Below, are 18 of the best and worst hyaluronic acid products. Hyaluronic acid is known to hydrate, plump the skin, and assist with wound healing or a damaged skin barrier!
Catrice Hydro Plumping Serum - $10
This is the hydro plumping serum, and it has hyaluronic acid, vitamin b5, and panthenol. Cassandra wanted to love this because the price point was right. Catrice has amazing cosmetics, and they have really good serums. However, this stuff is so gloopy, and it made Cassandra’s skin burn and itch a little. It’s very sticky, and it starts to peel up.
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum -$29
Although Cassandra does not have lines and wrinkles as a primary feature yet, she still uses prescription retinoids like Dermatica and Apostrophe. The Bye Bye Lines serum has peptides and hyaluronic acid, but the formula doesn’t soak in, and this brings us to the conversation around hyaluronic acid and different molecular weights. Our skin is a barrier. So, in order to get things into the skin, the molecules have to be small enough molecules so they can get absorbed.
However, Cassandra feels like this one doesn’t get absorbed into the skin well. It just sits on top and leaves a tacky feeling. It does make the skin feel a bit softer though. This formula has glycerin and some different extracts, and they’re using a salt form of hyaluronic acid which is sodium hyaluronate.
Yes To Avocado Fragrance-Free Hyaluronic Acid Serum - $14.99
This product is for dry skin, but it did not meet expectations. This comes in at the bottom of the list which is surprising because Cassandra thinks the other Yes To avocado products are really good, but this serum did not hold up to the claims. It specifically says that it has 1% hyaluronic, but this claim made set the product up to be a disappointment. And even though Cassandra has oily skin, she has a few dry patches. Likewise, this product wasn’t overly hydrating for those parts of her skin. This product has hyaluronic acid, plant oils like avocado, and niacinamide, and Cassandra feels that these are actually the most beneficial ingredients rather than the hyaluronic acid itself. Cassandra does not deem this product to be the worst of the worst, but it’s definitely not her favorite. She doesn’t feel like this is hydrating or made for people who have dry patches or dry skin. On the other hand, though, it does absorbs better than the IT cosmetics one.
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum - $6
This one is very basic, and it’s fragrance-free. You could at least finish this one whereas those others one, you may not be able to. If you want this to truly do something for your routine, you’d want to use this alongside other actives.
The INKEY List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum - $8.99
This is a drugstore brand that actually does a fantastic job. The Inkey List has a hyaluronic acid which is very basic, but it’s good. This one is very liquidy, but it doesn’t peel.
The INKEY List Hyaluronic Acid Cleanser -$9.99
If you have oily skin, this is great. It doesn’t strip, it hydrates, but it doesn’t leave you with that buttery, soft skin. It leaves your skin feeling very clean and crisp. This one has hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate as well as sodium hyaluronate. But, even though it’s a good product, you don’t really get the major benefits of hyaluronic acid given that it’s a cleanser that washes off. This is actually one of Cassandra’s favorite cleansers from the Inkey List.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Face Cream SPF 30 -$13
Elf cosmetics has a holy hydration line, and they actually do a fantastic job. They have a hyaluronic acid cleanser and a sunscreen with an SPF 15 that Cassandra loves.
e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Hydro-Gel Moisturizer -$12
This hydrogel moisturizer has hyaluronic acid and peptides. And even though it contains fragrance, it’s still super soothing. The formula comes out as a ribbony texture because it’s more of a cream formula. This is a really good choice if you’re insecure about layering hyaluronic acid with other skincare products. Given that it has jojoba oil, peptides, and hyaluronic acid, it does really well by itself.
Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Serum - $8.99
Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer - $6.99
Boots Ingredients Hyaluronic Acid Sleep Mask -$5.99
These Boots products are personally some of Cassandra’s favorites because of the way they have humectants built-in. All of them are very comparable when it comes to price and how they work. Rather than using them singularly, these work best when layered with other things, but they work well enough to be used to be by themselves. But, if you do want to layer this with something else, the formula is actually really stellar and stable.
