Putting a heavy cream on your face in the middle of July is like wearing a bulky cashmere sweater when it's 90 degrees outside. It can often feel sweaty, stifling, and uncomfortable—making you want to skip your moisturizing step altogether. But according to derms, skimping on the hydration is decidedly not a good idea, because your skin needs water to stay healthy 365 days a year. The fix, then, is to find a lightweight lotion to round out your routine, and there's no better pick than Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel ($20).
As a beauty editor, I (gratefully) have access to some of the most expensive luxury moisturizers money can buy, but this $20 pick has been a mainstay in my summer routine for as long as I can remember. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about why it deserves a spot in your warm-weather regimen, too.
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What's in the formula
The formula is such a star because it gives you exactly what you need for hydration without a lot of frills. The star ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which works as a sort of sponge beneath the surface of your skin for instant complexion-quenching and plumping effects.“Hyaluronic acid is a great natural hydrator for the skin and works to draw in and lock in moisture,” Howard Sobel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, previously told Well+Good. “The ingredient is a potent, natural humectant that helps your skin hold water, so it looks smoother."
Aside from hyaluronic acid, the moisturizer's also got glycerin, which derms tout as another one of the best hydrators money can buy. "It's super gentle, which is why you'll see it in a ton of products," says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut. "I personally think that glycerin is the one ingredient that's good for everyone. It's no bells and whistles, we know it works, and everybody should have it."
Who should use it
Because it's lightweight and non-comedogenic (aka "non-pore-clogging"), Neutrogena Hydroboost is a great option for anyone with oily or acne-prone skin. “In the spring and summer months, your skin will make more oil from the heat, and you can’t add more product on top of that,” says Joyce Davis, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, without expecting to also have to deal with breakouts. “If you have been using something thicker like a cream or an oil, you may want to change to a lighter lotion.”
Because this moisturizer is water-based instead of oil-based, it won't add any excess oil onto your skin when you apply it. Instead, it offers an influx of hydration without a greasy residue.
Why dermatologists love it
“I love this gel-cream,” Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Washington, DC previously told Well+Good. “It’s packed with hyaluronic acid and is very lightweight. As an emollient, it pulls water into the skin and holds it there to improve moisture levels without being too heavy or greasy. Plus, it’s safe for all skin types from oily to dry.” Like me, Dr. Tanzi uses the product on her skin nearly every day.
Michele Farber, MD, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, is also a fan of the formula. "It's a great lighter option—especially in warmer weather—does not have pore-clogging ingredients, and has hyaluronic acid to pack a hydration punch," she says.
Why we love it
I like to think of this moisturizer as a tall drink of water for my skin. Its got a nice jelly texture that feels cooling and soothing when I apply it, and it seeps easily into my skin so that it doesn't leave behind any sort of greasy or sticky film. When I layer it on under sunscreen or makeup, it doesn't flake or pill, and leaves my complexion looking smooth and bright.
For more hydration-related intel, check out the video below.
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