Monday, 31 October 2016

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser

Describe the brand in three words.
Affordable. Drugstore/Chemist. Simple.

What type of cleanser is it?
A cream cleanser - but it's more of a soap-style texture.

Who is it for?
It's aimed at oilier skins, but I'm dryer and dehydrated and love it.

What’s in it?
Water, Cetyl Alcohol, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Methyl Gluceth-20, Salicylic Acid, Steareth- 21, Gelatin, Steareth- 2, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Menthol, Polysorbate 60, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

What's not in it?
mineral oil – it’s entirely oil-free, parabens, SLS

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
menthol, fragrance

Suitable for pregnancy?
Yes (the salicylic is not drug level)

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
Man made

Tested on animals in home country/EU/sold in territories that require testing?
Possibly, but doubtful, there would be no need/No/Yes

How does it smell?
It smells like soap - deliciously so.

How do you use it?
I apply to dry skin, wet my hands and massage it in. Less is more. Add more water rather than product to build it up.

Best for winter or summer?
Great for summer, but I would use this in the mornings in winter.

First cleanse/second cleanse or AM cleanse?
AM cleanse for me.

Can it be taken around the eyes?
I only go as far as the orbital bone, not actually over the lashes. The menthol would sting.

Does it remove waterproof eye makeup?

How long was it tested for?
I've had it for a month and used it sporadically throughout that time.

What’s good about it?
I should absolutely hate this cleanser. But like carbs, even knowing that it’s not the best for me, I love it.
It feels almost like a creamy soap, it has menthol in it, I mean it’s so far from a glowing example of cleansing product.
However: the formulators have somehow made it soft, smooth, gentle and non-drying. The menthol is refreshing rather than burning, and although completely unnecessary in a cleansing product, it honestly enhances this one for me. Can’t actually believe I’m saying all this, but there we are. I find myself reaching for it over much more ‘clean’, expensive cleansers in the mornings.
It doesn't dry out my skin and if anything my skin feels softer after cleansing. I would assume that this is down to the salicylic acid, but I sense that the amount of salicylic in this is minimal, because otherwise, being from the US, it would have to be listed as an 'Active' ingredient with a drug labelling.
I don't know what to tell you. I'm as surprised as you are.

What’s not so good about it?
If used twice daily, or even daily, it could possibly become drying. But used in the mornings a few times a week, you should be fine.
Don't be led by my strange love for it, if you have a problem with fragrance or menthol, obviously steer well clear.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
$5.99 for 70z/200ml. A ridiculous bargain.

Do you need it?
Yes, if you want a quick, easy, cleanser that is beyond affordable.

Would I repurchase?

What’s the website like?
Great, lots of info and it includes the ingredients:

How’s the distribution? Available freely or limited?
In the US, it’s everywhere. Target, WalMart, Duane Reade, CVS etc. In the UK, it's not so freely available in chemists and supermarkets. Sort it out Neutrogena please.

Similar products?
For the price range, it would be the CeraVe, Neutrogena (other products) and chemist cleansers along the lines of La Roche Posay, Avene etc, but I have yet to find anything similar in texture and results for the price.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser is available from the following stockists at varying prices:

£2.84 (!!) + shipping - Amazon UK -
$6.99 -

*This post contains some affiliate links. If you are happy to click on them and support the blog, thank you very much. If you would rather not, just google the product. It's all good.
See my full disclaimer here:
The views expressed on this site are the author's own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.


  1. Color me surprised. I wonder if this has been refomulated recently. I remember it as feeling like it left a residue behind.

  2. I'm surprised you like this so much. I found it to be really drying, likely down to the menthol? I have oily skin but I'm pretty sure it's dehydrated, so maybe that's my problem. But if it works for you and others, that's great! I did enjoy the experience of using it, and I wish it had worked better for me.

  3. I've had some bad reactions to this brand in the past, but you've convinced me to give it another try, especially for that price! Thank you

  4. Sorry to say that Neutrogena are not cruelty free.

    1. Exactly, they have gelatin in the product. No bueno.

  5. Reading the review I thought this sounded familiar. Turns out it's very similar to the Johnson and Johnson Clean and Clear Deep Cleansing Cream Wash, which is more easily available in the UK :)

  6. Totally unrelated to this post, but what do you think of this product, does it sound any good?

  7. I've always been such a fan of Neutrogena! Maybe someday I will try this one again, it's been a long time!

  8. I am super surprised you love this. I used this (and loved it) throughout high school on the recommendation of my dermatologist for my temperamental, super oily (pre-accutane) skin. Until my skin got drier from the accutane this was my go to as it killed the excess oil without murdering my face. I know a lot of people have issues with the menthol, but it made it my favorite cleanser in the summer since it gets extremely hot and humid where I live - the cooling sensation was a little addictive in the heat :)

  9. Deffo not cruelty free - and not vegetarian either. Which doesn't mean they test on animals. But the brand do. Caroline - can you shed any light on the benefits of Gelatin in the formula?

  10. Even more ridiculously priced is the Walmart brand dupe of this. I bought one for each of my three teens last year for Christmas stocking stuffers, and find myself having swiped one which I use a few times a week in my skincare routine. I was totally shocked that it doesn't dry out my skin because the hubs likes the Neutrogena oil free acne wash (bright orange liquid) which strips their heck out of my face skin-can only use that one on my back scrubber. So glad I'm not the only one hahaha!

  11. Sometimes things need to take us by surprise, it seems. I will look out for that one and see if I can relate to your love.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  12. Eww no, obviously I'm surprised you like this, the price point is incredible tho, at least its better than cetaphyl..

  13. I rushed out and grabbed a tube after reading this great review. I couldn’t believe the level of tingle I felt. Hot. Deep. Burning. Tingle. I love Liz Earle hot cloth cleaner, zero tingling for me but this was almost too much. No other complaints though! Thank you for reviewing affordable American brands! Much appreciated Caroline!