The sleeping mask, in particular, contains water and glycerin, and Cassandra finds it to be very soothing on the skin. The mask has sodium hyaluronate and sodium hyaluronate cross polymer, and it also contains ingredients that give it a silky feeling. So, it hydrates the skin without feeling sticky, and it hydrates the skin well because the hyaluronic acid is able to pull moisture from the other ingredients and impart it into the skin.
JUMISO - Waterful Hyaluronic Cream -$11.89
This is not the best of the best, but it has an amazing, jelly texture. This is not goopy. It’s very hydrating, lightweight, and fluffy. It’s not as gelatinous as a Neutrogena product, but it’s viscous without being overly sticky or itchy once it dries down. The product has a bunch of filtrates which probably enhances the texture and the way it works on the skin. It’s blended together with sugars like maltodextrin, and it also contains glucan oligosaccharides. Maltodextrin is a great ingredient because it's a sugar that holds onto water while glucan oligosaccharide is a humectant that pulls water in from the environment and imparts it into the skin. So, overall, this cream plumps the skin and absorbs well.
Yes To Avocado Daily Cream Facial Cleanser - $9.99
We know a lot of people don’t like Yes To, but Cassandra genuinely loves this product. It makes her face feel so good and not stripped. It’s like avocado butter for your face! It’s not greasy, and it’s not overly slimy. It removes things like sunscreen very well, it’s creamy, fragrance-free, and it has avocado oil. This is an excellent drugstore option for hyaluronic acid. This doesn’t foam up, and if have oily skin, it might not be enough to combat oil, but if you have dry or combination skin, this is fantastic.
Finally, Cassandra considers these products below to be the best, the formulas are so good, and these are the products that top all of the others.
Isntree - Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence -$30.60
This is absorbable, fragrance-free, lightweight, and it doesn’t pill up. It also has 8 types of hyaluronic acid. This works well with just about anything you use it with, and it doesn’t leave you feeling irritated. It comes out as a white, creamy essence. It contains high molecular weight hyaluronic acid that sits on top of the skin and low molecular weight HA that sinks slightly deeper into the epidermis. The HA holds onto the moisture that this formula provides. This contains oat in it, and it’s a very luxurious experience. For the price, Isntree nailed it on the head.
Glow Recipe Plum Plump™ Hyaluronic Acid Serum - $42
This is excellent. It feels bouncy on your skin, it absorbs, it’s lightweight, and then, the HA holds onto water for the majority of the day. Similar to the Isntree one, it has different weights of hyaluronic acid. It has low, medium, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. This also has a lot of Kakadu plum extract and other ingredients that give the skin a lot of antioxidants. The only caveat is that it does contain fragrance, but it is not overpowering and comparable to niacinamide dew drops.
OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum -$88
Cassandra says, “This is what La Mer wishes it could be, but it’s a fourth of the cost.” This serum comes from the coast of California, and compared to La Mer, it’s a lot cheaper. The serum has many nourishing ingredients, not just seaweed. Osea has put two different forms of hyaluronic acid and two different molecular weights into this product, and it’s also got seaweed from the California coastline as well as snow mushrooms.
It reminds Cassandra of a snail mucin texture because of how gelatinous it is and because of the way it absorbs. Plus, it’s completely vegan and cruelty-free. Cassandra has oily skin, and she doesn’t like to use this product on her T-zone, but she likes to use it on her jaw line or in areas where she’s a little drier. This also works really well under sunscreen.
Isntree - Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel SPF 60 - $13.99
To Cassandra, Isntree is the queen when it comes to hyaluronic acid in K-beauty, but nothing beats the Watery Sun Gel. This gives you a glow so be aware of that if you are oily. It’s lightweight, luxurious, and an organic/chemical, flashback-free formula. This is not pasty, and it absorbs easily. The entire formula does hydrating work. So, yes, it’s a sunscreen, but you can also think of it as a skin-soothing serum that protects you from the sun. For people who don't like sunscreen, this is a great choice!
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