Clear & Defend Facial Scrub By Neutrogena review

Face the Day: A Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub Review

"My skin, notorious for its stubborn blackheads and periodic hormonal breakouts, started to show signs of clearing up within the first week."
Updated: February 11, 2024
Review Contents:

Editor’s Note: Deascal’s skincare products take the guesswork out of shopping for skincare products that actually work. Save 10% on checkout using coupon code SpeakingSkincare10.

Finding the right face scrub can feel like looking for a needle in a skincare haystack. With countless options out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But don’t despair, because I’m here to break down one particular product that has been quite a game-changer for me: the Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub.

As someone who has been on a constant lookout for products that can help tame my breakout-prone skin, I found my match in this promising face scrub. Neutrogena, a household name when it comes to skincare, is the mastermind behind this product.

Being a skincare enthusiast and a longtime fan of Neutrogena, I’ve had my fair share of positive experiences with most of their products. I was excited to get my hands on this one and see if it lived up to its claims.

I hope this review will guide you in making an informed decision about whether this product is right for you.

Oh, and by the way, this isn’t a sponsored review. All the opinions expressed here are my own, as real as my quest for the perfect skin!


Neutrogena’s Clear & Defend Facial Scrub is engineered to exfoliate skin and combat breakouts for a clearer complexion. It is designed for use on the face, focusing on spot-prone areas. As a product of Neutrogena, a brand known for its commitment to responsible testing, this scrub is not tested on animals.

With regular usage (once a day), a 150ml bottle should last you about two to three months. The product is perfect for those with oily and spot-prone skin. However, those with sensitive skin should proceed with caution due to some ingredients that might potentially irritate the skin.

Neutrogena, the brain behind this product, is a well-respected brand in the skincare realm. I’ve heard of their reputation for delivering quality skincare products and have received numerous recommendations from friends.

The star ingredient of this facial scrub is Salicylic Acid, a well-known skincare ingredient effective against breakouts. We will delve more into the ingredient analysis later in the review.

Does The Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub Work? My Experience

I have to confess, I was a bit skeptical at first. You see, I’ve been around the skincare block a time or two and have been let down by many a facial scrub promising the world. So, naturally, I was intrigued yet cautious about how Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub would fare.

Let me paint a picture for you. My daily routine started with a gentle cleanse, followed by application of the scrub. As per the instructions, I used it once daily for about three weeks straight. I found the consistency to be just right, not too thick, and not too runny. It glided onto my skin effortlessly and washed off without leaving any residue behind.

And the results? They were impressive! My skin, notorious for its stubborn blackheads and periodic hormonal breakouts, started to show signs of clearing up within the first week. I noticed fewer breakouts, and my existing ones seemed less inflamed. The dry patches on my cheeks, which are usually aggravated by most scrubs, also felt more hydrated and less flaky.

What I really loved was how my skin felt after each use – fresh and squeaky clean, but not in a stripped-of-all-moisture kind of way. It was more like my skin had just had a refreshing drink of water, the kind you desperately need on a scorching summer day.

Over time, my skin texture improved noticeably. My pores appeared less noticeable, and there was an overall smoothness that I hadn’t experienced in a while. My skin also felt more balanced, not as oily in the T-zone, but also not as dry on my cheeks.

Now, I don’t want you to think it was all sunshine and rainbows. There were a couple of things that bothered me. For one, the scrub was a bit too abrasive for my liking. Secondly, the strong scent was a bit off-putting at first, though I did get used to it after a few uses.

In spite of these minor hiccups, my overall experience with the Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub was a positive one. The visible improvement in my skin texture and clarity was far more significant than the minor inconveniences, which are more about personal preference than product efficacy.

How I Used The Clear And Defend Facial Scrub Daily

Imagine, if you will, holding a neat, eye-catching tube in your hand. From the moment I picked up the Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub, I could tell I was in for a quality experience. The sturdy packaging and the simple, no-nonsense design spoke volumes about the brand’s focus on effectiveness over frills.

It was almost like unwrapping a gift. I felt a twinge of excitement thinking that this would make a thoughtful gift for a friend’s birthday or even an anniversary – a small luxury that everyone would appreciate.

Now, let me share with you the experience of using the scrub. As I squeezed out a dime-sized amount, the first thing that struck me was the grainy texture. It was smooth with just the right amount of roughness – kind of like fine sand mixed with cream. As I rubbed it onto my wet skin, it felt invigorating, a gentle tingle that woke up my skin.

