Review | Neutrogena Hydro Boost

A month and a half ago, Neutrogena sent me the Hydro Boost range for review. Below are my thoughts, having used it for a month or so (I used the products in the order listed):

  • Hydro Boost Mousse Cleanser (150 ml/S$15.80)

The nifty thing about this mousse cleanser is that the product is originally in liquid form but the pump device transforms it into a mousse! I’m actually quite impressed by this. Mousse is not the most stable form of cleansing products; to have it ‘freshly’ delivered was quite a thrill for me. :D

The gentle foam cleanses adequately but I do need the clear lotion to remove stubborn makeup traces. That said, it makes a good everyday facial cleanser (I like to use it in the day time to remove the creams/lotions that have stayed overnight on my skin). My skin never feels tight after use and it also seems to soften my skin somewhat. An added bonus is its hygienic pump packaging which is waterproof as well – it keeps the product untainted and no water leaks into the container (something that can happen with some cleansing foam receptacles).

  • Hydro Boost Clear Lotion (150 ml/$13.50)

I pat this toning/hydrating lotion onto my skin, like I would Hada Labo‘s version. I also sometimes swipe my face with a cotton pad saturated with the lotion, to thoroughly clean my skin. It effectively removes stubborn makeup traces – I like it best with BB creams, which can be more difficult to remove than other face makeup.

It seems to prep the skin, readying it to receive the other Hydro Boost moisturising products.

  • Hydro Boost Essence (30 ml/S$16.90)

The ‘serum’ of the range. I like how it easily sinks into the skin and makes it feel instantly smooth (thank you, hyaluronic acid!). I have it on my face as I type and really like the velvety feel. As with many serums, I have to seal it in with a moisturiser. Paired with the gel moisturiser, the two plump up my skin slightly. For the economically-conscious, a pump is enough for the entire face. ;)

  • Hydro Boost Water Gel (50 g/S$20.90)

According to Neutrogena, this gel restores the skin’s moisture levels and imparts hydration that lasts up to twelve hours. The appearance immediately reminded me of L’Oréal Hydrafresh and Biotherm Aqua Source gel cream moisturisers, both of which I’ve tried and repurchased in the past. Like the latter two, the smooth gel texture of Hydro Boost Water Gel has a light texture, spreads easily and imparts a slight cooling/refreshing sensation (place the pot in the refrigerator to maximise this effect).

A friend remarked that it did not sink into her skin despite having had it on her face for a few hours on a plane. I’m not sure if cabin air interfered with absorption – it shouldn’t, really – but I suggested that she use the essence before the gel. Some gels do have a tendency to just sit on the skin’s surface, although I’ve not experienced this with the Hydro Boost one in an air-conditioned room. As I mentioned above, it gives my skin a slight plumping effect when used with the essence. However, I do admit that creamier/heavier products moisturise my skin better in a cold and dry room.

Where packaging is concerned, I’m not too fond of the pot. It can be a little unwieldy removing the inner lid (not pictured). As unglamorous as they are, I would’ve preferred the moisturiser to be in a tube or a pump dispenser like that of the cleanser and the essence, for the sake of hygiene. That said, the other gel creams that I mentioned also come in similar packaging, so I suppose it’s the norm for such products (time for change!).

  • Hydro Boost Mask (1 box of 5 sheets/S$31.50)

This facial mask is easy to use and feels comfortable on the skin. My skin feels considerably soft and smooth after use, not taut (it’s not a firming mask, after all). I’m not surprised that its predecessor – Neutrogena Deep Hydrating Mask – was a hit with many local girls!

Aesthetically-speaking, this range is pretty to look at. I like the soothing ocean blue which connotes hydration. The set is also somewhat travel-friendly because of the plastic material (even the heavier gel pot is made of sturdy plastic).

It is a pity that the entire range is heavily-scented (thankfully, the gel less so than the rest). If you’re leery of fragrances or are sensitive to strong scents, this might not be the range for you. If you are all right with fragranced skincare and would like something affordable and suitable for everyday use, this range would be something to look at. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of anti-aging/intensive repair skincare lines but it certainly is adequate for maintaining/imparting daily moisture to the skin.

Image source: Neutrogena Singapore


  • Nanashee says:

    Hi there, I’ve been using this range for some time too, and would like to add my two cents. I have sensitive skin that’s prone to rashes when it doesn’t like a product, but this range hasn’t triggered it at all. I find the scent surprisingly strong for Neutrogena, but in comparison to L’Oreal products, for example, it’s still pretty acceptable. As for the moisturizer, yeah, that inner cap is impossible to handle if you have long nails. I tossed it out after the first time I managed to get it open, and I use a spatula to scoop out the gel to minimize contamination. I find that it sinks into my skin quite easily (maybe my skin is THAT thirsty) and doesn’t feel sticky at all. In fact, I think it absorbs too quickly that I can’t quite get in a long facial massage!

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Nanashee,

      That sounds like a very positive review; thank you for sharing! I’m glad it works for you. :) I really don’t like the lid. I should discard it like you did!

      Interestingly enough, your reply reminded me of a Shiseido White Lucent product that is specifically for facial massages!

  • Pipi says:

    I bought the Hydro Boost Mousse Cleanser to try out today, Nice feel~
    I have sensitive skin, and this product makes my face feels soft and hydrated. Nice smell :)

  • jasmine says:

    Hi there, just to enquire from you. May i know which one should i apply 1st..the essense or water gel? could it be apply both..or jus either one is enough..hehe

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Jasmine,

      Essences usually go on first as they prep the skin to receive moisturisers. It’s best to apply a moisturiser over a serum/essence to lock in the moisture an essence draws from the skin and environment. :)

  • Norlene says:

    Hi, what is the different between essence and moisturizer?

  • Gigi says:


    Which one will you think is better, if you have to pick between Loreal Hydrafresh Gel of Neutrogena Hydra Boost Gel?

  • Mel says:

    Do I need to wash my face after using the mask?

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *