21 December 2011

Review: Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System

This is a product that I've used before and greatly enjoyed, and raved to my friends about, but I stopped using it a few months back when I hit harder times with money.

Now that I have a steady job and am able to spare the money each month, I've returned to the system and my skin has never looked better.

This kit comes with three different items: a skin polishing face wash, an acne lotion, and SPF 10 oil free moisturizer.
My main two problems with my skin are mild acne that is generally hormonally driven and blackheads. Within a week of using this product morning and night I noticed a drastic decline in not only my breakouts (that usually happen on my chin) but also my blackheads (which are the most severe on my nose).

I know that some people will shy away from it because it has multiple steps (at least I know I was one of those people), but it is really easy to use, and the results make it one hundred percent worth it.

First is, of course, the face scrub. It's got microbeads that will polish the skin and minimize the look of pores. This isn't the first time I've used scrubs with microbeads that claim to rid your skin of blackheads, but this is the first one that I've used that acutally works as it says it does.

A little of this goes a long way. It has a strange texture coming out of the bottle. It's very viscous and a bit difficult to work down with water to create more of a foam. I've used it both ways, straight out of the bottle and then as a foam. I prefer watering it down - it makes it much easier to work with.

Just like any other face wash, wet your face with warm water and apply the product. Scrub for about thirty seconds, rinse, and then pat dry.

It leaves my face feeling almost velvety and as smooth as porcelain.

Follow the face wash with the Acne Lotion. This lotion looks like the typical acne spot treatment, so I was a bit apprehensive at first about putting it over my entire face. A dime size amount is all that is really needed to do the job. It's quick drying, and may sting a bit if you've got sensitive skin. It leaves my face feeling a bit tight afterward, though it's the perfect canvas for the last step of lotion.

One downside to the acne lotion is there may be a slight burn for those with sensitive skin. Sometimes I have no issues with it whatsoever. Sometimes it feels like someone has poured acid over my cheekbones. It is a sensation that quickly passes, it is just uncomfortable for a few minutes.

The last step is the SPF lotion, which I wear even to bed because of the tight feeling I get from the acne lotion. It has a bit of an odd smell, but keeps my skin moisturized all day long. I don't get that oily feeling a few hours into the day that I've gotten with other lotions. It keeps my face looking dewey and fresh rather than one giant oil slick. That is what won me over about this lotion. Even in the humid Florida summer it leaves my skin feeling fresh. 

The system retails for only $19.99 for a one month supply. The best part is the coupons in every box. Each month's supply comes with a coupon for $4 off your next purchase of the system as well as a coupon for $2 off any Neutrogena makeup! Score!

The system is the best I've used shy of Proactiv, but it does have one major downside: if you stop using it, your acne will flare up again, possibly even worse than before. When I stopped using it the first time, my forehead broke out so bad it looked like the surface of a strawberry. I am not one hundred percent sure if this was because I stopped the wash, or if it was because of my recently discovered allergy to Powerade. Either way, it went away when I went back to the system and stopped drinking the Powerade. This is a con I also experienced when I tried my step-sister's Proactiv system. It did absolutely nothing for her severe acne and cleared me up within a day, but that is another review entirely.

I also recommend having a spot treatment on hand for any random severe breakouts. I use Neutrogena's Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel (which can be purchased here for $7.99) in conjunction with the system and haven't run into any problems. 

Over all, is it worth the $20? A million times yes. If you've got acne prone skin, this is at least worth a try. Nothing else has worked for me as well as this system.

I purchased my kit at Walmart, though you can find it at most drug stores as well as Neutrogena's website.

Pros: Clear skin within a week; fewer breakouts; fewer blackheads; microbeads that really work; lotion that doesn't leave the skin oily; coupons!

Cons: Must be consistently used or acne may come back even worse than before; may be harsh on sensitive skin

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