New Neutrogena Hydrogel Recovery Masks and Instant Facial Cream Masks
I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of Neutrogena’s brand new Hydrogel Recovery Masks and Instant Facial Cream Mask pods, all inspired by Korean beauty trends, so here’s a quick review of these new products.
Neutrogena’s latest offering includes four different gel masks and three types of cream-gel masks, each retailing at an affordable £3.50, and they’ll be joined by a clay-based pod mask later in July. So, what are they like? I’m going to include the manufacturer’s notes and some comments of my own here.
The Neutrogena Hydrogel Recovery Masks
These are single use masks that are made from a soothing hydrogel and each one is infused with different ingredients. They slide very easily out of the pack in two pieces so that you can peel them off the backing paper and fit them more easily to the contours of your face, and you’re supposed to leave on and relax for 15 to 30 minutes, then remove the gel and massage any remaining serum onto your face and neck.
All these masks are labelled as 30ml, so there’s a fair bit of serum / fluid in each sachet. I found it easiest to remove the mask carefully so as not to drop it, and to hold it over the sink for a few seconds before applying it so the excess liquid could drip away. It’s best used when sitting still, and the directions say to leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes, so you can combine it with some relaxation.
They’ve been out for a while in the USA, but the UK versions seem to have different – possibly better – ingredients than the original ones so I think it’s worth doing a new UK review from scratch.
Here are the four different hydrogel mask types:
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrogel Recovery Sheet Mask 30ml, AKA ‘The Super Hydrator’
The star ingredient is billed as hyaluronic acid, which is known to plump and hydrate the skin. On reading the ingredients list I found the other helpful components to be as follows: red seaweed extract (water-binding and antioxidant), snow mushroom extract (antioxidant, water-binding), tocopherol (Vitamin E, antioxidant), sacha inchi oil (moisturising), sucrose cocoate (emollient), and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid.
Obviously there’s a lot more going on here than just the hyaluronic acid, so it’s a formulation that should work on most skin types to increase hydration and add a small amount of moisture / oil too. There’s a tiny bit of fragrance in here as well, but not much, so most people should be able to use it without irritation. This mask could be for you if your skin gets dehydrated from time to time, and could be useful for offsetting the effects of travel, hot weather, air conditioning or central heating.
Neutrogena Radiance Boost Hydrogel Recovery Sheet Mask 30ml, AKA ‘The Illuminator’
The featured ingredient is Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, which is a big multi-tasking ingredient – skin restoring, pore refining, and able to tackle fine lines, uneven skin tone and dullness. Other ingredients high up the list include red seaweed extract (water-binding and antioxidant), blackberry leaf extract (possible collagen booster and antioxidant), Vitamin E (antioxidant) and sacha inchi oil (moisturising).
This sort of formula should be good for a skin brightening boost, and for early signs of ageing. One thing though, it is very fragranced and so it might cause irritation to sensitive skins.
Neutrogena Purifying Boost Hydrogel Recovery Sheet Mask 30ml, AKA ‘The Detoxifier’
According to Neutrogena, the star of the show here is chondrus crispus seaweed extract, which is the red seaweed used in the masks above (water-binding and antioxidant). It also has quite a bit of shea butter (very moisturising, antioxidant) in it, along with moringa seed extract (moisturising, and possibly antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory) and sacha inchi oil (moisturising).
This is a moisturising formulation, so it’s probably best for dry skin types. I’m not sure exactly how it’s purifying, because when I think of purifying products they tend to be aimed at congested or spot-prone skin, but it does have proven antioxidants and could be soothing for drier faces.
Neutrogena Ageless Boost Hydrogel Recovery Sheet Mask 30ml, AKA ‘The Smart Smoother’
With this mask, adenosine gets the top billing – a soothing, anti-wrinkle ingredient. However, the rest of this mask’s ingredients are worth a look as well: red seaweed, snow mushroom, Vitamin E, sacha inchi oil, and two different types of hyaluronic acid. This is a good all rounder to smooth, plump and hydrate the skin, and could be used on both more mature and younger skin types.
