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Neutrogena Oil-Free Salicylic Acid Acne Fighting Face Wash Ingredients Explained

3.5   (2 ratings)
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Updated July 18, 2023

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Overview

What it is

Face cleanser with 18 ingredients that contains AHA

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for dry skin, brightening skin, sensitive skin, reducing pores, scar healing and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Neutrogena is from United States. This product is used in 183 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Face cleanser with 18 ingredients that contains AHA

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 18

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate Cleansing, Foaming
May cause irritation Icon
May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a cleansing agent made from a mixture of long chain sulfonate salts. It can also help produce foam.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Cocamidopropyl Betaine Cleansing
May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Chloride Masking
Can worsen Dry Skin IconBad for Acne Prone Skin IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
3 Concerns

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Peg-80 Sorbitan Laurate
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
Not safe for Fungal AcneNot safe for Fungal Acne Icon

Peg-80 Sorbitan Laurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
C12-15 Alkyl Lactate Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for C12-15 Alkyl Lactate.

Unknown Full details ->
Benzalkonium Chloride Antimicrobial, Preservative
Preservative IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon 2 Concerns

Benzalkonium Chloride is a preservative. It can cause irritation and worsen eczema.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Parfum Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Cocamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate

We don't have a description for Cocamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate.

Unknown Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves of the aloe, Aloe barbadensis, Liliaceae.

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract Masking, Skin Conditioning
Helps reduce Skin Redness IconHelps reduce irritation Icon
2 Benefits

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract comes from the Chamomile flower.

Propylene Glycol Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0 May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Hydroxide Buffering

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

CI 15985 Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 15985 is a dye made from petroleum. It is synthetically created and approved by the FDA for use in foods and cosmetics.

Unknown Full details ->
CI 16035 Cosmetic Colorant
2 / 2

Ci 16035 is a synthetic dark-red dye. This dye is created from an acid called Allura red AC, an azo dye.

2 Com. / 2 Irr.
Unknown Full details ->

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

4
1
9
4
liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 18 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Cleansing, Foaming
Very Disliked

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a cleansing agent made from a mixture of long chain sulfonate salts. It can also help produce foam.

This ingredient may be drying. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

Cleansing
Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a fatty acid created by mixing similar compounds in coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. Dimethylaminopropylamine is a diamine, an amine with two amino groups.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is a surfactant and cleanser. It helps gather the dirt, pollutants, and other impurities in your skin to be washed away. It also helps thicken a product and make the texture more creamy.

Being created from coconut oil means Cocamidopropyl Betaine is hydrating for the skin.

While Cocamidopropyl Betaine was believed to be an allergen, a study from 2012 disproved this. It found two compounds in unpure Cocamidopropyl Betaine to be the irritants: aminoamide and 3-dimethylaminopropylamine. High-grade and pure Cocamidopropyl Betaine did not induce allergic reactions during this study.

Learn more about Cocamidopropyl Betaine
Masking
Very Disliked

Chances are, you eat sodium chloride every day. Sodium Chloride is also known as table salt.

This ingredient has many purposes in skincare: thickener, emulsifier, and exfoliator.

You'll most likely find this ingredient in cleansers where it is used to create a gel-like texture. As an emulsifier, it also prevents ingredients from separating.

There is much debate on whether this ingredient is comedogenic. The short answer - comedogenic ratings don't tell the whole story. Learn more about comegodenic ratings here.

The concensus about this ingredient causing acne seems to be divided. Research is needed to understand if this ingredient does cause acne.

Scrubs may use salt as the primary exfoliating ingredient.

Learn more about Sodium Chloride
Very Disliked

Peg-80 Sorbitan Laurate isn't fungal acne safe.

Buffering, Masking
Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and even out skin tone.

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
Emollient, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for C12-15 Alkyl Lactate.

Antimicrobial, Preservative
Very Disliked

Benzalkonium Chloride is a preservative. It can cause irritation and worsen eczema.

Masking, Perfuming
Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give a scent to products.

Also called "fragrance", this ingredient can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'.

The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance by INCI standards.

One example is Calendula flower extract. Calendula is an essential oil that still imparts a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, the ingredients in the mixture can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Parfum can also be used to mask or cover an unpleasant scent.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum

We don't have a description for Cocamidopropyl Pg-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate.

Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
Emollient, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract is an extract of the leaves of the aloe, Aloe barbadensis, Liliaceae.

You may know Aloe to be a good sunburn reliever and inflammation reducer. This is because it contains many components that are known to help reduce irritation and itchiness. These include vitamins, amino acids, polysaccharides, and more. The high water content of aloe also helps give a cooling effect.

Aloe contains the antioxidants Vitamins A, C, and E. These vitamins neutralize free radicals. Free-radicals are molecules that may damage your skin cells, such as pollution.

The aloe plant is naturally abundant in polysaccharides, a carbohydrate made of sugar molecules. Polysaccharides help hydrate your skin by mimicking your skin's natural carbohydrates.

As it is easily absorbed by the skin, aloe is a great moisturizer. It is both a humectant and emollient. Emollients help trap moisture in your skin, keeping your skin soft. Humectants draw water from the air to your skin.

Other components of aloe include sugars such as monosaccharides and polysaccharides, folic acid, choline, many common minerals such as calcium, fatty acids, amino acids, and Vitamin B12.

Aloe does not protect against UV rays, despite it soothing sunburns.

There are over 420 species of aloe but Aloe Barbadensis is the most commonly used for topical products.

Learn more about Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract
Masking, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract comes from the Chamomile flower.

Chamomile is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Several compounds found in chamomile help with soothing, such as bisbolol.

Antioxidant components in chamomile make it an effective ingredient to help slow the signs of aging. Antioxidants help fight free-radical molecules, or molecules that may damage your skin.

Essential oils from chamomile have been found to improve wound healing due to its antimicrobial properties.

Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used Chamomile to treat skin redness and dryness. Chamomile has also been used to help treat stomach issues.

Learn more about Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Disliked

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

Another role of this ingredient is preventing a product from melting or freezing. Propylene glycol also adds antimicrobrial properties to a product, elongating product lifespan.

This ingredient is considered an organic alcohol and commonly added into both cosmetics and foods.

Those with sensitive skin or conditions may deliver a rash when using this ingredient.

Learn more about Propylene Glycol
Buffering
Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 15985 is a dye made from petroleum. It is synthetically created and approved by the FDA for use in foods and cosmetics.

The color of this dye is orange/yellow.

This ingredient can be found in makeup, sun care, and skincare.

Learn more about CI 15985
Cosmetic Colorant

Ci 16035 is a synthetic dark-red dye. This dye is created from an acid called Allura red AC, an azo dye.

Azo dyes need to be purified thoroughly before use. This makes them more stable and longer lasting.

This dye is commonly used in foods, approved by both the FDA and EFSA.

Learn more about CI 16035

Reviews

3.5
from 2 ratings
davidalukkal_267's avatar

davidalukkal_267

1 year ago Β· Normal Skin
Review

Didn't help with acne
Didn't help with whitehead and cystic acne, but it did improve skin complexion and helped with blackheads. But it also left...

Didn't help with acne
Didn't help with whitehead and cystic acne, but it did improve skin complexion and helped with blackheads. But it also left the skin very dry and tight.

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