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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser Ingredients Explained

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Updated on January 30, 2024

There is a newer formulation of this product:

Overview

What it is

Exfoliator with 17 ingredients that contains AHA and hyaluronic acid

Cool Features

It is reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any harsh alcohols, common allergens, oils, parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Neutrogena is from United States.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

You should know

Here's our breakdown of the notable ingredients, benefits, and concerns we determined from the ingredients in this product. Click any item to learn more.

Notable Ingredients

AHA (2)
Hyaluronic Acid

Benefits

Hydrating
Good For Oily Skin
Skin Texture (2)
Reduces Large Pores (2)
Anti-Aging (2)
Dark Spots (2)
Scar Healing (2)
Brightening (3)

Concerns

Irritating (3)
Rosacea (3)
Eczema (2)

Ingredient Info

Click any item below to learn more and view relevant ingredients.
alcohol-free
silicon-free
fragrance-free
sulfate-free
paraben-free
oil-free
fungal-acne safe
reef-safe
eu-allergen-free
vegan
cruelty-free

Ingredients Overview

Here's our quick-to-read summary of the ingredients in this product. Keep scrolling if you'd like to learn more about what each ingredient does!
Ingredient
Features
1
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
2
Cleansing, Foaming
May cause irritation Icon
3
Cleansing, Foaming
4
Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
5
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
0 / 0
Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
6
7
Emulsion Stabilising
8
Absorbent
9
Emulsifying
0 / 0
Not safe for Fungal Acne Icon
10
Masking, Preservative
Preservative Icon
11
Buffering
AHA IconGood for Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
12
Masking, Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
13
Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
AHA IconMay cause irritation IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea IconHelps brighten skin Icon
14
Buffering
15
16
Skin Conditioning
17
Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Hyaluronic Acid Icon

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 17 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
1
What it does: Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. Talk about multi-purpose! If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
2
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate is a cleansing agent made from a mixture of long chain sulfonate salts. It can also help produce foam.

This ingredient may be drying. We recommend speaking with a professional if you have concerns.

3
What it does: Cleansing, Foaming

We don't have a description for Sodium C14-18 Olefin Sulfonate.

4
What it does: Cleansing, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Disliked

Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is a synthetic cleansing agent, though it is derived from coconut oil.

It is used to enhance the texture of products by boosting lather and thickening the texture. As a cleanser, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is mild.

5
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Solvent
Community Rating: Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin

We don't have a description for Sodium Hydrolyzed Potato Starch Dodecenylsuccinate.

7
What it does: Emulsion Stabilising

We don't have a description for Acrylates Crosspolymer-4.

8
What it does: Absorbent
Community Rating: Loved

Cellulose is the main component of plant cell walls. It is used as an emulsifier, absorbent, and texture enhancer.

This ingredient has many functions:

Fun fact: Cellulose is the most abundant form of organic polymer on Earth.

Learn more about Cellulose
9
What it does: Emulsifying
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Polysorbate 20 is made by combining ethoxylation of sorbitan, ethylene oxide, and lauric acid. It is a mild cleansing agent, surfactant, and emulsifier.

As a surfactant, it helps collect dirt and oils for washing. Emulsifiers prevent oils and water from separating.

Polysorbate 20 also adds scent to a product. Since it is made using sorbitol, it has a sweet scent. Sorbitol can also be found in fruits such as apples and peaches.

The lauric acid used to create Polysorbate 20 is often derived from coconuts.

Polysorbate 20 may not be fungal acne safe.

Learn more about Polysorbate 20
10
What it does: Masking, Preservative
Community Rating: Disliked

Sodium Benzoate is a preservative. It's used in both cosmetic and food products to inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. It is typically produced synthetically.

Both the US FDA and EU Health Committee have approved the use of sodium benzoate. In the US, levels of 0.1% (of the total product) are allowed.

Sodium benzoate works as a preservative by inhibiting the growth of bacteria inside of cells. It prevents the cell from fermenting a type of sugar using an enzyme called phosphofructokinase.

Sodium Benzoate is the salt of benzoic acid. Foods containing sodium benzoate include soda, salad dressings, condiments, fruit juices, wines, and snack foods.

Studies for using ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate in cosmetics are lacking, especially in skincare routines with multiple steps.

We always recommend speaking with a professional, such as a dermatologist, if you have any concerns.

Learn more about Sodium Benzoate
11
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Loved

Glycolic Acid is arguably the most famous AHA with research to back up its benefits. Its main role is to peel the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and look more even.

