What to Buy Skincare Products The 14 Best Hyaluronic Acid Serums of 2023 SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is a dermatologist-approved serum that will draw moisture to the surface of your skin By Daley Quinn Daley Quinn Instagram Daley Quinn is a freelance beauty and health journalist who has covered the lifestyle space for over ten years. health's editorial guidelines Updated on November 29, 2022 Medically reviewed by Susan Bard, MD Medically reviewed by Susan Bard, MD Susan Bard, MD, is a board-certified general and procedural dermatologist with the American Board of Dermatology and a Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery. learn more Fact checked by Richard Scherr Fact checked by Richard Scherr Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post. health's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email In This Article Expand Jump to a Section Our top picks Reviews How We Selected the Hyaluronic Acid Serums What to Know About Hyaluronic Acid Serums Your Questions, Answered Who We Are We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Amazon Hyaluronic acid is a humectant—a moisturizing agent that can retain many times its weight in water. When you apply them to your skin, the best hyaluronic acid serums draw moisture from both the air and the deeper layers of skin to the upper layers, giving you a dewy, healthy look. Because hyaluronic acid is typically too large of a molecule to penetrate into the skin, you will find many hyaluronic acid serums with both high and low molecular weights. According to Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, FAAD, a board-certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of NY and Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at NYP Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, the best hyaluronic acid serums will incorporate both high and low molecular weight forms of hyaluronic acid into its formula. "Sodium hyaluronate is a stable and low molecular weight form of hyaluronic acid that more easily penetrates skin for long-lasting, deep hydration," she says. "Larger molecular forms of hyaluronic acid will stay more superficial, delivering hydration to the most superficial epidermis." These types of serums can include many other supportive ingredients aside from hyaluronic acid, making the price range wide—you can expect to pay anywhere from $8-$150 for a hyaluronic acid serum. We spoke with dermatologists and researched hyaluronic acid serums from the top brands to choose our recommendations. Here are the best hyaluronic acid serums on the market. Our Top Picks Best Overall: SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel at Walmart Jump to Review Best Budget: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Jump to Review Best with Vitamin C: Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum at Amazon Jump to Review Best Retinol with Hyaluronic Acid: L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Pure Retinol at Amazon Jump to Review Best Drugstore: RoC Capsules at Amazon Jump to Review Best Cream: Avène Physiolift Serum at Amazon Jump to Review Best Antioxidant: Joanna Vargas Daily Serum at Dermstore Jump to Review Best for the Eye Area: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Lips: PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster at Amazon Jump to Review Best Fragrance-Free: Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum at Amazon Jump to Review Best Overall SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel 4.5 Amazon View On Walmart View On Dermstore View On Skinceuticals.com Why We Like It: This product is highly recommended by the dermatologists we spoke to and is a great choice for sensitive skin. It's Worth Noting: It feels very watery, is not as thick as other serums, and is more expensive than some of our other recommendations. The SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is our overall winner for multiple reasons: it's a fan-favorite for many dermatologists, it comes from a very reputable and science-backed brand, and it only contains four ingredients. "For sensitive skin, I recommend a fragrance-free hyaluronic acid serum like Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel," explains Dr. Murphy-Rose. "This is a hyaluronic acid serum with pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) for intense hydration and skin-soothing benefits—note that it has a water-like consistency, as opposed to a 'gel,' and is perfect for application underneath your moisturizer." This pick is a great option for those who want to add some hydration to their skincare routine, without feeling like they have a heavy film on top of their skin. We also appreciate that the formula is free from parabens, alcohol, fragrance, dyes, and silicones, too. Price at time of publication: $86 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5Skin Type: Dry, Normal, Oily, Combination, SensitiveSize: 1 fl oz.Dosage: Apply 2-3 drops to the entire face, neck, and chest once per day, in the morning or at night Best Budget