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    Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation Review: Fight Acne With Oil Free Liquid Makeup

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    It’s not uncommon for folks with acne-prone skin to jump at cosmetic products that promise to improve their skin. Most makeup products tend to aggravate the condition which makes it all the more vexing. So in this Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation review, we’ll give you a rundown of the points why this product might just be able to help you out. With its special formulation, it might just work wonders on your problematic skin.

    Potent anti-acne formula, lightweight feel, and natural finish, however, the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation might just be what you’re looking for

    Neutrogena Skinclearing MakeupNeutrogena Skinclearing Makeup

    • Very affordable price tag
    • check
      Helps keep oil at bay
    • 14 shades to choose from
    • Potent salicylic acid content

    Want to get to know what makes this product such a hit? Stick around and find the answers you need in this review.

    Editor's Rating:


    Neutrogena Skinclearing MakeupNeutrogena Skinclearing Makeup

    Neutrogena Skinclearing Makeup Review: Is It the Best Foundation for Troubled Skin?

    There are tons of things that can trigger breakouts if you have acne-prone skin. It can be your diet, hormones, genetics, poor hygiene, skin sensitivities, environment, and even the very cosmetics you count on to hide your imperfections. The last thing is the very reason why it’s so frustrating to shop for makeup as there’s always a chance that they can break you out. This explains why a lot of manufacturers are adding skincare ingredients to their cosmetics.

    A quick search online will give you quite a few options when it comes to makeup that promise not to cause more problems to already troubled skin. The items listed above are definitely just a few of the many options you have right now. The Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation is also a very popular option, making it worth a closer look for a lot of acne sufferers.

    What makes this Neutrogena item worth your time? There are honestly lots of things about this item that can convert you into a believer. What are they? We’ve rounded up everything that you need to know about this product below.

    Key Features

    To really help you get to know this product better, let’s first look at its key ingredients. These items help make it a unique anti-acne cosmetic product, so you might be interested in learning about them. Here are the top ingredients of this Neutrogena item and their main uses:

    0.5% Salicylic Acid

    Also known as the beta-hydroxy acid, this is this product’s active ingredient. It’s the very thing that makes this item an anti-acne cosmetic product since it is a potent cleansing and exfoliating ingredient.

    Derived from willow bark, salicylic acid is hailed by many as acne’s worst enemy. It does a lot for your clogged pores so it shouldn’t be surprising why it’s one of the most popular anti-acne ingredients in the market today. In fact, you’ll find tons of acne products that feature this very ingredient.

    What makes this substance such a powerful ingredient against acne, you might be wondering? Well, for one, it’s capable of penetrating the skin better than water as a lipid-soluble hydroxy acid. This means that it can deliver its potent properties to a deeper layer of your skin, allowing you to correct issues that some ingredients are incapable of handling.

    Combined with its cleansing properties, it can definitely help take out and clear your skin of whatever’s blocking your pores and irritating your skin. Since it can penetrate your skin better, it can also help soften and take off the things that could be lodged in them. Leaving them there often creates blackheads and results in zits popping up, so this ingredient can really work wonders for acne-prone skin.

    Salicylic acid also helps control sebum secretion. Sebum is the oil secreted by your sebaceous glands. They get easily released to the surface of your skin, but sometimes they don’t get to move out of your pores at all. As they can harden over time, they can plug your pores and cause them to get irritated. This can then result in zits which also explains why most folks with oily skin are acne-prone as well.

    Aside from these, it also has exfoliating capabilities. It’s considered as a keratolytic solution which means that it can deliver very good exfoliation. It can help soften and strip away the topmost layer of your skin which can then refresh your skin and leave you with a clearer and smoother outermost skin layer after.

    This also includes dead skin cells that could still be lingering on the surface of your skin. Those things don’t just create dry patches that make it hard to achieve a smooth finish. They can also clog your pores which can then result in a breakout. If you have dry skin, we recommend reading our reviews of best foundations for dry skin.

    By effectively removing them on a regular basis, you can lessen your risks of breakouts. You can also rejuvenate your skin quite with this. As a result, your skin can stay looking fresh and healthy since regular exfoliation also promotes a healthier skin cell cycle.

    Note, however, that salicylic acid works better for blackheads and whiteheads rather than cystic acne. While this ingredient contains some anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, it’s not enough to completely heal and treat cystic breakouts.

