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Cleansers - Neutrogena - Pore Refining Daily Cleanser



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rated 3.1(316 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.1
  • 49% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.6
  • Price: $$

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 7/20/2007 11:21:00 AM More reviews by RtiQlitQT

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Other

The labeling of this product states that it "visibly reduces the appearance of pores and refines skin." If you are using it for the purpose of shrinking pores, you will be disappointed. Like many other reviewers, I realized that this product does not lessen the diameter of pores; however, I use it for its primary function of exfoliation and deep cleaning and unclogging of my pores. It is the unclogging of pores that will 'reduce the appearance of' pores--not reduce their size. I use this for the Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids {AHA (glycolic acid), BHA (salicylic acid)}, and gentle microbeads. It is great for removing patches of flaky skin. I use this cleanser every other day as part of my skincare regimen in conjunction with daily use of Noxema Original skin cream (for makeup removal) and of a 10% benzoyl peroxide cream. I also use this cleanser once a week as a mask mixed with aspirin (see other MUA reviews on aspirin mask use). This regimen keeps my skin virtually acne free, but I should note that I only experience mild to moderate acne.



The primary function of the glycolic acid, salicylic acid and microbeads is to exfoliate. They help to shed and burn off dead skin cells to help speed up the building of new skin. A benefit of salicylic acid is that it helps break up oil and sebum, thus helping to unclog pores and temporarily reduce excessive skin oils; and, if left on as a mask, the acidic PH may help deter some bacteria. However, use of these hydroxy acids makes skin more susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun, so concurrent use of sunscreen is recommended. Also it is important to note that overuse of exfoliants can have detrimental effects, too, and is not recommended for use by women of color because of the risk of hyperpigmentation (blotchy darkening of the skin). There are additional benefits as well as risks, so please read more at www.internationalrosaceafoundation.org/peels_and_rhetenoids.php4. For information from Neutrogena, see www.Neutrogena.com or call 1-800-582-4048 (USA only).



INGREDIENTS: Water, Decyl Polyglucose, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Laureth-13 Carboxylate, Cocamide MEA, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Polyethylene, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Polyquaternium-11, Linoleamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Sodium PCA, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Fragrance.



Even though I took one lippie off for the misleading claim and for it's chemical-ladenness, I do LOVE this product. I do want to note that it should never be used near the eyes--it will sting! It does contain mild synthetic detergents and boosters, which can cause some dryness; however, I have not had a problem with dryness because I always use moisturizer following my skincare regimen. This has very mild scent that is not unpleasant. This is readily available at many retailers for under $7.00 for a 6.7 fl oz tube. It lasts me a long time because I find I need only a small amount per use for cleansing (approximately the size of two peas up to about a dime dolop) and I use only a quarter-sized dolop to make my aspirin mask (with 5 aspirin tablets). I like the packaging, too. It is a flexible plastic body that stands upright on a flip-top cap. Having the cap at the bottom makes dispensing easy and the cap is also easily removed by unscrewing to get the very last bit of product out -- so no waste. I will continue to repurchase as long as it is made, as it is a staple in my skincare regimen!


UPDATE 01/2009: I no longer use this product and have dropped my overall rating to two lippies for two reasons: it contains SLS which is an irritating and overdrying detergent, and because I have found something that works FAR, FAR BETTER, and that is Stridex Alcohol Free 2% Salicylic Acid Maximum Soft Touch Pads.

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 2/24/2008 8:12:00 PM More reviews by AliceF

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Other, Other, Medium Eyes: Green

This is a mismarked HG product! As a cleanser, it's just good, but as a mask, it's the best I have ever used.

I'm 33 with fine lines, blackheads and whiteheads on my nose and freckling on my cheeks. I've also been fighting sallowness. In the weeks since I've been using this as a mask, all of these problems are being, or have been eliminated. Every week I cleanse and steam skin normally at night, dry my face and apply cleanser to my entire face. I leave it on for 20-30 minutes, then add warm water and rub in circles and rinse following with toner, serum and very rich moisturizer. If you have flaky skin, I recommend putting moisturizer onto a sponge and rubbing it in circles into your skin helps to remove dead skin flakes as well.

Do NOT sleep in it! I made this mistake once and paid for it for a week. My skin burned under my eyes and I had to apply aloe vera twice daily and limit my make-up. It wasn't pretty. An hour to 1.5 hours is plenty of time to do the job and I've heard that even 30 minutes is fine!

My skin has been looking and feeling great since using this mask. My blackheads are almost completely gone and my whiteheads have disappeared. They were tiny to begin with and I didn't believe anything could get to them, but this did. My skin tone has brightened and evened considerably and it's obvious immediately upon finishing the mask. I think the AHA and BHA are also working to lighten my freckles!

The amount I use for a mask is small, perhaps less than a tea spoon. I highly recommend this one and think that for the price, it's a steal! I have been using it for four months now and have not even made a dent in the tube. For regular cleansing I still use Noxema and Clinique toner, but for masks, this is my HG.

