Review: NeoStrata Skin Active Retinol + NAG Complex cream

Remember how I reviewed Exuviance’s Super Retinol Concentrate 1% retinol serum a while back?  The recap is that it’s a great retinol product if you’re new to the ingredient as, because it’s micro-encapsulated, it breaks down to deliver 0,2% retinol to your skin.

Still, if you’re looking for a more potent product, you might want to consider NeoStrata’s new Retinol + NAG Complex cream.

NeoStrata Retinol +NAG Complex, R1 368,

As far as retinol content goes, NeoStrata’s newbie contains 2,5% retinol but don’t let that terrify when. Again, it’s also micro-encapsulated which causes it to release into your skin very slowly, so in effect, it’s actually only delivering 0,5%. This makes it more than double the strength of the aforementioned Exuviance product. (Yes, I know. It couldn’t get more confusing. Why didn’t Exuviance just label their Super Retinol Concentrate as 0,2%? Can we get an ‘aaaarghh’ and a quick foot stomp up in here?)

Anyhoo… Let’s get back to why you’re going to want darling retinol, in your life. A great antioxidant, retinol encourages your skin to produce more collagen and is the most proven and potent anti-ager on the block. It should be one of the first ingredients you look for if you’re wanting to firm up your skin and reduce the look of wrinkles. (It can also help fade away the look of pigmentation but if that’s your primary concern there are other ingredients you’ll want to team it with.) NeoStrata’s retinol is a goodie as it’s packaged in an airless pump and formulated in a way that makes it super stable.

Now, while all the above is fabulous, NeoStrata are big into ‘synergizing’ which is essentially a fancy way to say that they team their actives with other ingredients that make them work harder and in this case they’re using NeoGlucosamine which makes up the ‘NAG’ bit of this product’s name. (I know, I know… you were thinking it meant ‘use this product so you don’t turn into an old nag’ but – surprise – you were wrong.)

NeoGlucosamine is a gentle exfoliating sugar derivative that’s great for improving your skin’s clarity by diminishing the look of mild pigmentation and any dark marks left behind by a vicious spot. It’s also got melanin-inhibiting properties so it can be helpful in preventing more pigmentation from occurring but then it’s important to also use a good SPF. (Again, if pigmentation is your main concern it’s a good idea to chat to your dermatologist who may or may not prescribe hydroquinone among other things.)

A little bit goes a long way.
A little bit goes a long way.

I’ve been using NeoStrata’s newbie for two weeks now and I really like it’s light, fast-absorbing creme-gel texture. As there’s a fair amount of silicone in it, it gives it a silky feel and acts a bit like a primer in that it’s got an instant ‘skin-perfecting’ effect but this is lost on me as I’m only going to bed after I apply it. At first, I used it every night but found I started to get a little dry in the inner corners of my eyes and around the side of my nose (this reaction is typical to hitting retinol a tad too hard and a nice testament to NeoStrata’s strength) so I’ve since slowed down to every other night and now my skin’s back to normal.

At just over a grand, NeoStrata newbie isn’t easy on the pocket. You can get other 0,5% retinol products for less, but if you can afford it, know that this is a very good pick when it comes to turning back the hands of time.

Love, love


3 thoughts on “Review: NeoStrata Skin Active Retinol + NAG Complex cream

  1. Hi
    Thanks for a nice post!!
    How does the active retinol + nag absorption compare with the1% skinceutical retinol treatment?

    Thanks Resia

    1. I haven’t tried Skinceuticals so it’s hard to tell but it’s 1% and Neostrata’s is 0,5% so technically Skinceuticals’ should be the most potent. Please ignore my earlier reply if that’s sent to you via e-mail. I was getting confused with Exuviance. So many bloody retinol serums! 😉

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