Cleansing is an essential step in skin care. Poorly cleansed skin can get irritated and infected. Finding great gentle cleansers in Kampala is difficult, to say the least.
Of recent, in nearly every cosmetics store in Kampala, I’ve come across Neutrogena skin care. This comes as no surprise, since overseas, Neutrogena is a drugstore favorite. Like all cosmetics companies, the brand has many hits in the skin care categories and a fair share of misses. Wouldn’t it be great to know which ones to consider or not? I thought so too and decided to rate the Neutrogena cleansers locally available.
This rating system will be based on the unbiased ingredient database CosDNA, considering ingredient safety, effectiveness and skin sensitivity. When it comes to variables for different skin types –those aspects are based on personal experiences, solid reviews on MakeupAlley, and recommendations by other beauty lovers. The rating will be in ascending order, from 1/5-5/5 (lowest to highest scores).
Rating the Common Neutrogena Cleansers in Kampala
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
Claims: The #1 dermatologist recommended acne-fighting cleanser. This oil-free formula gently cleanses deep down into pores for clear skin. Unlike ordinary cleansers, it contains Salicylic Acid to get rid of acne you have now and help prevent future breakouts. Special skin soothers help prevent irritation and over-drying.
Reviews: Great active ingredients like salicylic acid don’t do much in cleansers. In a cleanser, the salicylic acid would be rinsed off before it can penetrate and unclog pores. This cleanser also contains a drying, potentially irritating cleansing agent called sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate.
2. Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar
Claims: Pure and gentle cleansing for clean, clear, healthy-looking skin. This glycerin-rich facial bar contains no harsh detergents, dyes or hardeners. It removes excess oil and then rinses clean —without leaving any pore-clogging residue.
Reviews: It’s recommended never to use bar soap on your face, whatever your skin type. It can be drying and irritating. This bar also has a dreadfully high pH, 8.7-9.2. OhMaGaddd.
3. Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser
Claims: Clinically proven to rapidly reduce size and redness of stubborn acne in just 1 day. Formulated with Benzoyl Peroxide, the acne medicine dermatologists recommend most for clearer skin, without a prescription.
Reviews: This cleanser is formulated with 10% benzoyl peroxide, which means you need to take extra care washing your face around the eye area, so as to avoid irritation. That stuff will stiiiiiing. The benzoyl peroxide will also get rinsed down the drain before it has a chance to work on the blemishes. The cleanser also contains menthol, a potential irritant.
4. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser
Claims: The #1 dermatologist recommended acne-fighting cleanser—Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash now comes with an uplifting blast of pink grapefruit! With maximum strength Salicylic Acid acne medicine boosted by MicroClear technology, Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Wash powerfully treats and helps prevent breakouts – even blackheads. This unique formula contains 100% naturally derived grapefruit extract plus vitamin C. It eliminates oil and dirt, and rinses clean without over-drying.
Reviews: Yummy fragrance for a poor formulation. The active ingredient, 2% salicylic acid, is rinsed from skin before it can penetrate to unclog the pores. The grapefruit fragrance could also irritate skin.
5. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Cream Cleanser
Claims: With an uplifting blast of grapefruit plus vitamin C, this cleanser’s rich, creamy lather powerfully clears blemishes and blackheads. Eliminate oil and dirt without over-drying or irritating skin.
Reviews: Once again, yummy fragrance, creamy lather, but a poor formulation. Salicylic acid is usually great for acne, but it makes no sense to have it in a cleanser. It will be rinsed from skin before it can penetrate and unclog pores. The fragrance and menthol could also irritate the skin.
6. Neutrogena Make-up Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Claims: These gentle, ultra soft cloths contain superior cleansing technology so effective it removes even waterproof mascara. With one step, it leaves skin thoroughly clean with no heavy residue, so there’s no need to rinse. And it’s gentle enough to use around the sensitive eye area, even for contact lens wearers.
Reviews: Despite the presence of potentially irritating fragrance, these wipes are quite loved. However, make-up wipes should never regularly be used to cleanse your face. Sali Hughes, said it perfectly in her book, Pretty Honest – makeup wipes are “the beauty equivalent of cleaning your clothes in air freshener.” Caroline Hirons also says makeup wipes are purely for “flying, festivals and fannies.” Hilarious but true. Use makeup wipes when you have no option.
7. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
Claims: Combines the superior cleansing of Neutrogena® technology with the maximum gentleness of a sensitive skin cleanser.
Reviews: An okay formula for normal to dry skin which removes most makeup and doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight. It has mild cleansing agents but isn’t fragrance-free, so wouldn’t be recommended if you have sensitive skin. If you have very oily or combination skin, you might not consider it cleansing enough.
8. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
Claims: This is a cleanser and makeup remover in one. Removing makeup before you go to bed has never been easier. This dermatologist-tested formula effectively removes dirt, oil, and makeup. It even removes eye makeup, without soaps or oils that can sting or irritate the sensitive eye area. No more raccoon eyes! It rinses completely and won’t leave any pore-clogging residue. Forget the excuses and get refreshingly clean skin and complete makeup removal in one step.
Reviews: A pleasant light fragranced cleanser for normal, oily and combination skin. It has a creamy, foaming texture and removes makeup easily. However, it also has a high, potentially irritating pH of 6.2-6.9 so, there’s that.
9. Neutrogena Pore Refining Daily Cleanser
Claims: Pore Refining Daily Cleanser starts working on contact to shrink the look of pores and refine skin’s tone and texture. Week after week, it continually reduces the appearance of pores for skin that’s clear and smooth. This dermatologist-tested alpha and beta hydroxyl formula delivers visible results by sweeping away dead surface skin and smoothing over rough, uneven patches. It penetrates deep into pores so they appear smaller and less visible. Skin is instantly smoother and more even toned. With continued daily use, pores look visibly smaller week after week.
Reviews: Hmm…”Week after week, it continually reduces the appearance of pores for skin that’s clear and smooth.” Why lie? Just like any good cleanser should, this will remove surface oil, dirt, and makeup that, if left on the face, can stretch pores and/or clogging, which enlarges the pore in the process. Ordinarily, salicylic acid (BHA) and glycolic acid (AHA) are great leave-on treatments for dealing with enlarged pores. However, in this case, they will be rinsed down the drain before they have a chance to exfoliate skin, which makes pores smaller.
10. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover
Claims: Completely cleans skin and removes makeup in one step without stripping skin’s natural moisture. This Peruvian Tara seed bionutrient rich cleanser leaves skin soft and rinses clean. Developed for gentle eye area.
Reviews: Bionutrient rich? Erm..okay, but nah. That said, this is a great cleanser for nearly all skin types that removes makeup without making skin feel dry. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to skip it because of the fragrance.
As you can see, all a cleanser has to do is clean your face in a gentle yet thorough manner. Any other claims aren’t to be considered since the cleanser won’t be on your face long enough for them to happen. If you want to address specific skin concerns like acne, brightening and aging well, look to leave on treatments like serums and moisturizers.
You can find Neutrogena products in Nitah’s Avenue, Beauty Corner, Eve and Nico, Jumia, leading pharmacies and supermarkets.
What are some of your favorite Neutrogena products? Let me know in the comments.
I do not own the product images. They belong to Neutrogena.
Kindly note that I can’t guarantee that all of the make-up and skincare products I recommend will suit you. Everyone’s skin is different and it’s possible to be allergic to anything. Always, patch test your products.