Nivea White Oil Control Make Up Clear 2 in 1 Foaming Cleanser : A Short(-ish) Review

Nivea White Oil Control Make Up Clear 2 in 1 Foaming Cleanser : A Short(-ish) Review


A few weeks ago, I very wisely decided to splurge my skin care budget on a year worth of hand creams. This called for drastic saving on other parts of my routine (and lunch allowance)…so I’ll be honest with you, this product I am reviewing right now was not bought using my own money. Actually… I kinda snatched this Nivea White Oil Control Make Up Clear 2 in 1 Foaming Cleanser from my mom’s bathroom. It was just sitting there innocently at a counter, exactly when I ran out of my usual second cleanser, tempting my broke ass me to bring it home.

It was there, at the right time and the right place. But is it the right product?

Cleanser : Where I Prefer to Save Money

…so I can spend more on other substantial stuffs like a box of hand creams with Seventeen members’ face on its packaging, like a true mature twenty-something fangirl that I am.

Cleansers are designed to be washed away, so I don’t need it to be chock-full of exotic extracts and interesting ingredients. I won’t expect them to miraculously banish my hyperpigmentation to a country far away or to keep my skin plump forever. I don’t ask much of my cleanser, really, they just need to :

1. cleanse my skin well. I typically use oil-based first cleanser to wipe away my daily (sorta-minimum) make up and layers of sunscreen, so I expect my second/foaming cleanser to cleanse its oily remnants.

2. not overly strip moisture on my skin. That dry, tight, squeaky feeling after I foolishly scrubbed my face twice daily in my teenage years? Nah, I don’t miss that, thank you very much.

3. use milder surfactants and not contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)…which contribute to the aforementioned dry, tight feeling. This is actually my first screening criteria; if I find SLS on the ingredient of cleanser I’m about to buy, I run away, fast, and never look back. Rare exception was when my dermatologist prescribed an SLS-contained-cleanser back in my acne-nightmare-era. I complied because one of us got specialized medical degree and it obviously wasn’t me.

SLS is a good foaming agent, but it’s not exactly a mild surfactant, and its potential irritability is quite high compared to other types. Its harshness could be reduced with proper formulation, though. For daily use, I just prefer milder alternatives that my face would love better anyway.

4. have lower pH (<5.5). Long story short, pH of our skin surface is acidic, thus using an alkaline/basic cleanser could be disrupting for our skin’s pH. Increase of skin pH makes it a conducive environment for Proprionibacterium acnes to flourish and prosper, and trust me, you wouldn’t want that on your skin. Please read this excellent blogpost by Cat of Snow White and The Asian Pear for more comprehensive explanation on pH of cleansers and how it influence your skin

Those are the basic requirements, and I give extra points for :

1. nice smell. I personally prefer no smell on my cleanser, but if it got to have smell, at least it should smell nice.

2. nice texture. Some cleanser feels more luxurious than others. It feels like you’re already 100x prettier after you cleanse your face. That does not necessarily have to be objectively correct, but your subjective experience matters ♥.

So how does this cleanser fare in terms of the aforementioned criteria? Since (personal) indicator for cleanser is sorta easier to develop, I will rate this cleanser’s performance on each criteria based on the following standard :

0 = nope

1 = K, acceptable

2 = nice!

Let’s get started!


1. Cleanse skin well

If you practice double cleanse like me, the task of this foaming cleanser is relatively simple. Most of the make up has been removed by your first cleanser (usually micellar water/oil based cleanser), the foaming cleanser only needs to wash clear the leftovers. For that simple task, this Nivea foaming cleanser did the job well.

Nevertheless, this cleanser also claims to be “white oil control 2 in 1 make up remover” so since I am feeling a little bit extra, we should also see how well it cleanse a full face of make up when used as the only cleanser!

So here we have a full face of make up :

I am sorry I do not show you make up on my actual face, since I don’t want you to be distracted by my lack of make up skill. Please be content with this chibi hijabi. This substitute full face of make up is inspired by Cat from Snow White and The Asian Pear, by the way (hers are so much better than mine!)

I tried to use the most heavy-duty make up products I own…but these were pretty lightweight, LOL. Please note that if you use more stubborn, waterproof make up, this might not apply (pls double cleanse instead ♥!)

This chibi hijabi was drawn using :

  • Background : Sunplay High UV Defense SPF 99+ PA++++ (you can see the strong white cast on my knuckle as compared to my fingers), left to dry (took ages istg), then topped with Innisfree no sebum mineral powder
  • Brow : Silkygirl Hi-definition brow liner 01 Soft Black
  • Eyes : Catrice Waterproof Glam & Doll Super Black Liner
  • Lips : Tony Moly Liptone Get It Tint (Red Hot)
  • Cheek : The Saem Cover Perfection Tip Concealer no. 2
  • Sparkly Purple Hijab : Emina Pop Rouge Eyeshadow (Romantic)

And this is how the chibi hijabi looked like after being cleansed by a dollop of this cleanser, foamed first on my palm before I rubbed it on the skin surface with make up (just like how I normally use my foaming cleansers).

