NeoStrata Review



NeoStrata is a skincare brand that offers dermatologist grade anti-aging skin care products. The name NeoStrata translates to “new layers”, which describes the brand’s skincare philosophy: that visible results come from renewing layers of the skin. This philosophy began in 1974 when Neostrata founders discovered the profound benefits of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) on skin. This family of naturally occurring acids has the unique ability to slough away surface skin cells to reveal new healthy ones for softer, smoother, less visibly lined skin.


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Over the years, NeoStrata developed several innovative ingredients that are now patented, for example, bionic polyhydroxy acids, Neoglucosamine, and Aminofil. Today, Neostrata skincare products are sold by doctors in 85 countries and the brand has more than 100 publications and patents. In this Neostrata review, we’ll discuss the brand’s best selling products, key ingredients, NeoStrata reviews from real customers, an alternative for you to consider, and more.

Is NeoStrata Skincare Worth The Money?

A common question about this brand is if the products are worth the cost.

In our opinion, NeoStrata Skincare products deliver value for money, but take a look at other brands that don’t require you to sacrifice your precious money.

We recommend brands that are committed to developing clean yet effective products.

One brand is Carrot & Stick, a clean skincare brand that perfectly balances the gentle nurturing of plants with the powerful results of innovative science.

What’s Inside NeoStrata Skincare?

Here’s a closer look at the active ingredients commonly used in NeoStrata skincare products. Vitamin C, peptides, retinol, and AHAs make up the core ingredients for the NeoStrata skincare line. These ingredients should all be part of your skincare routine.

Vitamin C

We’ve been hearing for years that Vitamin C is the best anti-aging ingredient. It’s a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.

Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance. As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis.

It’s in NeoStrata 15% Vitamin C + PHA Serum, a serum formulated to target the look of dark spots, skin discoloration and texture.

But our favorite Vitamin C serum is Carrot & Stick The Defence Serum. It contains 3 distinct types of Vitamin C that work together to help fight free radical damage. We recommend using it every morning.

As you age, your body’s production of collagen and elastin slows down. These two proteins are responsible for your skin’s structural support. As a result, the skin loses its natural plumpness and smoothness. 

While collagen is necessary for maintaining youthful-looking skin, the collagen protein is too large to absorb into the skin topically. That’s why applying skin care products that contain collagen won’t provide the anti-aging benefits you’re looking for.

This is where peptides come into action. Peptides are the building blocks of protein, and they are easily absorbed into the deeper layers of skin due to their smaller size. 

NeoStrata Cellular Restoration night cream contains the peptide complex Matrixyl 3000, which is composed of the matrikines palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. These matrikines work synergistically to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen.

If you’re looking for a peptide serum, we recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum. It contains 7 plant-based peptides to promote plumper and smoother-looking skin. 

Retinol is the go-to anti-aging ingredient recommended by dermatologists and skin experts. It’s clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores.

The only downside? Retinol can often lead to side effects like skin dryness, peeling, and irritation. 

It’s in NeoStrata Comprehensive Retinol 0.3% Night Serum. 

It’s best to use retinoids at night. We recommend this retinoid oil serum. It contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, an ingredient that provides similar benefits with less irritation.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Many of the NeoStrata skincare products include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), a family of acids including glycolic, lactic, mandelic, tartaric, malic, and citric acid. Glycolic acid is the AHA used in the NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash, as well as several other NeoStrata skincare products. 

AHAs have the ability to exfoliate the skin, stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process, and help the skin to retain moisture.

They exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, more radiant skin. 

One AHA product we recommend is The Brightening Pads by Carrot & Stick. These pre-saturated pads contain a concentrated blend of salicylic, lactic and mandelic acids that sweep away the build-up of dead skin cells, gently exfoliating to promote clarity, refine texture and rid pores of impurities.

Polyhydroxy Acids (PHAs)
NeoStrata skincare products also include polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) and bionic polyhydroxy acids. 

