Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser Review & Photos

Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser
Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser

Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser ($7.99 for 6.5 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a foaming cleanser that contains microbeads to “gently purify and lift away dirt … [and] softly scrub your skin.” A couple of weeks ago, I grabbed this cleanser to try for an evening cleanser for light makeup days, and I wanted something more budget-friendly. I’ve only used it a handful of times, because every time I use it, it’s like spraying a bottle of perfume on my face (and in my mouth, because it’s so potent, I feel like I can taste it, even though I’m not putting it on my mouth!). It’s extremely high in fragrance; it’s a strong, floral scent. I can’t recall coming across anything that was this strong in fragrance, where I felt like I could taste it (but I know there was a moisturizer, by another brand, that was so heavily scented, I didn’t test it for long either).

The texture is a thick, creamy consistency that squeezes out of the tube.  It lathers and foams well, and the beads are there but not in a high concentration, so it is very gentle and seemed suitable to my skin on a regular basis. It didn’t leave my skin feeling stripped or “squeaky” clean, which I liked, and it was able to cleanse away daily dirt and grime–but it doesn’t work well on makeup. It left noticeable amounts of eyeliner, mascara, and medium-coverage foundation when I tried it when I did wear light makeup (I will note, though, that it doesn’t call out removing makeup, but since I know a lot of us like double-duty cleansers, it was still something I tried it with in case it did).  I can’t speak to any long-term effects, because it’s really not something I wanted to keep using.


Water, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Oxidized Polyethylene, PEG 200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Myristoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Citric Acid, PEG 100, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance, Lauric Acid, Polyquaternium 10, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Ascorbic Acid, BHT, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

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Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser
Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser

Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser
Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up Exfoliating Cleanser

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About the Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). (For more information, please check the FAQ.)

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It does. It’s not strong enough to bother me, but it’s there. I haven’t used this bead me up cleanser so I’m not sure how it compares in terms of scent.

But you have normal/dry skin right? If you do I don’t know that I would recommend that cleanser. I have oily skin and I like that cleanser for how good it is at cutting through lots of face oil and how it leaves my skin extremely matte but not too dry. I’m afraid shine shine go away would be very striping on dry skin.

I have normal-to-dry skin (it’s pretty normal right now, since it’s summer) – I definitely don’t think it’s a great fit for my skin (since I don’t worry about shine), so I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it, but I’d consider trying it once or twice (if I had it).

Glad it works for you!

Christine, you should get the Olay Fresh Effects Towelettes a try, too! It is pretty great: well-saturated, removes all forms of makeup, and is relatively cheap.

I find it at least as effective as the MAC Wipes–something that is super effective at removing everything, but unfortunately turns my face bright red due to part of the preservative system.

Hi Christine! Have you tried the Olay foaming face wash? I have been using the one for combination skin for years. It has a very light smell that is more of a clean scent than floral or fruity. I use it to cleanse my skin and remove makeup. Every now and then I have to add a little extra to my eyes for some of the eyeliners that are really tough to remove. Other than that, it’s not drying and doesn’t cause my sensitive skin to react to it. I highly recommend it. Plus, they always have coupons for it in the paper.

I just wanted to add that my skin changes from being combination to being really dry. I have never switched facial cleansers even if my skin is on the dryer side for a bit. I’ve seen images of the product in a pump and a tube. I use the one in a tube.

I bought this recently and I’ve used it several times already. I totally agree with you on the fragrance issue, it’s so strong that I can taste it even when it’s not on or in my mouth. That problem aside, I actually really like this cleanser. I always remove the majority of my makeup with a wipe before washing my face and after using this cleanser I find that all of my makeup, including mascara and eyeliner, are washed off. It doesn’t strip my skin completely which I like, and it makes my skin feel really smooth. I’m going to continue using it.

shame it’s got polyethylene in it, it’s a type of plastic that slides through the filters at treatment plants and ends up in the water being eaten by fishes and other animals :/

(pardon late reply!) Thank you for highlighting this! I had heard to watch out for plastic glitters in bath bombs etc, but hadn’t thought about plastic microbeads in exfoliators – I will definitely be looking out for that next time I’m purchasing.

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