Beware of Neutrogena

by KD1964 Mar 21, 2007 fileunderFound in Health & Beauty

I don't mean to bad mouth Neutrogena, I used to use their products a lot when I was a teenager.  Their soaps worked so well for oily skin that they can take the grease off my frying pans.  What I find disturbing is that Neutrogena and other skin care products (products that I have trusted are safe) use chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. 

The Wired wrote an article about the different harmful chemicals used in mainstream products.  I learned that Neutrogena marketers use the euphemism "alpha-hydroxy" in their skin care products to disguise that fact that it is really destructive to your skin.  Wired author Patrick de Justo says, "It’s a corrosive acid that breaks apart the outer layer of skin, spurring new cell growth. While it may make you look younger, it can also make skin twice as vulner­able to sun damage — good thing Neutrogena adds SPF 15 sunscreen."   The alpha-hydroxy's actual name is hydroxyacetic acid which is found in bathroom tile scum removers that serves to dissolve minerals left in shower and sinks according to Wired.

What upsets me is that it is harder to believe products know what is healthy for my skin. I’m no expert in skin care, but I am becoming more conscious of what I buy.  What I mean by conscious is to know what I am drawn to, know my values, and understand how influence and manipulation work.  It gets overwhelming to learn about all of the ingredients, but in the end, it will be worth it.  To deter from products that contain harmful synthetic chemicals will spare me rashes, developing cancers, and getting allergic reactions.  I just thought I should share this with this community because it is all about defying mainstream marketing and wanting to find the truth in products by consumers.   The products that I find to work well are Jurlique (From Australia and is by the far the best stuff on earth), Kiss My Face, Origins, Be Fine Food Skin Care, Lush, Aubrey Organics and Clinique.


My sources:



1.  avatar ruthers said:

Wow, I didn't know there were corrosive acids in there. I use Neutrogena moisturizer and another moisturizer that the doctor told me to use for my acne. I used to use Neutrogena cleanser for my oily skin, but it didn't really work. So I started used Clinique soap bar which is actually working a lot better! Thanks for writing up this very helpful article! Much appreciated!!!
Mar 21, 2007 5:01pm
2.  avatar josephclark said:

My name is josephclark and I'm a spammer.
Mar 22, 2007 8:04am
3.  avatar KD1964 said:

I typed Alpha-Hydroxy in the search bar on Neutrogena's webpage and the products that contain that acid are the "On the Spot Treatment" products. Just fyi, so i guess the lotions are fine.
Mar 22, 2007 9:23am
4.  avatar sharonna said:

I would add to the list Lush, which makes creative handmade products FRESH from the region you buy it in. They're also against animal testing and I've never had my face smell so good after using their soaps.
Mar 27, 2007 11:29am
5.  avatar jalync said:

hi there! i myself used Neutrogena and i had horrible experience w/ their product. The NEutrogena Healthy skin mosturizer w/ SPF 15 and the Neutrogena that u use to make the bumps on your arms disappear. Both product i used caused the same reaction on my skin. My face was swelling and had blisters . It looks like i got burned . I wasnt able to go to work for 2 wks. My arms bubbled up that the doctor needed to put bandages around my arms to avoid severe infection cuz my skin was peeling off. i wish i photographed myself and send it to them but i havent. I was trying to call their 1800 number but i cant get through. I visited their site to send a complaint but i cant becuz it only intended for US residents only. Im from Canada. I missed work for 2 wks, w/o pay and i couldnt go out. Good thing it subsided after 2 wks but it left scars and marks around my lips and arms. But thankfully right now its sort of fading already. i would never ever use Neutrogena products again  and would never believe them that they are claiming their hypo allergenic!
Aug 04, 2007 10:30am
6.  avatar anna said:

I bought the visably younger Day and Night products and my skin has been sore on my forehead, and felt irritated all day and night! I am not going to use them anymore, and especially now I have just read the above. It's unbelieveable what these companies get away with - Stick to Weleda!
Nov 13, 2007 1:25pm
7.  avatar Verena said:

You guys don't understand the concept at all. The alpha-hydroxy acids remove DEAD surface cells, the same as if you were to scrub your skin with a loofah. They may remove a few living cells in the process: since you're starting with billions, I think you'll survive. The packaging states that if you experience irritation, you need to cut back or stop using the product. Just use common sense.
Please educate yourselves about science. Natural does *not* always mean healthier; cyanide and arsenic are both natural and both deadly. By making these ignorant posts, you are simply spreading your ignorance. Go back to school!
Dec 15, 2007 8:57pm
8.  avatar Arbonne Girl said:

Hi there... if you are looking to try a great skincare line - all natural/botanical, ph-correct, no mineral oils, paraben free - and not tested on animals... have you tried Arbonne?? They are amazing - a wonderful health and wellness company and Swiss formulated!!! Until I made the decision that I didn't want to be taking anymore chemicals into my skin (and therefore into my other organs eventually!) - and decided to try and learn more about Arbonne - I really had no idea of how much harmful garbage is in alot of the products we use!?! It was/is scary! Our skin craves to breath and therefore be oxyginated... Arbonne takes care of this!

If you are looking for another new option, please feel free to email me at: ... and I can send you some samples to try...