According to Healthline, PHAs are second generation hydroxy acids that are similar to AHAs, the difference being that PHA molecules are larger so they cannot penetrate as deeply. This means they are able to provide high-strength anti-aging benefits without irritation. Therefore, PHAs are an ideal choice for sensitive skin types.

Bionic PHAs are third generation hydroxy acids that are non-irritating, but they are also strong chelators and humectants. Bionic PHAs are ideal for very dehydrated, dry skin types.

Both PHAs and bionic PHAs are included in the NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream, as well as several other NeoStrata skincare products.

The first is gluconolactone, which provides anti-aging, antioxidant, and gentle exfoliating benefits without sun sensitivity. In addition, gluconolactone strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, thereby leaving it more resilient.

The Bionic PHA lactobionic acid is derived from natural sugars and helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, discoloration, enlarged pores, and roughness through gentle exfoliation.

In addition, lactobionic acid is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to target naturally-occurring, skin degrading enzymes to help maintain a youthful look. Lastly, lactobionic acid is a humectant, which means it has the ability to attract moisture to the skin and hold it there to prevent dehydration. 

NeoStrata includes their patented ingredient called Neoglucosamine in Intensive Eye Therapy, Illuminating Serum, and several other NeoStrata skincare products. 

Neoglucosamine, a non-acid amino sugar technology, is a building block of skin’s natural filler hyaluronic acid. This ingredient gently exfoliates to reveal fresh new cells, diminishes the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and targets hyperpigmented spots for a more even skin tone.

The Top 5 NeoStrata Skincare Products

You can shop for NeoStrata skincare products based on skin type (normal, dry, oily, sensitive), skin concern (aging, dryness, acne, dark spots, etc.), product type (cleanser, toner, serum, etc.), or by ingredient (glycolic acid, retinol, vitamin C, etc.). As mentioned above, NeoStrata is well known for their use of AHAs. We’ll discuss how AHAs can benefit your skin in the next section, but first we want to introduce a few of NeoStrata’s most popular products: Foaming Glycolic Wash, Intensive Eye Therapy, Bionic Face Cream, Illuminating Serum, and Triple Firming Neck Cream.
Foaming Glycolic Wash
NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash is a high strength AHA cleanser designed for experienced glycolic acid users. This cleanser is formulated to exfoliate and cleanse congested pores to prepare the skin for optimal benefits of the regimen that follows. The brand recommends using this cleanser twice daily.

Intensive Eye Therapy
Looking for a NeoStrata eye cream? Intensive Eye Therapy is a good choice for those who have eyelid sagging, crow’s feet, and under eye wrinkles. This anti-aging cream uses multiple mechanisms to build and plump the appearance of slack eye skin. A few of the key ingredients in this NeoStrata eye cream include Neoglucosamine, peptides, caffeine and hyaluronic acid.

Bionic Face Cream
Another popular NeoStrata skincare product is the Bionic Face Cream is said to provide intense hydration, as well as help to soothe and revitalize the look of stressed skin. This rich, soothing emollient is fragrance free and specifically designed for dry, sensitive skin. A few of the key ingredients in the NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream include PHAs, meadowfoam seed oil, and several different silicones.

Illuminating Serum
The NeoStrata Illuminating Serum is a tone correcting concentrate that is said to help reduce the appearance of skin discoloration targeting a more even tone. The key ingredients in this serum include Neoglucosamine and niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3).

Triple Firming Neck Cream
The final best selling NeoStrata skincare product we’d like to discuss is the Triple Firming Neck Cream. This NeoStrata neck cream is said to reduce visible signs of aging on the neck and décolletage for skin that appears firmer, lifted, and more evenly toned. It is also claimed to visibly diminish deep creases and crepey texture, as well as target uneven tone. A few of the key ingredients in this NeoStrata neck cream are NeoGlucosamine, NeoCitriate, and Pro-Amino Acid.

Where Are NeoStrata Skincare Products Sold?

NeoStrata skincare products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as numerous third party online retailers such as,,, and more. The brand has a list of authorized retailers on their website.

