February 10, 2014

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer Review

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer has wrecked my skin for the past several weeks. Holy crackers (my dad always says that lol don’t ask..)!

I made it my resolution this year that I’d start using a retinol and after a little research the most widespread recommendation says at my age a drugstore retinol is the way to go.

Needless to say I use, adore, and swear by Philosophy Miracle Worker Pads however, I wanted something a little stronger. I don’t yet have fine lines on my face but I’d like to prevent them and I thought a retinol would do great things for not only prevention but also evening out my skin tone and exfoliating my skin. Holy cow that last part was true…

Take a look!

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer ($19.99) is affordable way to visibly fade wrinkles with a very fast acting retinol formula. It promises to smooth wrinkles, diminish age spots, and leave skin brighter. I don’t yet have fine lines as I mentioned above but here’s some of what I noticed when using Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer.

This is a thinner moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid as well as Retinol SA. I expected a highly hydrating experience courtesy the HA but unfortunately I find it a little weak for my drier skin.

I did dedicate myself to the formula for several weeks but man it was really hard doing so because it really wrecked my drier skin. I had moments where I thought for sure I’d have to give up on it because it really did over time at exfoliating my skin which means it literally aged my skin for the first few weeks I was using it. My skin was peeling crazily! I was slightly sensitive after use as well because using any other moisturizer kinda had a little sting to it…!

This is a thinner consistency moisturizer that doesn’t deliver a ton of hydration go my drier skin. It has a very heavy fragrance that’s pleasant to my nose but could prove irradiating to sensitive users.

It’s strange as I thought my skin fairly exfoliated and taken care of well but this proved I had some dead skin cells that needed to head out. After two uses my skin started flaking up badly! I imagine in some of my recent photos you can see how dry the skin is under my eyes and around my cheeks. After a week my skin was still dry, patchy, and dare I say even scaly. I wasn’t worried about this because I know retinol needed time and these were some of the reactions you’d experience using it however, it still was awful because I felt like applying any makeup aged me or just looked awful! My skin finally started to adjust slightly after three weeks of use…one of the the best benefits I noticed with time and patience was how much brighter my skin looked. All that dead skin revealed a smoother complexion and a brighter one!

My skin is still very dehydrated but I’m a lot less sensitive and I started using a bit of Curel in the morning on my face versus my regular moisturizer just to get some much needed moisture to the areas that need it. At this point I can’t say if I’m preventing anything but after all the suffering I’m very pleased with how bright, even, and smooth my skin looks and feels. That alone was worth the hell Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer put me through!

If your skin is dry, dull, perhaps uneven and you’re willing to dedicate some time and patience to the cause Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer can repair the issues while hopefully preventing future wrinkles and fine lines. From reviews I read it does soften the appearance of finer lines as well but I can’t yet speak for those results. This is available now at drugstores.

Tried it?

Do share!

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer3

I purchased this item.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


  • AnniLau

    OK, this is probably bizarre but, after trying every fade cream known to womankind, the only thing that works on my darker freckles/age spots is Compound W gel. Yeah, the wart remover. The active ingredient is 17% salicylic acid, so it’s basically a spot peel. It takes a few days to actually peel and then I walk around with a pink spot for a couple of weeks, but it’s totally worth it to see that pigmentation finally go.

      • AnniLau

        If you decide to try it, what I usually do is apply it right before bed using an eyeliner brush (so I don’t involve any non-pigmented skin) and leave it on overnight. It WILL sting for a bit. In the morning, I apply a warm washcloth to soften the dried goop and then peel it off. The pigmented spot will look noticeably darker until it peels – which freaked me out the first time I did it – but you’ll see it start to dry up after three or so days. A couple of days after that, it’ll peel and then it’s just a matter of waiting for the new skin to heal up to a normal color.

        If you’re less reckless than I am, you might want to test it somewhere on your body first.

    • cosmogrl

      Whoa dangerous! That’s like giving yourself a medium depth chemical peel. Proceed with extreme caution. And wear at least SPF 30 everyday for the rest of your days, or else those spots will come right back.

      • AnniLau

        I’ve done 4 spots on my semi-sensitive skin without issue, although results certainly may vary. And I wear SPF 50+ every day, but time and very pale skin have resulted in a few spots regardless.

  • Diana

    You probably could have slathered vaseline on over the ‘moisturizer’ to help a bit with the dryness (I don’t think vaseline would further irritate skin since it just kind of sits on top?) or worked your way up to using it nightly. In any case, it’s great that it did help w/ dullness in the end. 😀 At some point, I might try some kind of vitamin A derivative product to see if it would help with my acne. Thanks for this great review!

    • Isabella Muse

      I DID this ;-D my skin got so tingly that I was going to bed with vaseline on my face ;-D gave it a nice layer of moisture and helped my skin feel a little sooth…! my pleasure 😀 and thanks for the tip haha even though I was already using it!

  • The Beauty Alchemist

    wow, that did a number on you. Have you tried any RoC ? I love their Resurfacing system , two parts. the cream has shea butter so pretty moisturizing and then an almost greasy feeling serum that dries fast goes on top. Mind you, none of these bother my skin though, mine’s diff than yours. I’ve got a look at it on my blog . In general I think they make good retinols. The Deep Wrinkle Night Cream also has shea butter.


    • Isabella Muse

      I am going to be testing it shortly 😀 everyone raves it, it was you that convinced me I needed to try it! and DUDE tell when you’re living a link, it always captures it as spam! 🙂

  • Jess

    I used the dark spot fading version of this for my acne scarring and I had the same problem. Not only did it make my (already dry and sensitive) skin even more dry and sensitive, but it made me break out. So then my skin was rough and cracked, and it was painful due to the increased sensitivity and breakouts. I used it for about 3 weeks and it just got worse, and there was no improvement in my scars to make it worth the hassle ! So now i don’t touch the stuff :C

  • Kathie Dorsam

    this product is my summer night lotion, I do not use it in the winter. I have been using the hope in a jar night time it came free with the regular hope in a jar.

  • JoElla

    I like Neutrogena overall as a brand, but their skincare, totally wrecks havoc on my skin.

    Their retinol line burns the hell out of me. Like me, other retinol lines work fantab, but not the neutrogena stuff..

  • Abbey W.

    I can’t wait to start using a retinol again (no-go during pregnancy), but I HATE how the first couple of weeks are so bad! Any retinol I’ve tried (OTC and prescription) has caused me to be peely and dry for a little while. The results are worth it, though. I can tell a big difference in my skin this winter since I haven’t been using one.

    • Isabella Muse

      def agreed abbey! It’s a pain but after all is said and done skin def looks amazing!

  • Michelle

    I’ve tried Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair in the past, and all I can say is that it wasn’t for me. My skin broke out whenever I decided to use it. I think I gave it to my mom or threw it out – it’s been so long I can’t remember! 🙂

    I’ve been thinking about splurging on the FutureDerm Time Release Retinol. I just don’t want to regret it and end up with MORE acne (than I’m already battling).

    • Isabella Muse

      i tried futurederm for several months but never actually saw visible results (fading of dark spots, brightening those types of visible results) so I got a little frustrated and stopped using it!

  • Caroline

    I’ve never tried the Rapid Wrinkle Repair line, but I have for many years sworn by the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturizer. It’s never irritated my skin, and I find it really hydrating. Maybe give that one a try instead? You could also try applying your retinol product on top of another moisturizer to reduce the irritation. Just a few ideas from your friendly neighborhood esthetician! 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      thanks caroline! I’ll give it a whirl and def will try on top of moisturizer ;-D

  • Lura

    Ooooh, yes, moisturizer is must pre-retinal for me (my Ret. is RX from derm.)

    I’ve been (newly!) using the Lumene oil first & then the retinal; helps greatly! Do like w/ cream moisturizer too, but something extra glowy I see with oil?

  • christina

    I use this! I’m 45, and have a few crow’s feet and small lines under my eyes. When I first started using this, by skin had a slight burn to it…even when I put on other products. But like you, I just plowed through. One day I realized that I had not fretted over my little lines under my eyes…they were much, much smaller! Now I don’t feel that burn at all any more. So it took awhile, but I do like this product. 🙂

  • melissa

    Let me preface my suggestion with: I am a fake baker and don’t really use retinol anymore but (always a but) I did use philosophy help me and a couple others when I was breaking out and it was always recommended to start with just a night time application every other night and eventually build to nightly and or daily if desired. You might of had a strong reaction because it was too much at one time? just my two cents and thank you for the great review. I appreciate a fellow dry-skin girl’s review. I’m actually a combo skin girl but I lean combo dry except for my t zone and occasional hormonal breakout.

  • rose

    If you want that kind of product/results you can get the same kind of results from RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream (drugstores) without the pain and irritation nitrogen facial products tend to cause. Plus its much more hydrating.

  • Susannah

    Roc makes a great retinol serum that works for me — have you ever tried it?

  • Michelle from MI

    I really love Paula’s Choice skincare! I started using it about a year ago & my over 50/rosacea-sensitive skin has never been better. They have wonderful customer service & as a first-time customer you can order as many FREE samples as you want. I really like that she offers science-based research on why she puts certain ingredients in & almost everything is fragrance free. I do not work for the company-I am just a VERY happy customer.

