03.13.2015
6
50
Healthy Skin Face Lotion SPF 15
Rating
2.5 fl. oz. for $10.99
Last Updated:03.13.2015
Jar Packaging:No
pH:3.30
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

NOTE: As of summer 2015, we were informed by our readers that there may have been a reformulation of this product. We appreciate your patience while we take the time to thoroughly update this review!

Healthy Skin Face Lotion SPF 15 leaves skin vulnerable to UVA damage because it lacks sunscreen agents capable of shielding skin from the entire spectrum of UVA light. What a shame, because the 8% glycolic acid and pH of 3.3 allow exfoliation to occur, which would have made this a convenient, dual-purpose product.

Claims

A daily, multi-vitamin facial treatment that improves the texture and appearance of skin. Its dermatologist-recommended formula contains Alpha-Hydroxy Acid. It eases away the appearance of fine lines, blotches and discolorations for a more vibrant, even-toned complexion. Anti-oxidant Vitamins C and E help fight environmental damage. Pro-Vitamin B5 moisturizes, softens and smoothes skin. SPF 15 sun protection helps prevent premature signs of aging.

Ingredients

Active: Octinoxate (7.5%), Oxybenzone (5%), Other: Water Purified, Glycolic Acid, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Maleate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Sodium Glycolate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid Polypeptide, Panthenol, Bisabolol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance

Brand Overview

Neutrogena At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; several recommended cleansers; retinol options, in stable packaging; vast selection of sunscreens, most of which offer excellent UVA protection; several fragrance-free options; many of the Healthy Skin products are state-of-the-art; the foundations with sunscreen provide sufficient UVA protection; some praiseworthy makeup items.

Weaknesses: An overabundance of overlapping anti-aging products that is perennially confusing for consumers; irritating bar soaps; lackluster to downright bad toners; a handful of bland moisturizers and eye creams; some sunscreens too much alcohol or problematic preservatives; most of the Deep Clean products are terrible; mostly disappointing concealers; the lip balms with sunscreen provide inadequate UVA protection.

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. (We are 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.

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
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07.21.2015
Time for new review?

I just bought a bottle and noticed that it now contains 1.5% avobenzone, 5% octisalate, 3% octocrylene and 4% oxybenzone...giw has that affected the UVA protection?

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Reviewed by
Beth W.
07.22.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  Neutrogena's website matches the ingredient listing we have here, but we will reach out to them for clarification and update the review soon if the formula did indeed change =)

—Admin
06.23.2015
Caused terrible rash

I've had minor itchy reactions to products before but nothing like the red, bumpy, itchy rash this product produced. Threw it out! But other Neutrogena sunscreens and lotions are my daily go-to's. Puzzling.

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Reviewed by
Ginger H
12.29.2013
GREAT exfoliating moisturizer

This is a fantastic moisturizer saddled with a poor rating because of its sunscreen ingredients. If you're not relying on it for sun protection, it's one of the best products on the shelf. I'm late 40s with combination skin that tends toward blackheads AND tiny dry patches, yay. I use Paula's Choice 2% BHA lotion at night and Healthy Skin Face Lotion during the day. By far the best moisturizer routine I've found, and I've tried them all.

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Reviewed by
Sw
08.24.2013
ms

I was looking for the original formula that did not have an SPF. It was wonderful, my skin looked fantastic. I wish they would bring it back! From the member reviews though, this looks like it as just as good even though Paula gave it a Poor rating. I will assume the poor rating is because of the SPF problem

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
06.14.2013
Silcone Free

For those of us who need silicone free products...this is the one. It exfoliates and moisturizes with out any pore clogging silicones. Th SPF is after though, for all I care. Finally, something with an ingredient list that does not start with dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclomethicone, etc.

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Reviewed by
keith C.
12.01.2012
love it as an exfoliant!

I don't use it during the day (b/c it lacks proper SPF) but at night for exfoliation, it ROCKS! I've been using it for years - originally they made it in a "night time" version that did not contain SPF (I wish they still made that). I do wonder if it contains vitamins and antioxidants. I also wonder if the only reason Paula gave it a POOR rating is due to the lack of proper sunscreen.

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Reviewed by
lesley
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