No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask
No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask is one of the better mask options for dry to very dry skin that you'll find at the drugstore, though one drawback kept it from earning our top rating.
Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask comes in a clear plastic bottle with a pump dispenser. When a product comes in clear packaging such as this, we recommend keeping it in a drawer or your vanity, away from light (which can degrade delicate ingredients). Inside is a clear gel swirled with a white/pink cream; these two components mix together when you press the pump. The dual-swirl formula doesn't really make a difference in how this product works, but we'll admit the effect is interesting and visually appealing.
The resulting combination is a thick gel-cream that's definitely suited to masking (it's too thick to wear simply as a moisturizer under your SPF or makeup).
True to its name, this feels instantly soothing and hydrating, thanks to the number of emollients it contains. Also included are skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients, along with antioxidants.
Were those the only ingredients present, this would easily earn our strong recommendation; unfortunately, No7 also chose to include fragrance, and it's present in a greater concentration than many of the beneficial ingredients. While the scent isn't overpowering, any amount of fragrance can irritate skin, especially the sensitive skin this is billed as being able to treat.
Overall, No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask a good option, with one change, it could've been so much better!
- Contains several emollients to moisturize skin.
- Thick gel-cream is hydrating and soothing.
- Includes skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients alongside antioxidants.
- Contains fragrance, which can irritate skin.
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.