Spectro HydraCare Facial Moisturizer, Normal to Combination Skin
140 ml for $13.99
Last Updated:12.11.2009
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Unknown
Review Overview

This moisturizer is nearly identical to Spectro’s HydraCare Facial Moisturizer, Blemish-Prone Skin. It’s a below-average formula that denies skin several of the key ingredients it needs to look and function optimally, such as antioxidants and skin-identical ingredients, and that’s true for all skin types. This moisturizer is fragrance-free.


A facial moisturizer that provides balanced hydration specifically designed for your Normal to Combination Skin. Suitable for daily use and can be paired with SpectroJel Cleanser for Combination Skin. Contains Safflower Oleosomes which deliver long lasting moisturization. Developed in consultation with dermatologists and is ideal for even the most sensitive skin. Non-irritating, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and colour free.


Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Polyglycerin-10, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzethonium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide

Brand Overview

Spectro At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; several fragrance-free products; good anti-acne products with benzoyl peroxide; a moisturizer for eczema that contains a potent topical corticosteroid.

Weaknesses: Lackluster moisturizers, including those aimed at combating eczema; no sunscreens; no exfoliants; no options for oily skin; incomplete options for acne-prone skin; repetitive, boring formulas.

Spectro is a small skin-care line stocked in drugstores throughout Canada. We receive routine requests from my Canadian readers to review it, perhaps because it stands out as being one of the few skin-care lines that is almost entirely fragrance-free. Dermatologists in Canada often give Spectro their stamp of approval, which is always encouraging to consumers, although it is disheartening to think that dermatologists might actually believe any of these products are worth considering.

While fragrance-free is always a plus (there are far too many overly fragranced skin-care products at every cosmetics retail outlet), what's truly disappointing is that Spectro products are also free of lots of things that are good for your skin. For example, there are no sunscreens or exfoliants and no moisturizers that contain a broad range of state-of-the-art ingredients, and there are limited options for those struggling with acne. For the most part, these are lackluster, antiquated formulas and, occasionally, really bad formulas. Spectro doesn't seem to have kept abreast of the abundant research about skin for at least a decade.

Spectro is best known for their cleansers, though none of them are standouts or particularly well-formulated given today's standards of excellence. Yes, it's great that all of Spectro's cleansers are mild and water-soluble; what's not so great is that none of them clean skin thoroughly or remove makeup very well, especially the modern makeup enhanced with silicones or other long-wearing ingredients. The amount of cleansing agent each of them contains is minimal, so those concerned with excess facial oil will find their skin requires much more and never really feels clean. If companies like Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Paula's Choice, and Olay can formulate such cleansers, Spectro can (or at least should), too.

The chief reasons to consider this line are because it's inexpensive and, if you suffer from eczema, Spectro offers a moisturizer whose active ingredient is a reliable corticosteroid, the mainstay treatment for most forms of eczema (though it’s not without its drawbacks). Otherwise, even if you're looking to save money, there isn’t a compelling reason to shop this line. There are plenty of beautifully formulated products available that make settling for just average formulations unnecessary. Besides, whether you're enduring eczema, acne, or other skin conditions, your skin deserves outstanding, not ordinary!

For more information about Spectro, call 1-800-563-7546 or visit www.spectroskincare.com.

Note: All prices are in Canadian dollars.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Not everyone needs bells and whistles

Paula B has got to undestand, for some people "skin identical" ingredients are IRRITATING. Not everyone needs or wants anti oxidants and nonsense. This is a good moisturizer for combination, sensitive skin that tends to be congested, but it's may not be the best option for people with active acne.

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Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there! Thank you for your feedback! It is true that anyone can have a sensitizing reaction to any product, but to say that those with active breakouts shouldn't use actives is a reach (after all, any acne-treatment product contains "actives").  However, if you have found you benefit more from simpler formulas, then that's great! You know what to look for and you don't need to worry about whether it fits our criteria as the "best" for your skin. This is essentially why we are so transparent about what qualifies as a best or not, and why we specify why a product earned the rating it did, so you can decide for yourself what works for you.

Also, The Paula’s Choice Research Team no longer reviews products for Beautypedia, and while The Beautypedia Team is still a part of Paula’s Choice Skincare, what’s new—and you may not yet have known—is that now we have two teams working independently to bring you the best quality reviews, products, and  research-supported expert advice you know and love. One team is dedicated to Beautypedia and product reviews from other brands; the other is dedicated to Paula’s Choice skincare and its unique combination of expertly formulated products and advice on a wide range of beauty-related topics. Hope that all helps! - Nathan

Surprisingly pretty good

I actually like this product quite a bit. I'm one of those people that hate using moisturizers, and would rather have my face dry and patchy rather than dewy or greasy. I've tried many drugstore moisturizers, and this has definitely been my favourite. It's very moisturizing, absorbs quickly, doesn't cause breakouts or make you feel greasy. Yes, other than moisturizing it has not added benefits, but i'm not looking for any added benefits.

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