Moisture Surge Clinique review
From £25

Clinique Moisture Surge review: A great, hydrating all-rounder regardless of your skin type

22nd December 2022 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber
Verdict

With Moisture Surge, Clinique has created a product that ticks many boxes. It brings benefits to all skin types; it hydrates dry skin and balances oily. It leaves mature skin looking plump and youthful, and is gentle enough and cooling for sensitive skin.

We love how it feels on the skin, and how our skin looks both immediately after use, and hours later. Our hydration test also suggests that after an hour, at least, the Auto-Replenishing Technology is doing its job.

It’s not perfect. It does have a tendency to pill easily if you have a product on your face that it doesn’t like. And it can be difficult to tell what product it doesn’t like, so this can take some trial and error.

It also contains ingredients that have a very mild risk of clogging pores. However, having not experienced any problems with this during our six-week test, we’d say this is a minor point.

Plus it’s expensive, even if you pay £25 for the smaller, 30ml pot. Yet we believe the Clinique Moisture Surge is more than worth the money. Particularly when you consider you only need a tiny amount to make a substantial difference to the look, feel, and condition of your skin. A little goes a very long way.

That said, if it is out of your budget, we’ve listed some Clinique Moisture Surge alternatives below that offer very similar results for less money.

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Pros
  • Great for all skin types
  • Smooths fine lines and plumps the skin
  • Continues hydrating the skin even after an hour
Cons
  • Pills easily
  • Expensive
Where to Buy
Sephora From £25
Clinique From £25
Boots From £25
Lookfantastic From £25
Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

With Moisture Surge Clinique has made a lightweight, hydrating gel that’s perfect for both oily and dry skin. Read more in our Clinique Moisture Surge review below


Clinique is a well-known beauty brand best known for its three-step skincare solutions.

On a mission to make skincare less confusing, Clinique sells cleansers, clarifying lotions, and moisturisers that are each tailored for different skin types, and are formulated to complement each other.

Yet it’s much more than that. It offers skincare consultations online and in-stores, has an extensive makeup range and a number of its standalone products have become skincare icons.

This includes Clinique Moisture Surge or to give it its full name, Clinique Moisture Surge 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator.

For the past three months, we’ve been running a major group test of skincare and foundations on our TikTok, and Moisture Surge was one of the most requested products of the lot.

At the time of writing, that video has more than 78,000 views and counting, thus proving just how popular the product is.

So it was an obvious choice to be the first skincare product from our TikTok series that we would put to the test in a real-world, long-term, and in-depth review.

Keep scrolling to read our Clinique Moisture Surge review. You can also use the links in the box to the left to jump to the most relevant section.

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Clinique Moisture Surge Review

There are a total of 10 products in the wider Clinique Moisture Surge range – the 100H hydrator we’ve tested for this Moisture Surge review; a richer, thicker cream called Moisture Surge Intense; a spray version, and a lighter, Moisture Surge lotion.

You can also get a Moisture Surge lip treatment, CC cream, sheer tint with SPF, lip balm, overnight mask, and eye concentrate.

The Moisture Surge 100H is a bestseller and that’s likely because it’s suitable for all skin types. While others in the range are better suited to oily, or mature, or dry skin specifically, the 100H hydrator works for all. If you’re not sure what skin type you have, read: What skin type do I have? Discover how to know your skin type with our skin types guide

FURTHER READING: The best Clinique moisturiser for your skin type, budget and concerns


Clinique Moisture Surge: At A Glance

Who should use Clinique Moisture Surge and can you use it every day?mamabella | mamabella

Learn more about the comedogenic and irritation ratings in our Ingredients section below

 

What is Clinique Moisture Surge? Clinique calls its Moisture Surge 100H Hydrator a “refreshing oil-free gel-cream moisturiser” designed to keep the skin hydrated, plump, and youthful. It can also be used as a highlighter, face mask, and cuticle treatment.​

Clinique Moisture Surge price: £25 (30ml); £40 (50ml)

How to use Clinique Moisture Surge: Massage a small amount onto clean skin until fully absorbed. You can also apply a thick layer, leave it for five minutes and remove with a soft cloth. 

When to use Clinique Moisture Surge: Moisturise Surge can be used every day, AM, and PM.

Who should use Clinique Moisture Surge? Suitable for all skin types including dry, mature, sensitive, and oily skin.

Where to buy: Sephora | Boots | Clinique | Lookfantastic

Clinique Moisture Surge alternatives: Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cream (£12.99); No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel Oil Free (£14.59)


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How we tested 

For our Clinique Moisture Surge review, we used it as our main moisturiser for six weeks. You can read more about why it’s so important to test skincare for longer periods in our guide: How we test skincare to see if it lives up to its claims.

This meant we used it in the morning, as a primer below our makeup, and in the evening before bed. Once a week, we also used this gel as a five-minute face mask, as per Clinique’s recommendation.