The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 4.2 Sephora View on Ulta View On Nordstrom View On Sephora Why We Like It: This pick is an effective and derm-approved product at a great price point. It's Worth Noting: The thin consistency can almost feel sticky, which may be off-putting. The Ordinary is known for its budget-friendly formulas, and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum is one of its bestsellers. Dr. Murphy-Rose likes to recommend this product to her patients as a less expensive hyaluronic acid serum. "An excellent budget option is The Ordinary's Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5," she says. "While it doesn't have the same totally bare skin feel as the Skinceuticals serum, it is much more wallet-friendly and still packs a punch for hydration." This formula uses multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, as well as vitamin B5, to hydrate the skin. The consistency of this serum is thin and slippery and may even feel a tad sticky, but that feeling is temporary if you layer it under a moisturizer as part of your skin care routine. Price at time of publication: $9 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin B5Skin Type: Normal, DrySize: 1 fl oz.Dosage: Apply one to two drops to the face daily Best with Vitamin C Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum Courtesy by Amazon View On Amazon View On Ulta View On Vichyusa.com Why We Like It: This product not only hydrates the skin but also uses vitamin C to brighten, too. It's Worth Noting: It feels more watery than other hyaluronic acid serums and you should follow it with a moisturizer. Although this pick is more of a vitamin C serum than a hyaluronic acid serum, it utilizes both powerhouse ingredients to fade dark spots and pigmentation while also lightly hydrating your skin. The Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector will help brighten and tighten the skin and protect against free radical damage. Vitamin C is an ingredient that oxidizes and can become ineffective pretty quickly, especially if it's not formulated or stored properly. This pick comes in a brown glass bottle to prevent oxidation from sunlight and is formulated with only 11 ingredients. Because the Vichy Liftactiv Vitamin C Brightening Skin Corrector acts as a brightener more so than a hydrator, you're definitely going to want to apply a moisturizer on top of this pick. Price at time of publication: $29 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: All Types, SensitiveSize: 0.34 fl oz.Dosage: Apply 4 to 5 drops to the skin every morning Best Retinol with Hyaluronic Acid L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum .3% Pure Retinol Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Ulta Why We Like It: This formula is a fantastic duo that hydrates while reducing acne, the appearance of fine lines, and more, and is available at most drugstores. It's Worth Noting: Retinol can sometimes be very drying for already dry or sensitive skin, so it's best to use this ingredient cautiously or introduce it slowly if you haven't used it before. Considering retinol can sometimes be drying to the skin, it's a great idea to combine this powerhouse ingredient with hydrating hyaluronic acid. This pick from L'Oreal incorporates both ingredients into the formula to allow the skin to appear visibly plumper and moisturized. With continued use, you should start to see fine lines fading and an overall smoother and brighter complexion with this product. Because retinol can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, it's best to use this product at night and to always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face in the morning. Additionally, considering this pick contains a high potency of retinol, you'll want to start off slow and work your way up to using this nightly. At first, we recommend applying this product to your skin a few times a week. Once your skin becomes more tolerant of retinol, you can start using it daily. Price at time of publication: $31 Product Details: Active Ingredients: 0.3% Pure Retinol, Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Aging skinSize: 1 fl oz.Dosage: During week 1, apply 2-3 drops to clean and dry skin twice a week. During week 2, use every other night. During week 3, use nightly if tolerated. Best Drugstore RoC Multi Correxion Hyaluronic Acid Night Serum Capsules Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: Capsules provide airtight storage that allow the ingredients to stay more stable (so the product lasts longer than other application types). It's Worth Noting: If used daily, this bottle will only last one month. Another derm we spoke to, Joshua Zeichner, MD, the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology and an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, is a fan of the RoC Multi Correxion Hyaluronic Acid Night Serum Capsules. "These capsules deliver the perfect amount of serum for a single use and can be taken with you on the go," he says. These capsules are ideal for travel and can really help pare down your