Glycolic Acid has shown to boost collage production, a protein that helps skin stay firm. Overall, Glycolic Acid helps with improving uneven tone, rough patches of skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. It also increases skin hydration by playing a role in creating molecules that create hyaluronic acid naturally.

When applying Glycolic Acid, it is normal to feel slight stinging. The pH value and concentration of glycolic acid play a role in the effectiveness of the product.

Recent studies have shown Glycolic Acid may protect the skin against UV damage. However, you should always wear SPF, especially when using exfoliants.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Glycolic Acid
12
What it does: Masking, Perfuming
Community Rating: Very Disliked

Parfum is a catch-all term for an ingredient or more that is used to give aroma to products. Parfum, or fragrance, can be a blend of hundreds of chemicals or plant oils. This means every product with "fragrance" or "Parfum" in the ingredients list is a different mixture.

In the US, the alternative name for parfum is 'fragrance'. The term 'fragrance' is not regulated in many countries. In many cases, it is up to the brand to define this term.

For instance, many brands choose to label themselves as "fragrance-free" because they are not using synthetic fragrances. However, their products may still contain ingredients such as essential oils that are considered a fragrance. One example is Calendula flower extract. Essential oil ingredients still impart a scent or 'fragrance'.

Depending on the blend, it can cause allergies and sensitivities on the skin. Some ingredients that are known EU allergens include linalool and citronellol.

Products use parfum often to give products a scent or cover up smells of different ingredients.

The bottom line is: not all fragrances/parfum/ingredients are created equally. If you are worried about fragrances, we recommend taking a closer look at an ingredient. And of course, we always recommend speaking with a professional.

Learn more about Parfum
13
What it does: Buffering, Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Loved

Lactic Acid is an AHA that is derived from fermenting lactose, a carbohydrate from milk. It removes the top layer of old and dead skin cells and helps increase cell turnover.

Benefits of Lactic Acid are that it can help to reduce large pores and reduce the effects of aging. Some potential downsides are that it can be bad for dry skin, cause irritation, worsen eczema, and worsen rosacea.

Not only does it help exfoliate the skin, it helps strengthen the skin's barrier. When applied, lactic acid helps the skin create ceramides.

Lactic acid is an over-the-counter chemical exfoliant that comes from the fermentation of lactose β€” a carbohydrate found in milk.

Legend has it that Cleopatra used to bathe in sour milk to help reduce wrinkles.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Lactic Acid
14
What it does: Buffering
Community Rating: Mixed

Sodium Hydroxide is also known as lye or caustic soda. It is used to adjust the pH of products; many ingredients require a specific pH to be effective.

In small amounts, sodium hydroxide is considered safe to use. However, large amounts may cause chemical burns due to its high alkaline.

Your skin has a natural pH and acid mantle. This acid mantle helps prevent harmful bacteria from breaking through. The acid mantle also helps keep your skin hydrated.

"Alkaline" refers to a high pH level. A low pH level would be considered acidic.

Learn more about Sodium Hydroxide
15
What it does:
Community Rating: Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
16
What it does: Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Carica Papaya Fruit Extract comes from the papaya fruit. Papayas were first domesticated in Mexico and Central America.

This fruit extract contains papain and chymopapain, two types of enzymes. These enzyme have exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties. One study shows papain may help reduce scarring.

Papaya is also a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your skin against damage from free-radical molecules. This may help protect against signs of aging. One antioxidant present in papayas is lycopene.

Papaya also contains Vitamin A, also known as retinol.

While papaya is used as an ingredient to help lighten skin, research is limited on this.

The seeds of papaya have been found to have anti-fungal activity.

Learn more about Carica Papaya Fruit Extract
17
What it does: Humectant, Skin Conditioning
Community Rating: Liked

Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid is a form of hyaluronic acid. It is created by the hydrolysis of hyaluronic acid with a high molecular weight. Once created, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid has a low molecular weight.

Low molecular weight HA has been shown to hydrate and increase elasticity of the skin. Increasing elasticity is also associated with reduction of wrinkle depth.

One study found topical low molecular weight hyaluronic acid may be considered for the treatment of rosacea in the adult population. However, we always recommend speaking with a professional about your skin concerns.

Hyaluronic acids are a humectant. This means they draw moisture from the air. Hyaluronic acids help moisturize, soothe, and protect the skin.

Read more about other common forms of hyaluronic acid:

Learn more about Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid
Embed Ingredients

Here's what our community thinks of the 17 ingredients in this product ✨

41% are loved or liked
6% have mixed ratings
35% are disliked or very disliked
18% have no rating yet
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