Be well, V.

PS: mineral oil is BAD and you can find it in alot of products! It's an occlusive that's larger than our pores, and doesn't allow any of the possible beneficial ingredients that might be in a product to actually penetrate our skin. (If you are however, looking to heal your skin - mineral oil being 'crude' oil and a pore-blocker - it could have some slight benefits here - but seeing what it is, and what other natural healing products are out there, well you decide... ) See more below...

Mineral Oil - A mixture of refined liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. Mineral oil is the stabilizing ingredient of many skin care products. Mineral oil forms an occlusive film on your skin, blocking your pores, and interfering with normal skin respiration. It may, therefore, not only harm your skin but be a contributing cause of blemishes.

Petroleum - (Petrolatum) Petroleum products such as Vaseline, etc., do not penetrate your skin, but sit on the surface blocking natural respiration, excretion, and absorption of other nutrients. It is also an occlusive agent, and should be avoided.

Lanolin - Derived from sheep wool, Lanolin is a common lubricating ingredient in many cosmetics and creams. In addition t being occlusive, it has been proven to cause allergic reactions in skin of sensitive people.

Solvent - Solvent alcohols in the form of propyl of isopropyp are drying to your skin.

Collagen - This animal product is added to cosmetics as a moisturizing agent. The molecules are too large to penetrate your skin. They therefore clog your pores, and in some cases cause allergic reactions.
Jun 26, 2008 6:51pm
9.  avatar Frightened said:

I have been using the Neutrogena Daily Defense SPF45 untinted, and it has stripped by skin of moisture within 4 days of use.

My skin has been peeling horribly and each time I used the Neutrogena moisturizer (and when I discontinued it and went back to my original moisturizer) it stung intensely.

At present my face is blotchy and red and I am frightened by what has happened, hoping it will clear up soonest since I have discontinued use.

I have notified Neutrogena and the representative has stated that she will be sending me a coupon for another Neutrogena product - and to see a dermatologist.
Feb 04, 2009 5:28pm
10.  avatar chicagogirl said:

I used Neutrogena Healthy Skin on the advise of my dermatologist. I had been using Kinerase and he thought I would like this better and save some money. I had the same experience as Jalync above. My skin blistered like a bad sunburn, itched and pealed off. I also had swelling. I'm throwing it out and going back to Kinerace. So much for saving money!!!
May 31, 2009 11:28am
11.  avatar SweetSkin said:

Not that I like or use Neutrogena, but you're a little uneducated about Alpha Hydroxy Acids. AHAs are commonly used in a lot of skin care products because they are good for your skin. Maybe you can find them in corrosive materials but you also find them in natural fruits. These AHAs are called glycolic and lactic acids. They're derived from natural sources. These are the AHAs you find in skin care products. Salicylic acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid and is commonly used to treat acne because it is oil based and able to penetrate the pores to dissolve impactions. Salicylic acid is derived from Willow Tree Bark, just like aspirin. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do more research than just a couple of sources. These ingredients do great things for the skin because as we age, our skin slows down cell renewal which makes us look dull and lifeless. By speeding up the exfoliation process (or desquamation), we can achieve brighter, healthier skin AND improve moisture levels. All of which fight aging.
Jan 14, 2010 10:07pm
12.  avatar Olso1996 said:

I agree, I used this product for a month but the results are not worth the cost in my book. Now I drink more water and eat healthier with cheapo acne crème and got the same result. So I cancelled my account after not receiving my product the last month. I called customer care (only way to cancel - expect to be on hold for 10 min) and they offered to send me a **free** replacement, only if I stay a customer for another month.
After explaining that it wasn't worth the price the customer service rep said in order to get a refund I would have to return the merchandise (that someone in my apartment building stole) and claimed it was my fault that I did not receive the product. So needless to say I canceled and I strongly suggest going else where for your acne needs.
Jul 27, 2010 3:59pm
13.  avatar AniB said:

I had a very bad reaction to Neotrogena Oil Free facewash.
Normally I don't have a sensitive skin but after using the product for about 4 days I woke the next morning with swollen eyes plus a very itchy and burning skin. It has now been 3 days that my skin has little bumps and burn. I am sure it will recover but the discomfort has been terrible!
Now I am out of pocket the money spent on the facewash plus products and eyedrops to try and get my skin back to normal.
It is a big concern to read on the Internet how people reacted to this product but they continue to sell it!!
Don't buy it, it is not worth it. Be kind to your skin, it is not worth the damage.
Aug 29, 2010 9:33am
14.  avatar Marmy said:

I used Neutrogena "Healthy Skin" lotion with alpha-hydroxy acid for a year with no allergic reactions. Within days of buying a second bottle my eyes swelled, the bridge of my nose was swollen and a dry red rash covered both my cheeks from my eyes to my chin. After a few days the swelling reduced but then the skin, particularly on my eyelids (where I did NOT put the product) began to flake like mad. I understand that the product is intended to promote new skin growth and on that point it certainly overachieves. The swelling and dry itchy skin are not particularly welcome side effects.
About 5 days of cold compresses, olive oil and mild exfoliants have repared the damage. This stuff went into the garbage, no more Neutrogena for me.
Jan 02, 2011 2:09pm
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