toiletry bag, too. We love that the formula contains no preservatives, no fragrances, no parabens, and no fillers. Plus, the capsules are 100% biodegradable and help the formula stay fresh and potent for a longer period of time. Price at time of publication: $27 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Dry skinSize: 0.35 fl oz.Dosage: Use one capsule nightly on the skin Best Cream Avène Eau Thermale Physiolift Serum Amazon View On Amazon View On Dermstore View On Skinstore.com Why We Like It: The brand is known for having very gentle, effective products. It's Worth Noting: It does contain dimethicone and fragrance, so it's not ideal if you have sensitive skin. We love this brand for its gentle formulas that still work effectively to hydrate, smooth, and brighten skin without irritation. The Avene PhysioLift SERUM Smoothing Plumping Serum contains two sizes of hyaluronic acid to penetrate into your skin, while vitamin E protects against free radicals and environmental damage. This serum is one of our favorites because it features the award-winning and clinically-studied Avene Thermal Spring Water. This simple yet powerful ingredient has been shown to calm and soothe sensitive, irritated, and inflamed skin. One of the downsides of this pick is that it does contain dimethicone and fragrance. Don't use this product if you're very sensitive to either or both ingredients—always do a patch test on your wrist or neck before applying to your face. Price at time of publication: $27 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin ESkin Type: SensitiveSize: 1.01 fl oz.Dosage: Apply to skin twice daily Best Antioxidant Joanna Vargas Daily Serum View On Dermstore View On Fwrd.com View On Macy's Why We Like It: It has ingredients that help boost collagen production in your skin. It's Worth Noting: It's more expensive than most of our recommendations. Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas created her Daily Serum not only to help hydrate skin, but to also aid in skin cell turnover, too. This pick features an ingredient naturally derived from larch trees called galactoarabinan and works to stimulate cell turnover with each use. Galactoarabinan does an effective job at promoting skin cell turnover to help prevent pores from being blocked with dirt, oil, and sebum. The retinyl palmitate will help boost collagen fiber production in your skin. Other notable ingredients in this serum include hyaluronic acid (it helps retain moisture in the skin), oat grass juice (an antioxidant that repairs damage), and a "power green complex" (like a green juice for your skin). Plus, it includes a trio of antioxidant ingredients in vitamins A, C, and E. This lightweight gel is one of the priciest hyaluronic acid serums on this list. It can be used daily underneath your moisturizer and SPF, and has a lovely, fresh green juice scent. Price at time of publication: $85 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Normal, Oily, Acne-Prone, and SensitiveSize: 1 fl oz.Dosage: One pump once per day Best for the Eye Area Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart View On Ulta Why We Like It: It has a very lightweight, gel consistency and doesn't feel heavy on and around the eyes. It's Worth Noting: It's not ideal for those who love a thick, creamy eye cream. Thanks to the thin layer of skin around your eye area, it's important to treat your eyes with gentle, non-irritating products. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Eye not only features hyaluronic acid to treat your eye area with extra moisture and hydration, but it also uses glycerin to promote a smoother texture and protect the skin's moisture barrier. There are three things we really love about this pick: the texture, the cooling effect, and the fact that it's fragrance-free. Unlike other eye creams that are heavy, this pick is a lightweight gel that still manages to feel thoroughly hydrating to the eye area. It also has a lovely cooling effect that lasts up to about a minute after application. Finally, we appreciate that the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream Eye is fragrance-free. Because the skin around your eyes can be so delicate, it's a good idea to opt for eye products that are fragrance-free and non-irritating. Price at time of publication: $19 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Eye areaSize: 0.5 fl oz.Dosage: Twice per day around the eye area Best for Lips PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster Amazon View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Dermstore Why We Like It: It's dermatologist approved to hydrate your lips. It's Worth Noting: It's pricey for a product that you only apply on the lips. Your lips go through a lot throughout the day, and prioritizing hydration is key to keeping them healthy and flake-free. Incorporating hyaluronic acid into your lip care routine is a great way to infuse extra moisture into parched lips—enter, the PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster. This small but mighty lip formula is not your average lip