Thursday, April 26th, 2012

The Hit List

What’s the Worst Drugstore Facial Cleanser…?

What brand/products win this category? What makes it so awful?

Thanks to Samantha for today’s topic!

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30 thoughts on “Hit List: Worst Drugstore Facial Cleanser

  1. k

    For me it’s the  L’oreal Clean Deep facial cleanser with the bonus pop-out scrubbie, left my face feeling majorly thirsty and dried out every time.

  2. Laurence.

    Clean and Clear Foaming Facial cleanser ! Made me breakout so bad. The one I like the most is the Cetaphil one for Combo/oily skin.

    • Amanda

      That cleanser actually cut my face. I have no idea how it happened, it wasn’t drying or anything. But I used it and my face was really sore so I looked closely in the mirror and there were tiny cuts all over my face. Awful stuff.

  3. Rachel Goldstein

    Clean and Clear Pore Perfecting Cleanser. It was PACKED with glitter, and it just laid on top of my skin. I felt like I was clogging my pores with more dirt instead of cleansing it.

  4. Lindsay

    Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser…I think that’s what it’s called. Not horrible but full of parabens and MENTHOL (that’s what gives it that tingling “cleaning out your pores” feeling). Waste of money IMO

    • Gina C

      I tried that too, and hated it! I didn’t know a cream cleanser could feel so harsh and drying.

  5. xamyx

    For me, it was an exfoliating facial scrub by St. Ives (peach kernel, or something). It left serious residue all over my face and I broke out really badly. I had a roommate, though, many years later who actually loved it, and she had extremely oily skin. That being said, I wouldn’t say it was a “bad” cleanser, but it didn’t work for me.

    • CiaraAinsleyFears

       @xamyx I second that! My dad is a woodworker, and he wandered into the bathroom as I was washing my face one day- he read the ingredients on the bottle, and he actually dropped it in shock. “I use that stuff for sandblasting!” Yeah. Never used it again. Way, way, way too harsh.

      • xamyx

        @CiaraAinsleyFears Wow. I think I would call it a “bad” cleanser, now. I use a Desert Essence face wash now, which is pretty much castile soap, or I just use plain castile soap. I’ve been making an effort to keep my skin care routine as free of chemicals as possible. As for exfoliation, I just use a face brush from Sephora.

        • CiaraAinsleyFears

           @xamyx  @CiaraAinsleyFears I try to keep it natural too- it’s cheaper and better, imo. I love honey, tea tree oil, and baking soda- those three things really changed my life!


    Anything Neutrogena makes- it just does not agree with my skin!
    I know you didn’t ask about a great drugstore cleaner, but I recently discovered Aveeno clear complexion cleaner. It has salicylic acid and is hands down the greatest thing ever! I use it on my face, and any part of my body that touches the dirty gym equipment. ( I work out at an LA Fitness that is always out of equipment cleaner. And recently had my first outbreak of chest acne- YUCK! But Aveeno has saved the day!

  7. SugaBlossom4

    Oh boy, there are many. Neutrogena’s Redness Soothing cleanser broke me out insanely and made my skin even more red and dry. Aveeno’s Clear Complexion cleanser made my face dry. Biore’s Blemish Fighting Ice cleanser made my skin so dry that it bled and stung. I’ve found solace in CeraVe’s Foaming cleanser. It gets the job done.

  8. GlamorPuss

    I know people love it but I can’t take Cetaphil!  Even the formula for dry skin dries me out completely.  I actually love the basic daily cleanser from Equate (Walmart’s store brand).  It’s supposed to be comparable to Cetaphil but it’s so much gentler for me. 

    • CiaraAinsleyFears

       @GlamorPuss I agree, it’s surprisingly drying! I still use it, because I’m so cheap that I need to finish out a bottle of even ridiculously cheap cleansers before getting a new one lol. 

      • xamyx

        @CiaraAinsleyFears @GlamorPuss I can *totally* relate to the whole being to cheap to throw anything out philosophy. I, too, have a nearly full bottle of Cetaphil, but my issue is that it seems to leave a film on my skin. I’ve mainly been using it to wash off my makeup at night, before using my Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash.

