Product Focus: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Face Lotion


Acne didn't hit me until my twenties, but unfortunately, it's here and getting me pretty badly. With the stress of college, work, and attempting to start my career, I think my skin is taking a pretty hard hit these days. On top of that, it's winter in Michigan already and  my skin is painfully dry.

YouTuber hollyannaeree has mentioned Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion a handful of times in her videos, so when I finally ran into it at the drugstore, I jumped on the opportunity to give it a whirl. I have tried other Rapid Clear products in the past, including the foaming scrub, which quickly became a favorite of mine. At less than $9 a bottle, I found this a hard product to pass up.


The Pros:

This moisturizer is heavy in salicylic acid, one of acne's archenemies. It dried up my pimples overnight, leading up to a drastic improvement within 24 hours.

This is a moisturizer that truly sank into my skin with little wait time. I like to make sure my moisturizer has been absorbed before applying any makeup, and this one took rather quickly.

No greasy feeling after application. No weird residue. No offensive smell.

The Cons:

The packaging is a major downfall for me. Not sure why this bothers me so much, but moisturizers without flip-open caps make morning/night skincare regimens so much more difficult than they need to be.

This is a product that feels moisturizing in the short-term, but completely dried me out in the long. Salicylic acid is known to cause dryness, but even after using minimal amounts of this once per day, my skin ended up rough, flaky, and painfully dry after a few weeks of use.

The Bottom Line:

This product is way too harsh on moderately acne prone skin like mine. Instead of using this as a day lotion, I use it instead to spot treat acne as well as to moisturize at night. I cleanse my face like usual, apply my favorite toner, and let the Neutrogena lotion sink in overnight. In the morning, I cleanse and moisturize with a heavier moisturizer free of salicylic acid.

While this product may fall short as a daily moisturizer, adding this to my nightly routine has done great things for my skin. I don't recommend using this as a day lotion for anyone with moderate acne like myself, but for severe acne sufferers, this just may do the trick. If you do decide to use this as a day lotion, I highly recommend adding a second moisturizer to your regimen.