Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

Hi, friends! Today I'm here to talk to you about the new Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes. You might have seen the facial cleanser or other Naturals products at the drugstore, but Neutrogena has recently expanded their line to include these wipes, so I wanted to check them out. Full disclosure: I received these for free from Influenster to test these out, but that doesn't really impact my opinion of them at all. Click here if you would like to see my disclaimer/policy information about products that are sent for review.

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

To promote these wipes (and save the planet, I guess), Neutrogena has partnered with the Nature Conservancy for their Wipe for Water Challenge (aka #WipeForWater). The goal behind this movement is to get people to conserve water by washing their faces with these wipes instead, since they are advertised as not needing to be rinsed off. It's quite smart of them, I think. If you go to their page and pledge to face your face with these wipes for at least three days, it'll donate $1 to the Nature Conservancy. I'll be honest with you by saying that I had good intentions to participate in this challenge, but I failed on day one (more on that later). 

I think it's a little funny, since you're producing more waste in the environment by using and throwing away these wipes, as opposed to using a liquid cleanser, but who am I to judge? Though I kind of laughed. It's a little bit funny. Being environmentally-conscious is hard!  

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes


You've probably seen them around--their skincare and makeup products are in drugstores everywhere. They're affordable, easily accessible, and have a number of different products for different skincare concerns. Neutrogena Naturals is a relatively new line by them that's all about--you guessed it--natural skincare products.

About Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes:
  • 97% Naturally Derived Formula
  • Clinically proven to completely remove dirt, oil, and makeup, even waterproof mascara without greasy residue
  • Ultra-soft, naturally derived wipes with Peruvvian Tara Seed bionutrient (What is that and what does it do?)
  • Fresh of harsh chemical chemical sulfates, parabens, petrolatum, dyes and phthalates. (For the record, I don't know why petrolatum is on this list. It's petroleum jelly, aka Vaseline. I wouldn't consider Vaseline a "harsh chemical." Sigh. Kids these days). 
(And of course it has to point out that it's paraben-free since everyone is scared of parabens. Give me some real, hard evidence that they're bad for you. Until then, I don't buy it.)

Other claims:
  • Dermatologist-recommended (Always a useless claim to me. Who is this dermatologist? How good are they at their job? And, unfortunately, are they on Neutrogena's payroll? Just something to think about.)
  • Ophthalmologist tested 
  • Allergy tested (Everyone has different allergies, so whose are you testing for? I'm allergic to bees. Did they test for bees?)
  • Alcohol-free 
  • Not tested on animals 
It also has little symbols on the side that read: "Not tested on animals," "Supports clean water," "Renewable energy," and "97% Naturally Derived." Don't we all support clean water? Just a question. I wish they went more into the renewable energy bit.


When I went online to get the ingredients list, I found this notice on Neutrogena's website
Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

Neutrogena really isn't sure of their own product's ingredients? Seriously? I thought I might have to type up the ingredients again like I did for Core Clarity, but thankfully that was not the case, since I was able to get a good picture of the list on the back of the package.

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

They do a good job of trying to hide the full ingredients list from you. You have to flip back the flap listing all of the ingredients they want you to know about in order to get to the full disclosure. I don't understand why companies do this. If you have a formula you're truly proud of, why not show it off?

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

Oh. Okay, well, there is no flap. Is this the whole list? I guess so. Well, the good news is that the back of the package checks out with the website list! So why have that disclosure online? Can't someone tell Neutrogena that they can remove it now? 

Let's go into detail about a few of these ingredients:

dicaprylyl carbonate - This is an emolient, which can come from a number of different places. Makes skin feel soft but not greasy (Their claim makes sense now!). According to the packaging, in this case, it comes from coconuts. Good stuff

propanediol - Glycol (sort of like glycerin). Hydrating, helps ingredients penetrate the skin better. In this case, it comes from corn. Good stuff

caprylic/capric triglyceride - Usually comes from coconuts and glycerin. Emolient with fatty acids. According to the packaging, in this case it comes from "Vegetable" (it doesn't say which one, just Vegetable). Good stuff

Fragrance - Can be irritating to the skin. It's not too strong (and it smells quite nice, which makes me so conflicted) but skin still doesn't like scents. It's just a general rule (and everyone is different), but over the long-term it can be known to do some damage. People who have sensitive skin or skin-related issues such as eczema should steer clear. Bad stuff

sodium hydroxide - AKA lye. It's alkaline (so it's a base--remember chemistry class?) so it's often used to modify the pH in a product. Also sometimes used as a cleansing agent. Can irritate skin in too large quantities.

caesalpinia spinosa gum - I have no idea what this is, but apparently Neutrogena has decided it's an ingredient to be proud of. I've never even heard of it in it's non-science name (Peruvian Tara Seed). According to Skin Deep, it's a skin conditioning ingredient, so that's cool I guess. Good stuff?

This ingredients list is pretty good. If only not for the fragrance, it would get an A+++.

