Having combo-oily skin, gel moisturizers are my absolute favourite! They provide a ton of moisture without being overly greasy and are pretty versatile between seasons. I’ve heard only amazing things about the Belif Aqua Bomb and the formula looks like something I would love. Shortly after I bought it, I noticed that Neutrogena had a similar moisturizer called the Hydro Boost Gel Cream (I’m already a huge fan of their gel cream with SPF and eye cream) so I knew had to buy it and see if it compared!


Left: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream, Right: Belif Aqua Bomb

The Belif Aqua Bomb is a God-sent moisturizer with a light blue tint. I’ve tried so many gel creams that I thought this one would be similar to others, but I was wrong. The formula is SO hydrating and doesn’t feel greasy at all. My skin looks glowy and I can actually feel my skin absorbing the product. A little also goes a long way so the jar has lasted me a long time. In the winter months I tend to add a couple drops of oil into my gel creams to give them a little bit of moisture but I have a feeling I won’t need to do so with the Aqua Bomb. I also briefly talked about the Aqua Bomb in a blog post along with 2 other Belif products.

As for the Neutrogena Hydro Boost, it also looks blue in the container but dims down once you put it on your hands and spread it on your face. It has a very distinct smell (kinda watery fresh) and is a bit strong. If you don’t like your skincare products to come with a scent then you may not like this. The formula itself is hydrating but not enough in the winter time in my opinion. I find I need a lot more product to get the same amount of moisture as the Aqua Bomb. However, Neutrogena does have a Hydro Boost Gel Cream in an extra dry skin version (I haven’t tried it) which I think would be much better for in the winter or if you have normal to dry skin. It still has a great consistency and makes my skin feel really supple and plump – but I think it would be much better suited in the summer.

Price + Packaging

The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream retails for $19.97 CAD and gives you 47 mL of product. The Belif Aqua Bomb retails for $47 CAD and gives you 50mL of product. The packaging for both are pretty similar since they comes in tubs and you have to use your fingers to dip in and grab the product. Ironically, the Hydro Boost moisturizer looks like it comes with more product since the tub visually bigger, but it comes with just a little bit less product. The Aqua Bomb packaging is super sturdy and I know it won’t somehow explode if I decide to travel with it.

Is it a dupe?

I’d say the two gel creams are very similar but not EXACT dupes. While I was hoping the Neutrogena Hydro Boost would replace my Aqua Bomb, I don’t think it makes the cut. In order to make it work for the winter months, I’d have to buy an oil and mix it in to give me the hydration I really need. While the Belif Aqua Bomb is quite up there in price, I find it way more worth it because it’s literally everything I could ever want in a moisturizer. I’m almost done my current one and will definitely be repurchasing it soon. But I’d say the Hydro Boost Gel Cream definitely deserves a round of applause! In general, it’s a great drugstore moisturizer is something I’ll be using in the summer for sure.

Which moisturizer do you prefer? The Neutrogena Hydro Boost or Belif Aqua Bomb? Let me know in the comments! 

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