how have i not reviewed this yet?? this is one of my favorite cleansers out there. i was using Purpose for a looong time, but after awhile it just seemed to be drying out my skin too much, and it wasn't preventing breakouts anymore. i had a tub of noxzema in my bathroom (doesn't everyone seem to have one hanging around?) and decided to give it a try. i remember my grandmother used to use this, and for years, my mom and brother did also. i apply it to a dry face and let it sit for about a minute before i get in the shower/rinse it off at the sink. it never leaves my face feeling stripped, and it has even removed most of the stubborn blackheads that have been on my nose FOREVER! it doesn't prevent all breakouts, i still get them occasionally, but at least i don't get any more of the deep cysts on my cheeks that have been popping up for years! overall, i would definetly recommend this to anyone looking for a cheap, effective cleanser. fyi, i have VERY oily skin that is very sensitive and prone to breakouts.
Okay, let's get things straight about this lye stuff. I'm no skin expert, but there is enough information to back up what I'm saying (if you're skeptical of me because I'm young, you can look up the info I give). I'm not spewing nonsense chemical info. I'll try to keep bias out of this review, until the end where I actually review this product
An important note: pH depends on the concentration of the compound, so I can't tell you the pH of this or that. It really depends on what the concentration of the chemical used is.
There seems to be different formulas of Noxema. Noxema MAY OR MAY NOT have been using sodium hydroxide in their old formulas. Currently, I cannot find anyone selling a tub of noxema that contains this ingredient. missnat says Noxema contains calcium hydroxide. But all the sites and ingrediant lists I've seen say it contains ammonium hydroxide.
Sodium hydroxide (NaOH), also known as lye, can be dissolve to create extremely alkaline solutions. It is a very strong base that almost entire dissociates into ions in water. Solutions of NaOH of 0.5 M (molarity) and above is extremely caustic. I have not found an ingredient label for Noxema that lists this. And if there was NaOH in an old formula, who knows how concentrated that base was?
Ammonium hydroxide (NH3OH, though technically this isn't possible and only exists in solutions where the compounds are dissociated) can also make very alkaline solutions, though not as strong as NaOH. Wikipedia says household ammonia is a dilute form of ammonium hydroxide. I don't know if this is true. But like I've said before, THIS product might have a very low concentration of ammonium hydroxide.
Calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) is also fairly alkaline. It is used in the place of NaOH in no-lye relaxers. Wikipedia says this ingredient can be found in Nair. Then again, it is also contained in "calcium supplement[s] in mineral fortified baby formulas". (Wikipedia, yeah yeah I know). Again, yes, it's alkaline, but how concentrated is it?
Human skin has a pH around 5.5 (different sources vary by 0.1 or so). Compounds ending with "hydroxide" are bases.
Now, my opinions and biases: I don't think it's good to wash your barely acidic face with a basic solution. But some things work for one person's face while it totally ruins another.
End scientific rant. I have an AP Chemistry test tomorrow. I really should be studying for that instead of writing reviews on MUA. But my teacher said Noxema was made of NaOH and I was like, "REALLY?!" and had to check it out. The Noxema sold in USA at this time isn't made of that.
------ THE ACTUAL REVIEW ------
Opinions and personal experiences continued.: My mother used this when she was younger (it worked well for her), and she recommended it to me when I got chemical burns/rashes from Pond's. (I was sensitive to the cyanide.) I chose not to buy Noxema because at that time (and even now) I'm very sensitive to anything that 'tingles' or 'refreshes'. But I don't think my mother would have recommended it to me without good reason.
You know what, someone should really stick a pH indicator in that tub of Noxema.
I have been under a great deal of stress lately and my skin has been unpredictable. I never have acne usually unless I am stressed out and it is usually accompanied by excess oil. I was at walgreens the other days in hope of trying a new mask, the say yes to tomatoes. I had done a lot of research on the effects of lycopene on acne-prone skin. Sadly, walgreens had other products in the say yes line with the exception of the one I was looking for. I then saw the Noxzema and remembered using it at an early age as the result of my grandmother's advice so I picked up a tub of it. I have been using it for about four days straight and have noticed a dramatic difference in pore size, oil control, and acne. I will continue to make this a staple in my skin care routine!
