Friday, September 12, 2014

Battling With Acne? Don't Just Sit Let It Sit There!!!

The pack [left] and actual product [right]
Hello Beauties,

It is my utmost pleasure to introduce to you my all-time favorite acne product:
***drums rolls***

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment.

I know the name is a mouthful but believe me when I say that this product packs a punch in skin exfoliation and in treating acne.
I have never been a fan of the Neutrogena brand because I find that their products usually include too much alcohol, menthol and/or camphor in their ingredients. And those are well known skin irritants. The last thing I want is additional irritation for my skin.
Anyway, when I went through the ingredient list on this product and I was overly impressed.

This is my Best Acne Treatment. My most favorite! I am smiling and blushing as I write. Read up...

It has 2% Salicylic Acid [SA] as the active ingredient. Don't we all just love SA? 

Salicylic Acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid [BHA]. It is a great leave-on exfoliant that is found majorly in anti-acne treatments. It is anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory; usually found in strengths of 0.5% and 2%. [At least those 2 strengths I know. Feel free to add more if you know.] 
Topically, 2% is ideal and most effective. People with very sensitive skin should opt for the 0.5% strength instead. If your skin can tolerate 2% well, then why not? 

Simply put, SA dissolves the glue that bonds the skin together. Now you know why it exfoliates. So if you are using this product, you may want to hit the brake pedals on the frequency at which you use your facial scrubs. Once a week is fine.

You may be asking so what is the difference between Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide [BP]? Here it is:
Benzoyl peroxide is an anti-bacterial. It kills the bacteria that causes acne while Salicylic acid unclogs the pores, thereby removing blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid penetrates deeply into pores to help with trapped sebum and exfoliates dead skin cell. So overall, you have smoother skin and clean pores.
They both do different things so the issue of whether you can use an SA and BP treatment at the same time is now dependent on what works for your skin because yes, you can use them at the same time. Click here to see my favorite products with Benzoyl peroxide.

Did I also mention that this product is among the Best BHA treatment on Paula's Choice Beautypedia Review? Yeahhhhh!!!

I cleanse my face thoroughly with Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin or Clean and Clear Advantage Daily Soothing Face Wash.
Pat dry and then apply a small size of this product on my entire face, excluding my eye area.
I do this twice daily: first thing in the morning and last thing in the night immediately after cleansing.
I did not experience any dryness, peeling or redness.
My skin tolerated it quite well. 


To make this easier, I put the ingredients that I found interesting in bold. 
- Water [We all know what this is]
Cyclopentasiloxane [slip agent]
PEG-8 [emollient]
Dimethicone [slip agent/silicone]
Dimethicone Crosspolymer [slip agent/thickener/emulsifier]
Sodium Polyacrylate [film forming/holding agent]
Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer [thickener/texture enhancer]
Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate [surfactant]
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) Fruit Extract [skin soothing/anti-oxidant]
Camellia Sinensis Leat Extract [anti-oxidant/anti-irritant]
Glycerin [skin identical/repairing agent]
Panthenol [Vitamin B]
Butylene Glycol [slip agent]
C12-15 Alkyl Lactate [emollient/thickening agent]
Cetyl Alcohol [thickeners/emollient]
Glyceryl Stearate [thickeners/emollient]
Cetyl Lactate [skin conditioning agent]
PEG 75 Stearate [emulsifier]
Ceteth-20 [emulsifier]
Steareth-20 [emulsifier]
Trideceth-6 [emulsifier/cleansing agent]
Cyclopentasiloxane [slip agent]
PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone [silicone/emollient/slip agent]
Sclerotium gum [thickeners]
Laureth 23 [emulsifier]
Laureth-4 [emulsifier]
Disodium EDTA [chelating agent/preservative]
Benzalkonium Chloride [antibacterial/anti-acne agent]
Potassium Hydroxide [surfactant]
Green 5, Yellow 5, Blue 1 [Coloring]
Fragrance [1149-150]

Sorry for the long list of ingredients. That is what happens when you know too much book. LOOL! I couldn't help it.

