Reviewed: The Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer Is Lighter Than Air

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Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Emily Algar/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Hydrating

  • Soothing

  • Great base for makeup

  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don't Like
  • Not rich enough for drier skin types

  • Not Byrdie Clean

For anyone who wants a fresh, matte, and soft appearance, the Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer may be the perfect match. It sinks in quickly, and while this cream offers ample hydration, it won’t encourage shine.


Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Emily Algar/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put Boscia's Cactus Water Moisturizer to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

As any beauty enthusiast will notice, skincare ingredient trends come and go, but cactus is one that’s really made its way into the mainstream. Take the Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer, an ultra-fresh hydrating cream whose hero ingredient is a flowering succulent from Mexico. 

As someone who is prone to shine, I don’t mind a lightweight product here and there. Plus, I road-tested this product during summer in Sydney, Australia, so the timing for this refreshing product to work its magic couldn’t be more apt. 

So if you have oily or combination skin, want a matte appearance, or just want to try out cactus-spiked skincare, this moisturizer may be worth adding to your cart. Keep scrolling for my thoughts. 

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer

Best for: Normal, oily and combination skin types. 

Uses: As an all-over face moisturizer and makeup primer. 

Star rating: 4/5

Active Ingredients: "Queen of the Night" cactus flower extract, South African Resurrection Plant infusion, aloe vera.

Potential allergens: None

Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEG-10.

Price: $38. 

About the brand: Boscia launched in 2002 with the idea of plant-to-bottle beauty. They are known for their innovative formulas, fun product concepts and championing natural ingredients.

About My Skin: Changes with the seasons

I’d describe my skin type as normal to combination, depending on the season. In winter, it’s dehydrated and prone to flakiness, whereas summer brings about midday shine by the bucket load (cute). For this reason, I’ll generally reach for a lighter, water-based gel cream to best hydrate my skin in the warmer months, and Boscia’s Cactus Water Moisturizer fits that bill.

Ingredients: Nature-derived hydration, but not Byrdie Clean

As the name suggests, this product contains an extract specifically from the Queen of the Night cactus. Found in Mexico, this flowering plant manages to thrive in extremely harsh climatic conditions with very little rainfall. The idea is that it has a similar effect on the skin, topping up moisture levels and preventing dehydration. The science around it is minimal (based on my Google search results), but speaking from experience, it did feel as if it provided genuine moisture. 

The Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer South African resurrection plant infusion (a shrub known for its ability to grow ‘back from the dead’ after a dry season) and aloe vera. Together, these two soothe and reduce redness, reinforce the skin’s barrier, and maintain healthy moisture levels. 

A peek at the ingredients listing will also reveal glycerin, eggplant extract, basil, turmeric, and jojoba.

The Feel: Lightweight Hydration

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer Texture

Emily Algar/Design by Cristina Cianci

This product is unique because it really does hydrate, but the lighter texture means it won't exacerbate shine (think of it as more of a gel-cream as opposed to a lotion). It sinks in quickly and dries down to a nice matte finish, but still feels really soft on the face. 

Having tried it, I think it’s great for normal to oily skin types or anyone opposed to rich, dewy creams and lotions. It also makes a nice base for matte makeup looks. 

How to Apply: Let it sink in, pre-makeup

This is a hydrating product meant to be worn on fresh, clean skin — but you can use it as a base for makeup. In fact (you'll see below) that's what it's best for. Oncey ou dab it on to the face, let it sink in for a few minutes before adding anything over top.

The Results: A soft, matte base for makeup

Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer Results on Emily Algar

Emily Algar/Design by Cristina Cianci

As a lightweight cream, the Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer works best as a final step in your skincare routine, after cleansers, toners, serums, and the like. Your sunscreen should go on top, followed by makeup. 

It comes with a tiny spatula, but full transparency: I lost mine after the first use and switched to applying it with my fingers. If you're all about a luxe experience, a brush feels nice too. 

The Value: Pretty Good

This product is $38 for a 1.61 fl oz tub, which is fairly average for a quality face moisturizer. The formula focuses on natural extracts instead of actives, but a moisturizer's job is more or less to sit on the top of the face and provide superficial hydration—in which case, I think it delivers. It’s more affordable than most products in its category, but you could definitely pick up a similar drugstore option for less.

Similar Products: You've got options

Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer: Like Boscia, Farmacy employs more of a gel texture in its Daily Greens moisturizer ($38), so the cream feels like nothing on the skin. It contains moringa seed extract, moringa water, and hyaluronic acid to nourish and hydrate, plus papaya to gently resurface. There’s also willow herb, an antioxidant known to soothe the complexion.

Youth to the People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer: As the name suggests, Youth to the People's Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer ($48) is whipped into dreamy skincare perfection. It’s packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, so offers ample nourishment. Panthenol and vitamin K will soothe and calm, too. Try it if your skin is dry and sensitive but you’re not into rich textures.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Moisturizer: No cactus here, but the affordable Neutrogena Hydro Boost Facial Moisturizer ($17) features plenty of hyaluronic acid, a molecule known to draw water into the skin. Like the aforementioned products, this texture is a beautiful gel consistency, so it works well under makeup. Read Byrdie's full review here.

Final Verdict

If you want a fresh, light gel cream to hydrate your skin, the Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer from Sephora is perfect. It glides on easily, leaves zero residue, and gives you a complexion that’s soft but hydrated. I’ll certainly be keeping this in my skincare arsenal for hot, humid days or any time I want a clean, matte finish.


  • Product Name Cactus Water Moisturizer
  • Product Brand Boscia
  • Price $38.00
  • Full Ingredient List Water/Aqua/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Flower/Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Myrothamnus Flabellifolia Leaf/Stem Extract, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Citric Acid, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Saccharide Isomerate, Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, 1,2-Hexanediol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Potassium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 20.

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