If, like me, you conflate hydrating and moisturising, assuming they’re both the same thing, and regularly, indiscriminately, use either word when you’re talking or writing about the skin’s need for water, then it’s time to listen up.
Attending the inauguration of the Neutrogena® Skinsider event, at London’s gothic masterpiece hotel Kimpton Fitzrovia, myself and 20 other people of influence had our ears pinned back to drink up the knowledge from a skincare brand that’s been at the forefront of skincare science for 70 years.
I was there as a kind of industry emcee, sliding together the different segments of the day, chipping in to ask questions, nudging the audience for their participation – and learning – a lot.
Even with 30 years in the beauty industry, you can never rest easy as there is always more to know, and when you have direct access to the expertise of the Neutrogena® team, then you grab that opportunity.
The focus of the day was Neutrogena® Hydro Boost, the facial and body care range that has hydration and moisturisation at its heart.
For me, it was like reconnecting with some old friends (I’ve grown up with the brand and used the Neutrogena® iconic Facial Cleansing Bar as a teen with troubled skin). Now, as a huge fan of masks, Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask is a bedside regular, to drench my skin with hydrating hyaluronic acid for 15 minutes while I read in bed to wind down from the day. The reason they are my bedtime mask of choice is three-fold: the hydrogel technology means that they contain the equivalent of a whole 30ml bottle of serum in each one – you can feel it in the gel texture and there is always an excess of product in the sachet that I slather over my neck, decollete and hands. Secondly, the upper and lower face parts are separate so they fit better (and you can choose between treating the whole face or just part). Thirdly, these masks have clever eye holes. These have been cut out from the mask but not removed, so you can fold the flaps down onto the lower lids, which means you can see to read. For the final 5 minutes though, I put my book down and lift up the eye flaps to cover my eyes. It’s such a soothing, calming feeling that it helps me drift off to sleep every time, but not before removing the mask and gently massaging in the residue.
But I digress: what did I learn that day? That real authority in skincare can only come with time and with expertise. The Neutrogena® brand is part of the Johnson & Johnson family, a global pharmaceutical and medical company. The tagline ‘Developed with Dermatologists’ says it all: for the brand’s entire history, it has forged relationships with dermatologists, developed 650 products supported by more than 200 clinical trials. Neutrogena® was the first brand to offer extended wear UVA/UVB sunscreen and the first to put hyaluronic acid in a mass market product. Oh, and the first brand ever – in my 30-year career – to simply explain the difference between hydration and moisturisation. (Answer: hydrators deliver water to the skin, while moisturisers hold the water in place and, yes, you do need both).