Just a note: I know I don't have measurements or anything, but their "97% naturally derived" claim doesn't make sense to me when 11/20 ingredients (the majority) do not have a natural source listed. (In general, I don't care whether a product is natural or synthetic--I like it as long as it works. But for those of you who are on the all-natural train, you do you. And please tell me why--I want to know!)

Price and Availability: 

I haven't seen these in many stores yet (I imagine they'll be in drugstores everywhere in due time), but so far I've found them online at the following retailers:

25 wipes - Target [$6.99], Amazon [$7.35]

My Experience:

*For reference, I consider my skin to be combination, being slightly oily in my T-zone  (large pores), with dry cheeks (very small pores), especially in the winter. I am also acne-prone and have sensitive skin. 

The Packaging: 

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

These face wipes come in a resealable pack, much like Neutrogena's other wipes. I would have thought that it would lose its stickiness after a little while, but it still seals close just as perfectly as it did when I first got them. This will help them retain moisture, which is nice.

The Stuff Inside: 

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

Inside one packet, you'll get 25 wipes. According to Neutrogena's website, they also sell as 7-wipe pack, which I can imagine would be good if you're going on a short trip. 

Review: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes

I've found that the wipes are pretty large, and even when I'm removing makeup with them, I still only need half a wipe. I've had no problem cutting each one if half as I use them, which gives me twice the amount of product for my money! Sweet!

My Experience: 

I've been using these daily since I got them at the beginning of the month. These face wipes feel drier than I would like, but if you just run them under the tap for a second, they work great. That's why I failed the #WipeForWater challenge--I needed to add water to the cleansing wipes so I could refrain from using water to cleanse my face! What a mess!

They do a surprisingly good job of removing makeup, though I don't think they're perfect at removing mascara. I always like to go in with a bit of my Neutrogena Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover (see here) on a Q-Tip and go over my lashes to make sure I didn't miss anything. With my Philosophy Purity cleanser (mentioned here), there's never anything on the Q-Tip, but with these wipes there was a little grey on the swab. Not a huge deal, but just something I noticed. Perhaps if you spend a little more time with the wipe, you won't see that, but I try not to rub at my eyelashes too much. I don't want them to fall out prematurely!

Skincare consultant extraordinaire Caroline Hirons says that using cleansing wipes just moves the dirt on around your face, rather than removing it, so I'm always wary of using face wipes alone. When using these to remove makeup, I like to start with one of these wipes, follow up with the Q-Tip to catch any remnants of mascara, and then give my face a final cleanse with the Philosophy Purity. I love going to sleep feeling assured that my skin is makeup free! I've found that when I jumped straight into toner/BHA exfoliant after using these wipes, there was still quite a bit of tinted moisturizer on my skin, so maybe Ms. Hirons was on to something.

My favorite way to use these is in the morning. I don't feel like my skin needs a deep cleanse in the A.M. after I just spent a good amount of time on my skincare routine the night before. I like these to quickly freshen up before moisturizing, and I feel clean without being too clean. While I'm at it, I'll also get my neck, and my decollete, and sometimes even my armpits, because why let a good cleansing cloth go to waste? 

I'm happy to say these don't dry my skin out, which is awesome. I like to wipe off any residue with a wet washcloth, but that's just a personal thing, and is totally not required.

Unfortunately, all good things must end. The "fragrance" listed in the ingredients is definitely there. They smell like fresh green apples (not like the gross candy stuff), which is pleasant for your nose but not for your skin. My skin has been looking slightly red and blotchy, and it could be due to this (but to be fair, I'm not sure it's the definite culprit). It's not the worst thing in the world, since it's in a cleansing wipe as opposed to a serum or moisturizer that your skin would absorb more, but it's something to keep in mind (especially if you don't rinse off afterwards). I really enjoy the scent, but it's just not good the skin. Skin does not like scents. If you're sensitive, your skin might not be a fan.

The Verdict: 


  • Easy to travel with
  • Easily accessible
  • Inexpensive
  • Good value for money
  • Removes makeup
  • No heavy residue--no rinsing required


  • Not fragrance-free (but it smells nice)
  • Still adds waste to the environment, because you're producing more trash (if that matters to you)
  • Does not remove all makeup from the skin

Also, if you are concerned with products not being all-natural, this product could be a little sketchy. The majority of ingredients do not have a naturally listed source, though they have "97% naturally derived" written at least three times on the package. Are they all natural? Is this claim misleading?

Overall, despite all my sass, I have enjoyed using these wipes. They surprisingly take off most of my eye makeup and they're just so easy! I don't know if I'll be repurchasing them since I try to steer clear of scents, but I think Neutrogena wipes as a whole are pretty good. If you're looking for cleansing wipes to try, whether it be for the morning or a first step for your evening routine, you should check these out (unless you have eczema or extremely sensitive skin). However, just know these are not a one-stop shop, and I highly recommend a double-cleanse if you're going to use them at night.

What do you use to remove your makeup? 

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Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. This does not in any way affect my opinion of them. Some ingredients link to Beautypedia because Paula Begoun is my idol.