No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream Drier Skin

1.69 fl. oz. for $ 17.99
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Brand Overview

Boots’ No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream Drier Skin feels soothing on parched, dehydrated skin, but ultimately isn’t the product dry skin needs for serious hydration.

Packaged in a sleek-looking jar (more on that in a moment), this creamy gel has a luxurious texture that is richly hydrating, but not too thick or sticky. It absorbs remarkably fast, leaving skin feeling refreshed and moisturized.

That hydrating action is thanks to moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin and water-binding, plant-derived sugars, among them xylitylglucoside. For a product that’s marketed for “drier skin”, we’d prefer to see more deeply moisturizing emollients, like shea butter or non-fragrant plant oils, so if you’re looking for truly long-lasting moisture, this isn’t the product for you.

Also included are antioxidants vitamin C, ginseng root, and white mulberry leaf extract, though they’re not here in great amounts (they all appear after the preservative phenoxyethanol, which is used in skin care products in concentrations of 1% or less). They won’t provide much help in environmental defense, though the film-forming ingredient sodium polyacrylate can form a physical shield against some pollutants, keeping them from going deeper into skin.

That’s where the positives end, though. This contains drying denatured alcohol and fragrance, both of which put skin at risk for irritation. They’re not present in large amounts, but they’re still a problem for skin and shouldn’t be here at all.

Another issue is that this is packaged in a jar, which compromises the antioxidant ingredients in the formula by exposing them to both light and air and introduces the risk of bacterial contamination in water-based formulas (see More Info for details).

HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Cream Drier Skin has some good aesthetic qualities, but not enough to land this on our list of best moisturizers.

  • Texture feels hydrating without being too thick or sticky.
  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Includes a few good hydrating ingredients.
  • Doesn’t include proven, richer emollients for drier skin.
  • Contains fragrance, which puts skin at risk for irritation.
  • Includes drying alcohol.
  • Packaged in a jar, which compromises its beneficial ingredients.
  • All of the antioxidants are present in small amounts.

More Info:

Jar Packaging & Beneficial Ingredients: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.

Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.

Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!

References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

A light gel cream moisturiser which feels fresh on skin, while still nourishing drier skin. Formulated to hydrate skin for 72 hours for visibly fresh looking & glowing skin. Formulated with No7s HydraDrench complex , powered by naturally derived plant hydrators, to instantly infuse skin with fresh hydration. The weightless pollution shield provides an invisible barrier against pollution particles, that can damage skin and dull skins natural glow.

Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Alcohol Denat., Xylitylglucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Anhydroxylitol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Benzoate, Xylitol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Propylene Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA, Glucose, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Dirpropylene Glycol, Morus Alba Leaf Extract.

Boots At-A-Glance

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.

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