Pointless Packaging Winner: Neutrogena Wave Power Cleanser


You know, there was a time, when I was a teenager, that I used to love Neutrogena products. I had the idea that they were cleaner, purer and better for my skin and hair than other drugstore brands. I definitely fell for their shampoo that was supposed to clean all the other shampoos from your hair (I’m not sure if it worked but I always bought it!).

Though I know Neutrogena hasn’t really gone the natural and organic route, the impression of them being at least somewhat more ecofriendly has always stayed with me. Not anymore! They are now selling motorized hunks of plastic that will inevitably be just another piece of junk that will end up in a landfill. Do we really need a battery-powered face scrubber in the world?

These days I use an all natural soap (LOVE handmade Copa Soaps which have just a recycled paper ribbon for packaging) to wash my face and it’s never been better. Shame on you Neutrogena! There’s a climate crisis going on and you’re manufacturing more plastic, plastic-coated packaging, making batteries, and shipping it all over the world for what? Not to mentions I’m sure the ‘cleanser’ is full of chemicals.

AND IT GETS WORSE!! The Wave Power Cleanser uses disposable pads! So you have to buy more overpackaged, disposable pads if you want to keep using the damn thing.

Not to be mean, but I hope this is a giant fail for Neutrogena: Ladies, Don’t Buy It! I’m thinking of starting a letter-writing campaign to Neutrogena because I’m so pissed off.

About Starre Vartan
Starre Vartan is editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life.


  1. The other good thing is that handmade soaps can also almost always be found from a local soapmaker if you look hard enough. Saves on packaging and miles, provided you don’t have to drive too far to get it.

  2. I’m with you! The Petition Site (http://www.thepetitionsite.com) is a practical way to organise such a campaign.

  3. I think it’s an awesome idea, and I will sign any overpackaging petitioin there is. I frequently complain about the overpackaging of items targeted at women like pregnancy tests, which come floating around in a huge box of empty space and should totally be made to have refills. I was thrilled when recently i saw the ever so wasteful digital ones at least have refill strips now.

  4. They are putting a lot of money behind this product. I already saw the commercial twice today. You can bet that the product contains 1, 4-Dioxane, an Environmental Protection Agency identified carcinogen. Most products on the market even organic have it in it. But you will not find it listed on the label. It is a by product of the petroleum based product, ethylene oxide, which is used in many product to make them milder. In a world where we are trying to be more green, this product is extremely irresponsible and shows the shortsightedness of big business..

  5. I saw this commercial and thought the same exact thing. Ridiculous! Like Starre, when I was in middle school through early high school-ish I thought of Neutrogena as somehow being more ‘natural’ than other companies even though I’m not sure they ever marketed themselves that way. Regardless, I have not purchased a product from them since and don’t plan to ever again. This certainly shows how out of touch they are.

  6. Wow! I’ve recently had the exact same realization about Neutrogena. I think its their very simple packaging and Norwegian stamp of approval that got me for so long. Let’s not give up hope though, if we consumers tell Neutrogena what we want from them, I bet they’ll listen!

    While we’re waiting for them to clean up their act (ha ha), I’ve turned to Origins for my facial products. As far as I can tell, they are true to their word – bit on the pricey side, but probably worth it to take good care of your skin!

  7. I have always used Neutrogena products, but when I saw this product I had to seriously rethink that. Not only is the cleasing pad wasteful, but the packaging is ridiculously large for both the machine and refills.

  8. Wrtie to Neutrogena and let them know what you think. The more people do this with companies, the more the company will sit up and take notice.

  9. I love the fact that this thing wastes products. I cant wait till this thing ends up in a landfill. Seriously, who gives a fuck what happens to the environment because of what we throw away? We collect the methane via pipes in landfills and use them to good uses. I cant believe someone would listen to this crap about how if the 10 people that read this will make a difference by not buying this product. But i suppose that’s women though: they don’t think things through. I can’t even remember a time when women did something smart. As a guy, I have testosterone in my body, which leads to acne on my skin. So i bought this Wave thing. It works. So buy it. It’s good stuff.

    Go Pollution!!!

  10. I’m sorry. 8 people read this. My bad.

    And im with co2 lover. That wave thing rocks. Plus no company ever listens to women. Men are superior. Fuck women. lots. So quit saying that they will listen to you cause they wont.

    Peace out

  12. I actually have a project i have to write where i have to write a letter to a company telling informing them of my opinion what i think they’re doing wrong and at first i was just going to do why they bothe packaging their creams because its already in a container.but now that i’ve read this i think i want to write on this topic and participate in your petition. However i need some help on what to wite because im not really sure how to find out all the information some of these people have given. So do you think maybe you can help me out a bit on what i should focus on and where to find the info ?

    Thankss .

  13. How could you say such a thing?!?!!!?!?!? I got a Neutrogena wave today and just looked at your article. The Neutrogena wave does a FANTASTIC job, and I’m sure if you really talked to the people about their packages, they will consider your suggestion! You can have other people who are in your idiotic “GO GREEN” ideas talk to them, and maybe, JUST MAYBE, they will change it. But you don’t need to write this idiotic stupid crappy article saying all these bad things about it. I don’t care about what you and your stupid “green” friends say, I love Neutrogena and will continue to use their awesome products. BYE! idiot…

  14. I love this product I use it my skin has never been this good ever, ive wasted time money and ruined my skin on other products that use just as much if not more plastic. So I say your dead wrong.

  15. THIS PRODUCT IS HORRIBLE. not only is it bad for the Enviornment, its HORRIBLE for your skin, the contents in the pre-saturated pad have chemicals that start to burn your skin if you leave it on for too long. and if you dont wash your face good enough, you wake up the next morning with the worst sunburn of your life. ive had this happen. i bought it as a change from another cleanser because it dried out my skin. when i washed the Wave’s Soap off, i guess i didnt wash my face fully, and i woke up in the middle of the night with a burning sensation on my cheeks. my doctor said he had got 4 other people complain about the Neutrogena Wave. it is as far away from natural as you can get. its been on the market for almost 2 years now, and i bet thousands of customers have went thru the same thing. its terrible not only for nature, but for your skin…..

  16. i see ur point but buuying this product can reduce the use of plastic bottles because u would only waste on batterys and the news pads each package last a month and u dont have to keep but a new WAVE i find it really good and eco friendly alot of the people that bought it stoped using the bottled product which helps the earth… i think ur taking things to far just cuzz ur pissed.. so take a breath and calm down

  17. You do realize this is just a vibrator, right? Much like ‘back massagers’ and ‘weight loss belts,’ this ‘power cleanser’ is just a modestly packaged vibrator. It gives young women the opportunity to experiment with their sexuality without shame.

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