Clinique Moisture Surge vs. Neutrogena Hydro Boost

February 4, 2019

At the very beginning of last year (Jan. 30th, 2018- I ironically almost posted this on the exact same day, but in 2019) I shared one of my favourite drugstore dupes for the famous and well loved, Clinique Moisture Surge, and to my surprise, an overwhelming amount of people loved it (click HERE to view that post). Since then, and technically way before then, many skincare companies have tried to copy what Clinique was able to do so well, but I find most of them to fall short in comparison. 

Comparing Moisture Surge to Peter Thomas Roth's Water Drench, PUR's Soak It Up- Intense Hydrating Moisturizer, PUR's 4-in-1 Cloud Cream, Herbivore's Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme, and the countless other high-end water-based gel moisturizers on the market, NOTHING comes close to Clinique's seemingly perfect concoction. 

Since my last post, Clinique has slightly rebranded and "reformulated" the original Moisture Surge to now be this "72-hour auto-replenishing hydrator" and claims "new Auto-Replenishing Technology with caffeine helps trigger skin’s own rehydration system, while hyaluronic acid fragments and activated aloe water plump skin with moisture. And this super-holding matrix of humectants and polymers help reduce water loss and seal in moisture." Also worth noting, Clinique has recently updated all formulas to be paraben free and phthalate free, in addition to having always been fragrance free. 

With all the "72-hr auto-replenishing" marketing set aside, all you, as the consumer, should really be concerned with is the fact that Moisture Surge still performs fabulously, it is still the same price, and it is still an excellent occlusive moisturizer that definitely slows down TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss)!

Have I personally noticed a difference from the original to the new updated formula? Sure.
Consistency-wise, I feel as though it is a bit thicker than the original, but if you did not know any better, I think most people would assume it feels the exact same. In terms of performance, I certainly think the new formula locks in moisture a bit better than the original, which is absolutely necessary in maintaining happy, healthy skin (and an even happier skin barrier)!


Now just like there are many luxury copycats of Moisture Surge, there also exist just as many, if not more, drugstore/affordable "dupes". One such dupe I have previously talked about is Simple's Skin Quench Sleeping Cream, which is not as occlusive as Moisture Surge, but is still a great fragrance-free option for those of us on a budget.

Another such dupe just so happens to be the, now famous, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra-Dry Skin; not be confused with the original Hydro Boost Water Gel. As you can see from the image I included below, the original Hydro Boost contains fragrance, which if you did not know by now, is an immediate NO for me when it comes to skincare. I personally have sensitive skin, so fragrances tend to irritate me almost immediately, but even if you do not tend to have "sensitive skin", fragrance of any kind can certainly still cause harm to the skin. If not now, then most likely later on in life, so why expose yourself to something that can end up costing you so much down the road?

Because the Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for Extra Dry Skin is fragrance free, it makes it the better dupe for Clinique's Moisture Surge in my opinion. And even though it says "for Extra Dry Skin" on the packaging, do not be alarmed if you have an oilier skin type. It will still work just as well and you will not have to worry about excess oil production because you are still working with a light-weight water-based moisturizer. 

Comparing the consistency of the original Hydro Boost Water Gel to the Hydro Boost Gel-Cream, the Water Gel is thinner and absorbs almost instantly into the skin, whereas the Gel-Cream is slightly thicker, making it more comparable to the feel of Moisture Surge. In terms of occlusivity, I still think Moisture Surge takes the cake, but the Hydro Boost Gel-Cream is still a formidable opponent. 


Clinique Moisture Surge 
15ml/0.5oz - $12
30ml/1oz - $19
50ml/1.7oz - $39
75ml/2.5oz - $52.50
125ml/4.2oz - $78

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream 
(one size)
50ml/1.7oz - $20

Simple Water Boost Skin Quench Sleeping Cream
(one size)
50ml/1.7oz - $13

In terms of the cost breakdown, it is clear to see that both Neutrogena and Simple Skincare offer cheaper alternatives for the exact same amount of product, which can be a clear deciding factor for many. Personally, I find Clinique to make the superior water-based occlusive moisturizer, and because I am the type of shopper that prefers to buy "the bigger size" of a beloved product, you will find me choosing my Moisture Surge over everything else. I do not like having to run out frequently to replenish products, and the last time I bought my 75ml Moisture Surge, it lasted me over half the year (mainly only used at night on my face, neck & décolleté). So for me, let's just say 75ml can last me at least 6 months, that works out to be less than $9 a month spent on my moisturizer, which is quite alright with me. 

But that is simply how I choose to invest in my skin and just because this is my choice, does not make it the best choice for you, your skin, or your wallet- so always do what is best for you!

I hope this was the least bit helpful and as always, I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the moisturizers mentioned today! What are your favourite water-based moisturizers? Have you ever tried Hydro Boost Gel-Cream and Moisture Surge for comparison? What did you think? Be sure to let me know!


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