Nobody ever sat me down and told me this — I wish they had, because it was hard-learned knowledge: one day, your skin will probably change.
Mine did. I used to have very oily skin. When I was teenager, I was oil slick city, and my skin stayed that way throughout my 20s. Now, though, it’s mostly dry, except for my oily forehead and nose.
I think that both of these additions to the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line are mid-level moisturizers. If you have oily or normal skin that still likes/needs some extra moisturizing, but never quite gets so dry that it hurts to smile, then either of these might be a good fit for your face.
Buuut, before we go any further, can we just talk about the packaging for a second?
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Bright, blue and cheerful? But, like, if you look at both of the bottles, they say “HYALURONIC ACID” right there on the front with a little squiggly symbol to get your attention.
Hyaluronid acid shows up in many highly rated moisturizing skin care products (here’s an excellent post on The Beauty Brains about it), but it’s listed down at the bottom of the ingredients for the Exfoliating Cleanser…
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser: Ingredients
Water, Sodium C14-16, Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Glycerin, Sodium Hydrolyzed Potato Starch Dodecenylsuccinate, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Cellulose, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid Sodium Benzoate, Glycolic Acid, Fragrance, Lactic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, —-> Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid
And it’s also halfway down the list for the Hydro Boost Serum…
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum: Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Isododecane, Dimethiconol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Lactate, Cetearyl Olivate, Bisabolol, Chlorphenesin, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium PCA, Fragrance, —-> Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sorbitol, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Proline, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate
So it sure doesn’t look like one of the main ingredients in either of these… I’m just sayin’.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser
This face wash , which feels like a jelly, exfoliates in two ways — one physical, and one chemical. The physical way seems to be via little beads, but the back of the bottle says that this doesn’t contain plastic microbeads.
I’ve been trying to figure out which ingredient actual does the physical exfoliating, but I haven’t figured it out yet. If you can tell from the list what’s doing the deed, let me know.
Whatever it is, the particles feel small, soft and mildly gritty, and they aren’t painful. This feels like an expensive exfoliating product from a high-end brand.
The chemical exfoliating component comes via a combination of glycolic acid, lactic acid and papaya fruit extract, and the tingly kick feels quite mild compared to other chemical exfoliating face washes I’ve used.
The product lathers up a little and smells like a yummy mix of gummy bears and baby powder, which sounds like a weird combo, I know, but I think it smells fresh and clean.
The product will remove a light layer of makeup, but the cleansing isn’t super powerful/real deal. After rinsing, my face feels lightly moisturized, and my skin doesn’t have any weird reactions to it, so I would use this again…but I probably wouldn’t make a special trip to the drugstore to hunt it down.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum
The Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum feels a tad dry after I rub it into my skin, and I think that’s due to the dimethicone it contains. It’s the third item in the ingredient list.
If you don’t like it when moisturizers leave an oily or sticky layer of product behind, then you’ll probably like how this feels on your skin. I mainly use this on my neck because I can’t stand sticky moisturizers there (it’s my pet peeve).
Based on the times I’ve used this moderately moisturizing, lightweight serum on my face, though, it wasn’t nearly hydrating enough to handle the dry spots on my cheeks and around my mouth.
It has the same gummy bears/powder scent as the Exfoliator, which I think is great. A 1-ounce bottle with a pump is $19.99, which is expensive for a drugstore product, but it’s typical of Neutrogena’s pricier skin care.
I like it…but I don’t love it, ya know? I will keep using it on my neck, though.
Pretty good values but contain less hyaluronic acid than I hoped
If you like drugstore products and have oily or normal skin that doesn’t require heavy-duty hydration, these lightweight lovelies might work well for you.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,