When it comes to moisturizing your skin, it can be challenging to achieve the perfect balance between hydrated and greasy,
especially on hot, humid summer days. To the rescue: hyaluronic acid serums. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful skincare ingredient that can help retain moisture.
“It’s a humectant that attracts water, hydrating the skin without making it oily,” explains William Kwan, MD,
a San Francisco-based dermatologist. For this reason, serums that contain hyaluronic acid are ideal for those with oily skin.
“Many moisturizers are too heavy or can cause acne [for people with oily skin], which is why I love hyaluronic acid gels,” he says.
What’s more, hyaluronic acid can deliver serious anti-aging benefits—whether or not your skin shows signs of aging.
“Millennials should consider including hyaluronic acid to ensure their skin is adequately moisturized and stave off dryness and irritation,” says Ted Lain, MD, a dermatologist from Austin, Texas. “Older people need hyaluronic acid not only to help moisturize, but also to delay skin thinning, itching, and the overall aging process.”
We asked dermatologists to recommend the best hyaluronic acid serums to hydrate lackluster skin. Below, their top picks.
La Roche-Posay Redermic C Anti-Wrinkle Firming Moisturizing Filler for Sensitive Skin
Ted Lain, MD, a dermatologist from Austin, Texas, loves this hydrating serum, which he says delivers both short- and long-term benefits. “I look for products that can give an immediate plumping due to short chain hyaluronic acid, and a longer term moisturizing ability with the longer chain hyaluronic acid and other humectants,” he explains.
available at dermstore.com $55
SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
It’s not cheap, but this product is “the most consistent” over-the-counter hyaluronic acid serum New Jersey-based dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, has found. “It has five different types of hyaluronic acid in it,” she says. “And it hydrates the skin without making it sticky.”
available at dermstore.com $178
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum
New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, recommends this Neutrogena serum. “It contains hyaluronic acid, it’s non-comedogenic, and it’s incredibly hydrating,” she says. Plus, it’s wallet-friendly.
available at amazon.com $20
Skinceuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier
Dr. Kwan’s top pick is this Skinceuticals serum, which he says is perfect for aging skin, since hyaluronic acid can help revive the skin’s natural elasticity. “It also has 2% licorice extract, which can help lighten and brighten the skin,” he adds.
available at dermstore.com $98
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
It’s tough to beat the price (or user reviews) of The Ordinary’s hyaluronic acid serum, but you won’t be sacrificing quality either.
available at amazon.com $15
CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
Dermatologists love this brand, which is formulated with ultra gentle ingredients that won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin. And of course, their hyaluronic acid serum is no different. We love that the formula layers beautifully under their classic Moisturizing Cream.
available at amazon.com $16
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum
A whopping 75% hyaluronic acid, along with other top ingredients like silk proteins and good-for-skin minerals, help make this serum a bestseller. Plus: It’s free of sulfates and phthalates.
Hyaluronic acid, which is used to soften and hydrate skin while preventing breakouts, is a super absorbent sponge-like molecule naturally found in the body, says Dr. Sonia Batra, a dermatologist and co-host of “The Doctors.” This gem keeps your skin moist and, like a good anti-aging cream or face serum, it can help turn back the clock.
“As we age, our skin loses moisture and becomes less firm and supple. “Hyaluronic acid is an oil-free ingredient that works to replenish the skin’s moisture as well as plumps and smooths the appearance of fine lines,” Batra explains. Plus, it’s especially beneficial for acne prone skin. And, yes, they work well with microneedling, too, as they bring hydration within deeper layers of the skin.
While you’re shopping, look for serums that have a 1% concentration of hyaluronic acid, as higher levels can cause skin irritation. And choose serums that have natural hyaluronic acid without irritating ingredients, such as alcohol, sulphates, and parabens.
Ready to try it out? Here are the best hyaluronic acid serums for face, all recommended by board-certified dermatologists.