Neutrogena Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

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Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

Just in at Naturally Earth Friendly and up for review is the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser. This face wash is in the new naturals product lineup by Neutrogena.

I hadn’t planned to try it except for the $1 off coupon Target sent out. Since I was out of my Earth Science Apricot Gentle Facial Scrub and at Target I figured I’d give it a chance.

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It seems that many major skin care companies, like Aveeno and Johnson & Johnson, have entered the natural product sector. They must have seen the shift in consumers buying habits towards more sustainable and organic products and wanted to get in on the action.

I’m all for larger brands introducing new natural products to the shelves. It will make more environmentally friendly products readily available to the masses in local large chain stores like Walmart and Target.

Neutrogena Naturals Products - Face Wash, Scrub, Makeup Remover, Lip Balm, Soap

Neutrogena Naturals

The new Neutrogena Naturals lineup extends to a wider consumer base and jumps Neutrogena in the natural market. The products include a Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purifying Pore Scrub, Face & Body Bar, Fresh Cleansing Makeup Remover, and a Lip Balm.

What does this mean in comparison to the original natural skin care companies, like Alba Botanica and Nature’s Gate? If you are familiar with the Alba Botanica Hawaiian facial washes you’ll know that Alba is more expensive. This could be a way for you to be more proactive in using natural based products.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser

As with all Neutrogena skin care products, the Purifying Facial Cleanser is priced competitively with other drugstore skin products.


  • No harsh chemical sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes, or phthalates
  • Rinses clean without pore-clogging residue
  • Contains Willowbark bionutrients to penetrate deep into pores and detoxify skin
  • Bionutrients for healthy-looking skin

This face wash contains natural salicylic acid found in Willowbark bionutrients to penetrate deep into pores to detoxify and help remove dirt, oil and makeup, while rinsing clean without pore-clogging residue.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser Front View

Ingredients (Source)

  • Water (Purified Water)
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut Derived)
  • Decyl Glucoside (Corn/Coconut/Palm Kernel)
  • Glycerin (Vegetable)
  • Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (Coconut/Palm Kernel Derived)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate (Coconut/Palm Kernel Derived)
  • Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (White Willow Bark)
  • Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar Bean)
  • Sodium Benzoate (*)
  • Fragrance (*)

Sodium Benzoate and Fragrance? Huh?

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser’s claim to being free of “harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes or phthalates” is threatened by these unnatural, possibly harmful, ingredients listed on the back of the label.

Both of these ingredients are known to harm your skin, so why would a dermatologists recommend these products? Sodium Benzoate damages DNA and fragrances cause allergic reactions.

Sodium Benzoate

A toxic preservative used in hair and skin care products, Sodium Benzoate has been found to cause oxidative damage similar to aging. If it’s combined with Vitamin C it creates the known cancer causing agent benzene.

Neutrogena claims these remaining ingredients “are essential to blend the product together and maintain effectiveness.”


Skin care products typically contain ingredients, particularly fragrances, that irritate the skin. This is especially true for those with sensitive skin. Even though the Purifying Facial Cleanser contains many gentle, and natural, ingredients the last ingredient is “Fragrance”.

Fragrance is probably the most irritating allergen, so how can it be called hypoallergenic? Most people with sensitive skin are prone to breakouts and irritation because of added fragrances. It’s unnecessary, and in the case of the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, it smells really strange.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser Review

At first I didn’t notice the weird smell, it just reminded me of being a teenager when I used the Deep Clean Cream Cleanser by Neutrogena. Now I can’t help but notice the smell. It’s completely overpowering.

The fragrance is actually permeating into my mouth when I wash my face. I can taste this very “unnatural” scent and it’s not pleasant. It reminds me of the cheap soap used at gas stations. Strong and fake, and it even is slightly greasy. It takes a lot of water to wash it off.

For the first day or two after using this face wash my skin didn’t feel overly dry. Since using the facial cleanser each day over the past week I’ve actually broken out. Well two pimples which isn’t a big deal, but I rarely break out.

I went to Amazon to see what others were saying and 30% gave it three stars or less. It seems more than a few customers broke out, some with additional red bumps more similar to a rash. This definitely isn’t for everybody. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with sensitive skin.


I’m not one to throw away something that’s not empty as it’s just creating extra waste, so I’ll continue using Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser until it’s gone. Once the bottle is empty I don’t plan on buying this again or any of the Neutrogena Naturals line in the future.

I’ll stick to 100% natural skin care products. I just got Alba Botanica’s Natural Hawaiian Deep Cleansing Coconut Milk Facial Wash and Pore Purifying Pineapple Enzyme Facial Scrub. That’s a mouthful to say out loud. But I am excited to try these.

After the Neutrogena is gone I’ll be sure to write a review for these new face care products. So be sure to subscribe to our newsletter Live Life Naturally to stay informed.

Discuss the Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser in the comments, especially if you’ve used it or plan to buy it, and for more information on Neutrogena Naturals check out

About Brianne Coelho

Brianne Coelho is the founder of Naturally Earth Friendly. She's dedicated to living an eco-conscious lifestyle with her family and helping others make more sustainable choices to ensure a happy planet for our children and future generations.

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