As you can see, most of the products are wiped away, except for the Tony Moly liptint. Some parts of my hand still had traces of sunscreen, so I guess this is not strong enough to remove physical sunscreen. Or perhaps more product is needed to remove physical sunscreen completely, which I am hesitant to do because of reasons I will share later in this post.

Still, I think the cleansing power is quite good. The Tony Moly liptint is quite stubborn anyway (I always use lip scrub after wearing this liptint). As for sunscreen removal, it did okay on parts where I use more products and more focused scrubbing. I would still advise you to double cleanse, but in case of emergency, this Nivea cleanser do well on its own, in terms of cleansing power.

Rate: 2 (nice)

2. Not overly strip moisture on my skin

This Nivea foaming cleanser claims to be ‘oil control’, and it does control oil on my face. A little bit too well, actually. My face feels a bit drier than I’m used to (when I still have use my old cleanser, trusty simple Hada Labo Shirojyun). It’s not overly tight, but considering normally my face is leaning a bit on the oilier side, I would advice you against using this if you have dry skin.

Rate : 1 (K, acceptable)

3. Use milder surfactants, not contain SLS

Ah, checking ingredients, my absolute favorite part!

Nivea white make up clear foam ingredient

Here is the full ingredient CosDNA analysis.

This cleanser use several types of surfactants (long story short, it is the compound that basically function to cleanse and create foams in our cleanser), namely Potassium Myristate, Potassium Palmitate, Potassium Stearate, and Potassium Laurate. None comes from the rather harsh surfactant family of alkyl sulphates (the infamous sodium lauryl sulfate is a member of this family. You can easily spot it by the ending : ….-yl sulfates. Note that this is different clan from alkyl ether sulfates, i.e. sodium laureth sulfate/SLeS, which is less irritating for the skin!)

Funny thing is this cleanser contains glycerin and propylene glycol, both of which are some of my favorite humectants, so I just expect more moisture from this cleanser. But nope, none of that. Well, checking ingredients is just one part of the story, there is also how the ingredients were formulated, which I can only guess.

This cleanser also contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP/vitamin C) and licorice extract for “brightening” properties, but since most of them are going to the drain, don’t put your hopes up too high.

Rate : 1 (K, acceptable)

4. Have lower pH

I performed a pH test using my cheapo pH strip. Here is the result:

Nivea white oil control make up clear ph test

Sadly, it seems that the pH of this cleanser is on the (much) higher side, closer to pH 9 🙁 This is a major red flag for everyone who is living the low pH life.

Rate : 0 (nope)

Bonus points

1. Nice smell

This cleanser definitely has fragrance in it, but it’s not something very distinct. It just smelled…soapy? Not particularly nice but not annoying either. It’s an okay smell for me, and though I can understand if some people said they like how it smelled, still I don’t think it’s good enough to be one of someone’s favorite smell.

Rate : 1 (K, acceptable)

2. Nice texture

Nothing particularly luxurious or tactilely pleasant about this cleanser. It has smaller, heavier types of foam, which is less ideal for some. I am indifferent towards foams so it is fine for me.

Rate : 1 (K, acceptable)

OK, we are done rating the foaming cleanser’s performance on each criteria! However, some criteria is more important than the other, so we have to take that into consideration. I rate the criteria based on their importance; so, the most important criteria will weigh way more than the least important. Personally, the most important criteria for me is those that is directly related with my skin’s balance (mild surfactants, low pH), while the least important is the experience. You can also have different criteria and different priority, and that is perfectly fine!

(I KNOW I am being so extra right now, but implementation of this prioritization method [in health context] is what I study for living, and it is just so easily applicable to other stuffs, like choosing cleanser, LOL. Please bear with me)



Total score

Use milder surfactants, not contain SLS 3 1 3
Have lower PH 3 0 0
Cleanse skin well 2 2 4
Not overly strip moisture on my skin 2 1 2
Nice Smell 1 1 1
Nice texture 1 1 1

TOTAL SCORE : 11 of possible 30

VERDICT : I am returning this to my mom’s bathroom counter.

…or better yet, I will convince her to use another cleanser (that I can use as well, LOL)

“This cleanser scores high according to my criteria, though…where can I buy it?”

Worry not, my friend, because this cleanser is widely available in any supermarkets (and maybe in some minimarket) near you.

Several shops in online marketplace (such as Tokopedia and Shopee) carried this product as well, if you have difficulty finding it in brick and mortar stores.

At the time of this post publication (April 2018), this cleanser is priced at Rp 27.000 – Rp 30.000

What did I said at the beginning of this post? Short(-ish) review? Huh, I officially cannot write anything short.

Anyway, have you tried this cleanser before? Do you have any suggestion on which cheap, drugstore foaming cleanser my broke ass I should try next? Please leave comments below~

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