I knew Neutrogena's Hydro Boost was working when my colleague turned to me and said, completely unprompted: "Your skin looks really good today." I knew it was working because I was running on fumes and about four hours sleep.
The silly season, as it is every year, can feel like a slog. Between catching up with friends for "just one drink" (a lie) to wrapping up work for the year while attending the Christmas 'do, logging off on December 23 for a two week break can be less of a triumphant close than a manic race to make sure you didn't miss anything important.
And all of this plays havoc on our skin. Late nights, alcohol, stress — one of the first places you'll see the results of an out-of-control sily season is on your face. For me, that manifests in everything from extra bags under my eyes to breakouts to a slight dullness. Double cleansing at the end of a long night? Remembering where I'm up to in my skin cycling routine? All it takes is one or two late nights and my skin revolts.
Which brings me to Neutrogena, and my colleague Lucy's comments about my face.
I'd been asked to trial the Hydro Boost for an honest review. It's a lightweight water gel full of the right ingredients to plump, moisutrise and protect: Hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and electrolytes (yes, they're in your skincare now). As it's a water gel, it goes on in the serum step of your skincare routine — after cleansing, but before moisturisers and sunscreen. The Hydro Boost is for morning, night, or "whenever you need a moisture boost", which in the silly season feels like every day.
Things I loved: the texture (it feels beautiful on the skin), the refillable pods (any beauty brand looking to reduce their environmental impact gets a tick from me) and, obviously, the way it brightened and plumped my skin. Also, the price. Skincare doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg, and this game-changer is less than $35.
Things I'm not sure about: the fragrance. It's not offensive in the least, but I just prefer my skincare to be fragrance-free. It's a personal choice, so what works for me may not work for you!
Would I use it again? Absolutely. Any product that can make me look fresh after back-to-back late nights has a huge green tick from me.
Where To Buy The Neutrogrena Hydro Boost
You can grab the Hydro Boost at Woolworths, Priceline, or your local pharmacy. Buy it online here.
Lead photo: Ed Urrutia