Since the early days of we have always valued homemade skincare recipes. Whether it be strengthening hair masks to moisturizing makeup removers, going all-natural and non-toxic seems like such a no-brainer! Especially when you hear horror stories about big-name hygiene and cosmetic companies whose products cause dramatic hair loss or skin damage.
On May 2 2018, a brand we are all familiar with – Neutrogena – came under fire after a Facebook user by the name of Jamie Potts made a post that has since gone viral. Amassing over 22,000 reactions, 82,000 comments and 170,000 shares, Potts is warning others about a certain product that allagedly gave her daughter, Alyssa, a severe allergic reaction.
Mother’s Post About Daughter’s Severe Reaction to Neutrogena Makeup Remover Goes Viral
The product in question in Neutrogena’s makeup remover cleansing towelettes. Sometimes, these kinds of stories are one-in-a-million. Before jumping to any conclusions, Potts, like any smart consumer, took to the internet and did some research.
While on Neutrogena’s website, specifically the makeup remover cleansing towelettes page, she soon discovered that her daughter was not the only one facing this problem… Hard to believe for a product that is hailed as “THE #1 CHOICE OF MAKEUP ARTISTS” and Allure’s 2017 “Best of Beauty Award Winner.”
According to Neutrogena, their “gentle, ultra soft makeup remover wipes effectively dissolve 99.3% of your most stubborn makeup, even waterproof mascara – for clean, fresh looking skin in just one simple step. It leaves skin thoroughly clean with no heavy residue, so there’s no need to rinse! Plus, they’re gently enough to use around the sensitive eye area, even if you wear contacts.
Ingredients Found in Neutrogena’s Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
Although the ingredients may not be complete, the main ones include:
- Cetyl Ethylhexanoate
- Isostearyl Palmitate
- Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate
- Isononyl Isononanoate
- Hexylene Glycol
- PEG-4 Laurate
- PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides
- Sucrose Cocoate
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Benzoic Acid
- Dehydroacetic Acid
- Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
- Fragrance (EU 1279)
Interestingly, many of the 400+ product reviews are from people who have used and praised this product for more than a year and suddenly started having adverse side effects. For many consumers, this begs the question of whether they have altered the formula. Below, we’ve listed quotes pulled from Neutrogena’s product reviews specifically for the makeup remover cleansing towelettes in question.
Frightening Consumer Reviews
“I went to the dermatologist literally yesterday (May 10, 2018) for a serious rash around my eyes and down my cheek. I had no idea about the “viral” post (I’m not on any social media). My dermatologist quickly pinpointed the Neutrogena makeup removing cleansing towelettes. I bought the “fragrance free” product only to have my dermatologist show me that they are, in fact, not fragrance free. I’m now on day two of a prescription to try to clear up my rash. Very disappointing.”
“I used these towelettes along with the bottled makeup remover. On some days my eyes will get all puffy and red and itch like crazy, I couldn’t figure out why as I had used both products before. I finally started to just use the towelettes and on the first day, BAM! my eyes were swollen and itchy. I’ve stopped using and have had no problems.”
“I’ve used them before and never had an issue, but this time my skin started drying out and flaking off within a few days… I switched face washes, laundry detergents, and scheduled a doctor’s visit. I’ve even started putting pure coconut oil on my face to ease the dryness and burning! … The fact that Neutrogena is claiming they haven’t changed their ingredients for this product despite the enormous amount of recent cases similar to mine is very suspicious. 10/10 would NOT recommend.”
“I’ve used this product for years and until recently started having skin reactions, my skin looked like it was severely breaking out and irritated. Neck was itchy. I stopped using them, skins going back to normal.”
“I’ve been using this product for years to remove my makeup and it has started giving me a bad rash and swollen eyelids with hives!!!! It almost feels like a chemical burn.”
So, What Should You to Do Avoid Severe Reactions?
Just based on those concerned and heartfelt reviews, it seems that there might be something new in the formula. While we always suggest opting for healthier alternatives, if you do use this product, you may want to hold off for a while until more light is shed on the topic.
Neutrogena has not provided any real responses to the spike in recent reactions, but they encourage consumers to share their experiences. While Snopes has not received an answer to the claims, a representative sent this to Allurer:[2,3]
“We are deeply concerned about recent Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes complaints and ask that if consumers experience an adverse reaction, please call us at 1-800-582-4048 or send us a DM @Neutrogena immediately as we gather more details and get answers. Our brand promise — we will respond to every complaint as soon as we have more information to share.”
In the meantime, you can protect and nourish your skin in a few other ways!
- Stop using chemical-filled skincare products
- Research hygiene products before making a purchase, even if they’re award-winning
- Start using natural makeup removers with safe ingredients from your kitchen
- Visit a dermatologist for a “patch test” to determine chemical(s) that may be triggering allergic reactions