I’ve been struggling with acne prone skin ever since I turned 16. Acne was like Mother Nature’s gag gift to me at a time when getting attention from boys and experimenting with makeup makes it to the top of every girl’s list! Every time a pesky pimple appears on my face, I like to think about how twenty years down the line my skin won’t be as wrinkled and loose as my dry-skinned counterparts, which admittedly makes me feel a little better. As for now, even though the acne is mostly under control I like to keep a few products handy, just in case. I will be reviewing one of them for you today.
Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel is a spot treatment for acne that promises to accelerate the clearing of breakouts. Neutrogena describes it as a “maximum strength acne treatment for breakout emergencies that clears breakouts fast and helps prevent emerging breakouts even before they become visible.” The company adds that the breakthrough formula contains “MicroClear®, a powerful new technology clinically shown to boost delivery of acne medicine to clear congested pores and speed treatment deep to the source.”
The gel is available in a tiny 0.5 oz. / 15 ml squeeze tube. The cardboard package the tube comes in is deceptively large for the tiny tube. I felt a little cheated when I first opened the box, only to find a tiny tube inside. However, since this is a spot treatment and not meant for the whole face, I figured that a tiny bit of this product would be potent and go a long way. The gel has a cloudy color and a strong fragrance which is typical of most Neutrogena products. The main ingredient in the product is Salicylic Acid, a proven chemical for battling acne, and the gel claims to reduce breakouts in just 8 hours!
Salicylic Acid 2%
Water, Alcohol Denatured 38%, Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis Virginiana), Polyacrylamide, Glycerin, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Cyclopentasiloxane, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Benzalkonium Chloride Solution, Capryloyl Glycine, Sarcosine, Cinnamomum Zeylancium Bark Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Butylene Glycol, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Extract, PPG 2 Isoceteth 20 Acetate, Phenethyl Dimethicone, Cetyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Laureth 7, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Ammonium Hydroxide, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
My Experience with Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel
I have combination, acne prone skin and have mostly been able to control breakouts with the use of products that contain natural and organic ingredients. I bought this gel for the few stress and hormonal breakouts I experience every month. I’ve heard from numerous dermatologists that Salicylic Acid is one of the safest, cheapest and most easily available ingredients to battle acne, but their opinion on how much of the chemical any product should contain varies. I like this gel because I wouldn’t apply a 2% Salicylic Acid cream or gel all over my face and it lets me target specific parts of my face.
I didn’t expect the gel to keep up its promise that acne will be eliminated in 8 hours; however, the gel really works well as an overnight treatment. On existing pimples, it reduces swelling and redness to a great extent. And whenever I dab it on an area where I feel a breakout might be coming, it does a good job of controlling the breakout before it turns into a full-fledged pimple. The gel is effective on painful, hormonal cystic acne and overnight, if not in a few hours, reduces their size significantly and speeds up healing time.
Although the gel lives up to its promise of targeting acne quickly, it has two major downsides. The gel is very drying and while this works to eliminate the pimple I dab it on, it really dries out the skin around the breakout. Once the pimple is fully healed, it leaves behind dry skin which requires extra moisturization for days to follow. Also, because of the texture of the gel once it dries, it is challenging to put on makeup (foundation and/or powder) without making the problem areas of my skin more conspicuous. Because of this reason, I like to only use this gel at night even though I would benefit much more if I could use it 24/7.
PROS of Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel
- Effective. While 8 hours might be overstating its effectiveness, the gel works fairly quickly in dealing with acne.
- Works on emerging breakouts too. This is one of few products I’ve tried that stops emerging breakouts from growing.
- Cheap. Although the tube is tiny, for an acne product that works, the price isn’t very high.
- No mess tube. The tube is a sanitary way to store the product and you can dispense just the right amount according to your need.
- Nice fragrance. Although strong, I quite enjoy the fragrance of this product.
CONS of Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel
- Drying. Not recommended for use on large areas because the formula is incredibly drying.
- Texture makes makeup application patchy. I’ve tried different formulas of foundations over this and none of them glide over the gel easily.
- Limited Availability. I’m not entirely sure whether IMBBians can get this product in India easily.
This is an impressive product that works rapidly to treat existing and stop future breakouts. However, its drying formula makes it fall short of being a miracle product. I recommend it to both people with acne-prone skin and those of you who experience a breakout once in a while.
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