By Erin Lukas
Updated Oct 24, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Credit: Courtesy

No stranger to hormonal breakouts, I have a lineup of acne-fighting serums and spot treatments that I usually can rely on to get the job done. However, when a recent, particularly soul-crushing collection of blemishes on my chin and around my mouth were somehow immune to every product in my regular rotation, I was desperate for a solution that would clear up my skin—fast.

Although acne treatment pads haven’t touched my skin since high school, I wiped a Neutrogena Rapid Clear Maximum Strength Treatment Pad over the area of the breakout on a whim before bed one night, and haven’t looked back since.

Loaded with 2% salicylic acid, the medicated pads dried up and significantly shrank my existing pimples overnight. Whenever I’m dealing with a breakout, my self-confidence is instantly deflated. This makes it hard to resist popping my pimples even though I know better, and leads to me overdosing on acne skincare products instead of sticking to just one because I demand instant results, which only makes the situation worse. Every. Single. Time.

What sets Neutrogena’s pads apart from the ones you graduated from along with high school: They may be potent but they’re not all that drying. As someone with moderately sensitive skin, I’ve only experienced a bit of flaking around my actual blemishes after treatment my blemishes with the pads twice a day, rather than the entire area I’ve wiped with the pads, which is common with many acne treatments that contain salicylic acid. Plus, the formula soaks into my skin by the time I’ve made my morning coffee, which makes it a convenient for layering under makeup so I can continue to fight stubborn breakouts throughout the day.

Considering my breakout was completely clear in the matter of a few days, my number of new pimples significantly dropped, and a tub of 60 pads only set me back $7,—a price that my current and teenage budget can’t help but love—this is one instance where it pays to revisit your high school days. Pick up a tub of 60 pads for yourself at