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Aveeno

Positively Radiant Micellar Gel Cleanser

5.10 fl. oz. for $ 6.99
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Brand Overview

Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Micellar Gel Cleanser has a lot to like, and only one thing keeps it from earning our highest rating.

This cleanser comes in a plastic bottle topped with a pump dispenser. It starts off as a gel, but quickly turns into a foam when it contacts water. The foam is cushiony and smooths across skin with ease, effectively removing dirt, oil, debris, and most makeup (waterproof and long-wearing formulas will require a separate makeup remover). It rinses cleanly without leaving skin feeling dry or tight.

The ingredients mostly consist of gentle cleansers and preservatives, though there are a couple of antioxidants (kiwi and soy extracts) included, too. They’re not here in a great amount and are rinsed from skin, but they’re still nice to have, since they can help with hydration.

The only problem is that this cleanser contains fragrance. In fact, there’s more fragrance here than the aforementioned antioxidants, but it’s not overpowering or lingering. Still, fragrance of any kind can cause skin irritation, even in a rinse-off product.

That issue aside, this is an overall good cleanser that’s suitable for most skin types.

Pros:
  • Cushiony foam effectively removes, dirt, oil, debris, and most makeup.
  • Rinses cleanly.
  • Doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.
Cons:
  • Contains fragrance, which isn’t the best for skin.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Leaves skin soft and dewy. Gently cleanse, hydrate, and enhance your skin’s natural radiance with this micellar facial cleanser. Made with soy and kiwi complex, this hydrating gel works like a magnet to draw out and wash away makeup, oil, and other skin-dulling impurities. Leave your skin feeling soft and dewy for a lit-from-within glow.

Water, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Acrylates/C10·30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Water, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG-45M, Butylene Glycol, Yeast Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein.

Aveeno At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers and sunscreen products; fantastic Skin Relief Healing Ointment and soothing bath wash products; a handful of well-formulated baby-care products.

Weaknesses: Well-intentioned but ineffective anti-acne products; reliance on a single showcased ingredient (typically soy) that makes their anti-aging products less enticing than the competition; ineffective products to address hyperpigmentation; formulas packaged in a jar wont remain stable.

Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).

Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnsonowned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.

Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skinjust not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.

The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!

For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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