Noxzema Face Wash Review 2024

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and discussion about skin care. The suggestions and information provided do not constitute medical advice and should not be treated as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment from a medical practitioner. Consult a doctor before making any changes to your skincare routine.

Noxzema is a classic facial cleanser that has been around since the early 1900s. Originally formulated to help relieve sunburn and other skin irritations, it is known for its cool, tingly feel on the skin. But does this old-school face wash stand up to today’s advanced skincare technology?

In this Noxzema face wash review, we’ll discuss who can benefit from using Noxzema, its key ingredients, how to use it properly, and some of the pros and cons based on customer reviews and dermatologist input. Read on to learn whether Noxzema can have a place in your current skincare routine.

Who Is Noxzema Good For?

Noxzema Clean is marketed as a daily facial cleanser for all skin types. However, due to its medicated formula with a high concentration of menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oil, Noxzema tends to work best for those with oily, acne-prone, or combination skin.

The strong astringents and anti-bacterial properties of menthol and eucalyptus can help dissolve oil, dirt, and makeup while killing acne-causing bacteria. This deep cleansing action may be too harsh for sensitive or dry skin types.

Noxzema does offer some gentler, non-medicated cleansers such as their Refreshing Cleansing Cloths for Sensitive Skin. Those with very dry or aging skin may still want to opt for a more hydrating, less abrasive cleanser formula from another brand.

Key Ingredients in Noxzema Products

While Noxzema has expanded its facial cleanser line over the years, most of its products contain this signature medicated formula:

  • Menthol – Cools, soothes irritation; antiseptic
  • Camphor – Anti-inflammatory; antiseptic
  • Eucalyptus Oil – Antiseptic, antimicrobial
  • Zinc Oxide – Absorbs oil
  • Sodium Citrate – Buffer/stabilizer

Some Noxzema cleansers also contain exfoliants like microbeads or pumice for additional deep cleaning and smoothing benefits. Their sensitive skin products use gentler ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin E, olive oil, and chamomile instead of the harsher medicated formula.

When assessing any facial cleanser, it’s always wise to scan the ingredients list to ensure you aren’t allergic or sensitive to any of the components. Those with sensitivities to fragrances or herbal/botanical compounds might want to do a patch test before using Noxzema daily.

How to Use Noxzema Cleansers

Noxzema cleansers come in cream, gel, bar soap, and pre-moistened pad formats. But in general, the directions advise you to:

  • Apply a dime-sized dollop of the cleanser to damp skin and massage gently over the face and neck to dissolve dirt, oil, and makeup.
  • Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  • Pat skin dry with a clean towel.
  • Avoid contact with eyes.

You can use Noxzema as often as twice daily. But those new to the Noxzema line may want to start by using it only at night until your skin adjusts and you determine if your skin tolerates it well. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.

While Noxzema does produce a nice lather and foaming action, take care not to over-scrub your skin. The medicated ingredients provide their own resurfacing and retexturizing benefits, so vigorous scrubbing can lead to irritation.

Noxzema Benefits

Beyond the cooling, tingling sensation it provides, customer reviews indicate these to be some of the top benefits of Noxzema face wash:

  • Deep cleanses without over-drying
  • Removes oil, dirt, and makeup with little effort
  • Leaves skin feeling super clean and fresh
  • Helps clear up acne
  • Reduces oiliness throughout the day
  • Affordable compared to prestige skincare brands

The key medicated ingredients in Noxzema provide antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects to help troubled skin. Menthol also constricts pores to reduce daily oil production.

Many reviews even mention using Noxzema not just on their face, but also on their chests, backs, and other acne-prone areas of their bodies with success. Some star reviewers have used Noxzema faithfully for 5, 10 even 30 or more years and credit it for their clear skin.

Potential Noxzema Side Effects

While legions of users swear by its skin-clearing powers, Noxzema isn’t for everyone. Some drawbacks of note include:

  • Can dry out the skin (use only once daily if so)
  • Leaves a greasy or waxy residue
  • Strong medicinal smell
  • Can cause redness, stinging, and irritation to sensitive skin
  • Not effective for cystic, hormonal acne

The company itself advises stopping use if irritation occurs. Discontinue use if your skin remains very red, itchy, or inflamed, and consider trying a more gentle cleanser instead.

