Rating: Not great


  • Most ingredients should be readily biodegradable
  • RSPO certified palm oil derivatives preferred
  • Packaging should be recyclable in kerbside recycling


Neutrogena is a skin and hair care brand that prides itself on being recommended by dermatologists. The brand is owned by Johnson and Johnson.

There are a lot of ingredients in their Hydro Boost Cleanser. The main ingredient is water. This suggests that this product could be more concentrated. Providing a more concentrated product reduces packaging requirements and transport emissions.

Another key ingredient is glycerin. This ingredient is not toxic to aquatic life and is readily biodegradable. However, it is derived from a vegetable oil, such as palm oil. Johnson and Johnson have a code that their palm oil suppliers are expected to meet. This code specifies that RSPO certified palm oil sources are preferred, which is good. However, there is no information on how much of the palm oil that they use is actually certified.

Many of the other ingredients are soap-type chemicals. There is good data available for some of these ingredients, but for others there are data gaps or only low quality data. They should all be readily biodegradable, but the data that is available indicates that at least two are very toxic to aquatic life. Another four are toxic or harmful to aquatic life. Because they should be readily biodegradable a large amount will be removed during waste water treatment, but some will still be released with the treated water and end up in the environment.

The fragrance ingredients are not listed. This means they could be almost anything – even chemicals of high concern. This product also contains EDTA. However, the main preservative is phenoxyethanol, which has low aquatic toxicity and is readily biodegradable

The packaging could probably be simplified a little, but it is good that the type of plastic that is used should be recyclable in most standard kerbside programs.

But does it work?

Considering how well a product works is a big factor in determining whether a product is a good one or not. A product that does not work is a waste.

This product has not received great reviews on MakeupAlley – many users have found it to be irritating and drying. Others, like 30 Something Mel, like the product but also say that it can sting a little. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to consider giving another product a try first.

Image credit: Spex and Lipstick

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