The most difficult part about reviewing face wash products is that, in my opinion,they are the most subjective hygienic productd out there. As helpful as the categories normal, dry, and combination can be, no one fits perfectly in these boxes, and one day you can wake up and fall under a completely different category. So all of these reviews are based on my personal experience; however, they very well may work or not work for you! The one common factor in all of these face washes is that none of them are tested by animals.
In case anyone was wondering, my face type is combination, typically oily in the summer and dry in the winter.
Yes To Grapefruit Facial Scrub
This product is the prime example of it-may-work-for-you-but-not-for-me. I am sure most people have heard of or seen Yes To products by now as they seem to be slowly taking over the face wash aisles of every store. I used to use the Clean & Clear’s grapefruit face wash until I read an article about the negative effects of [plastic] microbeads on marine life, so seeing that I could get a comparable product that was “99% Natural” was quite exciting. Initially the face was was fine. I did not notice anything particularly different about it from other gentle cleansers, but it smelled pretty wonderful. Later that day, though, I was running on the treadmill and my face got itchy. When I got off, I looked at myself in the mirror and it looked like I had been attacked my a mosquito on my entire face and a little bit of my neck, my standard allergic reaction (happened when I used Banana Boat and when I ate these cute little marshmallow things in the shape of ice cream cones). I looked up reviews that entire night on the internet to see if anyone else had a similar reaction, but nothing came up. I wish I could pin-point what exactly made me break out, but that required more effort than I was willing to give on a product that clearly was not meant for me.
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub
This is my current face wash, and I have to say I love it. It is gentle and effective without being the least bit drying. I do think this would be best used in the winter for my face as I am extra oily in the summer, but really that is an aesthetic preference, not a skin-quality one. It isn’t the most “natural” of all the face washes in the way people anticipate, but I like that the company is transparent and gives you their definition of natural because as I have said before, there is no FDA regulated definition for the term natural. Neutrogena Naturals also seems to care more about sustainable efforts than many major beauty product brands (i.e. vegetable based ink), which is something extremely important to me.
Trader Joe’s SPA Face Wash with Tea Tree Oil
This face wash actually smells like a Christmas tree farm, no exaggeration, which I find pleasant and calming. The texture is very runny, definitely moreso than your conventional face wash, but it lathers quite well. The tea tree oil in this is no joke. The first time I used this face wash was one morning in which I did not work out first, so my skin was pretty normal. I had to use extra facial lotion to try to regain some of the moisture in my face. If you have dry skin or combination skin that has been leaning toward the dry side lately, this may not be for you, or at least use sparingly. I love using this face wash after a show, though, because it makes my face feel fantastic after having danced and sweat with a pound of make-up on.
African Black Soap Facial Wash & Scrub
This face wash is another favorite of mine. After using it last winter, I decided it was definitely more of a summer product as it was a little drying on my winter face (maybe the tea tree oil?). It cleared my acne up so well, and the beads were extremely non-abrasive. I am also in love with the Shea Moisture brand, which I am sure will become more apparent as I continue to review.
While I can only state my opinions on what works on my own face, hopefully this gives a good starting point on environmentally friendly or cruelty free cleansers.