Neutrogena has been a staple drugstore brand for decades, but when it comes to cleansers, the huge variety of options can be overwhelming. Below, we’ve broken down the absolute best Neutrogena cleansers for different skin types and concerns. 

The Best Neutrogena Cleansers

Best for Normal to Oily Skin

Best Neutrogena Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

This fan-favorite Neutrogena foaming cleanser is an excellent daily face wash. It is super gentle on the skin but still gets rid of excess oil, dirt, and debris that clogs pores.

Skin types: Normal to Oily Skin
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This gentle cleanser is a great daily face wash for normal to oily skin, as it sweeps away dirt and debris without irritating or drying out the skin. It is also non-comedogenic (meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients known to clog pores), so it is also an excellent gentle cleanser for those prone to acne.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist developed

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

This cleanser was developed with sensitive skin in mind, and is free of many of the common irritants that can cause issues for this skin type.

Best for Normal to Dry Skin

Best Neutrogena Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

This cream cleanser is an excellent daily face wash for those with drier skin. It is gentle on the skin and effectively cleanses without further drying it out.

Skin types: Normal to Dry Skin
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This cleanser is one of the best Neutrogena cleansers for those with drier skin. It contains glycerin (a humectant), which keeps the skin moisturized while cleansing ingredients gently remove dirt and debris[1]. It is also non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t contain ingredients known to clog pores.

Pros

  • Gentle
  • Fragrance-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist developed

Cons

  • Some reviewers complain about the pump

This cream cleanser was developed by dermatologists, and is suitable for sensitive skin, including those with rosacea and eczema.

Best for Oily Skin

Best Neutrogena Cleanser for Oily Skin

Neutrogena Skin Balancing Clay Facial Cleanser For Oily Skin

This cleanser contains clays and a gentle chemical exfoliator, which work together to cleanse away impurities, exfoliate, and mattify without disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier.

Skin types: Oily Skin
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This cleanser is excellent for oily skin, because it cleanses and mattifies without stripping the skin. This is essential for oily skin types, because cleansers that strip the skin can actually trigger an over-production of oil. The cleanser contains a 2% concentration of polyhydroxy acid (PHA), which gently exfoliates. It also contains both kaolin and bentonite clays, which absorb excess oil to keep the skin matte.

Pros

  • Dermatologist developed
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

PHA also works as a humectant, which means it helps keep the skin soft and moisturized without contributing to shine[2].

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

Best Neutrogena Cleanser for Acne

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser

This is one of the best Neutrogena cleansers for acne, because it combines salicylic acid with soothing ingredients to minimize and prevent breakouts without irritating or over-drying the skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This cleanser contains a 2% concentration of the chemical exfoliator salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is able to shed excess skin cells and decongest pores[3]. This helps fight current breakouts while also preventing new blemishes from forming.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Soothing
  • Reduces redness

Cons

  • Contains fragrance
  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

In addition to the acne-fighting salicylic acid, this cleanser contains chamomile and aloe. These ingredients help soothe the skin to minimize irritation (which chemical exfoliators can cause) and reduce redness. This cleanser can be used up to two times per day, although you may wish to alternate it with a gentler cleanser (like the Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser) to prevent irritation.

Best Exfoliating Cleanser

Best Neutrogena Exfoliating Cleanser

Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Micro Face Polish with Glycolic and Mandelic AHAs

This brightening cleanser contains super fine physical polishers and alpha hydroxy acids (chemical exfoliators) that help promote a smoother and more even skin tone.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Exfoliating and Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water. Use one to three times per week.
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This exfoliating cleanser contains two super effective alpha hydroxy acids: glycolic and mandelic acids. These chemical exfoliators promote the production of collagen and speed up skin cell renewal, which helps lighten hyperpigmentation, smooth the skin, and fight signs of aging[4][5]. While these ingredients are most effective in leave-on treatments, they do help provide gentle exfoliation for the skin in this formula.

Pros

  • Gently exfoliates
  • Brightening

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

This cleanser should only be used one to three times per week, as overuse can lead to over-exfoliation and irritation. When not using this cleanser, opt for another cleanser suited for your skin type.

FAQs

Which Neutrogena cleanser is best?

The best cleanser for you will depend entirely on your skin type and concerns, so you should assess your skin’s unique needs and go from there. That said, some of the overall best Neutrogena cleansers include the Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser and the Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, which have both been fan-favorites for years.

Is Neutrogena a good brand for acne?

Yes, Neutrogena is a great brand for those with acne, as it offers a variety of products that help minimize and prevent breakouts. You can check out our guide on the best Neutrogena products for acne, which includes the Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser and the Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser.

Is Neutrogena all natural?

No, Neutrogena is not a natural brand. It does have a line of products that contain more naturally-derived ingredients, but the brand does use synthetic ingredients in its products. 

The Bottom Line

No matter what your skin type or concerns are, Neutrogena has a cleanser that will work for you. Use the cleanser targeted towards your skin’s needs to achieve clear, healthy skin.