Pore Minimizing Cream Cleanser (Discontinued)
5 fl. oz. for $9.99
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:08.30.2011
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Can a cleanser minimize your pores? First, cleansers can clean only the surface of the skin, which is important, but that limits their effectiveness to really affect pore size. So, to a certain extent any cleanser that gently removes oil from skin can improve the appearance of pores, but it is a temporary effect and not special or unique.

This cleanser adds a bit extra by including salicylic acid (BHA) and glycolic acid (AHA), and while those ingredients can absolutely help unclog pores, in a cleanser their benefit is just rinsed down the drain.

The “micro-spheres” this contains are merely rounded polyethylene (plastic) beads, the same ingredient that shows up in many scrubs. A scrub or cleanser with scrub particles is no substitute for what a well-formulated BHA product can do for your pores, but it does provide a slight boost during the cleansing process. This cleanser is suitable for normal to dry skin, although the scrub particles make it tricky to use around the eyes for removing eye makeup.


This exclusive alpha and beta hydroxy formula with gentle micro-spheres helps smooth the texture of aging skin and starts to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It exfoliates complexion-dulling impurities so that pores appear smaller and less visible.


Water, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Laureth 13 Carboxylate, Cocamide Mea, Glycol Distearate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Polyethylene, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Glycolic Acid, Polyquaternium 11, Linoleamidopropyl Pg Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Fragrance, Hydroxypropyl Guar, PEG 150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Disodium Edta, Bht, Peg 6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium PCA

Brand Overview

RoC At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some well-packaged products with retinol; all the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection.

Weaknesses: Mediocrity reigns supreme—few of the formulas are particularly exciting; antiwrinkle claims tend to go too far; jar packaging.

Originally the brainchild of a French pharmacist, RoC does its best to convince women concerned with wrinkles that using RoC products will erase those pesky lines and, of course, that RoC is the only company that keeps its promises. That doesn't bode well for the other J&J product lines Aveeno and Neutrogenawouldn't that mean they must be lying about the promises they make for their products? Regardless, the promises RoC makes, including all of the same old same old "you will look younger too" rubbish, aren't viable and don't hold up under closer scrutiny. None of what they assure you their products can do is possible beyond a cosmetic extent, and moreover the majority of RoC's U.S.- and Canada-sold formulas are either boring or one-note. They don't even come through with distinctive or interesting moisturizers.

For example, RoC is big on retinol, and includes it in products with and without sunscreen in the United States. Retinol is a cell-communicating ingredient as well as an antioxidant, and its benefits for skin are many (Sources: Archives of Dermatology, May 2007, pages 606–612; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, March/April 2005, pages 81–87; and Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2005, pages 237–244). However, for the most part, the amount of retinol in RoC's U.S.-sold products is barely a dusting, and so your skin won't receive much, if any, benefit from it. Ironically, although RoC promotes retinol much more than Neutrogena and Aveeno (all are J&J-owned companies), the latter two lines sell better retinol products! Several of the moisturizers with retinol sold by RoC in Canada also have much better formulations.

Another ingredient RoC has been touting lately is DMAE (dimethyl MEA). This ingredient is described in detail in the reviews below, but suffice it to say that DMAE isn't a panacea for wrinkles or skin that has lost firmness. Lastly, soy is promoted by RoC as an anti-aging powerhouse. Soy has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits for skin, but once again RoC shortchanges the consumer by including barely any of it. And it's probably no surprise that sister company Aveeno (and, to a lesser extent, Neutrogena) offers better (and less expensive) options if soy is what you want to try.

Taken together, isn't it interesting how all of these Johnson & Johnson brands offer similar products to different target audiences? Neutrogena is the all-encompassing line, going after consumers battling acne and wrinkles; Aveeno stresses its "Active Naturals" and plays on its oat heritage; RoC is made to appeal to consumers who want to take a serious, more clinical-minded approach to fighting the signs of aging. None of these lines have all the answers, but all of them have a few worthwhile products. It's just that with RoC, those looking for state-of-the-art options beyond retinol have the fewest choices—and that's a promise made clear by the reviews that follow!

For more information about RoC, call (800) 762-1964 or visit www.rocskincare.com. And for a better selection of state-of-the-art retinol products from RoC, see the reviews for RoC Canada.

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.

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