The Story Behind Noxzema
Noxzema is a brand of acne-fighting skin care products that’s most well known for their Original Cleansing Cream. Nearly every household in America had this little blue jar full of thick white cream back in the 90s. But did you know that Noxzema was actually founded over a century ago in 1914? Baltimore pharmacist George Avery Bunting created the Original Cleansing Cream by mixing oil of cloves, menthol, and camphor into a cream base. According to the New York Times, this concoction was originally sold as Dr. Bunting’s Sunburn Remedy.
Today, the brand still sells Noxzema Original Cleansing Cream, along with a few other products that are designed to help clean the skin and combat acne. In this review, we’ll discuss the brand’s best selling products, key ingredients, Noxzema reviews from real customers, an alternative for you to consider, and more.
What Are The Best Selling Noxzema Skin Care Products?
The Noxzema skin care collection only consists of five products. Like we mentioned above, the best selling product is the Original Cleansing Cream, but let’s take a closer look at all of the Noxzema skin care products.
Original Cleansing Cream
The brand’s best selling product is the Noxzema Original Cleansing Cream, a rich cream that can be applied to wet or dry skin to reach deep into pores to remove dirt, oil, and makeup, leaving your skin soft and smooth. The formula contains menthol and camphor, ingredients that lead to the classic “Noxzema tingle”.
Moisturizing Cleansing Cream
The Noxzema Moisturizing Cleansing Cream is very similar to the Original Cleansing Cream, with the main difference being the addition of glycerin to this formula. Glycerin is a humectant that helps to keep the skin hydrated.
Anti Blemish Pads
Noxzema Anti Blemish Pads are formulated for the treatment of acne. They are claimed to help clear pores, treat current pimple breakouts, and help prevent future ones, leaving you with smooth, soft, refreshed skin. However, as you’ll learn in the next section, the Noxzema pads have the potential to cause excessive skin dryness and make acne worse.
Daily Deep Pore Cleanser
Formerly called Bacteria Fighting Cleanser, this Noxzema face wash has a rich, creamy formula to clean deep down and help eliminate pore clogging impurities such as dirt and makeup, and remove oil-created shine.
Noxzema Anti-Blemish Scrub is an oil-free, alcohol-free facial scrub that exfoliates dead skin cells while the salicylic acid and jojoba help dry up acne pimples and help prevent future blemishes.
What Are The Key Noxzema Ingredients?
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the key ingredients used in Noxzema skin care products. As you’ll see, the brand uses many ingredients that may do more harm than good for your skin, including denatured alcohol, seed oils high in unsaturated fats, and synthetic fragrance blends.
While salicylic acid is the active ingredient in the Noxzema Anti Blemish Pads, these pads contain an extremely high concentration of denatured alcohol. The problem with this type of alcohol is that, at first, it seems like it’s benefitting the skin. Initially, alcohol gives products a immediately degreases the skin, helping to control shine and dry out blemishes. Unfortunately, this is a short term benefit. With long term use, denatured alcohol can lead to excessive skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier. In fact, alcohol can dry out the skin so much that the skin will produce more oil over time to compensate for the dryness. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. For this reason, we don’t recommend Noxzema Anti Blemish Pads for treating acne.
Noxzema Daily Deep Pore Cleanser also contains salicylic acid as the key ingredient, and, fortunately, this formula does not contain any denatured alcohol. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is commonly used for the treatment of acne, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. It easily enters pores and helps to loosen clogged dirt and oil. It also has the ability to dissolve keratin, the protein that acts as a “glue” to keep dead skin cells together in the stratum corneum. This is effective because dead skin cells can build up on the surface of your skin, leaving it looking dull and also possibly clogging pores.
The two key ingredients that you’ll find in several Noxzema skin care products — including the Original Cleansing Cream — are linseed oil and soybean oil. The ingredients function as emollients, helping to keep the skin soft and smooth. However, we’d like to point out that both of these oils are rich in linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). Unfortunately, PUFAsare very unstable and prone to oxidation, which means they easily go rancid and can lead to the generation of free radicals that can damage our cells and lead to signs of aging. Fortunately, this may not be much of a problem since this is a rinse off product.
You’ll also find camphor and menthol in the Noxzema skin care products. Upon application, menthol triggers cold sensitive receptors in the skin while camphor stimulates nerve endings sensitive to heat and cold, producing a warm sensation when vigorously applied, or a cool sensation when applied gently. This leads to what the brand calls the “Noxzema tingle”. However, just because a product feels like it’s working doesn’t mean that it actually is. In fact, these two ingredients have the potential to cause skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.
We’d like to point out that all Noxzema skin care products contain synthetic fragrance ingredients. Even though the brand includes fragrance to create a pleasant smell when consumers use their products, these fragrance ingredients aren’t doing your skin any good. All fragrance ingredients (whether natural or synthetic) impart scent through a volatile reaction, and this natural reaction almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin. You may not have an immediate reaction to the fragrance in Noxzema skin care products, but the damage could still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.
Where are Noxzema Skin Care Products Sold?
Noxzema skin care products are not sold on the brand’s website. Rather, you must purchase Noxzema skin care products through third party online retailers such as Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and many others. You can also find Noxzema skin care products in physical locations, such as Walmart, Target, and drug stores.
What is The Noxzema Return Policy?
Noxzema does not have a return policy on their website since they do not sell products on their website and, therefore, don’t accept returns.
Is Noxzema Cruelty Free?
Noxzema is not cruelty free. Noxzema is owned by Unilever, a parent company that does test on animals when required by law.
Noxzema reviews on the brand’s website are a mix of positive and negative. The product with the most reviews is the Noxzema Original Cleansing Cream, which has earned an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 1,300 customer reviews.
There are several reviews from customers who have used this product for years (or even decades) because they appreciate how well it cleans their skin. For example, one review says, “Oldie but goody. I used to love this back in high school and recently came back around to it. I absolutely love how this makes my skin feel and it gets it so clean. I use it with a spin brush and it’s so perfect. I also like that it’s super cheap but effective.”
However, there are a handful of negative Noxzema reviews from customers who didn’t notice any difference from the Original Cleansing Cream. Some even mention that this product made their acne worse. For example one review says, “This face wash is not effective at all. After using it for more than a month I saw no difference and my breakouts continued and sometimes got worse. It did not dry out my skin or anything so that was good but I would have liked to see better results with my skin. I do not recommend it.”
What Are Some Alternatives to Noxzema Skin Care?
Overall, we do not recommend Noxzema skin care products. The products are heavily fragranced and the Noxzema Anti-Blemish Pads contain a high concentration of denatured alcohol. If you’re looking for a cleanser that will clean and exfoliate the skin — without harmful denatured alcohol or fragrance — we’d recommend Formulyst’s Clarifying AHA Cleanser.
The Clarifying AHA Cleanser is formulated to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin while removing dirt and makeup. It contains glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), to help refine pores, control excess oil, and smooth away any surface-level roughness. The formula also contains ingredients to moisturize and soothe the skin, such as rosehip seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and chamomile flower oil. Overall, Formulyst’s Clarifying AHA Cleanser can help your skin to feel clean, clear, and beautifully refreshed.
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