What is The NeoStrata Return Policy?

The NeoStrata return policy states, “Psorent psoriasis topical solution carries a 90-day money back guarantee. Use Psorent twice a day, every day for at least 4 weeks to see results, if you’re not satisfied with your purchase, please email us at [email protected] to facilitate a return. All other items purchased from this site carry a 30-day money back guarantee. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, please email us at [email protected] to facilitate a return.

Is NeoStrata Cruelty Free?

NeoStrata is not cruelty free. NeoStrata does not conduct animal testing or solicit animal testing on their behalf, however, the brand does sell their products in mainland China where animal testing is required by law. In addition, NeoStrata is owned by Johnson & Johnson, a company that tests on animals.

NeoStrata Reviews

NeoStrata reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. Each of the best selling NeoStrata skincare products that we introduced above have received an average of at least 4.3 out of 5 stars.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars after 50 customer reviews. Positive reviews for this product say that it is really great for those with oily and acne prone skin. For example, one review says, “I’ve used this product for almost a year and a half and LOVE it!! I have very oily, blemish prone, and uneven toned skin. After I started using this product, I noticed that my face started to glow more, it became less oily, and the blemishes improved!” There aren’t many negative reviews for this product, but the few that are on the website say that it can cause the skin to become dry.

NeoStrata reviews for the Intensive Eye Therapy average to 4.6 out of 5 stars after 163 customer reviews. One positive review for this NeoStrata eye cream says, “I love this product! It visibly improved the texture of my under eyes leaving them look fresh and bright! I would recommend this product to friends and family. It is a bit pricey though.” However, there are quite a few negative reviews that say this eye cream really did not show any visible results.

NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars after 824 customer reviews. The majority of the positive reviews for this cream were incentivized, meaning the customer received a free sample of the product in exchange for the review. Most of the negative reviews for the Bionic Face Cream have one common theme: it leaves your skin very greasy. For example, one review says, “I really did not like this. It was too thick for my skin and felt like smearing thick vaseline all over my face. It didn’t absorb and I was left with a sticky face even after a full nights sleep.”

NeoStrata reviews for the Illuminating Serum are mostly positive, with an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars after 105 customer reviews. The positive reviews for this serum confirm that it does effectively brighten the skin while also helping to reduce the appearance of dark spots. For example, one very positive review says, “I truly loved everything about this serum! Everything from the texture of the product, the packaging, and the scent were all fantastic. It does exactly what it promised, and delivered great results for helping my hyper-pigmentation. Despite the steep cost, I would 100% buy this again!” The only negative reviews for the Neostrata Illuminating Serum are from customers who did not like the scent and others who found the texture to be too sticky.

NeoStrata reviews for the Triple Firming Neck Cream are mostly 4 and 5 star ratings, with the product receiving an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars after 171 customer reviews. The positive reviews for this NeoStrata neck cream confirm that it does produce visible results when applied to the neck and chest area. Many of the negative reviews for this neck cream are from customers who say they don’t have any visible signs of aging in the neck area, which is why they haven’t noticed any results.

What Are Some Alternatives to NeoStrata Skincare?

If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, we recommend Carrot & Stick. Carrot & Stick maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin. We recommend The Repair Serum, followed by The Moisturizer.


1. Dermatol Surg 2001 May;27(5):429-33..
2. Healthline “Everything You Need to Know About Chemical Exfoliation”



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  • Mary E Original review: Nov 12, 2023. Reply

    I have been using the Neostrata Pigment Lightening Gel for 5 weeks now. This was prescribed by my dermatologist to correct hyperpigmentation in my underarms. I was instructed to apply 1x daily at bedtime. I also have sensitive skin, and for the 1st 2 weeks I noticed lightening blotches in the affected areas slightly improve. In my 3rd week in, itgave me a burning and itching sensation everytime I placed a generous amount. I was instructed to lessen frequency to 3x a week as it may be too potent for me. Now I even lessened it to 1-2x a week. So far so good, when I apply it becomes dark the next day, then it eventually seems a little lighter the succeeding days. It has to get dark first before it lightens up as I understand this is sort of like a potent chemical peel.

