Purpose : Gentle Cleansing Wash

372 Reviews

Water, PEG 80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG 150 Distearate, Sodium Lauroampho PG Acetate Phosphate, Fragrance, Quaternium 15, Tetrasodium EDTA.

Items marked with orange can be irritating and over-drying, especially to acne-prone skin.

The list of ingredients above is provided for informational purposes only. Always check the actual product label in your possession for the most accurate ingredient information due to product changes or upgrades that may not yet be reflected on our web site.


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July 7, 2017
Switch to Equate baby wash
This facial cleanser has been around for quite a long time and it was always the go to cleanser for people with sensitive skin. What going on now in 2017 is the skin care companies are ordered to change all of the ingredients in their products. If a ingredient has the potential to cause cancer they must remove it. Sadly in the old Purpose wash there were SEVERAL potential harmful things that could cause cancer. There are no known reported cases of anyone becoming ill from this but the companies must protect themselves. A woman was rewarded not too long ago for claims of Johnson's baby powder giving her Ovarian Cancer and the company lost so much money forcing them to change everything. Sadly what's happened with Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash is they have put together a really harsh formula that is anything but good for sensitive skin. The new stuff will make your face red, cause breakouts and it will burn. The reason for this is the fragrance they chose it just too strong and the company right now in denial about this. My suggestion to someone who was used to the old formula is to switch over to a baby wash that Walmart sells called Equate baby wash. That product is amazing and the formula will not make your face red or cause any irritation. The baby wash has a nice light fragrance and you will get the same benefits you got with the old Purpose gentle cleansing wash. You have to go down the baby wash aisle and find it there. It's the Equate one and their formula is also free of any toxic chemicals and it works just fine. So if you are having anxiety about finding a new face wash go for that because as a man with red sensitive acne prone skin I know what it's like to feel that pain.
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22 user(s) found this helpful

June 23, 2017
Formula change. New one sucks!
I've been purpose facial cleanser religiously for 10 years and they recently changed the formula. It's awful! It smells so strong, and I find that it doesn't clean as well as the old one. My eye makeup use to come off effortlessly. Now it takes lathering multiple times to get me eye makeup off. I also noticed bumps appearing on my forehead. Which is odd because I haven't changed anything. I'll be in the market for a new cleanser. Sucks to part from my favorite cleanser but the really screwed it up :(
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12 user(s) found this helpful

June 11, 2017
Fragrance? Why?
I've used this product for years. Never a problem. The last bottle I bought, I noticed it had a strong smell. I realized the label was a little different and the ingredients label showed 'fragrance'. I thought that was odd for a product that is supposed to be for sensitive skin. Well guess what? I started breaking out within a day! I haven't changed my makeup or hair products and wondered if it might be the Purpose so I went out and bought another cleanser that was for sensitive skin and fragrance free. I began to clear up. So to continue with my experiment, I went back to the Purpose. I started breaking out again! Why did J & J try to fix something that was never broken? Looks like another company is going to get my money from now on.
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9 user(s) found this helpful

March 29, 2017
New formula is harsh
They changed the formula and now it really stinks and causes redness and breakouts.
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17 user(s) found this helpful

March 21, 2017
Ingredients change :(
I've been using this product for years and have always loved it. I just bought a new bottle and this one has a strong fragrance. I looked at the ingredients from my old bottle vs. this bottle and indeed ingredients have been added. I definitely prefer the non fragrant version of the past. What happened?
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13 user(s) found this helpful

October 30, 2016
Dried my skin out!
One of the worst cleaners I've used. I still have basically the whole bottle left. After cleansing my skin, my face was dry and pale looking(I am brown). Kinda Like residue was left behind on my face. I stopped using after a week.
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2 user(s) found this helpful

October 21, 2016
Slimy residue -- skip it
The high amount of Sodium Laureth Sulfate [it's about the third ingredient listed, which means the cleanser contains a LOT of it] leaves a slick, slimy film on your face, almost like saran wrap. Imagine what this is doing to your pores. It's not good for you. The high sulfate content also means it's quite drying, which means more acne in the long run [since dry skin = more oil produced to compensate]. Bottom Line: Don't buy any cleansers with ANY sulfates, especially Sodium Lauryl, since they leave a film all day and cause more acne.
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8 user(s) found this helpful

May 16, 2016
I have oily skin I used it for about 3 months and at first it looked like it was helping my acne but after that it didn't do much. It didn't treat the acne I had and didn't prevent new acne. I think it actually also dried out my skin too. So I was really disappointed with this product.
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14 user(s) found this helpful

February 5, 2016
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash: Poor Packaging
I used Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash on a dermatologist's advice for years back in the 1990s until I realized it was making my skin issues worse due to what would appear to have been a case of post-purchase product contamination (some pumps are better than others and this one allows too much air and moisture into the product, which begins to diminish product purity after it is opened). Purpose is not particularly gentle, IMHO, and can leave the skin feeling stripped of oil. On the plus side, it foams really well and a small bit goes a long way. If the manufacturer would update the pump design so that it doesn't allow so much air/moisture to seep in after it is opened, it would be a decent facial cleanser. But with the current packaging, I would advise against keeping it anywhere near the splashing that can occur in a shower/bath area.
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1 user(s) found this helpful

March 11, 2015
love it
I used to have acne, mainly on my cheeks, and I never knew why I had it. When I started sleeping over at my boyfriends house and using his face wash ( which was Purpose) I noticed my face was clearing up. Ever since then I used Purpose every day and it does wonders. I don't even break out before my menstrual cycle.
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8 user(s) found this helpful