Dual Action Polishing Cleanser
6 fl. oz. for $9
Last Updated:03.31.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is a basic cleansing scrub for oily skin. It does what it claims to, which is to remove dull surface cells and leave skin feeling smooth. The exfoliating beads are composed of polyethylene (ground-up plastic), which are rounded and gentler than alternatives like walnut shells that can scratch delicate skin.

Dual Action Polishing Cleanser contains fragrance, but just a small amount, and fragrance is less of a concern in a rinse-off product like this, because, of course, it is rinsed off and not left on skin. It's an OK option for when extra cleansing or smoothing is desired, but for top-notch exfoliation with breakout-clearing and anti-aging benefits, you really should be using an AHA or BHA exfoliant instead. You can learn more about these and see our top picks on our list of Best Exfoliants.

  • Leaves skin feeling smooth.
  • A good way to get extra cleansing and remove superficial dead skin cells.
  • The blend of cleansing agents limits this scrub's use to those with oily skin; those with dry skin will find it too harsh.
  • The benefits of a simple scrub like this are easily replaced by a well-formulated leave-on exfoliant that contains AHA or BHA ingredients.

Removes all dull surface debris and smoothes skin.


Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Oxidized Polyethylene, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenyl Sulfonate, Buteth-3, Tributyl Citrate, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Benzophenone-4, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, BHT, DMDM Hydantoin.

Brand Overview

Ulta Beauty At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; several good mascaras; the blush, brow pencil, eyeshadows, and most of the foundations are worth a look; a few intriguing skin-care products (but nothing you cannot find from lots of other brands).

Weaknesses: Testers are not always available nor are the Ulta displays consistently clean; bad liquid eyeliners; poor-to-average cleansers; nothing-special pencil eyeliners; requires careful shopping because the makeup is such a mixed bag--for every good product there are two unimpressive ones.

Since Ulta was founded in 1990, the company has continued to carve out a unique position as a specialty beauty store by offering a large selection of upscale and drugstore cosmetics in all price ranges, all under one roof. There are currently over 675 Ulta locations across the United States, and, like Sephora, Ulta sells its own product line right alongside more familiar brands such as Revlon, Murad, and philosophy.

The Ulta Collection offers a variety of basic makeup products, from foundation to eye shadow to lip gloss. Nearly all items in the Ulta Collection are inexpensive, and its lower price point is a major draw.

As with most cosmetics lines, Ulta has its share of good and bad products; however, it seems for every good to great makeup product the line has two average-to-poor options. Testers may or may not be available, so choose wisely.

Among the safer categories of Ulta makeup are the eyeshadows, many of the mascaras, brow products, and most of the foundations, particularly the cream-to-powder and powder formulas.

Despite our enthusiasm for Ulta's large selection of eyeshadow, the quality is inconsistent, especially when it comes to texture and how they apply, even among different shades in the same category. The best way to shop this line is to pay attention to which products we've reviewed favorably and to take extra time to play with the products in-store (assuming the Ulta you frequent keeps testers available).

In recent years, Ulta has branched out from makeup to skin care. Their namesake skin care has the same affordable price point as the makeup, and some of the products are actually quite good. Skip the cleansers, ignore the moisturizers in jar packaging, and forget about the pore-tightening products...the rest is worth exploring, but again, this is not a brand to shop without some knowledge of what you're buying and how it performs.

For more information about Ulta Beauty, call 866-983-8582 or visit www.ulta.com.

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.

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