It’s the sort of product you could use before a special event, as well as an occasional skin treat. One minor drawback is that there’s a little fragrance in here, although most people will be able to use this hydrogel mask without problem. Drier skin types will almost certainly need more moisture (there’s another mask in the range that could work for them – see the Ageless Boost mask pod later in this article) but it’s actually great to see an anti-ageing product that isn’t too rich and heavy because being 30+ doesn’t necessarily mean you have very dry skin.
Neutrogena Instant Boost Facial Cream Mask Pods
These are three different mask pods that come in little 10g tubs, designed to be used up to three times per week. The good news about these is that although they’re designed to be single use, you can easily get two or three treatments out of each one if you close them tightly and keep them in the fridge after opening. This means that you can use them for multi-masking too, in case you have different skin types on different parts of your face.
The general texture feels pleasant and luxurious, halfway between a cream and a gel, all in all it was very nice to use and not at all drippy or messy. You don’t have to sit still while you’re using the cream masks either, unless of course you want to, and they look subtle compared to, say, a thick charcoal mask – handy if you’re busy and want to get things done on the go.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Instant Facial Cream Mask
This is the pod companion to the Hydro Boost hydrogel sheet mask, but the ingredients are slightly different. The featured ingredient is still hyaluronic acid, but the helpful ingredients also include: glycerin (hydrating, skin-restoring), snow mushroom extract (hydrating, antioxidant), caprylyl glycol (skin conditioning), Vitamin E (antioxidant), sacha inchi oil (moisturising), sucrose cocoate (emollient).
This performs in a fairly similar way to the hydrating gel version, although it might be a tiny more moisturising. It’s the sort of thing you could slap onto a clean face during a long haul flight without getting funny looks from the other passengers, then just wipe your face afterwards and rub in the excess instead of needing to wash it off in a plane loo. An option to consider if air travel usually leaves you looking like a dried out husk of your former self…
Neutrogena Radiance Boost Instant Facial Cream Mask
As with the gel mask counterpart, the star ingredient is said to be Vitamin B3 (niacinamide). This mask also contains: glycerin (hydrating, skin-restoring), blackberry leaf extract (possible collagen booster and antioxidant), caprylyl glycol (skin conditioning), Vitamin E (antioxidant), sacha inchi oil (moisturising), sucrose cocoate (emollient). Unfortunately this also contains quite a lot of fragrance compounds, which is something to bear in mind if you have sensitive skin, although I tested it without having any ill effects.
When I tried this for 15 minutes, my skin felt fresh and smooth afterwards.
Neutrogena Ageless Boost Instant Facial Cream Mask
This is the one with adenosine as the featured molecule, but the formula also includes: shea butter (very moisturising, antioxidant), glycerin (hydrating, skin-restoring), caprylic/capric triglyceride (moisturising, skin replenishing), ethylhexyl palmitate (moisturising), cetearyl alcohol (moisturising), snow mushroom extract (hydrating, antioxidant), caprylyl glycol (skin conditioning), Vitamin E (antioxidant), sacha inchi oil (moisturising), glyceryl stearate (moisturising, cleansing), sucrose cocoate (emollient) and two different types of hyaluronic acid (hydrating).
Just a quick look at the ingredients list tells you that this is going to be the most moisturising of the bunch of masks in this collection, and it should also give most people a hydrating, skin-plumping and slightly smoothing effect. So this one is for drier skin types and it’s also marketed towards people with mature skin.
I’ll try to get hold of the Purifying Boost clay mask pod for a review when it hits the shops later this summer. This is the only product in the range that has to be washed off after a certain time, and if it contains clay then it might be aimed more at cleansing / oil absorption although we’ll have to wait and see.
Where to find the new Korean-style Neutrogena masks
If you’re interested in trying some of these skincare treats, they’re currently 1/3 off at Ocado.
They’re arriving in Boots stores right now. They’ll also be in stock at Tesco, and you’ll be able to bulk buy the hydrogel masks and cream mask pods at Amazon if you find one you love.
Have you tried them yet? Let me know what you think of them.
Full disclosure: Products kindly supplied for review by PR, all thoughts and comments my own.