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You might already be aware of the fact that you can´t really drink your way to hydrated skin – water ingested enters the bloodstream quickly, increases blood volume quickly and triggers renal excretion quickly, which means translated: If you drink a lot of water in a short amount of time, you will need to pee, but not look any plumper.
Why that is relevant in my review of the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel? I´ll get to that in a bit.
If you can´t drink your way to plump skin, how about eating your way there? Theory is that this will work better, because the water in food is “trapped” and gets released slower, so you´ll have a long term hydrating effect rather than a sudden peak.
True? Might be, but only part of the equation anyway: The amount of water stored in your skin cells is not solely determined by the amount of water in your body. Your skins barrier function, the amount of humectants in your skin and environmental factors play a huge role too.
If your skins barrier is damaged (find out if that is the case here), hydration will disappear quickly, so to keep it in, you´ll need to focus on something to trap the water as it is trapped inside foods – and this is where the Cumulative Hydration-Release Technology in Murads Nutrient-Charged Water Gel comes into play.
See? I told you we´d get there!
What Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel claims
Intensely hydrating oil-free water gel contains revolutionary Cumulative Hydration-Release Technology that instantly locks moisture to skin and increases retention for up to 5 days*. A nutrient-charged blend of peptides, vitamins and minerals strengthens the skin’s barrier for plump, smooth skin.
Some facts about the Murad Nutrient Charged Water Gel
Prize and size
One jar contains 50 ml and retails for 67,99 € at Douglas (Murad is exclusive to Douglas in Germany). And yes, it comes in a jar, and yes, online reviews are already full of complaints about this choice of packaging.
I much prefer other forms of packaging too, to minimize exposure to oxygen and germs, but in all honesty: if you use the product up within the recommended time after opening (6 months in this case), you should be fine.
Texture and smell
It feels like a pink, fluffy cloud, you almost expect unicorns to appear when you use it. It is the kind of cream that makes my 5 year old daughter want to start a skincare regime and still manages to make me, self-proclaimed millennial pink hater, smile whenever I dip my fingers in it. Yes, there is a spatula. No, I never use them.
Would the formula be gentler for the skin without the color and the fragrance (floral-fresh, I´d say)?
Probably, but I have said it before and will say it again: There is no evidence that fragrance harms healthy and intact skin, and the same goes for dye. If you don´t have any sensitivities or skin conditions like Rosacea or Eczema, there is no absolute need to keep them off your face. I, for myself and on this blog, don´t mind fragrance in my products. If you prefer unscented, perfectly fine. Just don´t suggest using essential oils instead…
In this case though I am not ashamed to admit that I am utterly smitten by the color, fragrance and texture of the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel, and while that is of course only part of the equation (we´ll get to the ingredients in a bit), it still plays an important role for me.
How to use the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel
That is fairly easy.
It is a lightweight gel moisturizer, so you are best off applying it as your last skincare step (before SPF obviously) in the mornings.
With the exception of those with really oily skin I don´t think it will be enough to use at night, and if your skin is extra dry, you probably need something heavier on top, but every other skin type will enjoy the lightweight yet hydrating texture.
I like it especially the morning after retinoids, to combat the inevitable damage done to the skins barrier by them.
A word of warning though: When used under a silicone based SPF with a silicone based primer under a silicone based foundation, I did notice pilling when I rubbed my face, but changing the primer solved that problem.
