The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Line is one of the biggest players in the drugstore skincare game. Does it live up to its name? Keep reading to hear my review!
A little context: a few weeks ago, I was telling my boyfriend that he should really have a skincare routine, and, to my surprise, he actually took up the suggestion and asked if I could come up with a skincare routine for him! His only condition was that all of the products had to be affordable. I knew that it was the perfect opportunity for me to dabble into drugstore skincare (and give my boyfriend better skin, too).
So, I set off to do my research on drugstore skincare. My main goal was to find a cleanser, a serum, and a moisturizer (I wanted to keep it simple as to not overwhelm someone who literally had ZERO skincare). I knew that the three brands I truly trusted from the drugstore for skincare were Simple, Pixi, and Neutrogena (also The Ordinary, but I didn't really count them because they're not as accessible at drugstores). Although there were many options to choose from, I went with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost line for all of the products because I had heard many good reviews on it and thought it would be nice to use products that are all from the same line.
This was also the perfect opportunity to share my review on this line because my boyfriend and I have polar opposite skin types: he has extremely oily skin and I have extremely dry skin. If you're interested in hearing our review of this line, keep reading!
ABOUT THE LINE
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost line is a collection of skincare, body care, sun protection, and makeup items that are infused with purified hyaluronic acid and all target hydration. Hyaluronic acid is an amazing moisture-retaining ingredient that plenty of people's skins respond very well to, including mine. While hyaluronic acid's main purpose is to hydrate, it may also have anti-aging effects. Plus, keeping your skin hydrated promotes healthier skin overall, leaving it supple and radiant and keeping breakouts and wrinkles at bay.
This line is priced between $3-$20, with most of the cleanser-type items priced around $8 and the serum-type items priced around $15-$20. While this is slightly more expensive for drugstore items, it's incredibly cheaper than high-end skincare.
Hydro Boost Hydrating Face Mask: 4/5 ($2)
This mask hydrated my skin very well, probably better than other masks typically do. It is also very fast absorbing, as my skin felt hydrated but not wet after I took the mask off. The only thing I didn't like about this mask is that it is made of silicone instead of cloth; it's not as soothing on the skin and tends to slip around. The mask also came in two parts for the upper and lower halves of your face, which I thought was unnecessary.
Hydro Boost Hydrating Cleansing Gel: 3/5 ($7.79)
This cleanser was just OK; it's probably the most underwhelming product out of everything in this line and I would skip on it. My face didn't feel more cleansed than normal, and it wasn't very hydrating. I prefer milky cleansers over gel or foamy ones because they tend to strip the skin. However, this cleanser does the job and didn't break me out.
Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum: 5/5 ($14.99)
The serum and moisturizer in this collection absolutely stunned me. And not even just for drugstore skincare -- they wow'd me even stacked up against high-end skincare! This serum is SUPER hydrating, living up to its name. It's incredibly lightweight and fast-absorbing, blending out into practically nothing within minutes. Because it's extremely thin, it's perfect under makeup, which is why I have completely converted this into my morning moisturizer. For reference, this product is comparable to the BareMinerals Skinlongevity Vital Power Infusion Serum (but better, IMO).
Hydro Boost Hydrating Water Gel Face Moisturizer: 5/5 ($15.99)
I honestly can't decide whether I like the serum or moisturizer more. They're both so incredible! This moisturizer is almost a dupe for the BELIF True Cream Aqua Bomb -- dare I say I might even like the Neutrogena one more! This moisturizer is like a drink of water for your skin. Your skin completely soaks it up, unlike other moisturizers that tend to sit on top of your skin. Like the serum, it's incredibly lightweight and fast-absorbing. When applying, a little goes a long way -- I hardly need a dab to cover my whole face. It's very cooling and soothing to the touch, which is why my boyfriend and I have enjoyed doing our skincare routine together!
Gel-based moisturizers are the perfect moisturizer for people who don't like moisturizer because they're thin, lightweight, and don't feel greasy. They have a water-based formula that is perfect for people with oily skin, and this moisturizer in particular is also oil-free. When this moisturizer absorbs, it completely dries down into a slightly matte, almost powder finish -- it doesn't leave your skin slick, sticky, or dewey as many moisturizers do -- which is perfect under makeup and for layering multiple products.
Some of my favorite gel-based moisturizers -- all very expensive!
Smell: The products all smell really good. They all have an aquatic, clean smell, like how you would expect to smell after taking a nice shower. They aren't too heavily scented, but there are a few fragrance free products in their line.
Packaging: I really like the water aesthetic of this line, and I have no complaints about the packaging. It's all plastic, which makes it durable, but it actually doesn't look too cheap -- these products definitely have a premium drugstore feel. Although the tubs that the moisturizers come in make it easy to get exactly the right amount, I'm not a huge fan of how they expose the product to the air.
One Month Review:
After having used this line for almost a month, my boyfriend and I both really like all of the products. I can't say enough good things about hydrating these products are. My two favorite things about this line are definitely how hydrating the products are and how lightweight and fast-absorbing they are. Your skin feels immediately softer and stays that way all day, which tells me that these products are truly penetrating deep into my skin and making a lasting impact.
My boyfriend's skin did purge literally the day after using these products, breaking out in tiny bumps around his jaw and mouth, but his skin cleared the day after and has been extremely clear ever since. If you break out after trying this line, I'd suggest sticking with it for a few weeks. It makes me hopeful to know that this line actually purged my boyfriend's skin of all its impurities and then cleared it up again!
The products also didn't dry out my skin or make my boyfriend's skin oily. In fact, one day my boyfriend came home from work and exclaimed that using the products in the morning had kept his face less oily! I'm amazed that these products have so many added benefits like oil-control. So, there you have it: this line is perfect for folks with dry AND oily skin.
Final Thoughts: WORTH IT?
This line completely lives up to the hype. None of the products broke us out and they're good for all skin types. All of the products have a nice, cooling sensation during application, making your skincare routine all the more enjoyable. They're light, fast-absorbing, and hydrating, and they definitely compete with high-end skincare. Most importantly, we saw actual differences in our skin: my skin was more hydrated and radiant, and my boyfriend's skin cleared up and was less oily. I do believe that these products help with dryness, evening your skin tone, and keeping breakouts at bay.
I like how this is a very complete line -- you can pretty much get all of your skincare (and makeup/body care) from this one line, which is a good thing for skincare novices or people who want an easy, affordable skincare routine, or if you've tried the line and know that it works well for you. Although I liked all of the products, I'd highly recommend the serum and moisturizer if you were to pick only a few items from this line, though I'd love to hear people's thoughts on which item is better.
That brings me to another point: although I like the entire vision of this Hydro Boost line, I'm having trouble figuring out which products do exactly what. For example, I can't say that the serum does something different from the moisturizer. For this reason, I think it'd be a bit redundant to get multiple items from this line in the same category, such as the different serums and moisturizers that they have, because each item does about the same thing. I always like each of my skincare products to do a different thing or target a different concern, and I feel that this line simply hydrates. So, while this line truly does live up to its claim of ultra-hydration, I'm not sure that it does anything beyond that.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum and Moisturizer have quickly become my holy grail skincare products, high-end AND low-end! I'd highly recommend trying them out. Comment below if you've tried this line!