Monday, August 15, 2011

Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream Review

Gather round, ye all, for a tale of woe.  A young lass, curly hair and glasses bedecked, was plagued by oily, acne-prone skin.  All she wanted was a cleanser, for use in the morning-time, that did not break her out.  She rashly decided to try a new cleanser from Neutrogena without researching, and came to rue that decision when she discovered it stank of hair dye, and irritated her skin like no other.  She learned from her mistakes, though, as young lasses must, and returned to try another potion, this one the well-recommended Basis Cleaner Clean.  Sadly, our young heroine soon realized she had been betrayed by the evil Cocamidopropyl Betaine, which had absconded from the Neutrogena and taken up residence is the Basis.  "Be gone!" she proclaimed, and with some luck and mild flirtation exchanged the Basis for the classic Deep Cleansing Cream from Noxzema.  But hark!  Although she had slain the coca-betaine, she came to realize she had other enemies, nearly as potent, that were waiting to inflame her skin given half the chance.
Image from
Okay, wow, that took me so much longer to write than it should have.  But our tale is not yet over!  While the Noxzema is blessedly coca-betaine-free, it has other sinister forces, including (but not necessarily limited to) truly excessive amounts of menthol.  I like a good tingle as much as the next person, and my skin rarely reacts to low amounts of menthol or tea tree oil.  I can't even say for sure that it's reacting to the menthol in the Noxzema, either, since perhaps another ingredient in it is irritating my skin.  What I can say is that it smells so strong.  I do not want to feel like I am breathing menthol smoke (not mentholated, just straight-up menthol) when I am washing my face.  Morning showers should be a time for contemplation (of how much I want to go back to bed) and relaxation (while I wait for my conditioner to sink in), not stench-inhaling.  If you're less sensitive to scents than I am (not that I've ever felt I'm particularly sensitive, but between this and the Neutrogena I'm starting to get worried!), you may not have a problem with it.

Moving past the smell for the time being: the texture is a thick liquid--not quite a creamy texture--and it spreads moderately well, though two pumps are necessary for truly adequate coverage.  It doesn't foam at all, and I'm not sure if it leaves behind any face is always so numb/tingly after I wash it that I can't tell if there's anything else lingering.

Having said all that, though, I feel like this is a cleanser worth trying if you:
–aren't sensitive to smells (some people love the smell, so this could be you!)
–don't mind a good tingle
–have oily or combination skin

Many people swear by it, and I would love to hear from you if you've tried it!  Since I can't really bring back another cleanser to Fred Meyer (it's a miracle they let me bring back even two!), I'll have to try and foist this off on my brother, who has combination skin and (hopefully) a less-developed olfactory system.  I've got a new cleanser that I'm trying out now, and FINGERS CROSSED SO HARD that it works.  I'll review for you sooner (if it breaks me out right away) or later (if it doesn't).

Have you tried Noxzema's cleanser?  How do you feel about menthol in beauty and skincare?  Comments give skin a (very mild, non-irritating) fresh tingle!
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