balm. Thanks to a special technology called "Filling Spheres™," this pick uses sodium hyaluronate (a type of hyaluronic acid) and konjac root to moisturize your lips while also appearing more full and voluminous (without that tingly, burning feeling you might get with other irritating lip plumpers). Dr. Zeichner recommends the PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster to his patients. "This is a great option for both lip hydration and plumping," explains Dr. Zeichner. "Unlike traditional lip plumpers that work by causing an irritant effect, this one uses hyaluronic acid along with peptides to moisturize, soften, and hydrate the lips." After continued use, you should notice an increase in the hydration levels of your lips—which means less reapplication throughout the day. Considering this product is pretty small for the price, it's important to note that you really don't need to use a lot (or use it very often) to see big results. A little will go a long way. Price at time of publication: $50 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Dry, aging lipsSize: 0.24 oz.Dosage: Apply as needed Best Fragrance-Free Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Vitamin B5 and Ceramides for Dry Skin Amazon View On Amazon Why We Like It: It's a great fragrance-free option for those with sensitive skin. It's Worth Noting: It feels more like a moisturizer than a serum. The CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a great option for those sensitive to fragrance. The formula contains hyaluronic acid plus vitamin B5 and three different ceramides, making it very hydrating and a big winner for those with dry skin. Although this pick has been named a serum, we consider it more of a moisturizer. The consistency and texture is much thicker than a liquidy serum, and it feels more like a thick moisturizer when rubbed into the skin. Because of this, we'd consider this pick a perfect hyaluronic acid for the winter months, when your skin is dry, chapped, and dull from the frigid temperatures. Price at time of publication: $19 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: For normal to dry skinSize: 1 fl oz.Dosage: Apply one pump to your face daily, alone or under a moisturizer. Best Clean Formula Maelove Hydrator B5 Gel Maelove View On Maelove.com Why We Like It: The formula is free of parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and synthetic dyes and only has six ingredients. It's Worth Noting: It's definitely one of the thinner serums of the bunch, so if you prefer a thicker serum, this pick might not be for you. If applying a clean, non-toxic hydrating serum to your skin is a top priority, consider trying the Maelove Hydrator B5 Gel. This pick is not only free from questionable ingredients, but is also vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free, too. One of the most impressive aspects of this pick is that it only contains six ingredients in the entire formulation—hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and resveratrol are the three stand-out ingredients that make this gel hydrating and protective against environmental damage. We love how lightweight this gel feels and its impressive blend-ability. It doesn't feel sticky or slippery, and also has a nice cooling effect on the skin, too. If you are someone with super dry skin who prefers a thicker hydrating serum, consider trying a different option—the Maelove Hydrator B5 Gel is ideal for anyone with oily to normal skin looking for some extra moisture. Price at time of publication: $30 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Oily, normal, or dry skinSize: 1 fl oz.Dosage: Use morning and/or night before moisturizing. Best for Body Nécessaire The Body Serum 4.6 Sephora View On Amazon View On Nordstrom View On Sephora Why We Like It: It offers extra moisture to areas of your body that might not get enough TLC. It's Worth Noting: You may go through a bottle pretty fast. Hyaluronic acid doesn't have to just benefit the face—thanks to Necessaire's The Body Serum, you can get the incredible, hydrating benefits of this ingredient on all areas of your body, too. With a lovely, lightweight serum texture, this pick works overtime to bring a ton of moisture into your skin thanks to the five different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid within the formula. With multiple molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, this formula can penetrate deeper into the skin for longer-lasting results. We love that the formula is fragrance-free and has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association. While the directions for use state that you can use this product alone or with a topical moisturizer, we recommend using it underneath your favorite body lotion, as it might not offer enough hydration to those with super dry skin. Another issue to consider is that, because the bottle isn't super large, you might run out of this product relatively quickly if you're applying it to your entire body daily. Price at time of publication: $45 