It’s also important to note that while Noxzema can help clear up minor acne and blackheads, its formula is not strong enough to treat more stubborn cystic or hormonal acne cases. Additional acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids may be needed for difficult acne.

What Do Dermatologists and Skin Care Experts Say?

Ask dermatologists today about Noxzema and you’re likely to get mixed reviews. While some doctors once recommended the Noxzema brand years ago, today there are many more advanced acne-fighting cleansers available.

Most dermatologists advise against using old-fashioned bar soap on the face as the ingredients can be too harsh and dry. The gritty particles and fragrances found in some varieties of Noxzema can irritate sensitive skin.

That said, some dermatologists still believe a Noxzema cream cleanser from their classic medicated line can be effective when used sparingly by those with very oily or acne skin. The key is not over-washing the skin with it.

When used only once daily, it can help remove excess oil without completely stripping the skin of vital lipids. Just be sure to moisturize afterward to counter any dryness or flakiness.

Overall, skin care experts today typically recommend gentle, non-soap cleansers with ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide for acne-prone skin. Noxzema may still have a place for some dealing with moderate breakouts, but more stubborn cases will likely need additional treatment.

What About Noxzema Pricing and Availability?

One advantage most customers agree that Noxzema retains is its very affordable pricing. A 6 to 12-ounce tub of Noxzema often costs between just $5 to USD 10 while single bars run under $2 each. You can find Noxzema products at virtually any major drug or discount retail store.

Popular places to buy Noxzema cleansers include:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • Walgreens
  • Rite-Aid
  • Amazon

Buying multiples often save more, so consider adding a few extra tubs to your cart next time Noxzema goes on promotion. Stocking up ensures you get to keep enjoying those tingling cleanses.

Noxzema Face Wash: The Verdict

At over 100 years strong, Noxzema endures as an affordable, accessible acne-fighting cleanser option. While not as advanced as today’s cosmeceutical formulas, it still earns above-average marks thanks to its proven blemish-banishing ingredients like menthol, eucalyptus oil, and camphor.

NoxzemaClean works best for those struggling with mild to moderate acne, particularly along the T-zone. It helps decongest clogged pores and clear up blackheads and pimples without stripping the skin. Just be prepared for the intense medicinal scent!

Sensitive skin types may find Noxzema too harsh and drying if used daily. But those with very oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from using this classic cleanser up to twice per day. Just be sure to moisturize after each wash.

Overall, the Cooling Clean Medicated treatment remains a nostalgic favorite that still pulls its weight helping banish breakouts. For just a few dollars, it’s worth keeping a tub handy for whenever oily, rough skin flares up again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Noxzema help with acne?

Yes, for many people struggling with minor to moderate acne, Noxzema helps dry up pimples and blackheads and prevent new breakouts. Its menthol, eucalyptus oil, and camphor formula cleans deeply to remove oil and bacteria clogging pores. Those with more severe, cystic acne may need additional treatments, however.

Is Noxzema good for oily skin?

Yes, Noxzema makes an excellent daily or twice-daily cleanser for those contending with excess oil production and shiny skin. The strong astringents in Noxzema’s formula help soak up surface oil while tightening pores to reduce oily shine for hours after washing.

Can you use Noxzema as a moisturizer?

No, while Noxzema does offer light moisturizing benefits, it’s not formulated to deeply hydrate dry skin. Make sure to always follow your Noxzema cleanse with a dedicated daily moisturizer suited to your skin type. This ensures any dryness or flakiness from over-washing gets addressed.

Does Noxzema expire?

Yes, all skin care products have a manufacture date and recommended period after opening by which they should be discarded once expired. This is usually listed as a 6M, 12M, 24M, etc. symbol on the packaging. If your Noxzema ever changes color or odor, it’s best to replace it with a fresh tub or can.


If you struggle with acne and oily skin, Noxzema may very well be a good, affordable option for helping clarify your complexion. Over 100 years later, it’s still a proven performer when it comes to dissolving oil, makeup, and grime from congested pores thanks to its medicated formula.

Just keep in mind that Noxzema isn’t right for everyone. Very sensitive or dry skin may find it too abrasive when used daily. Conduct a patch test first. But for those with mildly to moderately clogged and acne skin, this classic cleanser can still help restore a clearer, more vibrant complexion.

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