Neutrogena Acne Therapy Review

Neutrogena Acne Therapy Review: Does It Really Work?

Written By : Dr Ruby Shah   ✓ Fact Checked

Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System is a kit containing three fast-acting Neutrogena products that work together to fight acne while being gentle on skin.

(Last Updated on November 5, 2022)

Managing acne-prone skin1 can be a challenge and finding an effective solution can be overwhelming.

Choosing the wrong product for your skin may result in even worse breakouts.

Neutrogena’s Complete Acne Therapy System promises to clear breakouts in as little as 2 days and to prevent acne before it has a chance to erupt.

We reviewed the system to assess the effectiveness of their claims.

See below for our findings.

What Is Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System?

The system uses the two leading over-the-counter acne medicines to significantly reduce signs of acne in days while being gentle on the skin.

Neutrogena is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc. A multinational company.

Neutrogena Acne Therapy Ingredients


Neutrogena’s Complete Acne Therapy System contains 3 products, each with a different function.

Neutrogena’s Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser

Salicylic Acid 2%

Salicylic Acid2 is a beta hydroxy acid that occurs naturally in plants.

It is pH dependent, needing a pH of 4 or lower to work most efficiently. If it is included in a formula with a pH above 7, it becomes ineffective.

The cleanser also contains micro-fine beads designed to unclog pores and help prevent pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.

Neutrogena’s Acne Control Lotion

Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%

One of the most powerful acne treatments available3 .

It is antibacterial, unclogs pores and promotes cellular turnover.

It is also highly irritating.

Known to cause contact dermatitis, redness and increased sun sensitivity.

Neutrogena’s Oil Free Moisturizer (SPF 15)

Avobenzone (1.5%)

A chemical sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB damage4 .

By itself it is safe but it breaks down quickly when exposed to the sun.

It provides only 30 minutes’ worth of protection.

In order to maintain its protective abilities, it must be combined with chemicals that are hazardous.

Octisalate (5%)

Octisalate absorbs UVB rays and adds water-resistance properties to sunscreens.

It degrades when it is exposed to sunlight and is used to stabilize avobenzone to extend sun protection.

It is considered moderately toxic with potential immune and allergenic effects.

Oxybenzone (4%)

One of the most toxic ingredients included in skincare products5 .

It is an endocrine-disruptor and a potential carcinogen.

Octocrylene (3%)

Helps boost the efficacy of other sunscreens6.

It is a fairly safe ingredient but may cause skin irritation.

It may also promote free radical damage when absorbed into the skin.


A proprietary botanical complex.

The company does not share details about the ingredients.

How Does Neutrogena Acne Therapy Work

neutrogena real users reviews

Neutrogena’s Skin Polishing Acne Cleanser

  • Clears oil and impurities from pores.
  • Increases turnover of dead skin cells.
  • Treats acne.
  • Prevents future breakouts.

Neutrogena’s Acne Control Lotion

  • Kills acne-causing bacteria.
  • Treats inflammation.
  • Helps prevent future breakouts.

Neutrogena’s Oil Free Moisturizer (SPF 15)

  • Acts as a sunscreen.

How To Use It

  • Cleanse twice daily with skin polishing acne cleanser. If excessive drying or peeling occurs, reduce application to every other day.
  • Apply acne control lotion 1 – 3 times daily after cleansing. Cover the entire affected area with a thin layer. If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to every other day. If irritation or sensitivity develops, stop use of both products and ask a doctor.
  • Apply oil-free SPF 15 Lotion 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply at least every 2 hours. Use a water resistance sunscreen if swimming or sweating.

Neutrogena Acne Therapy Side Effects

Most customer complaints were skin irritation and dryness.

Is It A Scam?

The system contains traditional, long-established ingredients backed by evidence-based science that are highly effective.

The company is a highly reputable global brand and the system was named the #1 most recommended product by dermatologists previously.

So NO, it is not a scam.

Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System Reviews & Complaints

There are thousands of reviews for this product.

Of 733 reviews on Amazon, 71% are 4 and above giving it a 3.6 rating overall.

Here are some samples of reviews that may be helpful.

Some customers were very satisfied.

Sage Little says:

Believe it or not, this product beats ProActiv big time. I didn’t think it would since ProActiv is so popular nowadays. I bought ProActiv a while back and it was not a pleasant experience. My skin burned, itched, turned red. And on top of all that, it was abnormally dry [shocking because I’ve never had dry skin in my life].

I desperately needed something to get rid of my acne [which was located mostly on my forhead area] … ProActiv was terrible, as I mentioned before. So I decided to buy Neutrogena Advanced Solutions, and this was the best decision ever. I noticed results as soon as 2-3 days. My acne is all gone now.

This is a great product. Since I don’t have enough time in my schedule, this product was great. It’s only 2 steps, whereas ProActiv was 3. My skin is great right now, I love it!! I totally recommend this product. You may be wondering why I’m giving this 4 stars, the reason is because it DID cause a bit of dry skin, but it is not severe, it went away by itself.

Overall, I’m satisfied.

Some customers were satisfied but had a few reservations.

Sajini Joby wrote:

I have been using this product for over a week. I noticed that my pimples are fading after the first few days of use. I haven’t gotten any new ones as well. In that aspect the product does its job. But after few days of use my face started to look dull and dry. So I am taking a break from the product now…still no new pimples though!

A few customers were not happy with their results.

Tiffsweet2 wrote:

I ordered this for my boyfriend. It did not work. His cheeks were still covered with acne. He decided to go with Proactiv which is working for him.

Neutrogena Acne Therapy: Packages, Prices & Where To Buy It

  • 1 System $23.99

FREE shipping for all orders above $25.00.

There is a subscription service but the price is the same.

See below how the official site looks like.

Neutrogena official website

Return/Refund Policy

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you can return the products for a full refund of the purchase price (less original shipping and handling fees) within 30 days of purchase.

Shipping costs for any returns will not be reimbursed by unless there was a shipping error or product damage.

Return shipments should be insured and sent to: Neutrogena Returns, c/o Archway Dept: NTG-RNT, 2525 Monroe Blvd., Suite A, Eagleville, PA 19403.

Upon receipt of the returned products please allow up to 45 days to process a return and credit your account.

A credit should appear on your statement within 2 full billing cycles.

Pros & Cons


  • Majority of positive reviews.
  • Well-established, effective ingredients.
  • Widely available online and in retail stores.
  • Affordable.


  • Frequently reported side effects – redness and dryness.

Neutrogena Acne Therapy Review: Final Words

neutrogena acne treatment review - verdict

Neutrogena’s Complete Acne Therapy System has a long and well-established history and is produced by one of the largest global companies in the world.

All ingredients used in the system are traditional, well-known and backed by evidence-based science.

Side effects of irritation and dryness are common with this type of product.

We laid out the facts, will you buy Neutrogena Acne Therapy? Comment below and tell us what you think!

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