neutrogena-pore-refining-daily-cleanserBeing the owner of seriously large skin pores (aka mini moon craters) Neutrogena’s new range of product claiming to shrink and refine the look of pores had me both curious and hopeful. There’s a cleanser, toner and exfoliating cleanser in the range and I thought I’d give the cleanser a whirl. So, off I went to my local New World and added one to my trolley for the lovely affordable sum of NZ$13.

This dermatologically tested cleanser contains AHAs and BHAs, magic weapons in the search for smaller pores. AHAs sweep away dead surface skin and smooth over rough uneven patches to tighten large pores, whilst BHAs penetrate deep into the skin to remove dirt, oil and makeup (the culprits that clog and enlarge pores). As the cleanser features both AHAs and BHAs you’d expect pores to get jolly good clean out and appear smaller and less visible, right? I must also mention that Neutrogena say this cleanser is non-comedogenic (so it won’t clog pores) and it won’t over-dry skin.

So, how did this cleanser stack up on my mini moon craters? I used up nearly all of the 198ml of product before reaching this overall conclusion: Hmm…. So-so. Here’s my thoughts in a tad more detail:


  • Affordable – I like the price point
  • As a cleanser: It did the job. All my makeup came off, leaving my face fresh and clean
  • It has a nice fragrance


  • My pores are still the same size. They did not shrink.
  • It left my face a little dry – resulting in my sebaceous glands producing even more oil to compensate (I hadn’t realised the consumption of more oil was even possible…)

All in all, I reckon this is a good cleanser if you have oily skin and you are just, literally, wanting a cleanser to, um, just literally cleanse your face. As for shrinking pores? I reckon there’s not enough BHAs and AHAs in this cleanser to really make a difference and incite pore shrinkage. As mentioned, I found this product quite drying on my skin, so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with dry skin.

Will I buy this cleanser again? Maybe I would: If my #1 cleanser (Cetaphil) wasn’t available. There’s my two cents.

As always, a wee bit of a disclaimer: This review is my opinion only – just because it didn’t spin my wheels or work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t for you!