So basically, the treatment is made up of water (the best moisturizer in the world), other skin moisturizers, vitamins, skin soothing fruit extracts, anti-oxidants and loads of slip agents, emulsifiers and others.

- Slip agents are ingredients that make other ingredients easier to apply.
- Emulsifiers are ingredients that prevent dissimilar ingredients [like oil and water] from separating in a mixture.
- Emollients are moisturizers.

The fact that this product has silicone in it was a major concern for me. I had used some silicone-based products in the past that clogged my pores. I also thought the product itself was going to be heavy on the skin.
But when I applied this product on the back of my hand, I found it very lightweight and silky, it absorbed almost immediately without leaving a greasy after feel. It just felt like water. It sinked right into my skin. That is pass mark number one.
Just applied. Notice the uber light texture.

Immediately I started rubbing it,
 the product sank right in nicely.
Now, for the silicone part. After purchasing the product, I used it that night, expecting to have deep seated cysts the next morning. I ended up using it for 1 week before even remembering that I was supposed to be checking to see if a cyst had formed on my face. No cyst appeared. Pass mark number two.
This product give such good value for your money because you only need to use a little. It comes in a 59 ml tube which took over 2 months before I used it all up.

Even though fragrance and color are contained in this product, I didn’t find the fragrance overbearing. I really couldn’t place what it smelled of. But it wasn't bad, didn't linger and that is good enough.

Anyway, for the first time in my life, I fell deeply in love with a Neutrogena product. In a matter of weeks I kept getting compliments from colleagues and my mom especially on how clear my skin was. It became so much that I decided to get another tube to use on my entire body. Best decision ever. I use this day and night on my body as soon as I towel dry and follow up with my Olay Total Effects Body Lotion. Beautiful results.
In few weeks, I noticed my skin become smooth and velvety. I saw my skin having such beautiful yellow-golden glow I thought I would never have. It's goodbye body scrubs for me!

This is me today. No filter.

Neutrogena describes this product as an ultra-light, non-pore clogging formula that works 3 ways for clearer, ultra-soft skin that looks stress-free:
 Treat acne even before it emerges
- Hydrates and softens
- Reduces redness
And they were right! 
Very correct!

May I also add mine:
- Have fewer blackheads in days
- Have lesser breakouts
- Soothes the skin.

Please bear in mind that this product is by no means the ONLY product that deals with acne. There is no one “magic” product to combat acne. To successfully treat acne, you have to create a healthy skincare routine for yourself. This is just one of the products necessary in creating that healthy 5-step routine you need.

For more on the 5-step healthy skincare routine and recommended products here and here.

I wrote this with lots of love and excitement. I'm sure you can tell.



  1. Hello Ify, great blog you got. I can testify to this neutrogena acne stress control treatment too. It really cleared up my face. Sadly, I have run out of it and have been searching for it in stores all over Lagos. It's either out of stock or expired. In fact most I find expired inNov/ Dec 2014. I don't want to risk using any expired product on my skin. Where do you get yours from? I'll be glad if you can help with that.

    1. Hi Anon. Thank you for appreciating my blog. It seems this product has been discontinued. And that's quite disheartening.
      I am currently on the search for an effective BHA treatment. Till then, the Clean and Clear Advantage Spot Treatment is a nice alternative. Hope that helps.

  2. pls ify, help with this product, it is not available anywhere in lagos

    1. Hi Henry, It honestly isn't. Like I earlier replied, Neutrogena has discontinued it's production in USA but not in Canada.
      And as such, you can surely get it from eBay or Amazon. But getting it here in naija would be tough luck. Regards.

  3. ify, this is cool to know.but i once tried the neutrogena oil free facial cleanser, and it broke me out like hell, my face is very oily but i dont break out,or to use a better word i hardly break out. so i tried the neutrogena and i broke out like hell,i stopped using the facial cleanser for my face and used it as a body wash instead and it was now am afraid to use neutrogena. i just pray this one would be better

    1. Hi Mabel, which of the Neutrogena oil free cleansers did you use because they have a lot of "oil-free" cleansers?
      If you have oily skin but used the one formulated for both oily and acne-prone skin when you don't have acne, you may break out. So you have to be sure you're using the right formula for your skin type/condition.