EDIT: I read that combination-dry skinnned girls like me should only use AHA/BHA masks every month or so, but because this isn't highly concentrated, I use it once every two weeks for one hour. Those with oily skin can use it more often.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/28/2010 2:56:00 AM More reviews by botoxic

Age: 36-43 Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I love this stuff, but it's impossible to find in B&M shops; I am forced to buy it in a three pack online from drugstore.com. It's a nice AHA/BHA cleanser, but do keep it away from your eyes, because it burns like the proverbial mofo from the apocryphal Mofo Book of Proverbs. I use it with my Clarisonic in the shower, and it's nicely smoothing if you leave it on your skin five minutes or so. I will only use it in the shower, because the quantity of water needed to rinse it completely from my face is more than the simple sink-splash amount. Oh, and don't tilt your head back and get the residue up your nose, because that's some other violation of the rules laid down in the Lost Mofo Book of Deuteronomy. It burns...so you know it's working.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 9/27/2008 2:32:00 PM More reviews by marmiran23

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

LADIES PLEASE LISTEN: you have to use this as a mask, not a cleanser. Cleanser-wise, this doesn't do anything. But when you leave it on for an hour or two (that's right, I've left it on for up to 4 hrs) and it is MAGIC! It is like a mini-facial. I use it 2-3 times a week and my pores are clear of any guck.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/29/2009 10:15:00 AM More reviews by wagashi

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

First review! I had been on a natural product kick for a few years, using things like Dr Bronner's magic soaps and olive soap for my body and face to dubious results. While I do like the products and feel like they're gentler to my skin, I still had persistent breakouts that really knock my self esteem. I guess since I started using natural products I've had this notion in my head that since you wash cleansers off your face none of the active ingredients in them actually work -- boy was I wrong! I had a really bad breakout and got desperate and remembered this bad both AHAs and BHAs in it so I picked it up as a last resort. A lot of the reviews here say to use it as a mask, which I'm looking forward to doing. But I'm loving it as a cleanser too! I take off my makeup with rosewater toner and cotton pads first. I mostly struggle with blackheads and whiteheads and unevenness in skin tone, and this has left me with the clearest skin I've had in months. The scrubbers in it don't do much, but that's fine with me because the chemical exfoliation is perfect for my clogged pores. I plan on using this until I have some sort of adverse reaction -- fingers crossed I won't! Great quality affordable drug store product.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/26/2008 1:26:00 PM More reviews by Teralynn

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Yay! After using St. Ives scrub for years I realized that while it may have kept my skin clear, it was doing more damage to my already big pores. I tried this product years ago and wasn't impressed, but repurchased it recently when on the search for a chemical exfoliant to replace the harsh physical St. Ives. This product contained all the things I was looking for, AHA's, BHA's, including glycolic acid. My skin was in horrible condition when I started using it and this saved it! The key is to do as other reviewers have suggested and use it as a mask to give the acids time to work. My skin was a bit sensitive to it at first but that goes away. Just be careful and don't burn your skin leaving it on too long (though I can leave it on for hours as long as I don't do it every day)!The tone and texture of my skin is amazing, like I had a mini chemical peel, after use. I actually like the way my skin looks more without makeup than with now! This will not actually minimize your pores, but it will clear them out and keep them that way, which is really all you can expect without plastic surgery. A good moisturizer is necessary after use, those of you who use a retinol product (I use Neutrogena anti-wrinkle night) will find it absorbs so much better after this. I wish I'd started using this product years ago. I'm shocked by all the negative reviews, but I suppose without leaving it on as a mask it wouldn't impress me too much. If only Neutrogena could market it as a mask I'm convinced people would rave about it, but with the risk of burning your face if left on too long I guess they don't want to go there. I will repurchase this forever and will cry if it is discontinued. P.S. no I don't work for Neutrogena.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 4/29/2008 6:34:00 PM More reviews by LNSklnjr

Age: 19-24 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Cool Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I used this a few years ago. It took me a few uses to really like it, but it did work. Where I used it the most was on my upper arms (I have keratosis pilaris) and the chemicals really help clear it up, esp with the toner too. Anyone who suffers from KP, give this a try. I have it pretty bad and this helped me feel less self-conscious. I will be buying a tube again as soon as I use up some of the other stuff I have - like the tube of $40 Peter Thomas Roth that I thought would be so much better.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 2/14/2014 3:55:00 PM More reviews by Justathought

Age: 44-55 Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Best cleanser I have ever used!!! Due to a horrific case of acne during my earlier years, I not only have large pores on my nose but my daughter actually asked once why I have holes in my nose. This has helped with that since the very first time I used it. It also helps even out the redness of my complexion and keeps the oil at bay. My favorite of all time!!!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 1/30/2014 12:19:00 PM More reviews by DinaBear1999

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Love the cleanser. This review is for the new Daily Formula in the blue bottle. I have been having major issues with my skin. Large pores, oily and little bumps on the side of my face. I tried many cleaners and scrubs and nothing worked. I have been using this product twice a day for a week and my skin is transformed! Its soft and my pores aren't as noticeable. I love how it lathers. You don't have to use much at all. The smell doesn't bother me but its not the best. Every morning I wake up and my skin Is just getting better and better. Totally recommend it for combo or oily skin.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 on 12/30/2010 11:31:00 PM More reviews by mtnsunshine

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I've been using this for about three weeks now, in conjuction with the matching toner. I have to say, I like the toner more than the cleanser. My face tends to feel a little dry, or stripped, even in the shower, after I rinse this off. I usually leave my cleanser on for a few seconds to let the ingredients penetrate, but this one makes my face burn if I leave it on too long. I do like the texture of it, almost sticky or tacky, but I think that's the extent of the pros for me.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No