Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Review

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Splash Some Life Into Skin With A Drugstore Must Have!

As I get older, moisturizer has become my best friend. My skin just looks so much better when it’s properly hydrated. When it’s dry, it’s just…less than cute. I’m being generous in describing it that way. It’s more like I’m the starring creature from a low-budget horror flick. True story.


As an oily-skinned gal, you wouldn’t think I need moisture, but you’d be wrong – my aging skin manages to be both oily and less supple at the same time; it’s like I won the worst lottery ever. I find that to put my best face forward, I need a heavier cream in the colder months and a lighter moisturizer in the warmer months.


Entering my skin care repertoire this spring is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. It’s a thin gel moisturizer that keeps you looking fresh and hydrated all day long. For those in need of a richer formula, check out the Hydro Boost Gel Cream for extra dry skin.


Neutrogena’s latest offerings boast their latest innovation, the Progressive Release System Formula, which provides a “hydration reservoir” to keep skin balanced and fresh from the start to the finish of your day. Containing beautifying ingredients like hyaluronic acid (releases water back into the skin), olive extract (fortifies and prevents moisture loss), and glycerin (rebuilds skin’s moisture), these moisturizing gels are also both oil-free and non-comodogenic.


My first impression is that the jar is very solid plastic – it is reminiscent of prestige brands and feels more posh than your typical drugstore moisturizer. I can’t help but wish this was also available in a pump bottle, my preference – but the jar is substantial.


I tested the regular Hydro Boost Water Gel and inside it is just that: a water-filled gel. The icy blue gel is cool to the touch and has a good bit of slip. It has a fresh, herbal fragrance that fades after about 30 minutes. Once applied, this absorbs quickly and dries to a baby-soft finish. My pores appear smaller and my skin seems to glow more, too. YAY!


I didn’t test it, but the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream for extra dry skin should offer the same results in a slightly heavier and creamier formula.

Neutrogena-Hydro-boost-water-gel-8Neutrogena Hyrdo Boost Water Gel and Hydro Boost Gel Cream

My makeup applies like a dream over this – this almost acts as a light primer – which is a no-brainer since the second ingredient is dimethicone. Sadly, I have some sensitivity to dimethicone (it triggers breakouts for me), so I do find that I can only use this in the morning to keep my skin clear.


Overall, I do feel like this really shines as a product when worn under makeup. My full face of makeup appeared much fresher well into the evening when I applied this gel beforehand. I also can’t help but wish this had some sort of spf, too – that would transform this from a great product to an amazing one.

we heartsters – Is anybody else out there in search of a lighter moisturizer for spring and summer? Have you tried Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gels yet? Let’s hear about it!

photos: we heart this

Krista resides in the middle of nowhere with her bff/hubby and a puppy that makes feral capuchins seem mellow. She has an irrational fear of ax murder, owns more than one machete for home defense/the zombie apocalypse, and goes to sleep serenaded by the sounds of the Chupagobbler, a mythical turkey beast that roams the woods around her house. Krista has been in the Bermuda Triangle twice and still hasn’t vanished. She is super proud of that.
skin tone: NW15
skin type: sensitive/oily
favorite beauty product: Blush, lots and lots of blush


  • krista

    Lives in the middle of nowhere with her amazing hubby and two codependent dogs that love to hate each other. She enjoys dance parties of one and last minute road trips, prays for Angela Lansbury's immortality and can never own enough blush. She averages one "Silence of the Lambs" quote a week and feels no shame over this. Perhaps she should. skin tone: NW15 skin type: sensitive/oily favorite beauty product: Blush, lots and lots of blush


  1. @krista , you make me laugh– I’m sure you’re exaggerating a teeny bit!
    I have tried and loved Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel, which– even with my dryer skin– is plenty moisturizing. It does act as a great primer, too!

    1. @turboterp–Awww…not by much…lol

      It probably doesn’t help that I have one of those magnifying mirrors that blows up every flaw. Those things need to be outlawed :/

  2. I have always been a fan a Neutrogena fan. I will have to check this out . . . I definitely like lighter moisturizer as the season changes.

  3. Very interesting! My skin can also be both dry and oily and is picky about dimethicone as well. The “water gel” is definitely intriguing to me–anything that will make my pores look smaller is a good thing!

  4. I’ve been using this for a few weeks and like the texture of my skin in the morning when I use it at night. I think Neutrogena products always perform well & this is definitely one of their best.

  5. I’ll make this short-n-sweet.. I LUV Hydro Boost Gel Cream! It’s made just for my extra dry skin and has become one of my latest faves in my skin care routine! Neutrogena has yet to disappoint.
    I am loving how my skin feels and putting on foundation or tinted moisturizer is a DREAM! Gotta get another soon, since I’m blowing right thru this jar!

  6. I have totally been loving this primer…oops I mean moisturizer! LOL!! I have the same crazy skin type @krista, dry and oily at the same time. So weird but this stuff does the trick. I love it so much that I have repurchased it. And yes, I wish that it didn’t have dimethicone but I just don’t use it at night and have had no increase in breakouts. I highly recommend this new Neutrogena gem!!!

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