Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream

How is the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream regarded so highly? How is it a holy grail for dry-skin sufferers? This is basically the equivalent of dipping your hands in wax. There’s no moisturizing quality in this product whatsoever.

Actually, a reviewer on Target has my exact thoughts, almost verbatim. I guess there are a few naysayers, after all:

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Heck, I’d go so far to say that comparing to this to petroleum jelly is a slap in the face to petroleum jelly.

Onto the customer experience. This $6 clear gel-cream squeezes out veryy slowly from the tube. It’s quite thick, which you think would be a telltale sign of a good humectant that holds moisture in, but this will inevitably fail to do just that. The thickness of this cream will make it difficult to absorb into your skin, or even to spread around on your hand in the first place.

Even when you think it’s done drying onto your skin (which can exceed ten minutes, some days), it leaves behind a very tacky residue, which makes it close to impossible to do normal things like… turning open a door knob. Sure, every lotion does this to some extent, but not as long as a couple hours after application! Heck, even running your hands under the sink won’t remove all the residue. What is this stuff?! Is this what all the positive reviews are mistaking as moisture?

When I focus on how my skin feels under all that goop, it still just feels dry, despite the fact it has a slippery layer of wax over top of it. And at the end of it all, when the sticky residue has finally worn off, your hands are still just… dry.

On the plus side, it is fragrance free, for anyone who’s bothered by that. Also sort of on the plus side, there’s not a whole lot of red flags in the ingredient listing, except maybe glycerin and sodium sulfate, the latter of which I wonder causes the dryness. Honestly, seeing as glycerin is the second ingredient of this hand cream anyway, I’d recommend someone to just use Vaseline instead. It’s much more effective as a humectant.

If you suffer from eczema, this might be worth a shot, since it is low on skin irritating ingredients. Other than that, I would completely skip this hand cream. Yes, I know there’s a ton of five star reviews out there, but I’m starting to question how many people Neutrogena paid off to play nice. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 4/5

How much I actually like this product: 1/5

Holy Grail No More

Good morning readers, and Happy New Year!

For the new year, I decided to do a small purge of my skincare collection. As the seasons change, and as I’ve continued on with my Epiduo and spironolactone treatment, my skin has changed a bit. Products that I used to swear by and considered HG status at one point just don’t work as well anymore. That’s not to say I don’t consider them good products anymore, I would still recommend them to someone with a particular skin need.

So, here is a list of products that are going into my “on-hold” stash, or in the trash, for 2020, despite their previously coveted “holy grail” status in my reviews.

Cerave PM. This started to make my skin feel congested and break out minorly. The buzz on Reddit is that Cerave PM was reformulated for 2019, and I’m wondering if that was related to my breakouts. Now, I’m on the hunt for a good niacinamide replacement…

undefinedCerave Hydrating and Foaming Cleanser. The foaming cleanser has always gotten a bad rap for being a little too harsh, and I agree with that. It’s also, for some reason, not very good at removing makeup. The hydrating cleanser tends to leave behind a film, and quite frankly won’t really make you feel clean. I’ve replaced both of these with CosRX Low PH Cleanser.

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Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Lotion

I think this is one of my favorite skincare products of all time, and also a huge personal secret of mine. Like, if I told anyone, my secret would be out, and this stuff would go flying off the shelves and I would never see it again. I know I’m not THAT influential, but a girl has her worries 🙂

If you go into Walmart or any drug or grocery store, you’ll usually find this HUGE (32 fl. oz!) bottle sitting on the lowest shelf, and, if you’re lucky, it’ll have the cheapest price point of anything you see around it for the same — or even lesser — size. At my local grocer, this runs me $3.

The lotion in this bottle has a very thin consistency, so be careful when squeezing out of the bottle. It’s so thin that it pretty much just falls out of the opening of the bottle on it’s own without any added pressure. But when applied, the consistency is very rich. This plumps up your skin, and dries VERY quickly. The color of the lotion itself is white with very faint tinges of yellow, but leaves no cast. Oh, and before I continue, I use this exclusively as a body lotion — I don’t recommend it at all for face!

Most other body lotions I’ve tried leave an uncomfortable residue after application that, at first, might make your skin FEEL soft to the touch, but after awhile you feel dry, like you have to apply more. That never happens with this cocoa butter! Even though the lotion’s consistency is thin, this is still incredibly hydrating, doesn’t leave any tacky residue and it never makes you feel dried out.The ingredient listing is noticeably shorter than a lot of other lotions out there, which is usually a good sign. No drying alcohols.

Even though I love this lotion, there are a few drawbacks to mention to the unconverted. The smell is VERY cocoa butter-y. It’s strong. I personally like it — it reminds me of summer! But is very noticeable when you’re not used to it. Is the smell noticeable to other people, though? Nope! (thank goodness) Also, as previously mentioned, this is not the thickest lotion in the world, so a particularly cold winter day might merit another layer. This lotion doesn’t pill whatsoever, even when it’s not fully dry, so layering is pretty easy.

This lotion truly defies the adage of “you get what you pay for”. For the price point, this lotion is a godsend. I’ve been using it daily for close to 15 years, and I’ve never had any issues with texture, residue, or extreme dryness on my skin — that’s more than I can say for a lot of $7+ mainstay body lotions sitting right next to this on the shelf! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream

Neutrogena must have had a pretty good run with the original hydro boost moisturizer, as they’ve rather substantially increased their product offerings under this namesake. As they should! This is an easily accessible (ie: found in most grocers or drug stores), good-smelling alcohol-free option for close to every single skin type there is.

For a lotion, this is a tad bit expensive ($9) and the amount of product for that price point won’t overwhelm you — that’s probably my only gripe with this product. The lotion comes out of the pump white, and very quickly sinks into your skin with no residue. The lotion thins out quickly and becomes easily spreadable, so you won’t feel like you’re wasting product as you’re using it.

What I consider to be a good lotion is one that doesn’t make you feel like you need to re-apply every 5 minutes, or make you feel like your skin is extremely tacky. This is neither of them. I never have the feeling that I need to reapply this.

The smell is the same as the others in the Hydroboost line — light, fresh, almost like a … bubble bath? I personally love it, but there is a fragrance free option available as well.

Overall, this is definitely worth a bit of a splurge. You wouldn’t think it would be so tough to find a lotion that actually, you know, puts moisture into your skin and retains it, but it is. Fortunately, this is that lotion!

Buy Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream here:  https://amzn.to/2I4Y20z

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 4.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes