Makeup | Skincare

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover and Purifying Cream Cleanser

January 31, 2016
Neutrogena Naturals Fresh + Cleansing Makeup Remover and Purifying Cream Cleanser
Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover and Purifying Cream Cleanser ($7.49/ea)

My first experiences with the Neutrogena Naturals line came when I needed a makeup remover and found the products on sale at the drugstore. I decided to try the Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover as well as the Purifying Cream Cleanser because my skin had been drying out a bit. I’ve already featured the cream cleanser in a favorites post so my feelings won’t be a total surprise, but I wanted to take some time to talk about both products with more detail.

The Neutrogena Naturals line is so named for the fact that the products are (at least partially) made with naturally-derived ingredients and recycled materials, plus they are not tested on animals and Neutrogena has some sort of partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

I can’t decide if I care about this stuff, really. Neutrogena isn’t a cruelty-free brand, and the Nature Conservancy partnership is described with vague language on the website. “Naturally derived” sounds great but doesn’t necessarily mean an ingredient is especially friendly to skin or the environment. Using recycled materials is nice, though.

They don’t advertise this explicitly, but I think the products are also free of dyes and include an almost entirely unnoticeable level of fragrance. On the whole, the ingredients lists tend to be fairly short, which is also nice. I think they have a nice variety of products in the line and have lots of different skin types covered, especially when it comes to cleansers. And frankly, I’ve had a really good experience with the two products that I tried.

Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover
Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover ($7.49 for 6 oz.)

The Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover ($7.49 for 6 oz.) is supposed to remove makeup and clean skin in one step. It’s a pearly gel that comes in a pump bottle and lathers with water, so it pretty much feels like a traditional cleanser to me. This doesn’t contain any sodium lauryl sulfate and instead uses the gentler sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, which is great – my skin has been increasingly sensitive and dry lately, and this product feels pretty ok. I wouldn’t say it feels hydrating, but it isn’t drying and it is effective at removing all of my makeup except waterproof mascara (which I don’t tend to use on a day-to-day basis). The bottle is generous and because it lathers well I find that one pump of the product is more than enough for each use. My only real complaint is that it can sting my eyes. I don’t have to completely avoid the eye area as long as I’m generally careful and gentle, but if it gets directly in my eyes it hurts and makes my eyes nice and red. The ingredients list says there’s some fragrance in there but it’s really subtle and I wouldn’t have known it was there if I hadn’t read the list.

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Glycol Distearate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Caprylyl Glycol, Acrylates Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cream Cleanser ($7.49 for 5 oz.)

Although the makeup remover says it cleanses skin at the end of the day in just one step, I’m a double cleanser. Since my skin is dry and I had been using a cleanser that was a bit too harsh for me, the Purifying Cream Cleanser ($7.49 for 5 oz.) looked like a great idea. This is a gentle cleanser that doesn’t lather but rinses clean and leaves skin feeling soft. I think it really works, and I love it. The only questionable aspect, I think, is that it includes some menthol which adds a very mild cooling sensation. I find it to be pleasant (and I’m not normally into menthol in products like this) but I wonder if very sensitive skin types may have an issue with it. Like the makeup remover, I didn’t realize there was fragrance in this until I read the ingredients list. I’ve tried a few cream, lotion, and milk cleansers in the past, and I have to say that at this point this one from Neutrogena is my favorite.

Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Sucrose Cocoate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Coco-Glucoside, Citric Acid, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Xantham Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance, Salicylic Acid, Menthol, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Sodium Phytate


You can find Neutrogena Naturals skincare at drugstores, Ulta, and similar retailers. These two products cost around $7.49 each, depending on where you purchase them.

Have you tried ’em? Do you have any favorite products that are similarly gentle? I’d love to hear about them!

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