Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Neutrogena Corporation
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded1930 (as Natone)
1962 (as Neutrogena)
FounderEmanuel Stolaroff
HeadquartersSkillman, New Jersey,
United States
Area served
Revenueless than US$ 4 billion (2020)
Neutrogena "Norwegian Formula" hand cream

Neutrogena Corporation,[1] trading as Neutrogena, is an American company that produces cosmetics, skin care and hair care, is owned by parent company Kenvue and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.[2] According to product advertising at their website, Neutrogena products are distributed in more than 70 countries.[3]

Neutrogena was founded in 1930 by Emanuel Stolaroff, and was originally a cosmetics company named Natone. Johnson & Johnson acquired the independent company in 1994.[4]

The company originally supplied to department stores and salons that catered for the Hollywood film industry.[5]


In 1930, Emanuel Stolaroff started a small company called Natone.[6] Stolaroff met Belgian chemist Edmond Fromont in 1954, and acquired the rights to distribute his patented formula of a mild clear soap that cleared the skin, without drying it, in the US.[2] By then, Lloyd Cotsen had entered the Stolaroff family by marrying his daughter Joanne Stolaroff.[5] In 1962, the company name was officially changed to Neutrogena Corporation; Cotsen became president in 1967.[7]

The company listed publicly on the NASDAQ in 1973, with a market value of $1.2 million.[8] Cotsen started marketing soap through two major channels: dermatologists and luxury hotels.[9] The company launched product lines in acne and anti-aging areas.[5] In 1982, profits reached US$3 million, and Cotsen was named the CEO.[5]

In 1994, Johnson & Johnson acquired Neutrogena for $924 million, at a price of $35.25 per share.[1] Johnson & Johnson's international network helped Neutrogena boost its sales and enter newer markets including India, South Africa, and China. Priced at a premium, Neutrogena products are distributed in over 70 countries. The company has major subsidiaries in Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea and India.[2]

In 2020, Neutrogena launched Skin360, a free-to-use web application which employs advanced algorithms to analyze various aspects of a user's skin, taking into account factors such as hydration levels, texture, and fine lines.[10] Additionally, it considers external elements like weather conditions and environmental changes, to provide a tailored assessment of the user’s skin, personalized skin care routine, and ongoing monitoring.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2023, Neutrogena announced a partnership with Nourished, a vitamin brand that 3D-prints customized gummy supplements using Skin360.[11]

Position on animal testing[edit]

As of 2023, Neutrogena is not certified by any major cruelty-free organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), Leaping Bunny, or Cruelty-Free International. This status indicates that Neutrogena products or the ingredients used in their products may be tested on animals, either by the company or its suppliers, or as required by law.[12]

The company has stated that it does not conduct animal testing on their cosmetic products or ingredients, except in rare situations where governments or laws require it.[13] For instance, Neutrogena sells products in China, whose regulators conduct animal testing on cosmetics to be sold within its territory.  

Neutrogena has explored alternative testing methods in response to the growing consumer demand for cruelty-free products. The brand has invested in and utilized in vitro methods to ensure product safety and efficacy without the use of animal testing where regulations permit. For instance, the company has been a participant in industry consortia like the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) since its inception in 2005.[14]


A photo of the packaging of Neutrogena's pink grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Wash.
The version of the pink grapefruit "Oil-Free Acne Wash" available in Quebec, Canada.

Neutrogena has a multitude of product lines available in different countries. In the United States, Neutrogena has products in categories such as skin care (including sunscreen and acne treatments), makeup, and hair care.[15]

Neutrogena products are not the same globally. For example, in the United States, Neutrogena sells an "Oil Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid," while in the United Kingdom, they sell the "Clear & Defend 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash."[16][17] Although both products contain 2% salicylic acid, they contain different inactive ingredients. Another example is the American "Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub" and the British "Clear & Radiant Daily Face Scrub."[18][19] While both are face scrubs containing pink grapefruit, only the American version contains salicylic acid.

Neutrogena also promotes various causes through their products. For example, Johnson & Johnson lists them as one of their brands pioneering sustainable techniques in their industry by creating products such as plant-based compostable cleansing wipes.[20] They also have released limited edition packaging in partnership with Care With Pride, which is run by Johnson & Johnson in support of the LGBTQ community.[21]

Promotional Strategies[edit]

Prachi Desai poses in front of Neutrogena products
Prachi Desai at an event for Neutrogena

Neutrogena has used celebrity endorsements for years. In 2022, actress Jennifer Garner celebrated the 15th anniversary of her promotions with Neutrogena, with whom she has worked on various campaigns.[22] Other ambassadors for the brand include Chloe x Halle, Lana Condor, Prachi Desai, Jenna Ortega, and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone.[23][24][25][26]

While the brand was under Cotsen's leadership, they started to work with dermatologists in the US. Products are often labeled as recommended by or developed with dermatologists. The brand lists this as helping to "drive the business to new heights."[27]

The Power of Light[edit]

In 2016, Neutrogena launched their first primarily digital campaign in the United States, The Power of Light, aligning with the launch of the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask.[28] This campaign primarily consisted of short video ads and partnerships with influencers and public figures, such as Nash Grier and Olivia Holt. The campaign aimed to make the product seem more “fun, youthful, and vibrant.”[28]

The campaign was successful, the growth in product awareness outperformed that of Johnson & Johnson's other campaigns by thirteen times.[28] Reportedly, executives from Johnson & Johnson started to lean more into digital campaigns following its success.


To increase sales of their line of Hydro Boost products in India, Neutrogena used the Demand Side Platform of Amazon.[29] They created both video advertisements and display advertisements, linking viewers to the store. The project successfully drew consumers in, with a 9.8% conversion rate and a return on advertising spending of 4.8.[29]

Spotify Partnership[edit]

Neutrogena partnered with Spotify to promote the launch of Neutrogena's Stubborn Acne (AM) and Stubborn Marks (PM) product lines.[30] The target audience for Neutrogena's ads coincided with the majority of people who listened to Spotify ads, that is Spotify users without a premium subscription. They created audio and visual ads which successfully increased listeners brand awareness and intention to purpose by 12 and 13 points respectively.[30]

Recalls and Controversies[edit]

Sunscreen recall[edit]

In July 2021, parent company Johnson & Johnson recalled four Neutrogena aerosol sunscreen products and one Aveeno branded spray from stores in the United States after detecting the carcinogen benzene in some samples.[31][32] The recalled products were the following:

- Neutrogena Beach Defense® aerosol

- Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol

- Neutrogena Invisible Daily™ defense aerosol

- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer® aerosol

The independent lab that conducted the research specified that the contamination was found in a specific batch of product rather than in a specific brand. The company went on to state that benzene is not used in the manufacturing process of the sprays and said it began an investigation into the source of the contamination.[33][34]

Light Therapy Masks Recall[edit]

In July 2019, Neutrogena issued a recall of its Light Therapy Masks, originally released in October 2016, as it was found to be a “theoretical risk of eye injury” for a small portion of the population with underlying eye conditions, as well as users taking medications that could enhance ocular photosensitivity. The brand specified that the product is safe to use for the general population, and that the recall was made out of an abundance of caution.[35] The blue lights in the masks reportedly caused mild and transient visual adverse events.[36]

Skin Lightening Products Discontinuation[edit]

In 2020, parent company Johnson & Johnson decided to remove Neutrogena and Clean&Clear's "dark spot reducers" products from the shelves in Asia and the Middle East. The product, advertised as a dark spot reducer, was mainly purchased by consumers to lighten their skin tone. Accused of claiming that fairness or white was better than other skin colours, the company decide to discontinue the product. They also released a statement saying that "This was never our intention - healthy skin is beautiful skin." The production and shipping of the product has since then been stopped. This controversy came in light of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, after backlash towards companies using racist imagery as a selling point started erupting.[37][38]