FURTHER READING: How we test skincare to see if it lives up to its claims 

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How to use Clinique Moisture Surge

How to use Clinique Moisture Surge mamabella | mamabella

If using Moisture Surge as your standard moisturiser, you only need to massage a small amount – a fingertip’s worth – into your face and neck in the morning and the evening

If using Moisture Surge as your standard moisturiser, you only need to massage a small amount – a fingertip’s worth – into your face and neck in the morning and the evening. It absorbs quickly so you don’t need to warm it up in your palms first.

We find it so hydrating that we apply it straight after cleansing our face, effectively skipping toners and serums, but it can be used with other products.

Its effectiveness will depend on what else is being used, but as a general rule, as long as the skin is clean, the Moisture Surge should work just fine.

If you want to increase the impact and use Moisture Surge as a mask, scoop out slightly more of the gel and apply it as a thin layer across your face and neck. Don’t massage or rub it in. Instead, leave it to sit on your skin for five minutes then remove it with a warm face cloth.

You may be tempted to massage the mask into your skin after using it as a mask, but – as we discovered from first-hand experience – it pills really easily if you do this. Even if you have nothing on your skin beforehand so we now avoid doing that.

This can also happen if you apply too much of the gel as a moisturiser/primer, so you really only need a tiny amount. If you want to know more about skin pilling, check out our Skin pilling: What is it and why is it so annoying? guide.

Alternatively, you can sweep a small amount on your cheekbones to use Moisture Surge in place of a dewy highlighter.

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Formula

Moisture Surge Clinique on the back of a handmamabella | mamabella

Moisture Surge is an oil-free lightweight gel cream which means it’s thicker than a lotion, has a similar viscosity as a serum, but isn’t quite as thick as a moisturiser

One of the best things about the Clinique Moisture Surge hydrator is its texture and consistency. It’s an oil-free lightweight gel cream which means it’s thicker than a lotion, has a similar viscosity as a serum, but isn’t quite as thick as a moisturiser.

CLINIQUE’S AUTO-REPLENISHING TECHNOLOGY

Hyaluronic acid is a skincare staple capable of holding 1,000 times its own weight in moisture and acts as a magnet for moisture.

Aloe Bioferment is created from a fermentation process of the aloe plant which makes the molecules more easily absorbed into the skin.”

This mix creates what Clinique calls its “Auto-Replenishing Technology” which helps the skin create its own water source to continually rehydrate itself.

This gel texture feels cool on the skin, even when taken straight from a pot that’s been sat in a drawer (as opposed to a skincare fridge).

This creates both a refreshing sensation as well as has positive benefits for calming and depuffing the skin and reducing redness.

The main ingredients in Moisture Surge are hyaluronic acid and something called Aloe Bioferment.

Both help your skin cells retain as much moisture from their natural reserves as possible to leave the skin plump and glowing.

It then uses aloe water and aloe extract powder to help the skin retain moisture, and glycerin to further its moisturising qualities and protect the skin barrier.

Elsewhere, according to the INCI Decoder, Moisture Surge doesn’t contain any ingredients classed as “icky” or potentially problematic.

In fact, it contains a majority of ingredients labelled “superstars” or “goodies”, based on the skincare website’s research.

It does contain two emulsifier ingredients called Oleth-10, and Hexylene Glycol which have been shown to be mildly comedogenic.

This means that there is a small chance that they can cause clogged pores and lead to breakouts.

However, this refers to the ingredients on their own, and not as part of the wider Clinique Moisture Surge formula.

Plus, they feature low down in the list of ingredients which means they’re only present in small amounts.

We should note that we have adult acne and haven’t experienced any clogged pores, irritation, or breakouts from using Moisture Surge. In case that helps put your mind at ease.

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Performance

Clinique Moisture Surge before mamabella | mamabella

One of the best things about the Clinique Moisture Surge hydrator is its texture and consistency

The skin feels noticeably softer immediately after application, although this may be largely due to the use of silicone in the product. Silicone forms a barrier over the skin and is renowned for filling in and thus temporarily reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This is why, when using the Moisture Surge, your skin looks plump straight away and the silicone helps lock all the hydration and moisture provided by the “Auto-Replenishing Technology” in place.

It’s also why our skin continued to feel, and look smooth for hours after application too, and why it works so well as a primer under makeup. In fact, it’s so effective we’ve taken to using Moisture Surge in place of a BB cream or other similar product because it blurs the pores and helps create a no-makeup-makeup look.

In our hydration test, the Moisture Surge increased hydration by 4.2 points after five minutes – an increase of 14%. It then increased a further 2.2 points when we tested our skin an hour later. This took the total hydration to 6.4 points or 17.5% overall.

At the time of the test, Moisture Surge was the first product to continue increasing hydration over time. If you want to know more about these hydration tests, go to our best moisturiser page. 

This, coupled with the lightweight gel texture of Moisture Surge, gave our oily skin the hydration it needs without overwhelming it. Over time, our redness also improved while using the Clinique Moisture Surge.

