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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Day and Night Moisturizers

I don't review a lot of skincare products on my blog because, quite frankly, they take a lot of time to test (how can you know if a skincare product is working if you only use it for a week or two?). But when Neutrogena contacted me about trying their new Rapid Tone Repair moisturizers, I jumped at the chance because I absolutely loved their Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF30 (click here for my review). Since I just turned 42 last week, I need all the help I can get with my skin and having a clearer, smoother tone is a prospect I find very, very attractive. 

I started testing both of these products on October 1st of this year, and concluded my testing on December 1st (I'll be showing you before and after photos at the end of this review). So let's get started:

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer SPF30 (daytime)
Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer (night)
(retail: around $19.99 each, 1.0 oz)

Apologies for the state of the boxes--they got a little bit dinged up in shipping.

Keep reading for my full review...

Let's start with the daytime moisturizer:

The nighttime moisturizer:

As with the Rapid Wrinkle Repair moisturizer, you might experience some redness or irritation when you first start using Rapid Tone Repair but as indicated above, this is to perfectly normal. For the record, I did not experience any redness, flaking or stinging while using these products (I did when I first started using Rapid Wrinkle Repair, though).

The main difference between Rapid Wrinkle Repair and Rapid Tone Repair seems to be the addition of Vitamin C which, by the way, does not have good photo-stability when it comes in contact with light, so I appreciate that Neutrogena put these products in opaque glass bottles and they also suggest that when you're done using each product you turn the pump nozzle to the closed position to maintain the integrity of the product itself.

Neither of these formulas is thick or heavy. They're both pretty light in texture and they apply quite easily to the skin. I found that I needed 2-3 pumps of product to cover my entire face and neck, and even though the bottles are small, I still have not finished either bottle and I've been using both every day and night for over eleven weeks now.

Both products have a clean fragrance with a bit of a fruity, sweet undertone. I find the fragrance to be mild and it hasn't bothered me once during application. In fact, every time I hop into bed after my usual evening routine, Mr. G says, "Aaaah, your face smells so good!"

I used these products as directed from October 1st through December 1st. I did not use a separate eye cream with either product--I applied the daytime and nighttime versions to my undereye area as well as the rest of my face and neck every day and night for nine weeks straight. Here are some before and after photos:

I tried my best to recreate the exact lighting scenario in the second picture as I did in the first, using the same camera and holding it the same distance away from my face in both photos. So let's talk about the differences:

First of all, the first photo was taken while it was still quite warm here in San Diego, so there's more noticeable shine to my skin.  Aside from that, I think you can see that the sunspots/age spots on the left side of my cheek have noticeably faded, and some of the redness in my skin has faded as well. I think my pores appear a bit smaller/tighter, and the fine lines under my eyes also appear less pronounced.  What did not change for me is that the dark circles under my eyes have not diminished, and the broken capillaries in the middle of my cheek look just about the same as before (to be fair, I wasn't expecting these products to do anything about either of those issues so this is in no way a disappointment to me). I do think that the general tone of my skin looks much improved, as promised.

FINAL VERDICT: These products did exactly what they promised. With consistent use, they gave my skin a smoother overall tone, diminished redness and faded some dark spots. They also made my pores appear a bit smaller/tighter and helped diminish the look of my fine lines. They did not help with my dark circles or broken capillaries but I was not expecting them to do so (nor do they claim to help with those issues). For my oily skin, I find that both the day and night versions provide the perfect amount of hydration, and I find the daytime moisturizer absolutely ideal for me to wear underneath my makeup (it does not add to the oiliness of my skin whatsoever). If you have dry to very dry skin, I think that these moisturizers may not provide you with enough hydration in cooler months, so I would suggest using a heavier moisturizer at night and using the daytime version of Rapid Tone Repair in the day. Overall, I'm quite pleased with the results after my nine week testing period and would most certainly purchase these products in the future (definitely the daytime moisturizer--this one's the real star of the show for me because I just love that it keeps my skin hydrated during the day without causing my makeup to slide around).  If you're looking for a more even tone and help with fading dark spots, I think these products are worth considering.

