, its like a soft fruity floral or something, nice! (21 years old, I have combination/oily skin)

  14. VERYN n.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    dissapointing
    • this was terrible at removing makeup and made my eyes sting. didnt make my skin feel clean, just kinda greasy i had to use soap afterwards.

  15. LAURA H.
    Reviewed on Thursday, May 02, 2013
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Too drying
    • Mediocre at removing long-wear makeup, and dried my lips so badly (even though I wasn't directly washing them!) that I had to put vaseline on my lips to wash my face.

  16. Esther B
    Reviewed on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    Too drying
    • Didnt really like this cleanser at all...it is too drying for me...I have normal to dry skin, slightly dehydrated. It does remove make up but it left my skin too tight, & also I have noticed some flaking afterwards. I started using a soap rather then cleansing cream simply because I started using retinols &serums & found that cleansing creams (without washing your face) dont wash off completely & so it would be hard for serums to penetrate & might be wasting money. I need the perfect cleanser!

  17. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Saturday, February 09, 2013
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Quite nice
    • We have a holiday home in a smallish remote town. While I use Paula's Choice exclusively at home, I wanted to have some products that could be purchased in a drugstore as backups in case I ran out of my favourite Resist line. Based on the Beautipedia review of this cleanser, I bought this product. It's a good cleanser. My skin is very clean after using it. I noticed some slight dryness the first couple of times I used it but I found that rinsing carefully took care of that issue. The price is certainly right. My only quibble is the fragrance. Neutrogena does have some fragrance-free products and I wish this had been one of those. Still, overall this gives good value for the money, though as always, I prefer my Paula's Choice.

  18. Anonymous
    Reviewed on Tuesday, February 05, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    Is it Fresh Enough?
    • I have used Neutrogena products for years. Some are great & some are not. I had a couple of problems with this cleanser. I did not care for the fragrance at all. Also, most cleansers have directions for use: for some you need to wet your face first and for others you do not. This cleanser had no instructions for use. However, it does a reasonbly good job of makeup removal for my combination skin and it's definitely a good value, especially if you combine with a manufacturer's coupon, a drugstore coupong and a sale at the drug store.

  19. Lisa
    Reviewed on Sunday, February 03, 2013
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Great for Combination/Oily Skin
    • I have combination, mostly oily skin. This cleanser works great for me: removes my make-up and doesn't irritate my skin. I follow with Paula's Skin Balancing toner so I have never experienced that "tight" feeling after washing. I rated the value three because I have also used the Clean and Clear for Sensitive skin which is the best value out there for my skin type; I just prefer the "creamier" texture of the Neutrogena product in winter (although I have used in the summer with no ill-effects).

  20. TINA Y.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Not for sensitive skin or dry skin
    • I have normal to dry skin and this face wash left my feeling very tight after each use. Also, I started noticing my eye lids getting a little irritated and then on my third time using this they are now red, itchy, and swollen. I'm going to assume that it's the synthetic fragrance that is used. I rated the value a 4 just because it was inexpensive for the amount you receive.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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