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel ingredients
- Dimethicone: Emollient, anti-inflammatory
- Glycerin: Humectant
- Propanediol:Humectant, penetration enhancer
- Saccharide Isomerate: Emollient, binds to lysine in stratum corneum, leading to long-lasting moisturization
- Hydroxyethyl Urea: Humectant
- Isononyl Isonoanoate:Emollient
- Ceramide: Part of skins natural protective barrier, replenish when topically applied, retain moisture, rebuild skins barrier; contained are Ceramide NP (Ceramide 3), Ceramide AP (Ceramide 6) and Ceramide EOP (Ceramide 9)
- SH-Oligopeptide-1/-2 and SH-Polypeptide-1/-9/-11: Peptides mimicking growth factors that have shown wound-healing and skin renewing properties and have the potential to stimulate collagen production (controversial)
- Saccharomyces Ferment Extract: Nourishing and rich in antioxidants, provides enzymes that break down other, larger active ingredients for better absorption, soothing through production of Beta-Glucane
- Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper: Trace minerals, important for cellular communication
- Lactobacillus ferment: Rich in nutrients and antioxidants
- Trehalose: Humectant, “Sugar of life”, forms gel protecting against dehydration, antioxidant
- Taurine: Aminoacid, can act as antioxidant
- Serine: “silk protein”, aminoacid, aids in collagen production, boosts elasticity and replenishes moisture
- Tocopheryl Acetate: More stable form of Vitamin E, antioxidant
- Calcium Pantothenate: Essential for building Q10, humectant
- Niacinamide: Vitamin B3, fights free radicals, combats hyper pigmentation, stimulates collagen production and protects skins barrier
- Phytantriol: Humectant
- Acetyl Glutamine: Aminoacid
- Urea:Humectant, very effective
- Yeast Aminoacids:Claims to befirming, anti-oxidant, repairing
- Phytosphingosine: Component of ceramides
- Inositol: Nutrient, part of the Vitamin B Complex
- Betaine: Humectant, gives smooth feeling to skin and hair
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate:Precursor of Vitamin C, more stable, less irritant, brightening. Antioxidant
- Sodium Hyaluronate: Hydrating, smaller form of hyaluronic acid with deeper penetration
- Pyridoxine HCL: Vitamin B 6, deficiency leads to skin irritation, topical effect not well researched
- Sucrose: Humectant
- Glyceryl Polyacrylate: Emollient
- Decyl Glucoside: Gentle surfactant
- Pentylene Glycol:Humectant
- Caprylyl Glycol:Humectant
- Butylene Glycol:Humectant, penetration enhancer
- Ethylhexyl Isononanoate: Emollient
- Polyisobutene: Emollient
- Silica: Mineral
- Polymethylsilsesquioxane/Silica Crosspolymer: Silicone based penetration enhancer
- Hydroxyethylacrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer: Thickener
- Leucostonoc (Radish Root) ferment filtrate: Preservative (natural alternative to parabens)
- Lecithin: Emulsifier
- Algin: Stabilizer
- Pullulan: Film former that tightens skin and smoothes
- Maltodextrin: Binding agent
- Hexylene Glycol: Solvent
- Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate: Thickener
- PEG-7 Trimethylolpropane Coconut Ether: Emulsifier
- Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate: Chelating agent
- Disodium Phosphate: Buffering agent
- Potassium Phosphate: Buffering agent
- Carbomer: Thickener
- Xanthan Gum:Improves viscosity
- Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate: Emulsifier
- Phenoxyethanol: Preservative
- Dye (Red 33 (CI 17200), Red 4 (CI 14700))
Made with a silicone base, the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel is rich in humectants and emollients as well as three different ceramides and sh-Oligopeptides, which mimick the effect of Growth Factors in the skin. It contains several aminoacids, Niacinamide (Vit. B3) as well as Vitamin B 6 and other components of the Vitamin B Complex that are important in maintaining a healthy cellular function (but other than Niacinamide still have to prove their worth when applied topically). There are several fermented ingredients as well as trace minerals, the name giving nutrients, and fragrance and dye to achieve the pink color and fresh scent.
Does it live up to its claims?
It is lightweight, oil free, hydrating and full of peptides, ceramides and minerals. I have of course no means to measure if it increased water retention for up to five days in my skin (I wouldn´t even know how to tryand measure it, even if I had the means), but it made my skin feel nicely hydrated throughout the day, and the ceramides will support a healthy skin barrier, which in turn will lead to better water retention.
How does the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel compare to…
Pixi Rose Caviar Essence
First and foremost, unlike the Nutrient-Charged Water Gel, the pixi Rose Caviar Essence is not oil-free, quite on the contraty, the “encapsulated flower oils” are one of the main selling points. It is however lightweight and with a focus on hydration which makes the two comparable. Just like the contender from Clinique that I will discuss underneath though this one does not contain ceramides and just one peptide, Argireline.
I would see it more suited to younger skin that prefers a dewy finish. Not that the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel is mattifying, but at least I don´t feel the need to powder after application…
Read my full review on the pixi Rose Caviar Essence here
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Another silicone based, oil free gel texture, which, just like the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel, has Saccharomyces Extract. It has no ceramides or peptides though, so is probably better suited to younger skin, which is only fair as it is also considerably cheaper.
Read my full review on the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel here
Would I repurchase?
If it wasn´t obvious already, I am head over heels in love.
Who do I recommend it to?
While it can (with very few exceptions) be used by every skin type, I think it is combination, oily and mature skin that will benefit the most.
If you are still in your early 20s, I don´t think you need the peptides in there, if your skin is dry, you might want to opt for something richer.
But if you, like me, enjoy the sensual pleasure of a skincare product that has just the right texture, make sure you get at least a sample of the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel.
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