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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost collection of skin care products offers two great moisturizers that keep your skin hydrated and looking healthy, Hydro Boost Water Gel and Hydro Boost Gel Cream.

Both are formulated with ingredients for intense hydration, but which is better?

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream: moisturizers side by side.

In this post on Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream, we’ll explore the differences between these two products and help you decide which is best for your skin type and skin concerns.

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, handheld.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is powered by hyaluronic acid (HA), an active that occurs naturally in the body. HA helps keep skin hydrated and strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier.

Hyaluronic acid in this moisturizer comes in the salt form HA called sodium hyaluronate.

Sodium hyaluronate acts like a sponge in your skin, forming a protective layer that traps and locks moisture in, giving you a fresh and dewy complexion.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, open jar with light blue moisturizer inside.

This Hydro Boost gel moisturizer has a lightweight feel and sinks into your skin quickly, just like a hydrating gel, but has a deeply moisturizing formula, like a cream moisturizer.

The water gel is tinted blue and has a noticeable clean, fresh fragrance.

The gel moisturizer is oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores or cause acne and breakouts.

It is suitable for oily and acne prone skin due to the non-comedogenic formula and lightweight feel that doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream, handheld.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream provides 48-hour skin hydration with its hyaluronic acid-enriched formula.

Like the Water Gel, the Gel Cream contains sodium hyaluronate, the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Sodium hyaluronate has a lower molecular weight than hyaluronic acid, which allows it to penetrate the skin deeper and has better stability than HA.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream, open jar.

Synthetic beeswax acts as a barrier to help keep skin hydrated and protected, locking moisture in. Due to its high melting point, it works as an emollient and improves the formula’s texture.

This facial moisturizer is colorless and fragrance-free, making it suitable for sensitive skin types. It’s also non-comedogenic, oil-free, and non-greasy.

The lush texture is intensely hydrating, but the gel cream doesn’t feel heavy, sticky, or greasy on the skin.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream

So which should you choose?

When choosing between the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs. Gel Cream, the best choice depends on your skin type and needs.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream: open jars side by side, from above.

Skin Type

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is suitable for many skin types due to its nourishing and hydrating formula. Normal and dry skin types will appreciate its highly moisturizing formula.

Hydro Boost Water Gel might be your best bet if you have oily or acne-prone skin because of its lightweight feel and non-comedogenic properties.

Hydro Boost Gel Cream is formulated for normal, dry, and extra dry skin. If you have drier skin, you could benefit from the Gel Cream’s nourishing formula. Those with oily skin may find it too rich for their skin.

Those with sensitive skin may prefer the fragrance-free and dye-free Hydro Boost Gel Cream since the product is gentler on sensitive skin types.

Ingredients

Both formulas contain hydrating sodium hyaluronate and moisturizing glycerin. Both also contain dimethicone, a silicone that creates a soft and smooth feel on your skin.

The moisturizers also contain cetearyl olivate and sorbitan olivate, which are emulsifiers (known together as Olivem 1000). They moisturize and soothe the skin while supporting a healthy skin barrier.

The main differences between the two are that the Water Gel has a blue tint and a noticeable fragrance, while the Gel Cream does not.

The Gel Cream is colorless and fragrance-free. (I can’t tolerate the fragrance of the Water Gel and much prefer the fragrance-free creamy feel of the Gel Cream.)

Texture

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and Gel Cream sampled on hand.  Labeled "Water Gel" and "Gel Cream".

As its name suggests, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel has a lightweight, watery texture that easily absorbs into the skin.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream, while also lightweight, feels more creamy and less watery than the Water Gel.

Both moisturizers work well under makeup and create a smooth and hydrated base for your makeup.

Price and Size

Prices will vary depending on where you purchase the products, but the Gel Cream tends to be slightly more expensive than the Water Gel. You’ll find both available at drugstore prices.

Both formulas are offered in 1.7 oz jars. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel also comes in a 0.5 travel-size jar.

Supplemental Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serums

If you are looking for additional hydration and moisture, Neutrogena has expanded its Hydro Boost line to include multiple skincare products, including serums.

These hydrating serums can be paired with Hydro Boost Water Gel or Hydro Boost Gel Cream for super-charged hydration.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Night Pressed Serum

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Night Pressed Serum, handheld.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Night Pressed Serum is a purified hyaluronic acid facial serum that helps you wake to skin that is 3x more hydrated.

Formulated for all skin types, this uniquely textured serum restores your skin barrier overnight while you sleep.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Night Pressed Serum, open jar handheld.

The pressed serum uses sodium hyaluronate to boost the skin’s moisture level and help seal in moisture for dewy, bouncy skin the following day.

It also contains trelahose, a sugar that hydrates and helps your skin retain water.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Night Pressed Serum, open jar and sampled on hand.

Yeast extract, which contains beta-glucan, has moisturizing benefits, while vitamin E is an ingredient that offers skin-protective antioxidant benefits.

Please note there is added fragrance in this press hyaluronic acid serum.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum, flatlay.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains purified hyaluronic acid in a 17% hydration complex to kick dryness to the curb.

The serum quenches dull, dehydrated, dry skin with sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid.

But the skin benefits don’t stop there. The serum also contains brightening niacinamide, which strengthens your skin barrier, keeping moisture in and irritants out.

Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), a humectant, helps attract and lock in moisture for all-day hydration and softer, smoother skin. Multiple amino acids help the skin to retain moisture.

The serum can be applied on its own under your moisturizer, or if you’re tight on time or want one less step in your skincare routine, you can mix it with your moisturizer for an added boost of hydration.

It’s also non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores and is fragrance-free.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost+ Niacinamide Serum

Neutrogena Hydro Boost+ Niacinamide Serum, handheld.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost+ Niacinamide Serum contains a concentrated 10% dose of niacinamide and works as a multi-benefit hydrating serum to replenish your skin.

Niacinamide works to visibly improve skin texture while producing a naturally illuminated complexion. It also helps balance sebum (oil) production while helping to fade discoloration and uneven skin tone.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost+ Niacinamide Serum bottle next to clear serum sampled on hand.

This serum also helps protect the skin’s barrier, trapping moisture in and external toxins out.

It instantly boosts skin hydration levels with sodium hyaluronate (the same ingredient in both the Water Gel and Gel Cream moisturizers) and glycerin.

The serum is formulated for all skin types and tones, so it’s suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin.

The Bottom Line

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and Gel Cream stacked.

If you can’t decide which Hydro Boost moisturizer would work best for your skin, there are a few main differences between the two:

The Water Gel is fragranced, tinted blue, and more lightweight and watery on the skin.

The Gel Cream is fragrance-free, dye-free, and slightly more creamy. It’s my pick as the better product for sensitive skin (and my favorite between the two).

You can always pair one of these moisturizers with a Neutrogena Hydro-Boost serum for an extra boost of hydration and targeted skin care benefits.

Whichever you choose, these Neutrogena moisturizers will deliver glowing skin all day long at drugstore prices.

Happy hydration!

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