Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser – Review

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This post will be reviewing the Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser.

For a long time, I struggled to find the best cleanser for my dry dehydrated skin. I thought I could get by with using just any cleanser. But time and time again, cleansers proved to be an important part of my skincare routine.

I’ve gone from using all kinds of cleansers from regular bar soaps to the controversial African black soap. All of these decisions proved to be damaging as not only cleansed my skin but stripped it off all the natural oils.

But fortunately, about a year ago, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I stumbled on the Neutrogena Hydroboost line and four bottles later, my skin has never been so thankful.

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Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser - Review

First Impression of the Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser

  • Product Promise

According to Neutrogena:

NEUTROGENA® Hydro Boost® Water Gel Cleanser is an innovative cleanser that activates with water to remove impurities whilst providing skin with an essential boost of hydration. By combining NEUTROGENA® cleansing technology, hydrating agents and hyaluronic acid the formula protects the skin barrier boosts hydration and helps to lock it in. The skin is refreshingly clean and touchably supple every time you cleanse. Dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin.

  • Overview:

First things first, it is important to know that this product is a gel cleanser. This means that it is hydrating and best suited for dry skin. It should not be mistaken for a foaming cleanser which works better for oily/acne-prone skin. While it lathers decently, it doesn’t strip your skin like a foaming cleanser would.

The gel comes in a semi-thick consistency that is not too runny or overly thick like a hair gel. It is well formulated in such a way that one pump will cleanse your entire face properly. But if you’re anything like me that cleanses for about two minutes, a couple of pumps works as well.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser - Review

  • Size & Packaging

The cleanser comes in a 200ml blue transparent bottle with a pump. The best thing about the size of this product is that it can last well over two months or more. Of course, this will depend on how well you use it.

  • Price

It retails at Boots for about £8 but I mostly buy mine on eBay for the same amount. This is because there isn’t any Boots outlet near me. To be honest, the price is fair for what you get. Imagine not having to think about a cleanser for about two to three months. Plus, it’s a drugstore brand that is readily available.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser - Review

  • Ingredient List

When I first read about the line, the very first thing that drew me in was the presence of Hyaluronic Acid in all the products. Listen! I was ready to spend my money in the entire line. For the first time ever, I saw products formulated specifically for my dry skin with Hyaluronic Acid. Anyway, I jumped on the cleanser and I haven’t looked back. Other ingredients on the list look okay, to be honest. As long as there are enough hydrating agents, I’m good!

  • Fragrance

The last thing on the ingredient list is parfum which is a fragrance. But to be honest, I have never really noticed any fragrance. It just smells bland. So, it’s either my skin is not sensitive enough ( which it is not) or the fragrance is barely noticeable. The latter makes more sense especially since it is the last on the list. While fragrances have been touted to be irritating in skincare, I wouldn’t pay so much attention to a rinse-off product. The only exception is if it actually irritates me but it doesn’t so…

Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser - Review

Review of Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser

  • Directions:

I don’t think anyone needs directions on the right way to use a cleanser. But just to be sure, we are directed to;

Wet face. Apply to hands, add water and work into a lather. Massage face gently. Rinse thoroughly.
  • What I do:

Rather than wetting my face first, I use two pumps of the cleanser on dry face. Over time, I realised that I prefer dry to wet face. Then, I go in and massage my face for about two minutes. Sometimes, I forget myself and I’m there for about five minutes. But really, the minimum should be 60 seconds. If you’re not cleansing your face for up to 60 seconds, what are you even doing? Plus you’re wasting product because there is no way it can do its job in less than 60 seconds.

  • How it worked:

My favourite thing about this cleanser is easily the aftermath. Rather than a dry, patched and stripped face, my skin is cleansed, hydrated and ready for layering. ( See my 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine). If I feel like I need ‘heavier’ cleansing especially when I wear makeup, I do an oil cleanse beforehand.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser - Review

Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser vs Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

So, for some reasons, Cerave has been getting good rep in recent times. It was hard not to fall for it. But there was no way I was gonna part with my staple cleanser. This was because I had a feeling that the Cerave dupe would disappoint me. Let me just say that it did. Before I was able to buy a travel size of the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, I decanted some from my friend’s bathroom.

I was pretty excited to try it when I got home. Long story short, I hated it. The Cerave cleanser was ‘supposedly’ hydrating but it definitely wasn’t Neutrogena. It didn’t leave my skin supple and hydrated afterwards. It also didn’t leave my skin stripped either. It just didn’t feel right.

At the end of the day, my conclusion (which I have guessed already) was Neutrogena Hydroboost Water gel cleanser is way better than Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. It’s not even up for debate!


I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share my little gem that is my cleanser. It literally makes me excited to cleanse my skin every day. So if you’re looking for an everyday cleanser, you should definitely try it. It is cheap, available and gets the work done. Don’t forget to pair it with an oil cleanser if you wear makeup.

Buy Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser here.


About Author

Lifestyle & Travel Blogger obseesed with Korean Skincare, strength training and solo travel.

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