    As cosmetics tend to add another layer of things that can clog your pores, the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Makeup’s composition tends to offer something different to acne sufferers. It promises not to make your skin any worse, for one. If you’re already in the middle of a bad breakout cycle, it won’t clog your pores further or irritate your skin.

    And because it contains a potent anti-acne ingredient, this makeup might also help you clear your skin, as its name suggests. Because it does have a strong salicylic ingredient, it shouldn’t be too surprising if it does help keep your skin clear of new zits and breakouts. While this product is not a skincare product, it might still be able to function as such.

    According to experts, salicylic acid will already have a good effect on acne flare-ups at a concentration of 0.2%. This product contains 0.5% of it so it’s a bit more potent than other skincare products and anti-acne cosmetics in the market today.

    MicroClear Technology

    Another thing that sets this product’s formulation apart from other ‘better-for-your-skin’ cosmetics is its MicroClear Technology. This unique and one-of-a-kind beauty technology is designed to work in two ways:

    1. To boost the effectiveness of the delivery of salicylic acid to your skin. While this substance, as mentioned above, already does a great job in penetrating your skin, this technology ensures that the said ingredient will really sink into your skin. This helps guarantee that you will get the full benefits of this product’s main ingredient and that your zits can be treated more effectively.

    2. To dissolve oil more effectively. It’s formulated with oil-dissolving agents so it can also boost the mattifying and sebum-controlling effects of salicylic acid. This can help prevent your pores from getting clogged which can then prevent breakouts as well.

    According to Neutrogena, this feature is also clinically proven to treat mild and moderate cases of acne over time. Tests show that results can be seen in as little as 24 hours after use. This may sound like a very bold claim but since there are Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation reviews that can attest to this. Additional research might just help convince you that this claim has some merit to it.

    Chamomile Extract

    Did you know that everyone’s anti-anxiety and bedtime tea variant is also a good match for acne prone skin? So much so that it’s often added into anti-acne products, including the Neutrogena SkinClearing line.

    What does this ingredient have to offer to you? For starters, it’s calming effects don’t just work wonders on your nerves. It’s also highly effective in calming inflamed skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help neutralize the sensitivity of your skin and prevent it from reacting adversely towards various irritants.

    This ingredient also has a good dose of healing properties. And since acne often comes with skin lesions and wounds, chamomile can help treat them without causing further damage to your skin.

    It’s also loaded with antioxidants which help fight free radicals that hurt healthy skin cells. This allows the ingredient to brighten the skin, resulting in a healthy and radiant glow.

    You might also be glad to know that this ingredient can also boost the performance of skincare ingredients. With its capability to help the skin absorb ingredients better, you can be sure to get more out of your product if it contains this item.

    Rounding out its list of benefits is its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. These will help protect your already damaged skin and prevent it from getting worse. By keeping your skin clean, you can prevent environmental factors from aggravating your skin irritation.

    With chamomile in its mix, the SkinClearing Foundation’s functionality is definitely boosted. It adds a potent anti-inflammatory element to this beauty product. It certainly helps this product’s formula in covering all of its bases in being an effective and powerful anti-acne makeup.

    Aloe Vera

    Being a traditional skincare ingredient, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that this product contains aloe vera. Even older civilizations used the plant to deal with various skin and hair troubles, making it a proven-and-tested effective natural beauty ingredient.

    But what exactly can this aloe vera do for your acne prone skin? At the top of its long list of benefits is its soothing and healing properties. It has a potent healing property for the upper layers of the skin, making it capable of repairing damaged skin cells in some skin layers.

    It also adds a protective layer on the area where it’s applied. As a result, it’s able to help retain moisture, so you’ll end up with nicely hydrated and healthy skin.

    This also makes it an excellent moisturizer for those with oily skin. Combined with its light weight, it won’t weigh your skin down if your sebaceous glands are already too busy producing sebum. It’s an excellent alternative to oils if you find them too cumbersome for your skin.

    But what really makes it a great addition to anti-acne products is hormone content. It contains Auxin and Gibberellins, hormones that are best known for their healing, anti-inflammatory, and growth properties. With these, they can promise to heal broken and damaged skin, prevent inflammations that can cause more acne breakouts, and stimulate the growth of new skin cells.

    These give aloe vera the capacity to heal open acne lesions and even the ones that are already dried out. So it won’t just help you treat your breakouts but will also minimize scarring.

    On top of all of these, aloe vera also contains 75 nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phenolic compounds, amino acids, saponins, and other amazing ingredients for your skin. These also explain why this ingredient is such a skincare superstar.

    All of these also make aloe vera an excellent addition to our featured product. It definitely ups the ante of this cosmetic product and makes it more than just makeup. It can certainly guarantee to help improve your skin and many Neutrogena Skinclearing Oil Free Makeup reviews can attest to this fact.

    This product may not have the longest or the most all-natural ingredients among the skincare/cosmetic foundations out there, but it still covers all your bases and can still address various acne triggers. This can help reassure that it can help you out in caring for your skin while you try to instantly enhance it as you deal with the imperfections with an effective skincare routine.


    Every acne sufferer who has already tried every trick in the book to get rid of their zits know never to take anything at face value. The Neutrogena SkinClearing Foundation certainly looks perfect in print, but does it really deliver the best results?

    To help you find out, we’ve broken down the different aspects of a foundation’s performance so you can better assess whether it will work for you or not. We’ve listed down different points that you might want to know more about below:

    Natural finish

    One of the most notable things about this foundation is its natural finish. The product tends to blend to your skin nicely so it won’t really look like you’re wearing a lot of makeup. This is especially true if you have some excellent blending skills and if your skin is nicely prepared before application.

    As a lot of the foundations made for acne-prone skin have a very matte finish, this offers a different option for those who want to achieve a lighter look. So if you don’t really want to look all made up on regular days, this could be an excellent option for you.

    While this product won’t necessarily look like awesome airbrush makeup without expert application, you can still get great results from it. Just remember, however, that it’s only recommended to be applied in thin layers, so be careful not to go overboard with this product.

    Medium coverage

    What helps give this product a natural-looking finish is its medium coverage. As it won’t go all out and hide every bit of imperfection in your skin, it tends to do an amazing job in looking like real skin. It does a great job in evening out your skin tone and covering up skin discolorations, however, so it can still be an excellent option for those with acne prone skin.

    You might be thinking, if you’re breaking out, you’d want something that can give you a better coverage. While this is true, there are also lots of folks who aren’t big fans of full coverage makeup. Sometimes they tend to feel stuffy and can weigh the skin down. They’re also more likely to cake and crack, which can look especially awful on acne prone skin.

    With a lighter coverage, you can still have decent coverage without suffocating your skin. This also offers an alternative to those who are acne prone but already found the most effective skincare routine for them. They might not need to cover a lot of issues anymore but there’s still a good chance that they will continue to need cosmetics that double duty as anti-acne skincare products.

    Oil control

    Another point that a lot of Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation reviews raise is the fact that this product helps them keep the shine at bay. A lot of users note that they don’t get as oily as they did before using the product.

    This is an especially great promise for oily-skinned beauties in general. While there are tons of foundations that promise to help control the skin’s oil production, only a few of them are formulated to prevent breakouts like this SkinClearing item is.

    This is a great guarantee that our featured product will be a great choice for you. Not only will it help keep you from looking greasy by midday, but it will also help keep you from breaking out by the end of the day.

    Lightweight, oil-free formula

    Another important thing to know about this product is that it’s very lightweight since it’s oil-free. A lot of foundations will make you feel like you’re wearing makeup but this one won’t really do that.

    It might be because it is formulated for acne-prone skin and that such skin types can’t handle a lot of weight well. Since most acne sufferers also have oily skin, wearing heavy makeup can easily weigh the skin down. It’s not comfortable for the wearer at all so a lightweight formula is always the best option.

    14 shades available

    There are 14 Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation shades available so there’s a good chance that you’ll find a good match for you. Like other foundations, however, color matching can be a challenge if you’re buying online.

    Don’t worry, though. Neutrogena has a color matching page in their website so you can check that out to get a good idea of which shade will work for you best. A lot of folks said that it’s pretty useful, so it might be a good idea to give it a shot.

    Non-irritating and literally skin-clearing

    As the ingredients listed above suggest, the formulation of this product is definitely made with acne sufferers in mind. It even boldly claims that some people can start seeing results at the end of day one. Reviews tend to attest to this, though, as a lot of them say that they didn’t see a zit or two pop out after wearing the product for a day.

    This might not seem like much for those with normal skin, but it’s a rarity for those who have serious cases of acne. So with this claim, this product might just prove to be a more attractive choice for a lot of folks.

    Anti-inflammatory ingredients

    Salicylic acid may not be the best solution for inflamed breakouts but the addition of its other ingredients makes up for it. Aloe vera is best known for its ability to soothe the skin when irritated or inflamed, so it can definitely deal with the areas where salicylic acid can’t handle.

    Useful Reminders

    Before you go on ahead and give this product a shot, here are a few things that you should also know about this product:

    • Neutrogena recommends a thin application of this product despite its thick consistency. This can be because of the drying effect that salicylic acid has. It’s recommended that you re-apply the product up to three times a day, however, for best results.

    • Its glass bottle packaging doesn’t come with a pump. You’ll need to pour the product out to get started. This might require some skilled hand movements so you won’t pour out too much and end up wasting the product.

    • It’s recommended to use a moisturizer or a moisturizing primer with this foundation because of the potent salicylic acid ingredient. If you have combination skin, keep this tip in mind.

    • It doesn’t come with SPF, so make sure to apply sunscreen before putting this product on.

    • Remember that this product is a foundation and not a skincare product. You need to take it off at the end of your day, otherwise, it might still clog your pores. Don’t be too scared of this task, though, as you can always just use quality makeup remover wipes to clean up without too much fuss.

    Things We Liked

    • check
      Very affordable price tag
    • check
      Helps keep oil at bay
    • check
      14 shades to choose from
    • check
      Potent salicylic acid content
    • check
      Addresses all sorts of acne triggers

    Things We Didn't Like

    • exclamation-triangle
      Thick consistency makes it a bit challenging to work with

    Competitor Products

    Some people get a better idea of how a product works by comparing it with others they’ve tried before, so it might help to do a side-by-side comparison among them. So if you’ve ever tried other ‘better-for-your-skin’ foundation products, you might be wondering how the SkinClearing Foundation fares against them.

    To help you get a good idea of how this product works, we’ve pitted it against three of its most popular competitors. Check them out below.

    Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup

    This product tends to have a cult following because it works wonders on troubled skin. Like the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation, it also contains a good dose of salicylic acid which allows it to treat the skin while covering it up nicely. It also has a medium coverage and lightweight finish.

    It’s easy to see that the Clinique and Neutrogena’s anti-acne foundations share a lot of similarities. The only majorly glaring difference between the two is their price. Clinique is three times than the price of the latter, so if you’re on a budget, our featured item will be an excellent and more practical choice.

    Almay Clear Complexion Makeup

    Almay has always been a go-to brand for a lot of folks with sensitive skin so it’s not surprising that they also have a popular anti-acne foundation. This item also contains the maximum dosage of salicylic acid, so it also promises to help treat your skin while providing instant enhancement.

    Unlike the Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil Free Makeup, however, it has a buildable coverage and a soft matte finish. As it also helps prevent oil breakthrough, it’s a very nice option for a lot of folks with oily skin.

    Our featured item still gets to be a better option for those who want good coverage. Because while you can build the coverage of this product, Neutrogena has a nicer coverage even with just a single-layer application. This means that you might just be able to get better results from Neutrogena if you’re not a fan of applying several layers of foundation.

    Neutrogena Healthy Skin

    While the Healthy Skin variant from Neutrogena isn’t exactly for acne prone skin, it’s still a worthy option because of its skin-nourishing ingredients. It’s packed with antioxidants so it’s also a very healthy choice for you.

    However, it’s made for those with maturing skin, so, a lot of folks who struggle with acne might not feel like they need its additional benefits just yet. It’s also a bit more expensive than the SkinClearing makeup. So if you’re not really after an anti-aging foundation, it might still be better if you stick with our featured product.


    It might not be hard to find a cosmetic product that can promise to care for your troubled skin, but it will be a challenge to find the one that will work for you. With its potent anti-acne formula, lightweight feel, and natural finish, however, the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Foundation might just be what you’re looking for, though. Give it a shot and you might just find yourself with a skin-changing experience.

    Alternatively, check out ELF acne fighting foundation. You can't go wrong with it, either!