Noxzema Original Face Wash

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Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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There Are MUCH Better Products Out There

Dec 6, 2002 (Updated Dec 6, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:None.

Cons:Doesn't work. Nasty smell, cold-burning sensation, no antibacterial/acne fighting ingredients.

The Bottom Line: Ineffective and truly unpleasant to use. Don't waste your time and money. Noxzema's camphor and menthol fool you into thinking your face is clean, when it really isn't!


I remember being introduced to Noxzema in the early 1990's. They did so much advertizing then, they even made model Rebecca Gayheart famous, as she became known as the "Noxzema Girl." The 1990's were my teenage years, so like many acne-faced young women, I experimented with many products. Noxzema did not help me achieve clear skin then, and it certainly isn't effective for me now.

I decided to give Noxzema a second chance. While silly-me was looking for a new and exciting facial cleanser at the local drug store, (why do I even bother? I always go back to my favorite cleansers anyway) I stumbled upon Noxzema Original Cleansing Lotion. It came in a navy-blue, 10.5 fl. oz. pump container (a new version of the tub.) So I thought, 'my skin has become much healthier over the years, I know Noxzema didn't work for me then, but why not give it another try?' So I bought it.

-Why I Hate Noxzema and Will Never Buy It Again-

First, it smells awful. Its 'signature scent' (I'm sure you all know it), is very reminiscent of formaldehyde. Every time I used that stuff I got flashbacks of the cadavers in gross anatomy lab *shudder*. The smell is due to camphor, menthol and eucalyptus. I found myself gagging while washing my face in the morning. Not a very pleasant way to start the day!

Secondly, I don't like the sensation it gives my skin. It gives your face a cold (but burning!) sensation. Some people may find this 'tingly' feeling refreshing. It may make you feel clean, but it's just an illusion.

Very importantly, Noxzema Original does not have any antibacterial ingredients (such as triclosan) or any acne-treating ingredients (such as salicylic acid, my favorite). Also, this product contains oils which may promote acne (it has soybean oil and unseed oil). This is why this product is ultimately ineffective for me. I discovered that my skin needs at least an antimicrobial cleanser to keep it clear and flawless. I think Noxzema may be just for those lucky people with no skin problems, because by itself it does not deep-clean or help unclog pores.

Another downfall of Noxzema Original is that it's just a lotion - it does not lather up, so you can't use it with a face-scrubber. I think that using a sloughing pad (such as a Buff Puff) is an absolute necessity. Using this lotion with the scrubber just doesn't work! The buff puff does not glide smoothly on your skin, so it hurts and may even leave scratches. I found that I had to dispense huge amounts of the lotion (like 5-6 pumps) on the pad just so I can bear to scrub with Noxzema. My face did feel soft and clean after scrubbing with it, but I can get the same or better effect using other products.

-Noxzema Original May Be For You If...-

...you naturally have great skin and are looking for just a regular old cleanser. But if that is the case, why torture yourself with the horrid scent/sensation? Go for a Dove bar instead.

-There's Much Better Out There!-

Instead of this junk, try Clearasil Oil-Free Daily Face Wash, my all-time favorite cleanser. It really deep cleans, it foams nicely with the Buff Puff, it kills bacteria, it smells great, and it has never overdried my face. I truly owe my clear skin to this magical product. After using Clearasil, I massage my face with a face scrub (any brand is good, because all you need is for the little grains to gently scrape away dead skin cells and other impurities - St. Ives Apricot Scrub is cheap and effective). This (and NOT NOXZEMA) keeps my skin healthy, glowing, and zit-free!


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