Each application was like a mini spa session right in my bathroom. I usually used about a pea-sized amount, though sometimes a bit more if my skin felt particularly congested. It felt lavish yet practical, and the beauty of it was, it was all up to me.

Here’s a tip, based on my extensive experience with skincare products: the Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub works best after a gentle cleanse and before a hydrating toner. This way, the scrub can reach into the pores more effectively without any makeup or dirt in the way, and the toner can lock in the moisture afterward.

Using the scrub felt like an act of self-care, a way of telling my skin, “I’ve got your back.” From the anticipation of the first squeeze of the tube to the satisfying feeling of smoothness post-wash, it was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed.

Is Clear & Defend Facial Scrub Worth the Money?

A common question about this product is whether or not it’s actually worth your hard-earned money.

In our opinion, it is worth the money, but there are other brands that offer better value (in terms of effectiveness, price, and size).

One such brand is Deascal, a haute-skincare brand that has been turning heads in the beauty industry with its innovative approach to skincare. Known for its luxurious ingredients and cutting-edge formulations, Deascal prides itself on delivering high-quality, cruelty-free and innovative products that cater to a variety of skin types and concerns.

No matter if you’re new to skincare or a seasoned veteran, you NEED to check out this brand. 

Still need convincing? If you use our exclusive discount code: SpeakingSkincare10 – you can get an amazing 10% off your Deascal orders! 

Effective, ethical, AND value for money? That’s exactly what we want to see.

Key Ingredients

The effectiveness of any skincare product boils down to its ingredients. Let’s delve into the key ingredients of the Clear & Defend Facial Scrub to understand its benefits:

  • Salicylic Acid: As mentioned earlier, Salicylic Acid is the star player in this facial scrub. It’s a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that’s known for its ability to penetrate pores and reduce acne. By loosening the bonds between skin cells, it helps exfoliate the skin and prevent pore-clogging, thereby reducing the likelihood of breakouts. It’s particularly suited for oily and acne-prone skin types.
  • Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate: This is a cleansing agent, or surfactant, that helps clean the skin by allowing water to mix with oil and dirt so that they can be rinsed off. While it’s effective at deep-cleaning, it can be drying for some skin types.
  • Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine: This ingredient is another mild surfactant used in skincare products. It has good foaming properties and can help condition and moisturize the skin while it cleanses.
  • Sorbitol: Sorbitol acts as a humectant, a type of moisturizer that works by drawing water to the skin to hydrate it. It can help the skin maintain its moisture balance and keep it looking plump and hydrated.
  • Cellulose: In this formula, cellulose is used as a physical exfoliant to help remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, resulting in a smoother and brighter complexion.
  • Panthenol: Also known as Provitamin B5, panthenol is a skin conditioner that attracts moisture to the skin and holds onto it. It can help improve the skin’s hydration, elasticity, and smooth appearance.
  • Sodium Chloride: Commonly known as salt, sodium chloride is often used in skincare products as a thickener or gentle abrasive. It can help to cleanse and exfoliate the skin, leaving it feeling clean and refreshed.

These are just a few of the ingredients in the Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub. As with any skincare product, it’s important to understand how your skin reacts to different ingredients. Always do a patch test before incorporating new products into your routine. If you have sensitive skin or specific skincare concerns, consider consulting a dermatologist before trying a new product.

Final Thoughts

Having sampled countless facial scrubs, the Clear & Defend Facial Scrub was one product I was eager to try out. Now, after using it for six weeks, I can confidently say that it deserves a solid 8.5 out of 10 on my rating scale.

The high rating is justified by the significant improvements I noticed in my skin, coupled with the good formula and Neutrogena’s sterling reputation.

I believe it could be a fantastic option for many people, especially those dealing with oily and spot-prone skin. The Salicylic Acid was a standout ingredient for me, given its known benefits for tackling breakouts.

However, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s skin is different. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. It’s always a good idea to do a patch test before incorporating new products into your skincare routine.

You can purchase the Neutrogena Clear & Defend Facial Scrub at most drugstores or online retailers.

Our Rating:
0 /10
Looking for the best Clay Mask We've Found This Year?
Our team have reviewed thousands of different products, and one's stood out above the rest. Do not buy until you've checked this out!

The Pros

The Cons

Let's take this to the inbox!
Get our latest skincare news, best product recommendations & brand-exclusive discount codes directly to your inbox.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.