    • Purpleclouds

       @GlamorPuss   I hate Cetaphl too.  It was highly recommendation by Allure magazine so I bought 2 big bottles.  It cleaned nothing! Unbelievable.  I dumped the bottles.  Waste of money.  I like 100%Pure’s Eucalyptus facial foam cleanser, or Avalon’s Vitamin C cleansing gel.   

  9. rbonson

    I haven’t used a drugstore cleanser in quite some time, but I did try L’Oreal Youth Code cleanser. I loathed it—somehow it managed to make my dry, sensitive skin both drier and oily at the same time—picture pimples that are dry and peeling along with patches that are dry and peeling, topped off with what felt like a layer of greasy film that wouldn’t go away after repeated rinsing and scrubbing with a washcloth.

    One drugstore “cleansing product” (it’s a makeup removing towelette so not technically a cleanser) that I have been using for a little over a month and loving is Yes to Blueberries Skin Brightening Makeup Removing Towelettes. I use them at night to help remove my makeup before washing my face with my regular cleanser, as well as in the morning to remove any sweat/grime (and I admit it, the occasional drool mark, LOL) that has gotten on my face overnight. I only wash my face in the morning 2-3 times per week when I use my Clarsonic brush in the shower, so these towelettes are super handy on the other mornings.

  10. Liz

    Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser.  I t was drying and made caused pimples after a week of using it.  

    • mpca66

      @Liz Gosh, I’ve used Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser for years and still using it and never had a problem with the product.

      • Liz

         @mpca66  @Liz I was surprised because I use quite a bit of Neutrogena face products and love them. It was definitely the cleanser that cause the reaction.  I went back to Purity Made Simple and my skin has been fine ever since then.  I guess the Fresh Foaming just wasn’t compatible with my skin.  

  11. perfecttenn

    L’Oreal Go 360 degrees Anti-breakout. This face cleanser dried out my normally oily skin. I literally had flakes on my cheeks from how bad it dried my face out. My roommate said it did the same thing to her face.

  12. The worst facial cleanser for me turned out to be Cetaphil. It broke my skin out!~Moonchime

  13. Quinctia

    As much as I love their products, the Alba Botanica pineapple facial cleanser from the Hawaiian line is the worst.  It’s not that it doesn’t work, it just gets in your eyes and burns like crazy.  Yes, it says not to use it near the eyes on the label, but I found that it’d inevitably end up in my eyes during the rinsing process.  Never had another cleanser do that.  I don’t even think it’s the pineapple aspect, I used Alba’s pineapple facial scrub first without this same issue.

    • Jade

       @Quinctia It was the same for me! It burned every time I tried to wash my face and honestly, it didn’t even do anything for my skin

  14. Kristen J

    Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Scrub burned the CRAP out of my face. It was horrible. It made my face peel and it burned when I used it. Never again :(.

    •  @Kristen J That sucks! I use the Pink Grapefruit Scrub now and then and it’s worked well for me, really nice scent too if you like grapefruit. Also I have to say I’m really surprised how many find the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser drying– I use that stuff all the time and it feels like I’m cleaning my face with moisturizer in a good way, although it’s not my go to cleanser for a deep clean.

  15. JJ

    Oh man, where do I start with this? I’ve tried so many that just messed my skin up. Cetaphil dried my skin in a very odd way, my fingers literally skipped over the skin on my face after a washing. Noxzema was a nightmare as well. Dried me up, fingers skipping, red patches all over my face, AND it clogged my pores. The Garnier Moisture Rescue Foam cleanser dried out my skin even though foaming cleansers are said to be great for combination to oily skin. L’oreal’s Youth Code foaming gel cleanser made me super oily, and it did not foam… I expected poofy, fun, and joyous foam.

  16. Makaegan

    Worst DS cleanser ever is the Yes To Cucumbers Daily Gentle Soothing Cleanser…absolutely disgusting texture, not at all soothing, ineffective at cleansing and leaves a slimy film on the skin. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

  17. Miss Steff

    Neutrogena Facial foam and Garnier. I used them for 6 months each. It didnt work, AT ALL 😐