Neostrata Sheer Hydration SPF35 Review

neostrata sheer hydration


NeoStrata is one of the most innovative and well-respected names in skincare. I remember as a teenager wandering the aisles of Shoppers Drug Mart, I always wanted to try NeoStrata products but couldn’t afford more than drugstore-priced products at the time. As an adult, I’m so glad now to be able to try the offerings of such a pioneering brand.

NeoStrata was the first brand to research AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and PHAs (poly hydroxy acids), and in fact, I recently reviewed their PHA serum, the NeoStrata Bionic Face Serum, which I liked very much. Today, I’m going to be reviewing the NeoStrata Sheer Hydration SPF 35┬ámoisturizer with sunscreen, which I received free to review from the brand.


NeoStrata Sheer Hydration SPF35


We go through a lot of sunscreen in our house, so I’m always eager to try new ones.┬áThe active ingredients in this moisturizer/sunscreen are: Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%, and Avobenzone 3%. I do appreciate the inclusion of percentages in their ingredients.

Octinoxate and octisalate are UVB filters, and Avobenzone is a UVA filter. The notoriously unstable avobenzone is stabilized by octisalate.

I do wish this sunscreen had a higher SPF rating, because in Southern California, where I now live, I try to use at least SPF50+ on my face every day. So this may well turn out to be more of a fall/winter sunscreen for me, but if you live in an area with a more moderate UV index, this might be more up your alley.


neostrata sheer hydration


The NeoStrata Sheer Hydration is oxybenzone-free, which is nice (oxybenzone is a known hormone disruptor and it also damages coral reefs), but it is still a chemical sunscreen. The plus side of that is that there is no white cast and this is a light-feeling product, which (in my opinion) is essential for a face sunscreen.

NeoStrata markets this as an oil-free, light moisturizer with sunscreen that won’t clog pores, for oily to combination skin. It’s also an anti-aging product that contains NeoGlucosamine (or acetyl glucosamine), which has been shown to have anti-aging benefits and helps to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots.


neostrata sheer hydration

Texture and Scent

The Neostrata Sheer Hydration SPF35 feels like a creamy lotion when pumped out of the bottle. It does have a bit of a “sunscreen” scent, but it’s not strong and fades quickly. When rubbed into the skin, it does create a film on the skin, especially at first, and a dewy finish. However, after I let it settle in, which takes a few minutes, the film absorbs and the finish becomes more satin. When fully absorbed, I actually don’t feel a film on my skin at all, but my skin is noticeably softer.

This is moisturizing enough that I’m able to skip some of my richer hydrating/moisturizing steps in the morning, which is always nice when I’m in a rush.


neostrata sheer hydration


The above photo shows you how it looks as you spread it on the skin. However, once fully absorbed, it’s completely invisible.



I do think that the Neostrata Sheer Hydration delivers on its claims of being a light, cosmetically-elegant, oil-free moisturizer/sunscreen, but you do need to give it time to sink in. I find it more moisturizing than most of my Asian sunscreens. I would suggest using this product as a replacement for your daily moisturizer instead of on top of your moisturizer. If you’re looking for a combination moisturizer + SPF product, this is a good one.

I know Neostrata says that this sunscreen is for oily skin, but I do think that people with very oily skin might find this too moisturizing, and I actually think this would be great for normal skin types. I personally have combination skin, and I didn’t find that it did much to control oil, though I still enjoyed using it as a daily moisturizer with SPF.


You can purchase the Neostrata Sheer Hydration SPF35 at for $48.


I received this product free to review through Brandbacker. All reviews on this site are my honest opinion.


  1. I’m usually a fan of Asian sunscreens but it’s exciting to see western brands make great progress! I still like using a dedicated moisturizer or a light facial oil in the mornings so I don’t think this sunscreen will fit well in my routine, but I’m definitely cruious about their other products! Thanks for the great review!

    Jenny // Geeky Posh

    • Yes I know, I like to keep them separate, but I have been throwing this on when I’m in a rush lol!

  2. I live in SoCal too, so I know what you mean about wanting more sun protection. Usually though I’m not as into moisturizer + SPF because the ones I’ve tried we’re just a tad too greasy feeling for my skin, but I like that this one isn’t the same way. Definitely one to consider!

    Sam / My Beauty Cloud

    • Yes it’s not as light as many of the Asian sunscreens but it’s leaps and bounds better than traditional Western ones! But I hear ya, I do prefer to use a separate moisturizer and sunscreen! That way I can get the best product in each category =).

  3. Hi! Does this leave a sticky residue at all? Does it really not cause breakouts? Thanks for a great review.

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