On my journey to fight aging and keep my skin healthy without spending one-third of my paycheck, I have tried A LOT of products. I am no stranger to the wonders of retinol and its magical abilities to fight basically all of my skin concerns, so when I kept seeing this drugstore cream pop up in my feed, I had to try it. Reading Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream review after review, it was clear to me that I had to test this bad boy for myself.
So did this drugstore favorite live up to the hype?
Nope. Not for me, but read on to learn why this did not work for my skin and why I cannot recommend for yours.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through the link I may make a small commission. I am not a medical pro, just someone who loves skincare and has done the research. Everyone’s skin is different and any serious skin issues should be consulted with a dermatologist or your esthetician.
TFE Tested: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream Review
Why I purchased
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream is a rich moisturizer aimed to solve some of our biggest skincare woes: dryness and wrinkles. Sounds like a dream in a jar to me.
I have wanted to test drugstore finds for TFE readers and for my wallet. I also really believed in what Neutrogena was selling. Science backed skincare that does what it says at a reasonable price. What could be wrong with that?
One of my favorite bloggers reviewed and sold me on the effects of SA retinol, the star ingredient of the Rapid Wrinkle Repair. Having seen all of the great marketing that has been done for this product, I was influenced!
After seeing several hundred (seriously) glowing reviews, I had to see for myself! I was ready to dive into that jar and just watch a youthful glow emerge.
There were many negative reviews of allergic reactions, but I thought hey, I am no sensitive B and my skin can handle it all.
I was wrong. Like, really wrong, but more on this soon.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream Ingredients
Retinol SA: this is the star of the show. Retinol SA (sustained action) is unique to Neutrogena and claims to be superior to other forms of vitamin A in that its sustained action continues to work on your skin for 12 hours after application.
Glucose Complex: uses Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, which Neutrogena says boosts the performance of Retinol SA. This combo claims to increase absorption and effectiveness and continue to work on skin for 12 hours after application.
Hyaluronic Acid: one of my skin’s BFFs, HA restores skin’s moisture levels and protects against further moisture loss. This helps our skin look plump and wrinkle free.
Fragrance: Neutrogena lists fragrance on the label, and boy can you tell when you open this jar. There is a strong scent, not bad, but fragrance is just not something I care about in skincare. Neutrogena does make a fragrance free version, which is a nice offer for those sensitive to fragrance.
PTFE: here is where we need STOP RIGHT NOW. Polyetrafluoroethylene aka Teflon (yes the non stick pans we should not cook with) is listed as an ingredient in the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream. This chemical has been linked to serious health concerns including many forms of cancer and thyroid disease.
Studies have not been detailed enough to understand if PTFE can be absorbed through the skin for toxicity, but I am not taking chances over here. To me, PTFE does not have a place in my skincare routine or on my pans.
Essential tip: remember to read the full ingredients list before using a product. If there is something you do not recognize, look it up and see if it is something you want to apply to your skin and skip using if you think an ingredient is not for you!
This cream was rich and smooth and I loved massaging this into my skin.
Fragrance definitely shines through this product with a strong floral scent. It did not bother me, but I do wish I opted for the fragrance-free version.
When first applied, my skin felt soft and looked hydrated. My skin quickly let me know things were not as they seemed after a couple of uses.
The first night I used the Rapid Wrinkle Cream my skin was soft and hydrated. I was excited for the possibility of achieving skin goals with a drugstore purchase.
After the second use, I noticed my skin was red and bumpy. I attributed the bumps to purging given the retinol and the fact that the bumps did not look or feel to be irritation.
Very wrong here.
Soon, the itchiness set in. Those red bumps became red patches – I had hives on my face and it was not cute. My skin barrier was completely shattered and destruction of my skin was underway.
Am I being dramatic? I don’t think so. This cream wreaked havoc on my skin and left me needing to do some serious damage control.
How I repaired the damage
It was time for some major damage control. The rapid wrinkle repair cream did some serious work (bad work) on my skin barrier so I sought out all of my favorite repair products and got to work immediately.
To repair my damaged skin barrier in just one week’s time, I applied my favorite restoring products and ingredients. I went from burning to glowing again by taking really good, gentle care of my face.
TFE Barrier Repair Favorites
Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum. Hyaluronic acid is my go-to for restoring moisture and maintaining serious hydration in my skin. I love this HA from Glow Recipe because of how easy it is to smooth into the skin.
Purito Centella Unscented Serum. Designed to repair and maintain your skin barrier, this serum is packed with goodness. Centella Asiatica is the ultimate healer of skin and fighter of redness. The ceramides in this serum also help build that skin barrier back up after the cream ate away at it.
The Ordinary Niacinamide. I had my skin working overtime to boost ceramide production and this niacinamide never fails to help a girl out when in need.
Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Boost. Azelaic acid gets an honorary mention in almost every TFE post, and for good reason! This helps reduce inflammation and redness and keeps my skin HAPPY.
FAB Ultra Repair Moisturizing Cream. This is the star of the show when it comes to my barrier repair. This bad boy is packed with calming ingredients like colloidal oatmeal to relieve itchiness and redness and shea butter to restore those fatty acids to your skin barrier.
The Ordinary Rosehip Oil. A TFE fave – rosehip oil for the win. I applied rosehip as the final step in my routine both morning and night to restore hydration, heal my wounds, and cut down on the inflammation.
Essential tip: facial oils are a great way to heal and protect your skin. Apply one every night to keep your skin strong and glowing like you won’t believe.
Final Score: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream Review
1 out of 5.
Do not recommend to a friend, or an enemy. I had high hopes for this drugstore pick, but my skin did not agree.
Have you used Neutrogena rapid repair wrinkle cream before? Let us know about your experience!