Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Face Moisturizer

with Retinol & Hyaluronic Acid

Advertising Disclosure image
Editor Rating:
3.0 / 5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.
By: Ariel Bailey

Night Face Moisturizer Overview

Everyone has their nightly routine. Brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair. If you have dry or aging skin, likely there’s a nighttime moisturizer in there.

After you’ve washed away the grime and gunk of daily life, Neutrogena claims this moisturizer is the best for smoother skin and fewer wrinkles after just one week of applications. With its patented Retinol SA as the backbone for wrinkle wrestling, it claims to work all night at fighting fine lines to stubborn crows’ feet alike, leaving you refreshed and younger-looking come morning.

Under the Microscope

What makes a night moisturizer so different from a day moisturizer? Neutrogena claims theirs ‘works all night’, but how? With a bit of diving into the ingredients, we get our answer. Basically, Neutrogena has included a chemical blanket of sorts, allowing the product to stay put all night, where it can best absorb and deeply penetrate into the skin. It is a bit like putting plastic wrap over your face, but on a molecular level. This can help marvelously with penetration and hydration, but you must be cautious to clean your face well beforehand. Any dirt or oils already on your skin will be trapped there too.

Can nightly moisturizing restore a youthful glow?

With this moisturizer then comes any issues that the base Regenerating Cream had, namely with the lack of outside studies on their key ingredient, Retinol SA. Neutrogena has done their own in-house testing, but considering it was bought and paid for by them, there is ample opportunity for bias. Also, the 30-item long ingredient list, specifically the 27 compounds which overlap, share their potential skin sensitivity risks, all with the added benefit of being held down by a chemical blanket during an all-night application.


  • Penetrates deeply into the skin for unbeatable hydration
  • Not tested on animals
  • Can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles


  • Some users report unsettling redness, swelling, and puffiness after application
  • Can leave skin feeling greasy
  • Has caused acne flare-ups in some reviews

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Face Moisturizer Ingredients

While the vast majority of ingredients in this product are completely identical to the Neutrogena Regenerating Cream from the same Rapid Wrinkle Repair line, there are exactly three which are included in the Night moisturizer but nowhere else. These three are supposed to make the product more suitable for night-time application. We explore these in depth below.


This chemical is often referred to as a ‘superspreader’ or ‘superwetter’ for its ability to smooth over hydrophobic surfaces. This makes it compatible with silicon-based oils, so that it doesn’t separate. It’s a popular addition to many sun care products elsewhere in the world, as it has a fair amount of UV protection as well. While approved in Europe for all use, in America sunscreen use must be approved by the FDA, and Trisiloxane has not met FDA standards yet. That’s why we see this compound in American cosmetics, which don’t require FDA approval, but not American sunscreens. It serves to protect the product itself from deterioration as well.

Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer

The main use for this polymer is as a thickening agent in cosmetic products. It creates a film, which binds other chemicals together, forming a more viscous substance. That silky smooth skin feeling we all love and crave so much? That’s Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate, and other polymers like it, essentially creating a soft, smooth blanket over our skin. It is molecularly ‘heavy’, meaning it stays where its put and won’t move, say, overnight. It also has efficacy over a wide pH range, making it flexible for different applications.

C13-14 isoparaffin

This compound is a combination of mineral oils which were derived from petroleum. Its main use is as a thickening ingredient or gelling ingredient, though it is known that the petroleum from which it is made is a popular moisturizer as well. As long as it is processed correctly, C13-14 isoparaffin is completely safe. However, improper handling of petroleum or certain impurities in the raw, unprocessed ingredient, can be extremely reactive to those with skin allergies. It can even be a carcinogen. To avoid this, companies are advised to use highly refined petroleum, to be certain that those impurities have been removed. However, there is no discernable way to know whether or not a company has utilized highly pure or low-grade petroleum in their manufacturing and use of C13-14 isoparaffin.

Full Ingredients List:

Water, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, dimethicone, glycerin, PPG-15 stearyl ether, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, butylene glycol, ceteareth-20, isohexadecane, trisiloxane, dimethicone crosspolymer, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, polyacrylamide, polyethylene, fragrance, C13-14 isoparaffin, chlorphenesin, PTFE, hydrolized myrtus communis leaf extract, polysorbate 20, retinol, BHT, sodium hyaluronate, disodium EDTA, laureth-7, ascorbic acid, sodium hydroxide

Directions: How to Use Neutrogena Nightly Face Moisturizer

Thoroughly wash your face and pat dry with a soft towel. Neutrogena recommends utilizing a facial cleanser to get rid of skin impurities before using this product. Apply a dime-sized dollop to your fingertips and rub in small, gentle circles around your face and eye area until it is fully absorbed and feeling silky smooth.

All skincare products, but especially ones used on the face, should be applied in a small patch test on the back of the hand or arm prior to applying as directed on your face. If there is redness or other undesirable skin reaction, reconsider use.

The Final Word

If you have dry skin that is aging- and aren’t we all aging?- then a nighttime moisturizer is probably a good idea. Should it be Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Face Moisturizer with Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid? Maybe. Maybe not. Some skin types might benefit from the penetrating hydration, while others have had less-than-ideal reactions to the bevy of chemicals included, despite the intent to help. It certainly won’t work for absolutely everyone, that much is abundantly clear.

Click here for more information on Neutrogena’s products in their Rapid Wrinkle Repair line, or see our top choices below.


(5.0 / 5.0)
  • #1 recommended to support younger-looking skin.
  • Clinically shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
(4.5 / 5.0)
  • Rescues and protects skin from damage.
  • Deeply moisturizes to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
(4.0 / 5.0)
  • All-in-one, full spectrum anti-aging serum
  • Repairs and fights damage to keep skin healthy and youthful
(3.8 / 5.0)
  • Contains Ritapro 165, a next-gen moisturizer
  • Helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles
(3.6 / 5.0)
  • High level hydration that lasts all day
  • Uses Padina pavonica algae to boost collagen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *