Hyaluronic acid is basically the tried-and-true skincare equivalent of drinking eight glasses of water a day. But what is it actually? We’ll break it down: Hyaluronic acid, otherwise known as HA, is a naturally occurring compound in our body with a skin-nourishing superpower and is an absolute miracle worker when it comes to moisturizing. As Barbara Sturm (the creator of the cult-favorite hyaluronic acid serum in every celebrities’ medicine cabinet) says, HA binds to “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 up to perfection.
Still not convinced? Keep scrolling for a list of reasons we love incorporating the power of hyaluronic acid into our beauty regime, plus 12 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 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 The dangene Institute at CORE: club. 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 Barbara Strum’s Hyaluronic Serum,” says Cayli Cavaco Reck, bespoke skincare consultant and owner of Knockout Beauty, a hand-picked skin haven in Bridgehampton and NYC’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
In two little drops of L’Oréal Revitalift serum, our skin felt instantly bouncier, dewier, plus, for $30 this 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid serum feels like a deal.
This skin quencher has three different molecular weights of HA that work their way to the different levels of your skin that are in need of some extra hydration. The result is a smooth and glowy complexion.
Recommended by a friend who swears by this power-packed potion, Pestle&Mortar’s HA serum is lightweight, instant hydrates, and features other skin-soothing ingredients like aloe vera, padina pavonica extract, and vitamin E.
If the product name doesn’t say it all, Peter Thomas Roth’s hydrating cloud-like serum is super concentrated, with 75% hyaluronic acid, and applies like a splash of moisture.
There’s nothing this best-selling serum can’t do. Brightening with 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 brighten and moisturize your face.
Use this booster potion alone or mix it in with your favorite serum for a time-released dose of moisture with a blend of time-released hyaluronic chronospheres, watermelon extract, and centella asiatica.
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.
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), part moisturizing and plumping HA serum.
According to Bae, “Skinmedica’s HA Rejuventating 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.”
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, lifted skin. Really.
Cayli Cavaco Reck swears by this formula—a hydrating and gently exfoliating essence enriched with 70+ nutrients for the skin (including HA).
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 the surface of your skin and deeper cellular hydration. The low molecular weight HA especially goes hard to work when applied, carrying anti-aging active ingredients deep into your skin’s layers.
Serious about taking care of your skin? So are we: