Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Wash– Review

This is another BHA cleanser that I am enjoying. After reviewing Sylveco’s cleanser, I wanted to find a product that would be available to more people, and I think this one hits the spot. 

This product seems to have the gentlest formula amongst all Neutrogena’s salicylic acid face washes, as it doesn’t contain any sulphates. I assume that this cleanser just as the rest of their salicylic acid washes includes 2% of the active ingredient; it’s pretty high on the ingredients list. Salicylic acid does a great job at fighting blackheads and spots as it penetrates sebum and cleanses the pores. It also exfoliates the skin gently. The formula has lactic acid in it, in a small concentration; I think it’s more for its skin hydrating properties rather than acting as an exfoliant here. We can also find glycerine, which is a wonderful humectant, and soothing panthenol. There’s fragrance at the bottom of the list, which is distinctive, but not disturbing. You can only smell it when the product is on your face though doesn’t stay after washing off. It reminds me of soap or face wash, I mean it’s a pretty standard soapy scent – if that makes sense.

This cleanser would be great for everyone with normal to acne prone skin. It creates foam but doesn’t strip skin of moisture. It leaves it clean, I mean not moisturised and clean, but just clean, so you want to follow with something hydrating right after. It’s written on the bottle that there is a technology caring for skin’s barrier, which means that the product cleanses the skin without disturbing skin’s lipids to keep it healthy and moisturised. However, I would say that it can be drying if used continuously. I wouldn’t recommend using this cleanser every day, twice a day. People with sensitive skin can use this product but not on a regular basis; I would advise you to look for gentler options. I like to use this face show before shaving to kill bacteria and prevent ingrown hair. It also works great on my body, I use it almost daily, and it keeps spots at bay. I’ve tried using it as a shampoo, and it made my oily scalp feel pretty fresh, though it isn’t the best for the hair itself. Lastly, to make sure you get all the benefits of a salicylic acid wash, do not just put it on your face and rinse off. Massage the product for at least 30 seconds; best leave it for a minute or two on your face, so the acid has time to work. 

Overall, it’s a simple and affordable cleanser. It contains a good amount of salicylic acid which helps to fight blemishes and exfoliate dead skin. I would recommend it for normal to oily/acne prone skin. It might be drying if overused though. 

Ingredients: Aqua, Cocamidopropyl Hyroxysultaine, Sodium Methl Cocoyl Taurate, Glycerin, Salicyclic Acid, Sodium Hydrolyzed Potato Starch Dodecenylsuccinate, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Lactic Acid, Panthenol, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, PEG-120 Methyly Glucose Dioleate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydoxide, Tocopherol, Benzalkonium Chloride, Parfum. (

Neutrogena’s Clear & Defend Facial Wash is available from Amazon [aff].

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One thought on “Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Wash– Review

  1. […] The formula is relatively simple, a creamy base consisting of fatty alcohols combined with salicylic acid. The concentration is unknown, but I assume it’s about 1-2%, enough to yield satisfactory results. There’s also some fragrance and menthol, which I appreciated a lot during the summer as it gave me a feeling of freshness in the morning. The product is suitable for all skin types, but people with sensitive skin may opt for something gentler like the renamed Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Wash.  […]

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