No7 Hydra Luminous Water Concentrate
Given this product’s name, you may be wondering what the Boots No7 brand means by “water concentrate”, as technically concentrated water would be just that, 100% water! It seems the water angle is tied to No7 Hydra Luminous Water Concentrate’s claim of providing a hydration boost from its water-light texture. And it does just that, but not without some drawbacks all skin types should consider.
This silky, water-light yet gel-like serum is packaged in a stunning translucent glass bottle topped with a dropper applicator. From first contact, skin feels hydrated and smoothed without a slick, heavy, or tacky finish.
The translucency of the bottle allows light to penetrate (the brand could not confirm if the glass is UV-coated or not, so we’re erring on the side that it isn’t), which isn’t ideal for the light-sensitive ingredients this contains, such as vitamins C and E plus a couple of plant extracts. For best results, store this in a dark place, like a drawer or cabinet.
Packaging aside, the hydration aspect comes from this serum’s blend of glycerin, castor oil, the plant sugar xylitylglucoside, and sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid. All of these ingredients are effective for either attracting or holding moisture within skin’s uppermost layers. If you’re looking for a hydration boost, this is it; however, that’s about all this provides.
Today’s best serums can hydrate and do much more, although Boots isn’t making any anti-aging claims beyond what they refer to as “pollution shield technology”. That sounds good but the only ingredient that can help in that regard is the acrylate film-forming agent this contains, whose film can keep some types of pollutants from sticking to skin. None of the other ingredients in this serum are proven pollution shields, but the vitamins can help neutralize some pollutants before they damage skin.
It’s also a fact that keeping skin’s barrier replenished, which this helps with, makes it harder for airborne pollutants to penetrate skin. Still, there’s room for improvement to support the pollution claim.
Note: This serum contains fragrance, which poses a slight risk of irritating skin, although the scent is subtle and the amount of fragrance is low.
- Hydrates on contact with proven moisture magnets.
- Silky gel texture doesn’t feel heavy, slick, or tacky.
- The formula doesn’t strongly support the claim around pollution-shielding.
- Translucent bottle can cause light-sensitive ingredients to deteriorate.
- Not as robust as today’s best hydrating serums.
No7's Hydra Luminous Water Concentrate has a lightweight formula powered by pure hyaluronic acid + No7's HydraDrench Complex, for an instant +100% skin hydration boost. This product's fresh, water light texture instantly drenches skin with liquid hydration, leaving skin feeling smooth and silky soft - with visible fresh and glowing skin within 1 week. Use for supercharged hydration when your skin needs it most. This product contains pollution shield technology.
Originating in England, Boots is named after founder John Boot, and it already had a worldwide presence before its 2004 pilot launch in the U.S. retail market through select Target and CVS drugstore. (Note: Boots is no longer available at CVS.) Its success in these stores led to a full-scale launch in spring 2007. Boots has been part of England's cosmetic history since 1839, and now over 1,500 freestanding Boots stores dot the British landscape. Of course, history has its place, but Boots, on the basis of their longevity, believes that it offers consumers the best products full of quality ingredients and also at a value price. Although it's true that Boots' price point is lower than many drugstore lines (at least those whose products make similar claims and have the same target audience), their line consists of some impressive options, but also contains some areas that left us wanting for more.
Boots sunscreens tend to be good, but be aware that some have SPF ratings below the benchmark SPF 30+. Although there are dozens of moisturizers available, youll find that many are indistinguishable from one another in terms of their formulas. While there are many great options for sensitive skin among the Boots line, there are much fewer choices for those seeking impressive anti-aging formulas due to the lack of beneficial ingredients.
Boots does feature antioxidants, peptides, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A not to be confused with pure retinol) in many of its products, but they tend to be present at less than impressive, or jar packaging compromises their benefits to skin due to light & air exposure.
You'll find some great options for cleansers, scrubs, sunless tanners, and treatments for dry, chapped lips, all at fair prices, and that's good news. (There are also quite a few impressive makeup products at surprisingly inexpensive prices.) Check our reviews for the products that shouldn't be missed (as well as the less-than-impressive options).
For more information about Boots, call (866) 752-6687 or visit www.boots.com.
Note: Boots No7 and Botanics brands (only) are sold in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the U.S., most of the lines can be found at Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. As of August 2015, Boots has been acquired by Walgreens.
Strengths: Inexpensive; outstanding options for sensitive skin; good sunscreens; some impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: Occasional use of jar packaging; some formulas with limited amounts of beneficial ingredients.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.