NeoStrata Hydra-Infusion 24 Hr Hydrating Serum

This product has already been mentioned a couple of times on this blog in its short existence (my best 2014 discoveries and empties January posts) – I figured I should provide a more thorough review to explain why I enjoy this product so much.
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NeoStrata Hydra-Infusion 24 Hr Hydrating Serum $38 CAD for 30ml (available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall)
This serum is a lightweight milky gel that I use in the mornings underneath my moisturizer – I use 2-3 pumps to cover my face; 1 dot per cheek and the rest spread over my t-zone where I require less hydration.

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On Neostrata’s product page, it lists the formulations in fancy trademarked names:
AMC™ (5%) – a biotechnological ingredient that is up to 4 times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. It provides immediate and all day intense moisture.
EXO-H™ (3%) – an ex-polysaccharide rich in essential minerals that helps maintain an optional barrier function and improves short term and long term hydration.
LITCHIDERM™ (2%) – a lychee extract that protects skin against environmental aggressions with its with strong antioxidant properties.

The actual ingredient list:

Aqua, Glycerin, Glyceryl polyacrylate, Sodium PCA, Urea, Trehalose, Triacetin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyquaternium-51, 1,3-Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimenthicone, Vinyltrimethylsiloxysilicate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Butylene Glycol, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, 1-2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Coco-Glucoside, Glycol Distearate, Glycerin, Fragrance.

(Phew, I typed that up from the ingredient list on the box – I could NOT find a proper ingredient list anywhere online – you’re welcome!) It should be noted that Glycerin and Butylene Glycol are listed twice on the packaging – I copied it verbatim.

The substantive hydrating ingredients without their trademarked names are:
Glycerin, Urea, Sodium PCA, Trehalose (a polysaccharide), Sodium Hyaluronate (aka synthetic form of hyaluronic acid), Polyquaternium-51 [the combination of these six ingredients creates AMC™ which stands for Advanced Moisture Complex], Butylene Glycol + Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate [this combination makes the EXO-H™], and Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract [LITCHIDERM™ sounds more luxe though]
(click on each of the ingredients to read technical details about how they work)
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As these ingredients all seem to indicate, this product isn’t so much to moisturize as it is to hydrate the skin – the best way I can explain this concept is that the serum helps to retain water and plumps up the skin whereas a moisturizer seals in the hydration and protect the skin against the elements (dry air, wind, indoor heating, etc).  The one-two combo punch of this serum and a moisturizer have made my skin much more supple and perfectly prepped for base makeup.

I should backtrack to explain how I came across the NeoStrata serum to begin with.  Before this serum, I had never tried anything from NeoStrata – I had just finished a bottle of Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum (which I think is now discontinued in Canada) and wanted to try something new, more hydrating.  Prior to the NeoStrata and Vichy serums, I had used these serums for daytime hydration: Indeed Hydraluron Moisture Booster (I know this comes highly recommended online but I disliked this so much I could not finish the tube – it dried sticky and interfered with my base makeup), Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Target Serum, Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst-Quenching Serum, Anna Sui Intensive Moisturizing Serum (both this and the Claudalie are quite good in their own rights), etc etc – so you can see that I’m no stranger to hydrating serums.  I spoke to the Shoppers Drug Mart beauty associate asking for a serum that contained hyaluronic acid and she highly recommended this one.  I’m glad I went with her recommendation – this was a year ago and I haven’t looked back.

Pros:
s  hydrating
s  fragrance free
s  alcohol free
s  absorbs quickly
s  no sticky residue
s  does not interfere with base makeup
s  does not break me out
s  practical pump packaging with a locking mechanism and cap for hygiene

Cons:
s  high price point*

Stash worthiness: 10/10

* The price point is relative – at $38 this is one of the less expensive serums of the ones I’ve tried before, which ranged from $25 up to $140.  However, I’m currently investigating some Asian hydrating serums which seem more commonplace there (often called “essences”), with lower price tags (typically less than $20).

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Sample packettes of various Asian essences (Face Shop, Missha, Holika Holika)

It would be fantastic to find a lower priced alternative that performs on par with the NeoStrata.  In the meantime, the NeoStrata is my HG hydrating serum for daytime.  Do you use a serum?

10 thoughts on “NeoStrata Hydra-Infusion 24 Hr Hydrating Serum

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