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If you aren't using a product with hyaluronic acid already, now's the time to start: The powerful humectant can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, meaning it blasts even the most dehydrated complexions with moisture. As a refresher, hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by our own bodies, but its levels start to decline with age, which explains why skin gets drier over time.
By adding back moisture into our skin, hyaluronic acid boosts firmness and prevents the formation of future fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid delivers short-term perks, too, including a glowing, dewy complexion.
Ahead, we rounded up the absolute best hyaluronic acid serums, all of which are prepared to brighten, soften, and plump the skin with moisture.
Best Overall: SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier Serum
Dermatologists love this serum for its skin-loving ingredients that deliver major results. Turn back the clock with this powerful blend of pure hyaluronic acid, proxylane, and purple rice that brings back some of the skin’s natural elasticity and improves texture. It also contains 2% licorice root extract to brighten and lighten your complexion. By plumping up skin with its hydrating magic, it also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Best with Vitamin C: Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Skip the volumizing fillers and forgo injectables for this serum instead. Hyaluronic acid brings on the plumping and smoothing effect, plus this serum contains 12.5% vitamin C to brighten, too. That also explains the fresh citrus scent. Studies showed that this serum decreases the appearances of marionette lines, forehead lines, and even deep-set wrinkles after using it regularly for four weeks.
Best Budget: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Just because this serum is low in price doesn’t mean it’s low in quality. Its smooth texture and plumping powers belie its affordable price tag and could easily trick someone into thinking they are using a much more expensive product. To deliver even more moisture into the skin, this hyaluronic acid serum also contains vitamin B5. Another bonus: The formula is vegan.
Best Drugstore: Vichy Mineral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serum
This Vichy serum is a personal favorite of Commerce Editorial Director Jessica Mahgerefteh: "I’ve tried more hyaluronic acid serums than I can count on two hands," she says, "But this drugstore go-to is by far my favorite option at its price point. Because even without the hefty price tag, it packs a serious punch thanks to hyaluronic acid (duh) and a whopping 89% of Vichy’s Mineralizing Water, which is rich in 15 rare minerals sourced from French volcanoes. The formula glides onto the skin easily and absorbs so quickly you’ll likely forget you’re wearing anything at all. But once you look in the mirror and see plumped-up skin with a healthy glow, you’ll be easily reminded."
Runner-Up, Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Paris Derm Intensives Hyaluronic Acid Serum
It only takes one day to see the results from this fast-acting serum—you can expect more supple skin, and in a week plumper skin, thanks to the 1.5% pure hyaluronic acid doing its job. The super concentrated formula is a gel that absorbs fast, leaving nothing behind except for bouncier skin. It’s designed to hydrate while filling out fine lines and wrinkles.
Best for Dry Skin: Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster
Even the most parched skin will get softer and smoother thanks to this mega moisturizing serum that features time-release technology to hydrate and firm. It contains watermelon extract for extra moisturizing power, as well as centella asiatica to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The serum can be used solo or mixed into another skincare product.
Best Hydrating: Glossier Super Bounce
Formulated with three molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, this Glossier bestseller packs a major hydration punch, both immediately and over time. It also contains vitamin B5, which leaves the skin softer, smoother, and more supple. Another major plus? It doesn't leave your skin feeling sticky or tight, which means it's more comfortable and that it works well under makeup.
Best Long-Lasting: SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
According to Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould, this formula doesn’t just provide temporary surface moisture—it continuously hydrates the skin for eight hours, just as the brand promises. How? Hyaluronic acid provides immediate and lasting hydration, vitamin E shields skin from free radicals, and a peptide complex reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Best Brightening: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum
Ole Henriksen was an early advocate of using vitamin C in skincare, and this supercharged serum is no exception. In addition to hyaluronic acid for hydration, this formula contains a whopping 15% vitamin C to brighten the skin, as well as exfoliating polyhydroxy acids and nourishing vitamin E.
Best Splurge: Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum
We admit this serum can cause major sticker shock, but it’s so beloved for its efficacy that its legion of fans swear it’s worth every penny. What makes this serum a standout is it has both long- and short-chain hyaluronic molecules to penetrate every layer of the skin, meaning it delivers short-term and long-term improvement to your skin. The highly-concentrated formula instantly plumps skin and delivers a glow, while fighting the formation of fine lines and wrinkles in the future.
Best for Very Dry Skin: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum
When your skin is at its absolute driest, reach for Peter Thomas Roth’s cult-favorite (and dermatologist-approved) serum. A whopping 75% hyaluronic acid quickly restores parched skin.
Best for Oily Skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum
Many hyaluronic acid serums can leave skin looking shiny, which is a no-no for oily skin. But this serum from First Aid Beauty has a light, watery consistency, so it absorbs super fast and doesn’t leave any tackiness or residue behind. Skin instantly looks more supple and radiant, thanks to the formula that instantly seals in moisture. It also contains anti-aging peptides to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, colloidal oatmeal to soothe, and aloe leaf juice to calm irritated skin.
Best with Ceramides: Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
A favorite amongst skincare obsessives, Paula’s Choice uses a combination of hyaluronic acid and skin-protecting ceramides to hydrate, smooth, and plump skin (even fine lines and wrinkles). Use the product on its own as a serum, or drop it into your go-to moisturizer.
Best Vegan Formula: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
Hyaluronic acid isn’t the only component of Mad Hippie’s formula—vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, and konjac root powder combine to brighten and plump skin in a single swoop.