Ever since I integrated sunscreen into my skincare routine, it’s become a non-negotiable step for me and as I’ve been loving the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Sunscreen, I’m finally posting a review for it. Much like their Hydro Boost Gel-Cream changed my skin (review here), this has become a favourite of mine. I was very excited to try it since its launch and when I finally got my hands on it . . . I was disappointed! Prematurely. My skin was going through a horrible phase and I thought this product was partly to blame. I was experiencing perpetual breakouts and I assumed this chemical sunscreen and the fact that it is fragranced were causing the reaction. However, I was wrong. My breakouts were due to stress, environmental change, exposure to different water and hormones. Before I go off on a tangent, let’s get into the review.
What It Is
This is a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50. Broad spectrum means it protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays (I’ll get into more on sunscreens in a different article). It’s also a chemical sunscreen which means it penetrates the skin and absorbs the UV rays. They say it has a Helioplex® Technology that stabilizes the active ingredients for longer sun protection, even when exposed to water. It comes in a very vibrant opaque blue plastic tube with a yellow accent that feels very summery. Not like the chic transparent blue with white accents of the rest of he Hydro Boost range. The consistency is really runny and it has the faintest blue colour that almost looks white. That is, until it dries up around the cap (you know how lotions do that?) then it looks more blue. It doesn’t have the quintessential sunscreen smell which I adore – because it always reminds me of swimming, which I love! Instead, it has a floral, perfumy scent to it.
What It Claims
Neutrogena market this sunscreen as non-comedogenic, which means it isn’t supposed to cause breakouts (see more common claims/terms explained here). They also claim that it’s long-wearing, water resistant and oil free. It’s supposed to have a water-light feel to it to quench the skin. All in all, it’s supposed to be the holy grail sunscreen for all skin types and complexions.
I’ve been using it for almost 4 months now and although I didn’t have the best start, I’ve grown to love it. Believing it was messing my skin up, I took a break from it but I had to go back to it because I refuse to live without sun protection. Ain’t nobody got time for sun damage! It’s been easy to wear and good on my skin. Especially now that I’ve managed to keep my breakouts under control, for the most part. It wears well by itself, and under makeup as well. Because it’s so water-like and light, I don’t have to use a lot to get the kind of coverage I need. A little goes a long way. This is great because it lasts! I don’t think I’ve even used half of it yet so I don’t have to worry about a repurchase for several months to come.
What I Like
What I love most about it is the fact that it’s oil free. That works really well with my mostly dry/dehydrated skin (sometimes oily T zone). It gives me hydration without the grease, owing to humectant ingredients like glycerine and hyaluronic acid (low concentration). Actually, it’s so hydrating that I don’t feel the need to use a moisturizer! So instead of doubling up with my Hydro Boost Gel-Cream over a different sunscreen, I just use this. Hail multipurpose products! So economical and convenient. Another thing I love about it is how fast it absorbs into the skin, without leaving a greasy residue. For how hydrating it is, it’s incredible that it sinks in so well and leaves my skin normal to the touch. Not oily, sticky or wet. It has an invisible finish too – no grey, purple or white cast left on the face. Yay! For us melanin queens, this is essential! Plus it’s got SPF 50! When it comes to sunscreen, I believe the higher the SPF the better.
What I Dislike
The fact that it’s a chemical sunscreen made me very weary about using this. I gave it a lot of thought before I settled on it as I prefer physical sunscreens. However, most of the sunscreens I was mulling over were all chemical so I bit the bullet, reluctantly. My issue with chemical sunscreens is the fact that they may cause irritation in the form of inflammation and bumps. Hence I thought this caused my breakouts. But it’s been good to me. My other issue with chemical sunscreens is that they need some time to activate and become protective – 15 minutes for this one. As I haven’t been swimming over the last few months, I haven’t had to worry about it too much, but still annoying. Lastly, I am not a fan of the scent! If you know me, you know I hate anything that smells floral, which this does. I tried to return it the moment I got a whiff of it, but it wasn’t possible as I’d dispensed some product already. The scent has not grown on me, don’t think it ever will. But I stomach it because it’s a good product and the added fragrance hasn’t irritated my skin yet. Neither have the added colourants.
When it’s all said and done, this is a good sunscreen. It’s lightweight on the skin and I don’t even feel it once it’s been absorbed. The wear is comfortable and the scent does dissipate after a while so it doesn’t interfere with my perfume (still can’t stand it on application). It’s hydrating and keeps my dry/dehydrated skin feeling good without unnecessary oiliness. And the 88 ml (30 fl.oz) capacity is enough for several months worth of use on the face. I got this at Beauty Bar in town (available on Instagram here – they deliver) for KShs. 1,800 ($18) which isn’t bad given the quality and longevity. I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an effective sunscreen that can double up as a moisturizer and won’t leave you looking as ultraviolet as the rays you’re trying to block! I would repurchase but I’ll probably try out a different brand once it runs out because I like trying out new products to review for you all. So you can have options. Let me know which sunscreen you use or which ones you’ve been eyeing and I might just try it next. Stay protected dolls.