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There aren't many skin care products that provide visible results within a week (aside from maybe self-tanners). So when I read that 100% of women reported seeing results within a week of using Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer I was skeptical.
That's a pretty bold claim for a product that doesn't have botox in it, is available in drugstores and costs less than $20.
Still, I wasn't skeptical enough to not try it. It's one of the winners of Good Housekeeping's 2019 Beauty Awards, and as long as I have a choice, I'd rather sport cat eyes than crows feet.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair, $18 (originally $20), Amazon
The reviews seemed promising
Before committing, I skimmed the online reviews. They came from people ranging in age from their 20s (like me) to their 80s — many who said they have been using it for years. In other words, it sounded like one of few skin care products that I could share with my mom and my 91-year-old grandmother if I wanted to.
Most of the reviews were very good. On Walmart it has a 4-star rating from 397 reviews. On Amazon, it has a 3.9-star rating from 1,287 reviews. Even more impressive is the fact it's on Amazon's list of top 10 best-selling facial night creams. That says a lot considering how many night creams are out there!
You can feel it working
One of the main ingredients in the night cream is hyaluronic acid. During the day, I use Neutrogena's best-selling hydro boost water gel moisturizer, which also features hyaluronic acid. Since I've been using the day moisturizer for years, I wasn't too worried about how my skin would react to the powerful ingredient. However, it's important to note that my face did mildly burn and turn red the first few days I used it.
I'd apply a dime-sized amount of cream at night, after washing my face, and wake up looking like I'd spent the day before on a boat, in the sun. I'm naturally pale, so I actually appreciated the color.
The burning sensation didn't bother me much either. According to the directions on the bottle, mild redness, a warm tingling sensation or flaking are all normal indications that the product is working. For sensitive skin, it's recommended users limit application to every other night until your skin gets used to it. I was able to use it every night for a week with no major discomfort. After night three, I'd say the color and burning sensation mostly went away. I even know of a woman who actually uses this moisturizer day and night with no problems. She says one bottle lasts her about a month.
The size is one thing I really like about this product. It's only about 1 ounce, so it easily fits in the zip bag of my carry-on suitcase.
I also love how lightweight the formula itself is. According to the bottle, there are 31 ingredients, but it feels like there are only three. Retinol is one of the key components of the moisturizer. It's also why this product works on fine lines and wrinkles. Retinoids are basically vitamin A in topical form. They increase collagen production and the rate at which skin cells turnover. They also help fade dark spots and even out skin tone.
It made a visible difference
First things first: I haven't noticed anything yet on the deep frown lines I have on my forehead, but that's to be expected. According to this Harvard Medical School article, it takes 3-6 months of regular retinol use to really see improvements. The same article says you'll see the best results after 6-12 months of regular use.
However, my inner skeptic was silenced after just a week of use. I tried not to look too closely at my crows feet during Days 1-7. But on Day 8, I took my "after pictures" and compared them with my "before pictures." The difference is definitely noticeable, and in a good way.
My fine lines are a little finer. Plus, I actually like the little flush of color in my face. In fact, I think I look better in the after pictures where all I'm wearing is a little mascara than I do in the before pictures where I'm wearing more makeup.
I turn 30 in less than a month, but I'm dreading it a little less knowing that I have this anti-aging secret in my toiletries kit. The best part is it's so affordable I don't mind sharing it with my mom and grandma if they want to tackle their fine lines too.
After all, a family who slays together stays together.
For more skin care recommendations, check out:
- Target just launched a new skin care line — and every product is under $20
- 13 new beauty products to try now from Allure's Readers' Choice Awards
- The best drugstore BB creams and tinted moisturizers