Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub

by Neutrogena  Neutrogena Naturals
Price:
$7.49 - 4 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Scrubs > Scrubs
Last Updated:
8/12/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

No matter how well formulated they are (and this is a good, gentle scrub formula), scrubs don’t purify pores or lead to clear skin. Breakouts cannot be scrubbed away, and, in fact, it’s a bad idea to use scrubs over acne lesions because they can hurt the healing process and make already-red skin lesions redder. If acne isn’t your concern, this is a workable scrub that helps make all skin types smoother.

Pros:

  • Gentle scrub for mild exfoliation.
  • Contains gentle cleansing agents to help remove excess oil.
  • Willow bark is a good anti-irritant, but when included in a cleanser it is just rinsed down the drain.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for acne-prone skin (see More Info below).
  • Added fragrance makes it a tricky product for sensitive skin.
  • Doesn’t rinse as easily as the scrubs on our Best Scrubs list.

More info:

When acne or breakouts are your concern, the best exfoliating product you can use is a well-formulated BHA (beta hydroxy acid) product. Its active ingredient, salicylic acid, goes far beyond what any scrub can do: It exfoliates on the skin’s surface and inside the pore lining, helps restore a normal flow of oil to prevent clogged pores, reduces pore size and redness, and offers a mild antibacterial action to further reduce acne. See what we mean about scrubs not coming close?

Regarding 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.

Gently scrubs away impurities and dull, dead skin cells that can build up in pores to improve complexion for fresh, clear skin. Suitable for even acne prone skin. Gentle enough for daily use. Won’t clog pores.

Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cocamidopropyl, Hydroxysultaine, Xanthan Gum, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Benzoate, 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)

    1 / 4 Poor
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    1 / 4 Poor
Page of 1
  1. Miskycat
    Reviewed on Monday, July 22, 2013
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Had to throw it away!
    • This product really irritated my skin. The same thing happened for my daughter. We have slightly sensitive skin, but something in this product really set off a bad reaction. It is hightly fragranced so it may have been one of these ingredients that caused the problem.Threw it away after these experiences.

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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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