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Cleansers - Neutrogena - Oil-Free Acne Wash

rated 2.8(923 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 2.8
  • 44% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.5
  • Price: $$

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rated 3 of 5 on 6/13/2008 10:18:00 AM More reviews by sumansaran

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

A few months ago, I decided I finally needed to settle down with a good, classic, simple-formula cleanser. Up until recently, I would buy whatever I found on sale or just something that was different but basic enough. I don't use cleanser religiously, but I wanted something that would help with my mild acne and whiteheads. I bought this because Neutrogena is a trusted brand, the gel formula seemed simple enough, and because it has salicylic acid. I thought this would help with my frequent breakouts and blemishes. For a while it thought it was doing the job, but once I started using some acne medication, I realized how drying and irritating it can actually be. Even though its not a strong formula, I just don't think any facial products should have harsh ingredients, including any kind of "acid," in them. The only cleanser I've used whose salicylic acid content wasn't bothersome is the Burt's Bee's Peach and Willowbark Scrub, which naturally has it from willowbark. Since I stopped using the Neutrogena and started experimenting with Cetaphil, Dessert Essences Tea Tree Oil cleanser, and Avalon Revitalizing cleanser, and the Burt's Bees scrub (don't worry, I don't use them ALL, and definitely regularly - just in comparison they have given better results overall) in combination with my acne medication, my skin has already improved a lot. I agree with someone else's statement here that this is too harsh even for people with combination skin, especially if you have to use other prescribed products that already treating your skin with harsher ingredients. I can only imagine what cleansers with a higher percentage of salicylic acid or other ingredients do. I would stick with natural, organic cleansers and leave the heavy-duty treatments to prescribed creams or other drugstore brands. Cleansers should just clean and soothe.

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rated 1 of 5 on 6/5/2008 9:43:00 AM More reviews by orangeinsanity

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

My face felt really tight and dry after using this.

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rated 4 of 5 on 6/3/2008 9:13:00 AM More reviews by juliet92

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Black

i used to use this for a while and i liked it, in time it managed to control my acne a bit and gave me a squeaky clean feel! but now i'm using a cleanser given to me by my dermatologist, but otherwise i would buy this again.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/28/2008 8:48:00 PM More reviews by CraxFactor

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

This was too drying in my teens, it makes your skin squeaky clean and I was still oily as hell. However now I use it twice a day. Which is beyond disgusting because really this stuff is very, very harsh. I've been on retinoids and although I know it's a terrible idea to chemically blast my face like this, it seems to work. Oh but I did learn to wash first and rinse, then use a washcloth to ex-foliate. Otherwise your skin dries like crazy; this peels the loose stuff off, for the most part. However if you scrub WITH the soap, you will be able to see the blood pulsing through your translucent skin, and that's no good. Rinse then scrub. I use the Walgreens brand.

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rated 1 of 5 on 5/27/2008 6:49:00 PM More reviews by campasianspice

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

i barely had acne as a teen but freaked out and decided to buy this because of all the advertising. i am a firm believer that this causes breakouts rather than treating them. i knew other friends whose conditions worsened the longer they used Neutrogena, so I stopped. i don't understand how this is a best-seller and why store-brands are replicating the formula.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/27/2008 2:52:00 AM More reviews by urbankiwiii

Age: 19-24 Skin: Normal, Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Brown


pros: really keeps my acne at bay, good at preventing acne outbreaks, simple to use, not harsh on my skin, makes my skin soo smooth and clean, does not overdry my skin at all but gets ride of all the oil and shininess in the T zone, 1 bottle lasts forever- at least 6 months, when used 2x daily

cons: the weird orange color, the pump bottle is bad for traveling

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rated 4 of 5 on 5/22/2008 4:32:00 PM More reviews by vandael

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I've been using this acne wash for the last six years. I started when I was 16 and got my first pimple. Freaking out, I remembered a friend recommended it to clear up her skin. So I grabbed a bottle and used the wash everyday for the next four years. It really helped tame my acne with its built in salicylic acid medication, but as the years progressed I realized it became too drying for me. The skin naturally changes oil production and reception of medications, so in turn I had to change my routine. Since then I have been using Cetaphil, one of the most basic cleansers available in the market. My skin was being ravaged by all the overtreatment of acne medications, so I needed to take a step back. I still work Neutrogena's Acne Wash into my routine, but only once a week for the salicylic acid. It has worked wonders for my skin and I'll continue using it for as long as my skin allows.

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rated 3 of 5 on 5/11/2008 4:30:00 PM More reviews by adri721

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This seems to be the go-to product that dermatologists/doctors recommend for mild acne. I use a bottle of it every so often (i like to switch up cleansers after finishing a bottle). I haven't noticed any real difference between this and other facial cleansers in terms of improving my mild but persistent acne. Like other reviewers have said, it is very drying and does strip your skin of its oils, so definitely apply moisturizer afterwards. I have yet to find my HG cleanser, so I will continue to use this occasionally...but it is just pretty average product to me.

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rated 5 of 5 on 5/2/2008 4:36:00 AM More reviews by krista187

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

DO NOT USE if you have DRY SKIN!

As many other products I try I always come back to this!
It actually helps reduce my acne.
It's also great for warm/hot seasons.
But during winter make sure to put a little extra lotion/cream on the cheeks.

UPDATE: 7/24/08

Only use this product if you have BASIC ACNE BREAKOUTS! not the kind if they are forming like hard bumps/cyst! you need to use a SCRUB to unclogg your pores because if you don't all of the seabum(sp) ( which is your skins oil) will become clogged and cause you to breakout with some painful acne! I will only use this as a back up or Im clear of acne for a while.

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rated 5 of 5 on 4/28/2008 5:42:00 PM More reviews by similittleone

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Black

I have combination skin with blackheads, pimples, rosacea, dark marks and sun spots.
This cleanser, which has 2% salicylic acid (BHA) works simply and effectively to remove dirt, grime, make-up and sunscreen. It leaves my skin deep down clean and exfoliated without any harshness whatsoever.
It is easy to use: Just put half a squirt of the pump bottle in your palm, mix with water and apply to your wet skin. Massage gently and rinse well.
The BHA has refined my pores and reduced my blackhead formation considerably. I also feel that the BHA improves the penetration of active ingredients that I apply afterwards (such as arbutin and kojic acid to fade dark marks).
I highly recommended this product for sensitive and problematic skin conditions like my own. I intend to buy this product for the foreseeable future.

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