I used this cleanser years ago and liked it. then I went on and tried many mid-high end cleansers. i thought they were Okay. I decided to save $$ and bought Aveeno Clear Complexion again.
To my surprise it still works great! the rich&smooth foam makes it fun to cleanse and I even like the scent ( normally I don't care for AVEENO's scent ) . My skin is left squeaky clean, bright and soft. I follow with toner and moisturizer, as with all cleansers.
I prefer this cleanser over Shiseido, Clinique, Clarins, Murad, Philosophy, and Fresh. I am currently also using "Caudalie instant foaming cleanser" which is similar and very pleasant but it doesn't make my skin as bright and soft as Aveeno. I figured it is the salicylic acid doing its trick? i dont have acne but love the cleanser.
I can understand that some find it to be drying. My opinion is that you can follow with a gentle toner, and go for a nice moisturizer/serum. When it comes to cleansing this one certainly gets the job done.
Besides, the price is right. $6.49 plus tax.