For decades, Neutrogena has been the go-to drugstore brand of many. If you want to add products from this drugstore staple to your skincare routine, here is a breakdown of the best Neutrogena products for acne. 

The Best Neutrogena Products for Acne

Best Cleanser

Best Neutrogena Cleanser for Acne

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser

This cleanser combines salicylic acid with soothing ingredients to minimize and prevent breakouts without irritating or over-drying the skin.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This cleanser contains a 2% concentration of the chemical exfoliator salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that is able to shed excess skin cells and decongest pores[1]. This helps fight current breakouts while also preventing new blemishes from forming.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Soothing
  • Reduces redness

Cons

  • Contains fragrance
  • May not be suitable for sensitive skin

In addition to the acne-fighting salicylic acid, this cleanser contains chamomile and aloe. These ingredients help soothe the skin to minimize irritation and reduce redness. This cleanser can be used up to two times per day.

Best Gentle Cleanser

Best Gentle Neutrogena Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser

This fan-favorite Neutrogena foaming cleanser is an excellent daily face wash, as it is super gentle on the skin but still gets rid of excess oil, dirt, and debris that clogs pores.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Cleansing
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Wet your face with lukewarm water, and then gently massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water.
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This is one of the best Neutrogena products for acne, because it is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) and sweeps away dirt and debris without irritating or drying out the skin. It is a great alternate for those that find the Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser to be too intense for daily or twice daily use.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist developed

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

This cleanser was developed with sensitive skin in mind, and is free of many of the common irritants that can cause issues for this skin type.

Best Salicylic Acid Treatment

Best Neutrogena Salicylic Acid Treatment for Acne

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads

These treatment pads contain a 2% concentration of salicylic acid, a chemical exfoliator that helps unclog pores to minimize and prevent breakouts.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Fighting Acne and Exfoliating
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, swipe a pad all over the face (as well as the neck and chest, if you’re prone to acne in these areas). Follow up with a moisturizer, and a sunscreen during the day.
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Salicylic acid is one of the best ingredients for fighting acne. These pads contain a 2% concentration of this oil-soluble chemical exfoliator. This amount is gentler on the skin, but still helps unclog pores to promote a clear, smooth complexion[1].

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons

  • May cause dryness or irritation
  • Contains fragrance

While salicylic acid is effective, it can cause irritation and dryness, especially for those who have never used chemical exfoliators before. If you’re new to chemical exfoliators, it is best to start slow with this product. Use a pad every other day or every two days, and then build up your use from there (if your skin tolerates it well and it seems necessary).

Best Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment

Best Neutrogena Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment for Acne

Neutrogena Stubborn Acne AM Treatment

This treatment is one of the best Neutrogena products for acne, because it contains benzoyl peroxide, which fights acne and prevents new breakouts from forming.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Fighting Acne
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, apply a thin layer of the treatment all over your face. Follow up with a moisturizer, and a sunscreen during the day.
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Benzoyl peroxide is highly effective when it comes to fighting acne. It kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin, and also gets rid of excess oil and pore-clogging dead skin cells[2]. The 2.5% concentration in this treatment is great for treating current acne and preventing new blemishes from forming.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin
  • May be drying

This treatment can be used at the same time as the Rapid Clear Treatment Pads, but this will increase the likelihood of irritation. If using both products in your routine, it may be best to alternate these products rather than layering them in order to avoid irritation. Additionally, while this treatment is marketed as an AM treatment, it can be used either day or night.

Best Retinol Treatment

Best Neutrogena Retinol Treatment for Acne

Neutrogena Stubborn Marks PM Treatment

The star ingredient in this treatment is retinol, which fights acne and reduces acne marks for a clear, even complexion.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Fighting Acne and Diminishing Post-Acne Marks
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and drying the skin, apply a pea-sized amount over the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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While retinol is often associated with anti-aging, it is also an excellent ingredient for preventing acne and lightening the appearance of post-acne marks[3]. It increases cell turnover rate, which keeps pores from clogging and stops acne from forming.

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin
  • May be drying

If you’re using the Rapid Clear Treatment Pads and/or the Stubborn Acne AM Treatment (or any other treatments with chemical exfoliators or benzoyl peroxide), you should not layer them with this treatment. Alternate your use of the Stubborn Marks PM Treatment with these products, as layering them will very likely cause irritation, and may also inhibit the effectiveness of the products.

Best Spot Treatment

Best Neutrogena Spot Treatment

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel

This spot treatment is one of the best Neutrogena products for acne, because it contains a high concentration of benzoyl peroxide, which quickly diminishes blemishes.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Treating Active Pimples
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing, apply a small amount of the treatment to any active pimples. Follow up with a moisturizer, and a SPF during the day.
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This spot treatment contains a 10% concentration of benzoyl peroxide – the key ingredient in this product. It kills acne-causing bacteria on the skin, and also gets rid of excess oil and pore-clogging dead skin cells to rapidly decrease the size of a pimple[2].

Pros

  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • May cause dryness or irritation

Neutrogena claims that this spot treatment will start working within 2 hours after application.

Best Moisturizer

Best Neutrogena Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

This lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic moisturizer is excellent not only for sensitive skin, but all skin types (including those prone to acne).

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: After cleansing and applying serums and treatments, apply to the face, neck, and chest. During the day, follow up with an SPF.
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While this moisturizer is marketed towards sensitive skin, it is great for those who are prone to acne. It is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores, and also does not contain any oil.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • May not be moisturizing enough for super dry skin

This water-based moisturizer is lightweight, so it won’t feel heavy or greasy on the skin.

Best Moisturizer with SPF

Best Neutrogena Moisturizer with SPF for Acne-Prone Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 35

Daily sun protection is crucial, and this oil-free product helps protect from the sun’s rays while also giving skin the moisturization that it needs.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Daily Sun Protection and Moisturization
Tested on animals: Yes
How to use: In the morning, as the final step of your skincare routine, apply the moisturizer all over your face, neck, and chest.
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Sun exposure can be particularly harmful for those prone to acne, as it can make post-acne marks less likely to fade. With this in mind, it is important to wear an SPF on a daily basis. This oil-free and non-comedogenic SPF moisturizer is great for daily use, because it protects from the sun without clogging pores or contributing to breakouts.

Pros

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Contains chemical sunscreen, which may irritate more sensitive skin

This moisturizer is lightweight and non-greasy, so it won’t leave a thick film on the skin.

FAQs

Which Neutrogena product is best for acne?

Different products will work better for certain people, so it’s hard to select a single “best” product. However, some of the best Neutrogena products for acne include the Rapid Clear Treatment Pads, the Stubborn Acne AM Treatment, and the Stubborn Marks PM Treatment.

Is Neutrogena good for acne?

Yes, Neutrogena offers a variety of products that are great for those with acne-prone skin. You can develop a complete skincare routine using solely products from the brand.  

How can I get clear skin overnight?

Unfortunately, clear skin doesn’t happen overnight. Patience and consistent dedication to a skincare routine is essential to achieve clear skin.

The Bottom Line

Neutrogena has a variety of products that are great for acne-prone skin. One important thing to note is that, if you decide to use some of the best Neutrogena products for acne, you should only introduce one new product to your routine at a time. This is especially true for the treatments. After seeing how your skin reacts to a certain product, you can decide if it’s necessary to add another product to your routine.