I have been using Noxema for 14 yrs. I due dabble in other cleansers but this is my HG for when I need to get my skin back on track or during That TOTM. I have combo. skin, w/ large pores in T-zone but generally non acne, smooth skin. I will continue to keep as an HG in my medicine cabinet.
*I apply to dry face, Add a bit of water, massage in, rinse.
If I haven't been wearing makeup all day....
*I rinse my face, pat dry, massage but not too much, leave it on for a few minutes, scrub off by itself or with a different scrub.
This is what I do & what works for me. I like both the pump packaging as well as the tub. Although I do have better access to all the product in the tub, the pump is pretty handy so I would rate them equally.
I am 24 years old and I JUST tried Noxzema. I remember many years ago, I was at the drugstore and I was considering buying it and I smelled it, and I thought, "hell no." Now a long time later, my skin is giving me a lot of problems so I thought I'd try this. I've used it for about a week and love it so far. It removes my makeup and it doesn't dry out my skin. I use a washcloth to remove it, and toner afterwards, and I don't have any residue on my skin. And yes it does have a strong smell when you smell it right out of the jar but you don't notice it as much on your face. I haven't gotten any more breakouts since I started using it.
Just FYI, this does NOT have lye in it. Lye is sodium hydroxide. Noxzema cream has calcium hydroxide, which is lime, and ammonium hydroxide which is just ammonia. continued >>
I recently bought this again on a whim, as I felt like I needed a deep cleanser as I have been experimenting with alot of make up lately. Very inexpensive at Target, less than four dollars. This really does clean my skin...and I love the scent - it reminds me of when I was a kid and had a sunburn, or a teenager. This leaves my skin super clean and tingly and removes 100% of my make up. I don't need to follow with another cleanser but sometimes I exfoliate afterwards. I used to use this am and pm but that dried my skin out a bit so I stick to nighttime only now. No breakouts whatsoever and I really like this. I would buy this again!
I first used this as a teenager. It's one of the very first beauty products I ever tried, in fact. I really love how it feels on my face: cool and tingly and refreshing, like it's actually doing something. I like the smell, too. It cleans well but doesn't do anything for my oily skin. I would love it if they had a toner version of this.
Ah, that old Noxzema smell! I used this exclusively from the time I was about 13 to 23. During this time, my skin was very decent; I'd get the occasional pimple or two, but nothing I would qualify as a "breakout." For some reason, I decided I wasn't satisfied with my okay skin and started trying things with salicylic acid in them. I experimented with all kinds of face washes and moisturizers and creams and treatments-- Proactiv, Neutrogena Acne Care, Shu Uemura. For the next four years, my face was a mess. I got major, terrible, horrifying breakouts. I was also in grad school at the time, so I attributed these things to stress, poor diet, not enough sleep, changing hormones of my mid-twenties, etc.
But then just the other day, it occurred to me that maybe my face *does* belong to Noxzema. I bought a tub, and even after the first wash, it was like my face calmed down. Hello, old friend! This may not get me 100% blemish free, but my skin feels like it's in much better condition overall; smooth and no longer red and irritated.
I have dry skin that always feels tight and flaky after I wash it, but not with this. It's so cooling and creamy, and I love the old-timey medicine smell-- you never forget it!
Ah, this is the first facial cleanser that I have ever used (probably when I was about 11 or 12). I used to love the cool sensation that it left on my face after I washed it off. It does sting a little bit the first couple of times of use, but that goes away eventually. I wonder why it stings... I never looked at the ingredients - I didn't care back then.
I really liked it and it cleansed my skin pretty well at the time. I wouldn't use it now because I know that it tends to leave a film on the skin which I don't care for these days. I prefer foaming cleanser over creamy, thick ones as those always leave a film which eventually clogs my pores and exaggerates them even more (that's the last thing I need).
I haven't used this product in a few years and I don't think I would repurchase again. There are much better cleansers out there.
It was super cheap for a large volume that I can use for a long time. I like the fresh minty cooling effect although I wonder if it is too drying for me. But I think it does a good job cleaning if I don't have a lot of m/u on. I usually use this as a cream wash after an cleansing oil. I dislike the unhygenic pot form. I may repurchase if I see it on sale at Ulta (like I have for 2.99) so great deal for the volume and if you just need a basic cleanser w/o special effects.