Although Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser uses ingredients that are derived from natural sources, it does contain synthetic fragrance chemicals that may be irritating to sensitive skin. However, the formula effectively cleanses all other skin types. It's also produced with eco-friendly principles. If you prefer more gentle option for sensitive or rosacea-affected skin, CeraVe Hydrating Skin Cleanser (*Est. $12 for 12 oz.) gets excellent reviews.
Eco-friendly but not entirely natural. Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser is a water-soluble formula with a short ingredients list. Several users at Amazon.com and TotalBeauty.com are impressed with Neutrogena's use of natural ingredients, but Paula Begoun warns that the ingredients aren't all that natural. Although they come from natural sources, the processing they go through changes their composition making them anything but natural. Still, she says the cleanser is an excellent option for all but those with sensitive skin (due to the fragrance it contains).
Begoun says the formula is gentle, cleanses thoroughly with no residue and removes makeup with ease (except for waterproof formulas which may require a separate remover). Users at MakeupAlley.com have mixed opinions about the effectiveness of the cleanser, however. While many say Neutrogena Naturals does a good job of cleansing skin without stripping it of moisture, several say the opposite: It doesn't remove makeup well, dries out skin and causes rashes and breakouts. Some of the ingredients -- including fragrance and salicylic acid -- can cause reactions for those with sensitivities.
Aside from using ingredients from natural sources, Neutrogena also receives kudos from Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) for its eco-friendly manufacturing processes and packaging. The cleanser is produced in a facility powered by solar energy and certified to reduce water waste and electricity consumption. Furthermore, the cleanser is formulated without common fossil-fuel derived materials such as paraffin and mineral oil.
Gel-like texture with mild scent. One dermatologist tells InStyle magazine that Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser has a mildly foaming gel-like texture. One user at Amazon.com says, "It foams very nicely without feeling like soap, has a very pleasant scent and rinses away without leaving a filmy residue." Some users wish that it didn't have any fragrance at all, however.
Review Credibility: Excellent Paula Begoun gives Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser her highest rating and says it's suitable for all skin types (except sensitive because it contains fragrance). She says the formula is gentle and cleanses thoroughly without any residue and without stripping the skin. It does a good job of removing makeup, though; she points out waterproof formulas may need a separate remover. She also notes that the formula isn't entirely natural and contains synthetic fragrance.
Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, Paula Begoun, Jan. 22, 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good InStyle magazine editors list Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser as the best "eco-friendly facial cleanser" in conjunction with their 2012 beauty awards. Editors say the formula washes away dirt, oil and makeup without "stripping, stinging or drying."
Review: Best Beauty Buys 2012: Skin, Editors of InStyle magazine, April 2012
Review Credibility: Good More than 150 reviewers at Amazon.com give Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser an overall rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Most say the formula does an excellent job of cleansing the skin and removing makeup without stripping essential moisture. Some users with sensitive skin, however, complain of bad reactions to the cleanser.
Review: Neutrogena Naturals (Pack of 2), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good About 130 reviewers at MakeupAlley.com give Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser an overall rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars. Only 42 percent of users say they would purchase the cleanser again. Users are split down the middle about the cleanser -- some say it's effective and gentle while others say it doesn't remove makeup well and causes rashes and breakouts.
Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com, As of February 2013
Review Credibility: Good Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Beauty Award winners are chosen by CEW members, industry professionals and beauty experts. Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cleanser is given the Eco Beauty Award for 2012 because of the company's commitment to reduced energy output in the manufacturing process, 100 percent recyclable materials and because it contains 90 percent "naturally derived" ingredients. It's unclear if the CEW group tested this product.
Review: 2012 Beauty Awards: Winners, Editors of CEW.org, Not dated