SKIN | What the hell is hyaluronic acid?

neutrogena_hydro_boost_hyacinthgirl_top_sI was in Countdown with a migraine the other day, buying myself treats and picking up as much codeine as I could from the pharmacy (spoiler: not very much). Despite my headache stupor I couldn’t stop myself browsing the skincare and was genuinely excited when I saw the Neutrogena Hydro Boost range. It’s a supermarket-priced skincare range that contains hyaluronic acid! You may know how much I love hyaluronic acid, and you may also know that products containing it are usually pretty costly.

So what’s the big deal about hyaluronic acid, and why should you buy this stuff?

What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid, or its salt, sodium hyaluronate, is naturally occurring in the skin, but it is lost through sun damage, irritation, over-cleansing and age. Because it’s a skin-identical ingredient (read more about that here), skincare containing hyaluronic acid can restore moisture without causing irritation. It’s also a super hydrophilic molecule, attracting up to 1000 times its weight in water.


Who should use it?
Pretty much everyone, all the time, especially if your skin is looking dull, dry or flaky. It’s a fantastic ingredient to look for if you’ve got dry skin, obviously, but I have oily skin and still see benefits from using it. (Remember, a lot of oily skin is also dehydrated.)

Do I need to do anything special?
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant (it binds to water) but it will only work if you pair it with a moisturiser with good occlusive and emollient properties. What does that mean? I’ll let Michelle explain in detail, but it basically means a cream which forms a barrier over your skin, to trap in the moisture. Hyaluronic acid serums are the biggest concern here (and you should be following them with a moisturiser anyway), because if your moisturiser contains HA then you’ve got both bases covered already.


What’s Neutrogena Hydro Boost about?
I’m pretty excited about this range because it’s so affordable – the Water Gel* and Night Concentrate* are $29.99 NZD each. For comparison, my Eve Lom Hydrating Serum is $178 NZD (ouch) and even the Indeed Labs Hydraluron serum is $44.95 NZD at Farmers.

Both the products I have tried are lightweight gels in heavy acrylic jars. The jar packaging isn’t the most hygienic, which is a little bit disappointing, but it looks super luxe. The gel feels nice on the skin and behaves well under makeup, I think because it contains the silicones that give many primers that smooth feeling.


The only other (tiny) gripe I have is that these moisturisers have a strong scent that is very reminiscent of shampoo. It doesn’t linger, but if you’re picky with fragrance it may bother you.

I feel like Neutrogena could be paying me to sing the praises of this product but I promise they aren’t; I’m just super stoked that it exists, and at such a low price point!

Have you spotted this range in your local supermarket or pharmacy? Do you think you’ll give it a go?



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  • Megan Penno

    Looks like a great product, what size are the jars?

    • 50g, pretty standard!

      • Megan Penno

        ah awesome, the pics make them look tiny I was thinking $29.99 for 15g is not a good deal!

  • Nicole

    These are interesting! I’m in dire need of a non-irritating moisture source – my combo skin isn’t having a great time right now. x

    • I’ve got a new moisturiser I’m loving using. A post will be up about it soon!

  • Love a bit of HA! My skin doesn’t deal well with too much emollients and occlusives, so this stuff is perfect.

  • Oh wow, I didn’t realise TVSN sold Indeed Labs stuff. That’s crazy cheap!
    I like the Neutrogena range more just because they’re easier to use – you don’t need to use a serum as well as a moisturiser unless you really want to. It’s one less step to fuss about with.