    • Isabella Muse

      I hear quite a lot of good stuff about her stuff Michelle def have to dive in at some point!

    • Lura

      Michelle do you have any recs for rosacea?

      I use a few PC products too! (BHA 2% liquid, AHA 8% for spot treatment, BHA 9 for this stubborn age spot).

      Would love to know what is worth considering for redness!

      • Michelle from MI

        Hi Lura-I use the Hydralight toner & moisture lotion & the 1% BHA lotion-I have had great luck w/these. Also the Skin Balancing cleanser-does a good job getting off most make up but does not leave your face dry/tight. I have a sample of the Redness Relief lotion but have not tried it yet. Rosacea can be such an individual thing-lots of trying & what is great for someone else may not work for you at all. One thing I do find is fragrance-free really helps!

        • Lura

          Thanks so much Michelle!

          I just received an email from PC adverting their doing a 20% sale for V-day.

          I’m going to pick up a few based on your suggestions! 🙂 You’re right, is so very individual. I feel better though trying some new with a recommendation behind it. 🙂

          Thanks again!

  • Kirsten Norman

    I’ve switched from 0.05% retin-A to SkinMedica tri-retinol and my skin is loving it! When I was on retin-A I had to baby my skin big time. For reference I have oily/combo skin (seasonally dependent). With retin-A, Cetaphil cleanser, Atopalm cream, and Vivite (the non-glycolic healing one) worked wonders on my dry irritated skin. I also applied aloe vera first- I use the used an organic one with minimal fillers. There was a new report out recently that found aloe vera enhanced retin-A’s efficacy! Alas the tri-retinol by SkinMedica is being discontinued :(. The delivery system is supposed to minimize irritation. I’ve been able to cut back on extreme moisture and add vitamin c to my regimen, but I think this is mostly due to using a less irritating retinol. Never got around to trying oils but they sound like they would help as well. Just in case you haven’t tried it, my doc made me start with retin-A slooooowwllyy. Used low concentration and applied 2-3x week for a month and worked up from there. My opinion is retinoids are beyond worth it, but they are powerful and require special care and patience.

  • Lulubelle

    I’ve got the Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair (Night) waiting in my to be tested pile, will be interesting to see if I have a similar reaction. It contains Vitamin C and is targeted more towards lightening dark spots/brightening.

    I’ve been using Miracle 10 Retinol Treatment 30 for the past month, which is the lowest concentration in that line. My oily skin has been dry/flaky, no doubt a combination of the retinal and the winter weather :-\

    • Isabella Muse

      tone repair I LOVE! It did not make my dry or flaky at all Lulu! It’s awesome ;-D and it works to a point you’ll see visibly results almost right away ;-D

  • Michelle from MI

    Hey Muse & Lura–I use the Hydralight toner & moisture lotion & have had good luck w/these. I really like the 1% BHA lotion for winter-does a great job of getting rid of flakiness & is lightly moisturizing. I have samples of the Redness Relief but have not tried them yet. Also, I like the Skin Balancing cleanser-does a pretty good job of getting off most make up & does not leave my skin dry/tight. I love that you can get so many samples & have found the customer service to be quite helpful. Hope this helps!

  • Elena

    I use the serum version of this.

    Originally I used to mix a few drops of Alpha Hydrox Intensive Serum (14% glycolic AHA) with some Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. Nothing but smooth skin every day.

    HOWEVER, I suffer from mild acne and was looking for something a bit stronger to promote cell turnover and provide relief for my congested skin.

    This is where Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair serum comes in. I stopped using my Alpha Hydrox routine assuming that it would be too harsh or cancel each other out or whatever “they say” about layering such things.

    After experiencing one hell of flaky face one morning I did some research and found that layering Retinol and AHA is perfectly fine as long as you ease your skin into it. So, that evening I used my Neutrogena Serum, waited for it to dry and sink in, then applied my Alpha Hydrox the next day. LESS FLAKINESS and EVEN SMOOTHER skin if you can believe it.

    Just some thoughts. 🙂

  • Elena

    Ugh. I’m sorry. I didn’t apply my Alpha Hydrox the next DAY. Just Next. I just applied it next mixed with my Cetaphil lotion after the Neutrogena Serum.

    SORRY! Had to clarify.

  • Amy

    If you’re not too off put by retinol to try it again, I super highly recommend Redermic R by La Roche-Posay

  • Erin

    I use this daily, you just have to get over the hump like you said. I really think it kicks expression lines to the curb. If you’re hydrated and you put it on moist skin you’ll have better luck with it. It’s a total myth you have to wait until your face is dry to use a retinol. I also reviewed it on my blog recently after 6 months of use!

    • Isabella Muse

      erin, agreed, so long as you get over that hump you’re good but it does take a sec!