When it comes to my beauty products, especially the skin-care ones I put on before makeup, I'm big on texture. Yes, they need to spread easily and evenly over my face without the need for excessive rubbing. But beyond that, they can't make my skin look dull, chalky or greasy — and they sure as hell better not pill up once I start to apply my BB cream. That said, finding a sunscreen that doesn't do at least one or two of those thing has proven pretty damn difficult.
In the past, I've had success with ones from Glossier and Paula's Choice, and I still use both of those products fairly often. But thanks to a press mailing, I also recently discovered a drugstore option I'm pretty thrilled about: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen. It's available in both SPF 30 and SPF 50 versions (I'll give you one guess which one I gravitate toward) and I've been using it on my face (pre-makeup) and body throughout most of the summer so far. Already, it's earned a permanent place in my routine.
Part of Neutrogena's Hydro Boost line, the aptly named sunscreen relies on the hydrating properties of hyaluronic acid to amp up skin's moisture content, making its name quite apt and literal. That means in addition to offering the broad-spectrum sun protection we're all supposed to be wearing every day, it's also warding off dryness. But like I said, for me, it's all about texture. And this product's is just dreamy. Touted as a gel on the packaging, it's more of a viscous fluid (it can drip out of the tube if you're not careful). It's a pale, bluish-tinted white at first, but as soon as you rub it over skin, it turns transparent and (I promise!) not at all chalky. The finish is slightly dewy, and it really does feel weightless. It checks all of my SPF boxes.
And I'm not alone in my fandom: I gave an extra tube I had sitting at my desk to Liza, who is currently hyper-focused on adequate sun protection while undergoing acne treatment with Accutane, and she, too, is a fan.
There's one downside to this product I do feel warrants mentioning: It's very heavily fragranced. It's not so much that I specifically dislike the (super-noticeable) floral aroma of it, per se, but more that I'm annoyed by the addition of any unnecessary/artificial scents in beauty products, especially ones I'm putting on my skin. But I don't have a particularly sensitive complexion, and the fragrance dissipates pretty quickly after I've put on the sunscreen, so it's something I can live with.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 50, $10.99, available here.
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