It was reported that a 38 year-old woman experienced severe skin irritation after using Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. Lori Elizabeth Ens have used fragrance-free and gentle scrubs from Neutrogena for years without any issues.
Lori stated that she didn’t feel good when she woke up the next morning after using the facial scrub. On the succeeding days, her face started to swell then became scaly. At one point in time, her eyes were almost swollen shut. She believes this is because she used the scrub near her eyes. She indicated that she has used apricot fruit scrubs and other non-foaming scrubs from the brand and never experienced any adverse reaction so she didn’t know what caused the problem.
She consulted her primary care physician who prescribed eye drops and prednisone to treat the eye irritation and calm her skin. It is still unclear what specifically caused the reaction. According to Doris Day, M.D. who is a renowned cosmetic dermatologist practicing in New York City, it is important to pay attention to the skin when using any product. It is true that products under well-known brands undergo careful testing and utilize tight quality control. However, this is no guarantee that it is not going to cause irritation to some people. This is especially because preservatives and fragrance can lead to an imbalance to the skin’s barrier which is where the highest risk of adverse reactions is seen.
In the case of Lori, it was probably the combination of the fragrance and the scrub’s grittiness which proved too much for her skin type. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended to test any skin product on your inner arm. This is because the skin tends to be more sensitive just like the skin in the face.
What is alarming is the fact that there are others who had issues with the formulation from Neutrogena. After researching the product, Lori discovered that there are already multiple complaints from other consumers. For instance, a woman from Fort Worth, Texas also bought Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser. She also used it at night and throughout the next day her face was itching, burning and becoming rougher. She applied aquaphor so it wouldn’t be too dry but woke up with a swollen face. She decided to consult a doctor immediately for treatment.
There are also other cases of similar adverse reactions but beauty company Neutrogena still stands by its products. In an interview to address the issue, the company stated that all of their products are safe and effective when used as directed; skin irritation and dryness is more likely to occur when facial scrubs are used at the same time as topical acne medication.
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