Free of parabens, alcohol, and fragrance
Suitable for all skin types
High price point
Dry skin may need to boost this with moisturizer
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel
We put the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you’re into skincare, chances are you’ve heard of SkinCeuticals, specifically the brand's iconic CE Ferulic Serum (an antioxidant that smells a little like “boiling hot dog water” but gives results worth the high price tag). But the CE Ferulic Serum isn’t the only hero product in the brand’s lineup.
Introducing the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, a skin-loving blend of hyaluronic acid and (you guessed it) vitamin B5. If CE Ferulic Serum is all about brightening, think of this as plumping and smoothing, basically a tall drink of water for your complexion. It’s a simple product, but still one that deserves a moment in the sun (or a place in your vanity, if you know what I mean).
Hydrating serums are of course in no short supply, so if you’re wondering what makes this one extra special, I’ve taken the liberty of reviewing it for you (hey, it’s a tough gig, but someone’s gotta do it). Keep scrolling for my thoughts.
Best for: This serum works on all skin types, especially those prone to dehydration.
Uses: It can be used across the face, neck, and chest to hydrate and soothe. It’s super gentle too, so it can be used in conjunction with other active skincare ingredients (like retinol and vitamin C).
Hero ingredients: Vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid.
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the brand: SkinCeuticals is a cosmeceutical skincare brand founded by scientist Sheldon Pinnell. His early research on topical antioxidants actually resulted in the first vitamin C patent—a breakthrough discovery and the creation of an entirely new skincare category. Now the brand is highly regarded for its effective and science-backed products, especially the iconic CE Ferulic Serum.
About My Skin: Prone to congestion and dehydration
I’d probably call my skin normal to combination but prone to congestion. My nose and forehead can feel greasy, but my cheeks and forehead are tight. My aesthetician actually says I’m prone to dehydration as well (thus, my affinity for anything that tops up water levels).
The Ingredients: Simple but effective
The SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is pretty simplistic in terms of ingredients. The two main ones are hyaluronic acid, a natural humectant that draws water into the skin, and vitamin B5, a nutrient that promotes the skin barrier’s natural repair process. Both ingredients are super gentle, so most skin types should be able to use the product with no issue. It’s also free from common fillers like alcohol and fragrance.
How to Apply: Press into skin after actives
Applying SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is as simple as taking a few drops and pressing it into your face, neck, and chest. I personally like applying it to damp skin, so I spritzed a little thermal water on first for extra dewy-ness. The only thing to take note of is when you apply. As a rule of thumb, press this in after antioxidants during the day and after retinol or exfoliants at night. It’s not “active,” so you can safely use it morning and night every single day.
The Results: Plump, hydrated skin
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel's main purpose is to hydrate or replenish lost water content, resulting in a face that looks (and feels) bouncier, softer, and more comfortable. Dehydration can manifest in the form of dullness, crepey-ness and exacerbated lines, especially on my face, so I found that this serum made me look much more plump. It sat beautifully under my moisturizer too (no pilling).
It’s probably also worth mentioning that this product is suitable for both sensitized skin and those prone to breakouts. In fact, oily skin can actually still be dehydrated, so incorporating a hyaluronic serum (such as SkinCeuticals's) is probably not a bad idea.
The Value: Not cheap but fair
At $83 for the full-size bottle, Hydrating B5 Gel is not a cheap skincare product. But the SkinCeuticals brand is reasonably priced considering the research and evidence involved. The ingredients listing is also extremely tight (four inclusions, to be exact), so you can sleep easy knowing you’re not paying for a stack of filler ingredients.
Similar Products: You've got options
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum: Skinceuticals and La Roche-Posay are both owned by L’Oréal, so it’s safe to assume this French pharmacy buy ($30) is somewhat similar. The ingredients listing is quite a bit longer in this instance, but there are still two forms of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. The gel consistency is pretty close to the SkinCeuticals version as well. Think of it as a more affordable dupe.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum: By no means is this cheap, but this cult-favorite hydrating serum ($300) contains both long and short chain molecules of hyaluronic acid, making it really effective when it comes to hydrating both the superficial and deeper layers of the skin. The texture is beautiful (light, silky, cooling), and it visibly plumps up fine lines.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: Is there anything The Ordinary can’t do? This lightweight serum ($7) is a similar mix of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 for fresh, effective hydration. If anything, the texture is slightly thinner than SkinCeuticals.
The Skinceuticals brand is one of my favorites when it comes to skincare because it delivers every single time. The Hydrating B5 Gel is no different. Sure, there’s a lot of similar products out there, but considering this contains very little, it’s nice to know the higher price point equates to a concentrated product. It really did hydrate my skin, leaving it softer, bouncier, and more awake. This is definitely one I’d repurchase.
- Product Name Hydrating B5 Gel
- Product Brand SkinCeuticals
- Price $83
- Weight 1 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Aqua/water/eau, Phenoxyethanol, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Hyaluronate.