Hyaluronic acid is basically the tried-and-true skincare equivalent of drinking eight glasses of water a day. But what is it actually? Let's break it down: Hyaluronic acid, otherwise known as HA, is a naturally occurring compound in our body with skin-nourishing and skin-moisturizing superpowers. As Dr. Barbara Sturm (the creator of the cult-favorite hyaluronic serum in every celebrity’s medicine cabinet) says, HA "helps retain over 1000 times its weight in water, so it provides an intense moisture boost.” In other words, apply it topically and bam! Dewy, hydrated skin that looks and feels plumped to perfection.
Still not convinced? Keep scrolling for a list of reasons we love incorporating the power of hyaluronic acid into our beauty regimen, plus 16 of the best HA products available right now.
It Works Wonders on All Skin Types and During All Seasons
While you may think that adding a product like hyaluronic acid serum is better saved for the chilly winter months or for particular skin types (aka not for acne-prone skin), think again. “Everyone can benefit from hyaluronic acid serums as they hydrate the skin, something we should all aim to do,” says Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, MD, a professor at NYU’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology and an associate at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York. “It’s a nice boost especially during dry winter months, but hyaluronic acid can be used year-round,” notes Bae.
It's an Anti-Aging Superhero
There are many positives that come with aging: wisdom, generally not caring too much about what people think, etc. But what happens to our skin over time is unavoidable. “Sun exposure and environmental damage can cause premature skin aging. During the aging process, the skin loses its ability to stay hydrated,” explains Dangene, founder of Dangene, The Institute of Skinovation. Hence our need for applying a topical hydrating drink for the skin to keep it plumped and dewy. “Hyaluronic acid moisturizes and plumps, reduces the appearance of fine lines, expedites the healing of scars or active acne lesions, and can shield the skin from damaging weather conditions,” explains Dangene.
Plumped and Ready With Different Types of HA
“I love using products that have more than one type of HA in them, like Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence or Dr. Barbara Strum’s Hyaluronic Serum,” says Cayli Cavaco Reck, bespoke skincare consultant and owner of Knockout Beauty, a handpicked skin haven in L.A., Bridgehampton, and NY’s Upper East Side. “When you have more than one type of HA, you are able to get different plumpness in the different layers of the skin, which doesn’t look greasy but rather creates a deeply hydrated look,” she explains.
Editors' and Experts' Favorite Hyaluronic Acid Serums
1. L'Oréal Paris Revitalift
After two little drops of L’Oréal Paris Revitalift serum, our skin felt instantly bouncier and dewier. Plus, for $21, this 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid serum feels like a deal.
2. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel
This lightweight gel-like serum melts moisture into your skin upon application and is not only packed with HA but also vitamin B5, a nutrient that promotes skin’s natural tissue-repair process.
3. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Serum
If the product name doesn’t say it all, Peter Thomas Roth’s hydrating cloud serum is super concentrated, with 75% hyaluronic acid, and applies like a splash of moisture.
4. Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum
Recommended by a friend who swears on this power-packed potion, Pestle & Mortar’s HA serum is lightweight, hydrates instantly, and features other skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera, padina-pavonica extract, and vitamin E.
5. Versed Hydration Station Booster With HA
Versed can offer an ingredient-packed product at such an affordable price because the brand is hyper-focused on formulas instead of packaging and marketing.
6. Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster
Use this booster potion alone or mix it in with your favorite serum for a dose of moisture with a blend of time-released hyaluronic chronospheres, watermelon extract, and centella asiatica.
7. Kiehl's Line-Reducing Concentrate Serum
There’s nothing this best-selling serum can’t do. Brightening from ample amounts of vitamin C? Check. Moisturizing and fine-line reducing thanks to HA? Check. Use it day and night for a two-pronged approach to brightening and moisturizing your face.
8. Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum
Chantecaille’s genius hybrid product gives us the best of both worlds: part blue-light protector (the harmful light that technology gives off—yep, your phone and laptop) and part moisturizing and plumping HA serum.
9. SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
According to Bae, “SkinMedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator includes five different forms of hyaluronic acid to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for up to eight hours. It also contains an antioxidant blend that contributes to our skin health.”
10. PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
This serum has over 60 positive reviews on Dermstore's website, with most commenters noting how moisturizing it is.
11. Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex
"It contains an incredibly intense concentration of direct hyaluronic acid to repair and support skin's overall health and boost elasticity," per Net-a-Porter's product description.
12. Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
This hydrating booster is lightweight and supremely easy to layer under makeup.
13. Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum
It’s a celeb favorite for a reason. Dr. Barbara Sturm hyaluronic serum has a balance of high- and low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid that provides hydration to both the surface of your skin and deeper cellular hydration. The low molecular weight HA carries anti-aging active ingredients deep into your skin’s layers.
14. Vintner's Daughter Active Treatment Essence
This silky night serum is packed with HA and melatonin to work hard during your beauty rest, and when you awaken, expect radiant, healthy-looking, and lifted skin. Really.
15. Phtyo-C Skin Care Hyper Hydrate
This skin quencher has three different molecular weights of HA that work their way into the different levels of your skin that are in need of some extra hydration. The result is a smooth and glowy complexion.
16. Avène A-Oxitive Antioxidant Water Cream
This lightweight cream is made to help with dryness, enlarged pores, and fine lines.
Serious about taking care of your skin? So are we: