Review: Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil Eliminating Astringent

Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil Eliminating Astringent
Photo: Neutrogena

Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent is an astringent/toner containing salicylic acid.  It's a bargain, at just about $5 for the bottle. And, because the Neutrogena brand is sold almost anywhere, it's fairly easy to find.

It's great to use on its own for controlling oil.  You can also use it to help improve mild acne breakouts and blackheads.  You can even incorporate this astringent into an OTC acne treatment regimen (for example, pair it with a medicated cleanser and a benzoyl peroxide lotion).

With so many "girlie" type skin care products out there, this on is a welcome change.  Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent makes a great toner for both guys and gals. It has a basic blue color and a nice, unisex scent.

The toner is mainly denatured alcohol (45% to be precise). It's not a problem if you have super oily skin, but the alcohol-heavy formulation isn't the best choice if you don't. It can be drying.

Another thing to consider – alcohol burns. It's not bad if you don't have any open blemishes. You'll probably just feel a tingle. But watch out if you apply it to broken skin. Ouch! And, guys, be really careful using this product after you shave.

The results from this one definitely depend on your skin type. My skin isn't very oily, so I felt like it was drying when I used it every day, after every cleansing. I did like to use it occasionally, though, when my skin was feeling extra oily or dirty (say, like after working out.)

My teen testers had different experiences. One (who has super oily skin) could use it two or three times daily with no problems. In fact, he really liked the way that it kept the oiliness away. But, this product did make his face turn red each time he applied it. This faded within a few minutes and wasn't bad enough to keep him from using the product.

My other teen tester also has oily skin, but skin that is a bit more sensitive. She found the Clear Pore Oil-Eliminating Astringent left dry patches on her skin when she used it after every cleansing. She tried using it just once a day instead, and liked that much better. The dryness disappeared.

Everyone agreed that this toner did a good job of leaving the skin feeling cleansed and refreshed. And, you can't beat the price – a definite upside for teens (or anyone wanting to keep the budget under control.)

You can use this toner with other OTC acne treatments, like cleansers and lotions. If you're using a prescription medication, though, check with your dermatologist first.

Active Ingredient

Salicylic acid 2%


About $5.49 for an 8 fluid ounce bottle

Where You Can Buy It

Get it at your local drug store, some grocery stores, and any big box store like Wal-mart or Target.


  • It's inexpensive.
  • It does a good job removing surface oil and leaves your skin shine-free.
  • The skin feels cool and refreshed after use.


    • It burns when you first apply it, especially on those open pimples.
    • It's drying, so it's not a good choice if you tend to have dry skin.

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