Are you a fan of Neutrogena skincare? Have you tried Rapid Tone Repair? Thoughts?

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. Thanks for the review! I think I might get this. :)

  2. It sounds great, but I have had bad reactions to retinol previously. I sure could use something for the age spots, though.

  3. I have the night version, but haven't remembered to use it regularly. Seeing your before and after, though, I'll have to make a note to use it.

  4. I've used the Neutrogena healthy skin anti-wrinkle night cream and I really like it. The formula is good, and it protects the retinol in good packaging. I wonder if this is supposed to be a future replacement for that product?

  5. Wow, this is a great review. Thank you for spending the time and effort for this well rounded review.

  6. I haven't tried this one yet. I've used the rapid wrinkle repair moisturizer for many months and have gone through several bottles. I am happy to see that they did not put oxybenzone in this product. I will definitely try this out. Thanks for the honest review! Stacie xo

  7. Great, thorough review -- thanks! Am a big fan of Neutrogena facial lotions and I even use them on the backs of my hands. I'm 54 and am keeping the dreaded age spots on my hands at bay!

  8. I use Neutrogena's SPF spray. It doesn't smell weird nor is it greasy. I also use their facial cleanser. They have good stuff!

  9. Great review! The comparison photos helped a lot too.

    I've been wanting to try something with Retinol.

  10. Great review G! I think your skin looks to be improving quite a bit!

  11. I always like seeing a paraben-free day time moisturizer that has an SPF above 15 :) May have to try that one...

  12. I'm wondering which you prefer more - the CeraVe or the Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair?

  13. Wow...I can see a big difference.

  14. wow! There was a great improvement. I have to look for these. I am actually on the hunt for a mositurizer right now. I am only using grape seed oil at the moment

  15. Do you think that this would help fading with acne scars? It gave you great results! And I always refer to what products you find success with because my skin is also incredibly oily!!!

  16. Thanks! I may give this a try after I finish my current sunscreen.

  17. I tried the night cream only and noticed no results. But it is a good moisturizer. Possibly b/c I'm 49 and have more spots and wrinkles than can be taken care of in a short period of time with such a gentle retinoid, I might need to give it more time and use both day and night treatments...

  18. Your reviews are the best! Thanks for being so thorough and honest. I would love to find something to help with broken caps, I have them too.

  19. I'm so glad you did a review on this. I like Neutrogena products, it's my favorite skin brand. I was wondering about this but hesitant in trying it. I think I'll pick up the day time cream. I need a heavy night cream in these winter months. Thanks for doing this. I always love your reviewing style.

  20. I will buy them as soon as I see them. I can't wait to try them!

  21. This was a great review! I was in need of moisturizers so I picked up both at Rite Aid. Can't wait to see how they work out for me. So far the night one feels great. Just the right amount of hydration for my combo/oily skin. Just first impressions :)

  22. This is a great review. I'm wondering though about the Retinol. I've heard that if you use products with Retinol in it, you should stay out of the sun?

    Is it the same for this product, or is the form of Retinol in this product different.

    Also, you specifically tried from October till December. Is that how long you can use it and then you must stop?

    Hopefully, you'll answer. I'm far from the age of using this product, but I have been looking for something for my mom and I don't really know much about anti-aging products. Thanks!!

  23. I have to say I just tried the Rapid Tone Repair and I am amazed. My mother and BFF both mentioned how "clear and good" my skin looked, without knowing my new regime. Great product! I see the difference as well. More even toned, plump and fresh appearance. I have struggled with my skin all my life (acne, marks etc), had a few laser treatments and I am really pleased with this product. I also like the smooth silky feeling of the product when applied.

  24. After trying many moisturizers I decided to try Rapid Tone repair moisturizer for a couple of weeks. Worked on my temperamental sensitive skin and the sunscreen protection is excellent.

  25. Thanks for your review. can you compare you results with the rapid tone repair vs the rapid wrinkle repair? Did one work better than the other? Did they both do the same thing? Would you purchase one over the other or do you really need both? Thanks so much for your help. Erin


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