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We're positive you've seen Neutrogena and La Roche Posay on the shelves at your local drugstore before. But which one should you choose?

Previously, we took a look at Bioderma vs Simple micellar water; today, we will be comparing Neutrogena vs La Roche Posay and their long raved about best-sellers to help you figure out which dermatologist recommended skincare brand better suits you!

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Neutrogena vs La Roche Posay Moisturizer

Neutrogena and La Roche Posay each boast huge collections of moisturizers, and by huge, we mean that they offer options for every single conceivable combination of skin type and concern. This is fantastic of course, but honestly, it can actually make deciding which is best quite a daunting endeavour. Allow us to ease the process by guiding you through the best of the best (compared side by side!).

Hydro Boost vs Double Repair

Pitting their two most popular moisturizers against each other leads us to the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer. Tens of thousands of rave reviews between them vouch for their effectiveness, but there are a couple of considerations to take note of before making a purchase.

The most glaring similarity between the two is their keen focus on the moisture barrier. While there’s plenty of great moisturisers out there that quickly and effectively bind moisture to the skin, surprisingly few address the actual root cause of dryness, dullness, and dehydration: a weakened or damaged moisture barrier. Both Neutrogena’s and La Roche Posay’s moisturisers contain dermatologist-recommended ingredients that actively work to strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier so as to enhance your skin’s ability to retain hydration, consequently yielding that coveted radiant glow we all yearn to attain.

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel contains botanical trehalose - also known as “Resurrection Sugar” - which acts as a protective layer to support your skin’s moisture barrier. The La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair instead employs ceramides to achieve the same effect. If the product names weren’t enough of a telltale, on comparing the rest of the two ingredient lists, it becomes obvious that the Toleriane Double Repair cream is much better suited to… well… repair, due to the inclusion of extra-nourishing niacinamide and glycerin in its formula. Whereas the Hydro Boost Water Gel is more ideal for just boosting your hydration levels, especially thanks to its fresh water-like gel texture.

In conclusion then, we would highly recommend the Toleriane Double Repair moisturizer to those with more severe cases of dry skin (e.g. from over-exfoliation or bad cases of sunburn) where the moisture barrier is compromised and needs some extra love. The best daily moisturiser for those with normal to dry skin types, though, would absolutely categorically be Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel. When we tried it for ourselves, we immediately understood the hype surrounding it; your skin just seems to drink it up and instantly feels velvety to the touch. At risk of sounding hyperbolic, after a single night of using it, there was a visible radiance to my skin in the morning, and a pore-less texture that had previously only been attainable in my dreams. And don’t just take my word for it, go check out the tens of thousands of other reviews on Amazon that echo the same thing!

Hydro Boost Water Gel by Neutrogena, a best-selling skin replenishing water gel moisturizer.

Hydro Boost Water Gel by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A best-selling skin replenishing water gel moisturizer.

What makes it special? When your skin’s moisture barrier is weakened, the water content of your skin decreases, leading to drier and more tired-looking skin. Step up your skin’s hydration with Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, designed to intensely hydrate skin and help strengthen the resilience of your skin’s moisture barrier. The fresh water-like texture leaves skin evenly hydrated with a supple, dewy glow that lasts all day long.

Which skin types? For normal to combination skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay, one of the best daily moisturisers.

Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer by La Roche Posay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A prebiotic-infused moisturizing cream.

What makes it special? Formulated with a high concentration of La Roche-Posay prebiotic thermal water and a trio of delightful moisture barrier replenishing ingredients, this dermatologist-tested moisturizer immediately comforts and hydrates your skin from the very first application.

Which skin types? All skin types, including the most sensitive.

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Hydro Boost vs Toleriane Ultra Cream

Okay, so truth be told, Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Water Gel is, like, *really* popular, so here it is again, except this time we’re pitting it up against La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Ultra Cream instead. This is actually more of a like-for-like comparison than the previous one, since the Ultra Cream is also more of a daily moisturiser.

One Reddit thread has already lent some quality insight into this matchup, the most notable of which commenting on just how different they are when it comes to getting the most out of them. The consensus seems to be that La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Ultra Cream is far more moisturizing than the Hydro Boost Water Gel, and we tend to agree, especially since inspection of the ingredient list reveals squalane & shea butter (two incredible moisturizing agents) as well as the cell-communicating ingredient ‘Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetus Ester’. That said, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is refreshingly lightweight and absorbs super quickly thanks to its water-like gel texture, making it ideal for those looking for an under-makeup moisturizer, or a refreshing treat for the hotter, more humid days.

Maybe it’s our bias towards French pharmacy skincare brands, but on paper we think La Roche Posay’s just about ekes out in front here. Having tried both for ourselves, though, the conclusion we arrived at is a bit more complex. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is better suited towards warmer climates (where hydration is key to healthy skin), whereas the Toleriane Ultra Cream is better suited for cooler climates (where moisture is key to healthy skin). Whichever you decide to go for, be confident in the knowledge that *both* are serious cult-favorites, with tens of thousands of rave reviews vouching for them.

Toleriane Ultra Cream by La Roche Posay, a comforting and hydrating daily moisturizer.

Toleriane Ultra Cream by La Roche Posay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A comforting and hydrating daily moisturizer.

What makes it special? Tested on allergy-prone, ultra-sensitive skin, Toleriane Ultra Face Cream helps to soothe and hydrate dry skin. Formulated with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water and Neurosensine to provide instant & long-lasting comfort leaving skin feeling smooth, soft, and more comfortable. This comforting face cream is formulated without ingredients that may cause potential irritation or allergic reactions, such as preservatives, parabens, fragrance, and drying alcohol. Its unique airtight packaging contains anti-contamination valves that prevent air or contaminants from re-entering.

Which skin types? All skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Hydro Boost Water Gel by Neutrogena, a best-selling skin replenishing water gel moisturizer.

Hydro Boost Water Gel by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A best-selling skin replenishing water gel moisturizer.

What makes it special? When your skin’s moisture barrier is weakened, the water content of your skin decreases, leading to drier and more tired-looking skin. Step up your skin’s hydration with Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, designed to intensely hydrate skin and help strengthen the resilience of your skin’s moisture barrier. The fresh water-like texture leaves skin evenly hydrated with a supple, dewy glow that lasts all day long.

Which skin types? For normal to combination skin types.

Find the best price on Amazon

Neutrogena vs La Roche Posay Cleanser

Just as with the moisturisers, both Neutrogena and La Roche Posay boast a seemingly endless range of cleansers. For the purposes of a balanced article (and one that doesn’t go on… and on… and on…), we’re just going to focus on a couple more of their best-sellers, namely: the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Face Cleanser and the La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser.

When picking a daily face wash, you should be looking out for formulations that remove makeup and impurities with ease without disrupting your skin's natural moisture barrier function. These two cleansers excel in both regards, *especially* since the core of their formulas is the same as their moisturizer counterparts (containing several moisture barrier-loving ingredients). One minor distinction between the two here, though, is that Neutrogena’s is NOT fragrance-free, making La Roche Posay’s just that itsy bit better for sensitive skin types.

As far as effectiveness is concerned, there’s really not all that much in it. Both tackle even the most stubborn waterproof makeup with ease, and the results are a sparklingly clean face without the need to double cleanse or “tissue off”. While La Roche Posay’s leaves zero residue, the Hydro Boost Cleanser does leave a thin film of soft, smooth, moisturizing residue; while we can see the appeal, in all honesty, we’re not massive fans of it.

As seemingly with every point we’ve covered so far, the prices per fluid ounce are practically equal, so ultimately it’s going to come down to preference. Our favourite - albeit marginally - is La Roche Posay’s Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser.

Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser by La Roche Posay, one of the best cleansers for dry skin.

Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser by La Roche Posay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A gentle daily face wash.

What makes it special? This gentle creamy face wash cleanses skin of impurities, respecting your skin's natural moisture barrier and pH, helping to restore skin comfort and retain essential moisture. Formulated with the skin nourishing trio of prebiotic thermal spring water, niacinamide, and ceramide, it ensures your skin looks healthy and radiant day after day.

Which skin types? Normal to dry, sensitive skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

Hydro Boost Gel Face Cleanser by Neutrogena, a hydrating gel cleanser.

Hydro Boost Gel Face Cleanser by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A hydrating gel cleanser.

What makes it special? This is an innovative cleanser that activates with water to remove impurities whilst providing skin with an essential boost of hydration. By combining Neutrogena cleansing technology, hydrating agents and hyaluronic acid the formula protects the skin barrier, boosts hydration and helps to lock it in. The skin is refreshingly clean and touchably supple every time you cleanse.

Which skin types? All skin types, even sensitive skin.

Find the best price on Amazon

Neutrogena vs La Roche Posay Sunscreen

As covered in our best French sunscreen post, sun exposure is responsible for 90% of the visible signs of ageing, so it is absolutely critical to have a high quality sunscreen as part of your daily skincare routine. Two of the most popular to choose from include Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion and La Roche Posay’s Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch SPF 60 Sunscreen.

Now, this one is a *MUCH* easier decision for us. Unfortunately, Neutrogena’s contains an ingredient called Oxybenzone. A quick Google search of this nasty little ingredient yields a slew of unsavoury results, and we think allgoodproducts.com hits the nail on the head with their summary:

“Oxybenzone is a cornucopia of nasty side effects. It’s considered a hazardous eye irritant and, as an allergen, is also known to cause skin allergies… It also causes hormone disruption in humans, affecting estrogen production in women and testosterone production in men”.

It is precisely for this reason why La Roche Posay’s marketing for the Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen emphasises that it is completely Oxybenzone free, and the same reason why we at FEMMENORDIC thoroughly recommend it over Neutrogena’s. Neutrogena have since released a version of theirs that is also oxybenzone-free (keep scrolling for a more in-depth description of that), although we're still personally erring on the side of La Roche Posay on this one.

Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch SPF 60 Sunscree by La Roche Posay, a mattifying, oxybenzone-free sunscreen (SPF 60).

Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch SPF 60 Sunscreen by La Roche Posay

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A mattifying, oxybenzone-free sunscreen (SPF 60).

What makes it special? This oil free sunscreen provides advanced protection while absorbing pore-clogging oil, even in heat and humidity. La Roche Posay's best sunscreen for normal, oily, and acne-prone skin is formulated with Cell-Ox Shield technology: broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants.

Which skin types? Normal to oily skin types.

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Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion by Neutrogena, a lightweight, oxybenzone-free sun lotion (SPF 70).

Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion by Neutrogena

SHOP Check price on amazon.com

Our rating: ★★★★★

Price: $$$$

A lightweight, oxybenzone-free sun lotion (SPF 70).

What makes it special? Neutrogena's best-selling Ultra Sheer line provides powerful sun protection you will love to wear. It goes on easily and absorbs quickly for an invisible, light-weight feel on your skin. Formulated with Helioplex Technology, it offers superior broad spectrum protection from aging UVA rays and burning UVB rays.

Which skin types? Normal skin types.

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