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If you’re not using a hyaluronic acid serum, you need to add one to your skincare regimen stat. Few ingredients can moisturize the way hyaluronic acid can. That’s because it is a humectant naturally produced by our bodies and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. But, as we age, the level of hyaluronic acid in our skin decreases, which explains why our skin gets drier over time. Our body’s production of hyaluronic acid can start slowing down as early as our 20s. By adding back moisture into our skin, it boosts firmness and prevents the formation of future fine lines and wrinkles. Hyaluronic acid delivers short-term perks, too, including a glowing, dewy complexion.
Unlike many other moisturizing ingredients, hyaluronic acid won’t leave skin looking shiny or greasy, making it great for those with oily skin. And since it’s lightweight, it won’t trigger breakouts, either. Getting hyaluronic acid in serum form is more effective than in a moisturizer because it can penetrate deeper into the skin, boosting skin’s overall water content, instead of just working on its surface. Hyaluronic acid also helps skin function at its best, giving it resilience to delay the thinning of skin by strengthening the moisture barrier. Even the most lackluster skin can get its glow back with these top hyaluronic acid serums.
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 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 she was using a much pricier 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 Option: 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 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 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 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 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 percent 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.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular hyaluronic acid serums on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different serums overall, screened options from 20 different brands and manufacturers, read over 25 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 4 of the hyaluronic acid serums themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.