Thursday, 3 November 2016

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Daily Pads

Describe the brand in three words sentences.
Drugstore/Chemist. Affordable. Hit and miss. Neutrogena was one of my most-requested brands before I went to the US last month, so I picked up as much as I could.

Who is it for?
Combi/oily/acne skins.

What’s in it?
Water, Alcohol Denat. (38%), Salicylic Acid (2%), Butylene Glycol, PPG 5 Ceteth 20, C12 15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetyl Lactate, Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, PEG/PPG 20/6 Dimethicone, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance

What's not in it?
Menthol, camphor, acetate

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
Alcohol, fragrance

Suitable for pregnancy?
Yes, unless you are specifically told to avoid salicylic by your individual doctor. A topical 2% over-the-counter solution is not going to cause you harm.

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?

Tested on animals in home country/EU/sold in territories that require testing?

Unknown but unlikely/No/Yes

How does it smell?
Like booze.

How do you use it?
Acid toner, after cleansing, pre-serums. I tend to wave them around in a vain attempt to get some of the alcohol to evaporate off before I apply.

Can it be taken around the eyes?
No need.

Best for winter or summer?

How long did I test it for?
I bought it in NY last month and have tested it on spots ever since.

How much is it? /Size/Approximate cost per usage?
$8.99 for 60.

Works well with?
Serums post-application.

What’s the website like?
Good. Informative and ingredients are listed.

How’s the distribution? Available freely or limited?
Everywhere in the US, not available in the UK.

What’s good about it?
In isolated cases, these could be used topically on active breakouts to dry them out and kill off the bacteria in acne. However:

What’s not so good about it?
The alcohol content is high, in the same levels as Clinique's Clarifying Lotions, so the benefits of the salicylic are overshadowed by the possibility of them being too drying.
If you use these, I would keep them to zap spots, not to use all over the face up to three times a day as recommended by the brand. That's crazy talk. You would absolutely be over-exfoliating and it would in all likelihood, lead to milia and red cheeks.

Would I purchase/repurchase?
No, but then I don't need them. If I had active acne, I would consider them as an affordable spot treatment, but know that you would need something hydrating/moisturising after to counteract the alcohol.

Do you need it?
See above!

Similar products?
Nip + Fab Glycolic Extreme Pads
First Aid Beauty Radiance Facial Pads

Neutrogena Rapid Clear Daily Pads are $8.99 from

*This post contains some affiliate links. If you are happy to click on them and support the blog, thank you very much. If you would rather not, just google the product. It's all good. See my full disclaimer here: The views expressed on this site are the author's own and are provided for informational purposes only. The author makes no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than herself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.


  1. Hi Caroline.
    I know my question is not related the this product. Sorry about that.
    Do you know anything about a cosmetic brand named "Mix Nature"?
    It's suppose to be a costumized skin, body, and hair care.
    I am wondering if it is even worth trying.
    I was wondering,if you can check out their website and just see if it seem good idea.
    Thank you

  2. If you're in the US and need a salicylic pad this strong, you want the Equate (WalMart own brand) Maximum Strength Cleansing Pads. They're the knockoff for Oxy Cleansing Pads Maximum Active Ingredient. $2.97 for 90 pads. 2% salicylic, citric acid, disodium edta, fragrance, menthol, peg-8, propylene glycol, purified water, sd alcohol 40-b, sodium lauryl sulfate

    I'm 45 and use them on my chin and neck for hormonal acne. So, not everyday and one container lasts forever. A bargain.

    Caroline, appreciate that you're looking at drugstore stuff from your US trip. Very helpful.

  3. Huh. The Walmart link I included says the Equate pads are 34% alcohol but my container doesn't reflect that. Wonder if they've been reformulated since I last bought them. It's been almost a year.

  4. Hi Guru Goddess Caroline. Can you talk to us more about over exfoliation and milia? I'm worried I do/have done this. My skin is mostly clear but in the wrong light I can see tiny blocked pores. Not as big or bumpy as whiteheads or anything but still... Am I a freak? Am I over exfoliating? Should I cool the acids (toner twice a day and a serum like good genes). Help.

    1. Oh my gosh. I was going to comment about the same thing. Basically, I don't get the connection between over exfoliation and milia. I did a bit of googling and didn't find anything. Dear Caroline, could you elucidate for those of us who might take exfoliation too far? Also, thank you for these posts. Very helpful.

    2. I had some milia in the creases besides my mouth up to my nose both sides. Quite small but a lot. They disappeared using the Hirons exfoliating regime. Acids. Took a few months but I looked in a magnifying glass just this morning and they're gone. I think over exfoliation causes these bumps to become irritated and inflammation might result so not a good idea. I had a small cyst removed from between my breasts for this very reason but the irritation was caused by its position.

  5. Caroline!! When are you coming back to YouTube? We miss you x

  6. I wonder how they compare to the Clearasil pads, I don't know from the top of my head how much alcohol is in them.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  7. This is actually pretty good for ingrown hairs! I also use it on the back of my arms/hands.

  8. lady Hirons, you are on fire with your reviews :) thanks so much for reviewing a variety of products. x

  9. first off, love that you've been posting these product reviews lately!
    now a question: have you tried paula's choice skin perfecting 2% bha liquid? I heard it is supposed to be very good for acne prone skin but I am still hesitant to buy it. I have a lot of hermonal breakouts and I've been having cystic acne lately, too. I am using a product my derm prescribed me (Ederm) but lately I feel like it hasnt been doing it for me (been using it for 2 years now - it worked wonders for me in the beginning). In addition to that I use a Eucerin cleanser and toner and a moisturizer from Aveeno.

  10. I like the Stridex Maximum Strength pads for 'intimate depilation' areas to prevent folliculitus/ingrown hairs. I then moisturize with Amlactin, a cheap but brilliant lactic acid moisturizer, to keep those areas from drying out. Really helps with the ingrowns and keeps the skin soft.

  11. Hello from Spain, Mrs. Hirons; have you heard of Babor's cleaning system?. I've been told that it's the best so far and never ever and now, I wonder if it is better than EH moringa balm.