Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser
Aveeno’s Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser was reformulated, and the changes were for the better! Already a great, truly gentle cleanser, the fragrance-free liquid-to-foam formula now cleanses more thoroughly and is better at removing makeup. Consider it a winner for all skin types, including sensitive, rosacea-affected skin.
Packaged in an opaque bottle topped with a pump, this water soluble cleanser contains gentle surfactants (cleansing agents) along with skin-conditioning glycerin and soy. It dispenses cloud-light but feels substantial on skin thanks to a slightly creamy lather. It rinses cleanly without leaving a tight or dry sensation.
The brand included the feverfew called out in the claims, but contains little else in terms of soothing ingredients. The amino acids and minerals are OK additions, but their hydrating benefits are limited since this is a rinse-off formula. What really makes this gentle is the blend of mild cleansing agents and lack of fragrance.
One more comment: You can ignore the hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic claims. That’s because they’re not regulated terms and don’t have any agreed-upon guidelines around their usage, although in terms of making skin breakout, this cleanser is extremely low risk.
- Super gentle formula.
- Produces a comfortable soft lather.
- Does a good job removing makeup.
- Won’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.
- Fragrance free.
This gentle foaming cleanser lifts away dirt, oil and makeup without overdrying or aggravating even very sensitive skin. Formulated with CALMING FEVERFEW® , a natural ingredient related to chamomile, it helps reduce the appearance of redness and is gentle enough to use every day. It’s also fragrance free, soap free, noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic.
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 & Johnson-owned 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 skin, just 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.