Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel review

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is one of those moisturizers I would have snubbed until a couple of years ago. No, not because it’s drugstore. Olay Total Effects is one of my fave moisturizers, and it’s drugstore, too.

No, it’s because it has NO antioxidants. Its formula only hydrates skin. It has no anti-aging properties. But after a few years in London, I have a new found appreciation for moisture.

You can use the best anti-aging products in the world, but if your skin isn’t well-hydrated, it’s all for nothing. Without proper hydration, your wrinkles look 10x worse.

This moisturiser promises to give your skin plenty of moisture. Does it deliver?

What’s In Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel?


Sodium hyaluronate its a form of hyaluronic acid that attracts and binds to the skin up to 1000 times its weight in water. Plus, it works well both in high and low humidity conditions.

When skin has that much moisture, it plumps up. This alone is enough to make your fine lines look smaller – temporarily. Hydration also makes skin soft and gives the complexion a dewy glow (think Korean skin).

P.S. Glycerin is here too. It does the same thing, but on a smaller scale.

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type


The base of this cream is made up of silicones. It’s not as bad as you think. Silicones do a lot of good things in skincare:

  • Enhance texture: They allow the cream to glide on smoothly, without tugging or pulling.
  • Fill in fine lines and wrinkles: It’s a trick to make them look temporarily smaller.
  • Softens skin: It makes it feel silky soft to the touch.

They don’t even suffocate skin: silicones have a particular molecular structure made up of larger molecules with wider spaces between each molecule. They create a barrier that keeps moisture in but still allows skin to perspire.

Related: Are Silicones Really Bad For Skin?

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Lightweight. Gel-like. Fast-absorbing.


Clean and subtle.

How To Use It

In the AM, in between serum and sunscreen. At night, it’s the last step of your skincare routine.

Performance & Personal Opinion

If an antiaging cream is what you want, look away. But if you’re simply looking for a way to keep your oily skin soft and hydrated in the summer heat, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is it.

But, use an antioxidant serum underneath it. Antioxidants are too important to be left out of your skincare completely.

Now, for the details…The cream has a lightweight, gel-like texture that absorbs immediately and dries to a slightly matte finish – the perfect base for makeup.

It doesn’t feel greasy. It doesn’t make your skin shiny. It doesn’t cause breakouts. If you’re the kind of girl who hates moisturizer, this may just make you change your mind (but, use that antioxidant serum first! – Yes, it bears repeating…).

Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin


Who Is This For?

Everyone can use it, but it’s more suitable for oily skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

Fragrance may irritate sensitive skin.


A blue jar. It’s not the most hygienic, but there’s nothing that can spoil here.

Does Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Live Up To Its Claims?

Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Water Gel instantly quenches dry skin and keeps it looking smooth, supple and hydrated day after day.True. But dry skin may need to seal it with an oil or the extra moisture will evaporate out again.
Our award-winning and best selling water gel formula absorbs quickly and instantly delivers intense hydration.True.

Price & Availability

£12.99/$24.99 at Feel Unique and Ulta

Do You Need It?

If you’re on a budget and need a hydrating cream, this is a good option to consider.


Dupes & Alternatives


Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Dimethicone/vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Dimethiconol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Chlorphenesin, Carbomer, Laureth-7, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance, C12-14 Pareth -12, Sodium Hydroxide, Blue 1