12.18.2014
9
1131
Oil-Free Moisture, for Sensitive Skin
Rating
4 fl. oz. for $9.99
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:12.18.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Oil-Free Moisture, for Sensitive Skin is suitable for dry, sensitive skin (and for those with rosacea) because it contains some good emollients and a small amount of water-binding agents. This is also fragrance-free, but that’s where the excitement starts and stops. Still, the other attributes make it a worthy for sensitive skin, but there are better options to consider.

Claims

A lightweight, water-based moisturizer that provides gentle yet effective moisturization for even the most sensitive skin. This feather-light, dermatologist-tested formula vanishes into skin–without leaving it greasy or shiny. Extra gentle and irritant-free, it is ideal for sensitive skin. And it contains no alcohol, which can dry skin.

Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Petrolatum, Cyclomethicone, Soybean (Glycine Soja) Sterols , Isopropyl Isostearate, Cetyl Alcohol, PEG-10 Soy Sterol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Carbomer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Diazolidinyl Urea, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

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. (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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

Member Comments
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11.17.2014
it's good

Like others commented, this basic, fragrance free moisturizer works, especially if you use it as a base cream and then add a "best" rated bb/cc cream/foundation, spf of your choice or use a serum underneath and your good to go. This moisturizer I can pick up any time at my local grocery store, no ordering, no wait for a package to arrive.

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Reviewed by
Anonymous
08.29.2014
good, cheap, lightweight moisturizer

A good basic light moisturizer for sensitive skin. I have oily yet sensitive skin, and this has never broken me out. My top pick is Cellex-C Sea Silk, but this is a good one you can pick up anywhere.

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Reviewed by
MC
05.30.2014
Thanks Member Comments, You were RIGHT!

I ignored PC's team "average" rating and took a chance on Members Comments. Don't the PC team know everyone can't tolerate the same things, be it medication, food or skincare, regardless whether researchers/Paula define them as great? This product addressed the dryness & sensitivity from my acne med yet didn't cause additional acne. As a decade loyal PC customer, NO PC moisturizer or sunscreen has done that! With a PC cleanser & toner, Cetaphil SPF30 and this moisturizer, my skin is now perfect!

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Anonymous
04.25.2014
Sometimes, simple is best

I really like this plain, simple, unexciting moisturizer - I use it day and night, and under make up, if I'm wearing make-up. It's inexpensive, a little goes a long way, not too heavy, not too light - I think it's a wonderful moisturizer for those of us, like the other reviewers here, don't need anything more than what this lightweight **fragrance free** cream delivers. It's pretty much perfect for me, and having said that, I'm sure Neutrogena will now remove it from the market. Hope not.

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Anonymous
03.29.2014
Bland works sometimes

I agree with the previous reviewer, Paula loves cell communicating ingredients and antioxidants, but sometimes bland works for our needs. Especially for people who are using topicals. Having a moisturizer with all the extras in addition to topicals may end up being too much on the face. I always read Paula's reviews before purchases, but I hope she doesn't forget about us who use topical acne treatments! It's hard finding a moisturizer without all the extras.

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Reviewed by
Ihateacne
02.08.2014
no frills is a plus paula!

I have to totally agree with the other reviewers. If Paula had her way there would be antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients in every product we used. That just creates too many active ingredients on my poor skin at once. I am allergic to niacinamide and all of Paula's moisturizers and the ones she rates best burn my skin upon application. It is so frustrating to read through all of the average reviews to find a moisturizer that is actually a "best" for my skin.

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Reviewed by
Sophia B.
08.24.2013
Excellent with Acne Prescription Gels

I use aczone and atralin, so I don't need any more active ingredients on my face at night, just moisture. This no frills lotion is perfect for this purpose. It keeps my skin moisturized without adding any additional ingredients that could potentially irritate my skin. I highly recommend it for reactive skin, or other people using prescription skin products. Plus, it's pretty cheap!

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Reviewed by
Jessica O.
07.18.2013
Good moisturizer for oily skin

This product is rated 'average' because it's not anything exciting. That is precisely why I like it! All the moisturizers rated good or best contain a host of other ingredients that prove to be too much for my skin. I use a prescription product to control my oily skin and don't need all the other ingredients in my moisturizer which causes my skin to overload and flake. I too would be curious if there is another 'plain vanilla' moisturizer that Paula would recommend.

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Reviewed by
Linda W.
06.30.2013
mystified

I really like Neutrogena Oil-free moiturizer for sensitive skin. My face has a tendency to feel smothered by oily products and this lotion doesn't cause that unpleasant sensation. I'm confused by Paula's rating of "average" given my happiness with the product. I also note that petrolatum is listed as an ingredient--isn't petrolatum a grease or oil? I'd love to know what Paula would recommend as a better substitute.

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Reviewed by
Margaret S.
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