  • Holly W Original review: Jun 28, 2020. Reply

    I have been using Neostrata glycolics and aha products since I was 20 and I am now 52 years old- when I tell people my age, they are surprised and think I am ten to 12 years younger. I wouldn’t use anything else! (I purchase my products and did not receive anything for my post.) I had acne as a teenager and started using this line as recommended by a dermatologist to help get rid of some mild acne scarring. It has done that and more. It is worth the investment to pay for good skin care- in the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

  • Your Review
    User Rating: 5.0 (2 votes)

    Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash Review

    The Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash offers an extremely effective, active cleanser to those who need a little extra purifying and exfoliating in their everyday routine. This self-foaming, water based cleanser has been designed to deeply purify the skin without stripping it completely of its natural oils. Harsh surfactants can often strip the skin, leaving you feeling tight, dry and uncomfortable. But the Neostrata Foaming Glycolic Wash proves that you can have a foaming and exfoliating cleanser without damaging or disrupting your skin’s moisture barrier. In fact, this cleanser contains a specific smart delivery system to minimize any irritation that could come from using a daily AHA. With that being said, the brand specifically states that this product is best for experienced glycolic acid users, so we do not recommend this product to those who are just starting out with exfoliating acids, as this formula may prove to be too much for daily use.


    Neostrata Pigment Controller Review

    Neostrata Pigment Controller is an oil-free skin tone corrector and brightening formula that is said to promote a complexion that is smoother, more luminous, with enhanced radiance and more even tone. One of the key ingredients in this formula is NeoGlucosamine™ (acetyl glucosamine). Acetyl glucosamine is naturally found within the human body, for example, when acetyl glucosamine is combined with glucuronic acid, it forms hyaluronic acid, a major component of the extracellular matrix. NeoGlucosamine™ is a patented non-acid amino sugar that diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also alleviating discoloration for a more even skin tone. It gently exfoliates the skin to reveal healthy new cells. NeoGlucosamine™ is the ingredient solution for clarity of discolorations, firmness, and mild exfoliation.

    Another key ingredient in Neostrata Pigment Controller is retinol (0.1%). After being absorbed by the skin, retinol is converted to retinoic acid, the active metabolite of vitamin A, which increases the production of collagen and promotes healthy cell turnover. Retinol is clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores. One of the key brightening ingredients in this formula is ascorbyl glucoside, a stable water-soluble derivative of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Vitamin C also helps to prevent the development of dark spots on the skin by inhibiting tyrosinase, a key enzyme involved in the synthesis of melanin. Lastly, Neostrata Pigment Controller contains many brightening plant extracts, such as mallow extract, lady’s mantle extract, lemon balm extract, yarrow extract, and more.


    Neostrata Brightening Eye Cream Review

    Neostrata Brightening Eye Cream is a fragrance-free eye cream for all skin types that is said to reduce the appearance of dark circles under eyes, as well as restore a look of firmness and moisture for a smooth, bright appearance. Two of the key ingredients in this eye cream are gluconolactone and lactobionic acid, which are both classified as polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). Both of these ingredients are chemically and functionally similar to alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as glycolic acid, which are known for their ability to exfoliate the skin. The key difference between PHAs and AHAs is that PHAs have a larger molecular structure, which reduces their ability to penetrate the skin. Ultimately, this decreases the risk of side effects, such as dryness, redness, and irritation. Plus, the reduced absorption into the skin does not make PHAs any less effective than AHAs.

    Neostrata Brightening Eye Cream provides the delicate skin around your eyes with numerous soothing and hydrating ingredients, including arginine (amino acid), green tea leaf extract, algae extract, cucumber fruit extract, panthenol (provitamin B5), and sodium hyaluronate. Neostrata Brightening Eye Cream also contains tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C ester) and tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E ester), which both provide antioxidant effects. Antioxidants limit oxidative damage caused by free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Additionally, vitamin C is known to improve skin firmness, brighten skin tone, and reduce the appearance of dark spots, while vitamin E is known to strengthen the skin’s barrier. Lastly, Neostrata Brightening Eye Cream contains two peptides: palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl tripeptide-1. Peptides work by sending signals to cells to produce new collagen. Over time, increased collagen levels promote firmer skin with less fine lines and wrinkles.


    Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion Review

    Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion is a lightweight face and body exfoliating moisturizer and cell renewal treatment that is said to relieve dry, damaged skin, while preventing further damage on non-sensitive skin. It contains 8% glycolic acid and 2% citric acid, which are both alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs exfoliate the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the stratum corneum) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased, leading to smoother, brighter skin and a more even complexion. Furthermore, Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion is specially formulated to provide a potent and precise delivery of glycolic acid while maintaining an optimal pH.

    Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion also contains a few moisturizing ingredients, such as arginine, glycerin, and mango seed butter. Both arginine (an amino acid) and glycerin are classified as humectants. A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that has a molecular structure with several hydrophilic (water-loving) groups. This structure allows humectants to attract moisture and draw that moisture into the skin’s surface, preventing it from evaporating. In addition, arginine is able to help synthesize components of the skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF), such as ceramides, cholesterol, urea, and glycosaminoglycans. Together with the naturally-occurring lipids in skin, NMF components work to keep skin’s surface intact, supple, and hydrated. Mango seed butter functions as an occlusive emollient, which means it forms a physical barrier on the skin’s surface to lock in moisture. Overall, Neostrata Ultra Smoothing Lotion combines two exfoliating AHAs with moisturizing ingredients to restore a visibly smoother appearance to skin.


    NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel Review

    Neostrata offers an entire range of well formulated, highly potent products that focus on using the most well researched active ingredients to deliver results. One of their most well loved products is the NeoStrata Smooth Surface Daily Peel. Although NeoStrata offers a wide array of exfoliating products, each option offers something different. With the Smooth Surface Daily Peel, this product uses chemical exfoliants to deliver a powerful exfoliation in a gentle moisturizing cream formula. The ingredients list including 10% glycolic and citric acids to target a variety of skin concerns including fine lines and wrinkles, dullness and uneven skin tone. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid with the smallest molecule size, meaning that they penetrate the skin the deepest. Because of this, you may find that this product is fairly intense and can only be used once or twice a week without causing any irritation. With that said, this product has been specially formulated to deliver the optimum amount of glycolic acid to the skin while simultaneously maintaining the ideal pH so that you get all of the benefits of this ingredient, without any redness or sensitivity.


    NeoStrata Skin Active

    When the natural process of aging causes the skin to sag and develop wrinkles, skin care lines like NeoStrata Skin Active promise to heal the skin and give it added support. However, before using any anti aging products, it’s important to understand how and why your skin ages. There are many facets to this process, including damage to the collagen support network, sun-induced hyperpigmentation, and a weakened moisture barrier. Therefore, any man or woman who is serious about anti aging skin care should speak with their dermatologist before using NeoStrata Skin Active. A trained skin expert can help you understand the causes that contribute to your skin aging the most, and the best ingredients to address the issue. Additionally, reading NeoStrata Skin Active reviews from consumers who are in your age range and have a similar skin type can also go a long way in assessing whether the company’s products are right for you.

    NeoStrata Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream Review

    The NeoStrata Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream was designed to reverse some of the main physical signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles as well as dark spots and hyperpigmentation. This product contains three main active ingredients including pro-amino acids, as well as NeoCitriate and NeoGlucosamine, both of which are unique to NeoStrata. These ingredients work to boost collagen production, which can slow down as we age. Additionally, NeoGlucosamine gently exfoliates the skin in order to reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone or hyperpigmentation. Because this product contains exfoliating agents, the brand recommends applying this product once a day, ideally as part of your evening routine. This helps to ensure that you don’t experience any sensitivity or barrier damage due to overuse or over-exfoliation.


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