Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 ($9.99) is a new gel broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen that promises a waterproof sun protection with an oil-free formula that won’t clog pores.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost launched back in 2017 with a selection of hydrating makeup like Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint and Hydro Boost Hydrating Concealer. Around that same time a Hydro Boost Skincare Collection so it was only a matte of time that the brand also added sunscreens the the Hydro Boost Collection.
Most people are comparing this formula to Japanese sunscreens and I sort of get it but I do think the Japanese still have a head up on SPF and this isn’t quite what you’d experience from cult favorites like Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+.
The formula is a thicker gel that’s a very white in color with a slight pale blue-ish tone. I was concerned about white cast but once I applied and allowed it time to absorb the slight whitish cast it left on my skin disappeared quickly. I do take sunscreen very seriously and do use the recommended half teaspoon amount. I’m mentioning this because if you use less you might have a different experience with this formula than I did. The has a very nice texture but it applies quite greasy this is where you want to take the amount I used into consideration since it might be why I experienced such a slick mess during the initial application. My skin is dry and this felt very, very hydrating but a bit greasy as well. It does take a little while to set and for the dewiness to disappear but the goods news is that it does after a few minutes. I typically apply it as the first step in my routine and by the time I get dressed and do my hair I can proceed with the rest of my skincare and makeup.
The wear under makeup is good and I experienced no greasiness or shine as the day progresses. I would highly recommend not getting this in your eyes though as it does sting horribly.
The lovely texture and comfortable wear are all pluses but there are a few issues here one of which is the fact this contains a high level of alcohol, a very strong fragrance, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The alcohol didn’t dry my skin out and this does contain quite a bit of glycerin which could account for the very moisturizing feel but it does contain alcohol none the less. The fragrance wasn’t an issue for me as it’s a very fresh aquatic scent but it is very strong and might upset sensitive users. Sodium lauryl is lower on the list of ingredients but none the less it is here.
I think many of these issues will prove deal breakers for a lot of users. I have to admit to feeling a bit peevish that people are comparing the formula to Japanese sunscreens as this is quite a bit heavier in comparison. So please don’t go into a purchase believing this will be a great dupe for your favorite Asian sunscreen!
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 has a high level of protection, is quite affordable, and has a nice texture and formula but there are quite a few problems with the formula that aren’t easily overlooked.
Where to buy
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 is 3 oz in size and $8-$12 in price depending where you purchase it. The formula is a gel consistency that I found set very nicely on my skin but inititally it did apply very, very slick and greasy. However, once it set the initial greasiness disappeared and it left my skin quite hydrated without being shiny or oily. Overall, the texture is great but the addition of alcohol, heavy fragrance, and sodium lauryl will likely make this an easy pass for many users.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.7 %, Homosalate 9 %, Octisalate 5 %, Octocrylene 9 %, Oxybenzone 4.5 %
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat, Caprylyl Methicone, Diisopropyl Adipate, Silica, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Polyurethane-62, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyacetophenone, Pentylene Glycol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Fragrance, Chlorphenesin, Menthyl Lactate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Trideceth-6, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Violet 2, Blue 1
- Lightweight gel texture.
- Takes a minute to absorb and feels greasy at first but sets to a nice, smooth finish.
- Wears well under makeup.
- Affordable, larger size.
- Sodium lauryl makes an appearance lower on the list of ingredients.
- Alcohol is one of the first few ingredients in the formula.
- Pleasant but very heavy fragrance.
If you really don’t care what ingredients you’re putting on your face Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen SPF 50 might be an easy pick up as it is affordable, large in size, and quite easy to apply and wear.