  1. ^ a b "NEUTROGENA CORP, Form SC 14D9, Filing Date Aug 26, 1994". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Neutrogena.com | Archived 2011-05-08 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Find out more about us". Neutrogena. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  4. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (23 August 1994). "Johnson to Acquire Neutrogena". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b c d Company Perspectives: While continuing the Neutrogena past
  6. ^ "It All Began With a Bar of Soap: The History of Neutrogena". Cosmetic Promotions. 2019-06-10. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  7. ^ "Neutrogena Chairman Lloyd Cotsen Dies at 88". www.usnews.com. 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-08-02.
  8. ^ "Neutrogena". fashionabc. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  9. ^ "Gale Directory of Company Histories: Neutrogena Corporation"
  10. ^ "NEUTROGENA® Relaunches NEUTROGENA Skin360™ App to Democratize Skin Health Information". www.businesswire.com. 2020-01-03. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  11. ^ Jerde, Emma Sandler, Sara (2023-01-04). "Neutrogena now offers personalized vitamin supplements". Digiday. Retrieved 2023-03-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ "Companies That Do Test on Animals | PETA". Beauty Without Bunnies. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  13. ^ "Neutrogena® Product Testing". NEUTROGENA®. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  14. ^ "European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing". single-market-economy.ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  15. ^ "Skin Care Products for Healthier Skin | Neutrogena®". 2023-11-13. Archived from the original on 2023-11-13. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  16. ^ "Oil-Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid | Neutrogena®". www.neutrogena.com. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  17. ^ "Neutrogena® Clear & Defend 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash". NEUTROGENA®. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  18. ^ "Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub| Neutrogena®". www.neutrogena.com. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  19. ^ "Neutrogena® Clear & Radiant Face Scrub". NEUTROGENA®. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  20. ^ Johnson & Johnson (2022). 2021 Annual Report.www.investor.jnj.com/files/doc_financials/2021/ar/2021-annual-report.pdf
  21. ^ "Care with Pride | Neutrogena®". www.neutrogena.com. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  22. ^ "Jennifer Garner Is Obsessed with Retinol, Candy Corn, and Being 50". Harper's BAZAAR. 2022-10-25. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  23. ^ "New Sister Ambassadors: Chloe x Halle | Neutrogena®". {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  24. ^ "Lana Condor and Jenna Ortega Are Neutrogena's Newest Ambassadors! Everything to Know About Their Partnership". Peoplemag. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  25. ^ "How Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Likes to 'Prehab' Her Beauty Routine". ELLE. 2023-11-06. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  26. ^ "Prachi Desai is new face of Neutrogena cosmetics in India". Mid-Day. 4 September 2009. Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  27. ^ "ABOUT NEUTROGENA". NEUTROGENA®. Retrieved 2023-11-15.
  28. ^ a b c "Neutrogena's First Digital-Centric Campaign: 1 Campaign Success Story, 3 Viewpoints". Think with Google. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  29. ^ a b "Neutrogena builds consideration with Amazon DSP". Amazon Ads. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  30. ^ a b "How Neutrogena Used Digital Audio Ads To Boost Awareness | Spotify Advertising". ads.spotify.com. Retrieved 2023-11-14.
  31. ^ "Neutrogena Suncreen recall". Neutrogena. Retrieved 2021-12-29.
  32. ^ "CDC | Facts About Benzene". Emergency Preparedness and Response. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2019-05-15. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  33. ^ Schwartz, Felicia (2021-07-15). "J&J Recalls Aveeno, Neutrogena Spray Sunscreens". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  34. ^ "Johnson & Johnson sunscreen recall, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer and all the products affected". Newsweek. 2021-07-15. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  35. ^ "Light Therapy Mask Recall Statement | Neutrogena®". www.neutrogena.com. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  36. ^ Engel Bromwich, Jonah (July 18, 2019). "Neutrogena Recalls Light Therapy Masks, Citing Risk of Eye Injury". The New York Times.
  37. ^ Cramer, Maria (June 19, 2020). "Johnson & Johnson Will Stop Selling Skin-Whitening Lotions". The New York Times.
  38. ^ Schild, Darcy. "Johnson & Johnson will no longer sell skin-lightening products sold mainly in India, Middle East, and other parts of Asia". Insider. Retrieved 2023-11-09.

External links[edit]