While we haven’t had any problems with clogged pores or breakouts, this may be because we exfoliate regularly. Wearing silicone-based products too often has been said to cause problems because it effectively “suffocates” the skin and stops it from being able to breathe.

This hasn’t been substantiated in published research and there is a lot of debate around it, but it’s worth noting if you do suffer from breakouts. It’s also easily solved by cleansing properly and exfoliating.

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Clinique Moisture Surge Review Video

@victoria_woolly_web This is a first. Not only did @cliniqueuk Moisture Surge increase hydration by 4.2 points after 5 mins. It continued to increase hydration after an hour, rising a further 2.2 to give a total of 6.4! Not a single product has continued rising I’m shook. I’ve tagged as many ppl as I can @ruxandrdra @pffftttttttttlol @ssitaa01 #mamabella #bestmoisturizer #bestmoisturizerforthisseason #moisturiser_for_dryskin #hydration #clinique #cliniquemoisturesurge #moisturesurge100h #moisturesurge ♬ Unholy – Sam Smith & Kim Petras


Clinique Moisture Surge Review: Verdict

With Moisture Surge, Clinique has created a product that ticks many boxes. It brings benefits to all skin types; it hydrates dry skin and balances oily. It leaves mature skin looking plump and youthful, and is gentle enough and cooling for sensitive skin.

We love how it feels on the skin, and how our skin looks both immediately after use, and hours later. Our hydration test also suggests that after an hour, at least, the Auto-Replenishing Technology is doing its job.

It’s not perfect. It does have a tendency to pill easily if you have a product on your face that it doesn’t like. And it can be difficult to tell what product it doesn’t like, so this can take some trial and error.

It also contains ingredients that have a very mild risk of clogging pores. However, having not experienced any problems with this during our six-week test, we’d say this is a minor point.

Plus it’s expensive, even if you pay £25 for the smaller, 30ml pot. Yet we believe the Clinique Moisture Surge is more than worth the money. Particularly when you consider you only need a tiny amount to make a substantial difference to the look, feel, and condition of your skin. A little goes a very long way.

That said, if it is out of your budget, we’ve listed some Clinique Moisture Surge alternatives below that offer very similar results for less money.

Buy now from Sephora

Clinique Moisture Surge alternatives

The first Clinique Moisture Surge alternative is the Hydroboost Water Gel Cream from Neutrogena. It’s half the price, at £12.99,  yet offers a very similar cooling effect as the original.

Clinique Moisture Surge alternative No7 HydraLuminousNo7

A good Clinique Moisture Surge alternative is the No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel

The texture is almost identical and Neutrogena claims that hydration continues to be released throughout the day, as per Clinique’s Moisture Surge. Make sure you buy the Water Gel Cream, and not the Water Gel though.

The second Clinique Moisture Surge alternative is the No7 HydraLuminous Water Surge Gel.

It’s slightly more expensive than the Neutrogena alternative, at £14.59, but that still makes it a tenner cheaper than Moisture Surge.

In this No7 alternative, glycerin is the second ingredient in the list which means it’s the second-most abundant ingredient in the formula.

In Moisture Surge, second place goes to the silicone dimethicone and glycerin features further down.

This means that No7’s Clinique Moisture Surge alternative contains a greater amount of the skin’s natural components.

No7 even says it contains its “HydraDrench complex powered by naturally derived plant hydrators, to instantly infuse skin with fresh hydration.”

This sounds very similar to the Auto-Replenishing Technology in Clinique’s version.


Clinique Moisture Surge Ingredients

The following list of ingredients is taken from the INCI Decoder website. Hover over each ingredient to find out more about it.

The numbers next to each ingredient represent its Irritation Rating (the number to the left of the comma), and the Comedogenic Rating (to the right of the comma).

Water\Aqua\Eau solv, Dimethicone emo 0 1, Butylene Glycol h|solv 0 1, Glycerin sii|h 0 0, Trisiloxane, Trehalose h, Sucrose h|so, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer vc, Hydroxyethyl Urea h, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract aox|so, Silybum Marianum (Lady’S Thistle) Extract aox|so, Betula Alba (Birch) Bark Extract aox|so|perf, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract h, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract so|emo|h, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Caffeine aox|perf, Sorbitol h 0 0, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12 cci, Sodium Hyaluronate sii|h 0 0, Caprylyl Glycol h|emo, Oleth-10 emu|surf 1 2, Sodium Polyaspartate h, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Polysaccharides emo|h, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, Saccharide Isomerate h, Hydrogenated Lecithin emo|emu, Tocopheryl Acetate aox 0 0, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer vc, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate vc, Tromethamine buff, PEG-8 h|solv, Hexylene Glycol solv|emu|perf|surf 01 02, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate sb|aox, Citric Acid buff, BHT aox|pres, Disodium EDTA chel, Sodium Citrate chel|buff, Potassium Sorbate pres, Sodium Benzoate pres, Phenoxyethanol pres, Red 4 (Ci 14700) col, Yellow 5 (Ci 19140) col

Hover the mouse / tap over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.

 


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