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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Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Aging Perfector

In the words of Jeffree Star, “I’m not living for this”. This is a more-or-less a BB cream, in which the point of using this product is more about the added benefits (sunscreen and retinol) and less about the coverage. Unfortunately, the added benefits ended up not being benefits to me at all.

This foundation comes in a push-top tube. The liqui-cream comes out in a thin line, and, honestly, what you can get out in one or two pumps won’t really seem like enough product. It didn’t spread very evenly, and I kept having to go back to get more of the product, after feeling as though it had stopped short while I was spreading it. This might have been because the color isn’t really intended to be coverage, but more of a tint, thus causing me to think I simply hadn’t used enough. Which leads me to my next gripe.

What tint? Although my skin undertone skews yellow, I have a lot of redness due to my various skin sensitivities, but otherwise I’m a hard NC-15 during a good half of the year. I figured picking this up in the “ivory to fair” shade would be satisfactory. And again, I get that this isn’t intended to provide coverage, but I didn’t see any color at all, not even enough to provide any smallest amount of correction. Then, after twenty minutes, the weirdest thing happened: it oxidized, turning my face slightly orange. Suddenly, my face no longer matched my neck! But at this point I was already out of the house, so I soldiered on and continued to wear it.

Now, fortunately, any color that was on my face was relatively imperceptible by noon, although I had quite a bit of oil breakthrough. But then my skin started to itch, and by the time I was home to remove my makeup, I had broke out in a few spots. Now, there’s nothing unheard of in this product’s ingredient list, nor anything that I would say is bad. But it does contain both retinol and sunscreen. Retinol, even at low percentages, invokes an initial purging period. And sunscreen… I don’t know. I don’t have a good time with American sunscreens, personally, but I can’t put my finger on why that’s the case.

I can see why some people would like this product though. If you can tolerate the ingredients that provide the benefits, it seems like it could be a great product. Retinol is great for anti-aging, as is SPF (and you would need the SPF anyway if you planned on going out in the sun after applying retinol). If your skin can mesh well with the oxidation-orange tint, you’d be in luck with this. Otherwise, this foundation is personally hard pass for me. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 1/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No

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

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream

This product was one of my very first moisturizers and retinol products. I don’t know how I feel about that, to be honest — I probably could have started with something a little bit more low-key, without the retinol, but I must have figured 20 or 21 was a good as time as any to hop on the anti-wrinkle train.

I definitely did not know what I  was doing with anything retinol related at the time, so there is a possibility I used this way too much — every morning/night, or at least, every day. I probably wasn’t wearing any sunscreen with it, either. Bad. But I can say with confidence that it never broke me out (any more than I already was at the time, anyway — this was before my cystic acne, so I suspect at the time those breakouts were more due to my poor eating/sleep/stress habits), and the packaging does specify that it’s oil-free.

It is a white cream, that quickly sinks into your skin without having to vigorous rub in. It’s can be a little bit pilly if you don’t let it set or you put too much in one area, etc., but as long as it goes on smoothly from the onset, it should be relatively lightweight. There’s no fragrance.

As it is a retinol cream, this should be worn at night, not during the day, or if you’re going to wear it during the day, put some sunscreen over it. So you probably shouldn’t need to put makeup on over it, but if you do, that should go on fine as well, again as long as you’ve allowed the product time to set. I haven’t used this in awhile, so it’s possible that reformulations have occurred in the time that’s lapsed thus changing the structure of the product, but I don’t notice any substantial ingredient changes.

While this product does boast retinol, they don’t disclose the percentage, and I read somewhere on Reddit once that the percentage is actually relatively low, or that it merely contains it’s lesser form, retinyl palmitate. But regardless of the amount of retinol, my word of caution is still to read up on retinol and how to use it properly before applying (especially if you’re acne prone, cause the retinol purging period can be real!)

But if you like to live a more carefree lifestyle (like me, at age 20) and do absolutely zero research before using a product, this is certainly the product to do it with. It’s probably not a miracle worker, but it won’t kill your skin, and there’s just enough good stuff in it to convince yourself that it’s actually doing something. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Maybe

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel (and Water Gel Extra Dry)

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

This stuff has been part of my nightly regime for close to a year now, and I love it.

There’s really not too big of a difference between the two formulas except the color — in fact, I accidentally bought the extra dry formula online, and didn’t realize that it had even existed until I looked at the color and wondered what on earth I had bought (extra dry coloration is white, instead of the normal formula’s blue). Extra dry is a little heavier, and application is a bit tackier, so it might require a longer setting time but still won’t interfere with the rest of your process. I think I’m going to use extra dry a bit more in the winter.

I think the color is kind of neat for the original formula — light blue! It doesn’t apply that way, though. The stuff sinks in almost immediately, and it’s weightless. Your skin will be softer on touch. That moisture will persist for at least eight hours, and won’t pill off throughout the day. The fragrance is nice — very light, fresh, won’t drive you insane during the day. And, added bonus, the packaging is kind of cool in the light blue container, making it hard to miss in my vanity.

What I love love love about this stuff is that it does not conflict with anything else I put on for the day — be it extra layers of moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup. NO PILLING!! Ah, yes, and for all you acne-sufferers out there, this stuff is oil free, and was a mainstay during my hormonal acne.

The price point is a little annoying at $14-18 depending on where you buy from, but it should last between a month to three months, contingent on how much it gets used. ~A

To try the regular formula, click here: https://amzn.to/2GXTdFT For the extra dry formula, click here: https://amzn.to/2VvPEtP

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 5/5