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Dry, sensitive, eczema-proneSize: 5.1 fl oz.Dosage: Apply to your body daily Best Booster Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster Amazon View On Amazon View On Dermstore View On Cloud10beauty.com Why We Like It: It's a great addition to any serum or moisturizer when you're needing some extra hydration. It's Worth Noting: You don't get a lot of product for the price. Sometimes, you just want to add a little extra hydration to your favorite moisturizer—the Paula's Choice BOOST Hyaluronic Acid Booster is a perfect addition to your skincare lineup. Packed with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and pro-vitamin B5, this booster will help retain moisture in your skin. What we love about this pick is that you can either use it alone, or add a pump or two into your serum or moisturizer and apply it to your skin. If you love your oil-free mattifying moisturizer, for example, but find that your skin is on the drier side that morning, you can add a pump of this product into your hand, add a squeeze of your moisturizer, mix them together and apply to your face for some extra hydration. With continued use, this serum will help strengthen your moisture barrier and plump your skin, too. The biggest issue with this booster is that you don't get a ton of product for the amount that you're paying. Although the application instructions suggest using this product up to twice daily, we think it's more appropriate to use it as an add-on to your regular skincare routine on days you need some extra hydration. That way, you won't use up an entire bottle every two weeks and need to repurchase as frequently. Price at time of publication: $39 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Dehydrated, dull skinSize: 0.51 fl oz.Dosage: 2-3 drops up to twice daily or as needed Best High-Potency Perricone MD High Potency Hyaluronic Intensive Hydrating Serum Perricone MD View On Amazon View On Ulta View On Macy's Why We Like It: The consistency is thicker than other formulas we've tried. It's Worth Noting: This pick contains dimethicone, which some people are sensitive to (and it's the most expensive on our list). Not only is this serum one of the priciest of the bunch, but it is also one of the thickest textures, too. We'd even argue that it feels more like a lightweight moisturizer than a hydrating serum. If you're someone with super dry skin needing a big boost of hydration, the Perricone MD High Potency Hyaluronic Intensive Hydrating Serum is a great option for you. This formula is made with a healthy mix of different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, allowing the product to absorb deep into the dermis. It also features replenishing niacinamide and a firming ingredient called DMAE. Once you apply this product to your skin, you'll notice how silky smooth it feels—you can thank dimethicone, the second ingredient in this formula, for that consistency. If you're someone who is sensitive to dimethicone or avoiding this ingredient altogether, you might want to opt for an alternative hyaluronic acid serum. Price at time of publication: $129 Product Details: Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic AcidSkin Type: Extra dry and dehydratedSize: 2 fl oz.Dosage: One pump twice per day How We Selected the Hyaluronic Acid Serums The Health team spoke with several dermatologists and researched over 15 hyaluronic acid serums to recommend specific products for this article. When deciding between the wide range of hyaluronic acids on the market, we took multiple considerations into account including price, availability, skin type, texture and formula, active ingredients, and dermatologist recommendations. What to Know About Hyaluronic Acid Serums Skin Type When choosing the best hyaluronic acid serum for your specific skin type, it really comes down to the other ingredients in a hyaluronic acid serum formulation, which is more important than the type of hyaluronic acid, according to Dr. Murphy-Rose. Normal skin: For normal skin, you can't go wrong with most hyaluronic acid serums. "Look for a product containing 2 percent hyaluronic acid and use it under your favorite moisturizer," suggests Dr. Murphy-Rose.Dry skin: Look for ingredients like essential ceramides and squalane for skin barrier support. "Pair with a moisturizer containing rich butters to help lock in the moisture that hyaluronic acid draws to the skin's surface," says Dr. Murphy-Rose.Oily skin: For oily skin, it's important to use oil-free formulations. "A hyaluronic acid serum alone may be sufficient for oily skin, without a moisturizer on top," explains Dr. Murphy-Rose. "Or, you can use a light oil-free moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid."Combination skin: Follow the recommendations for oily skin over the T-zone and dry skin recommendations for the rest of the skin. "You could use a hyaluronic acid serum everywhere, and then your moisturizer everywhere except for the T-zone," suggests Dr. Murphy-Rose. Ingredients to Avoid Propylene Glycol: According to Dr. Nicole Hayre, MD, founder of the Cosmetic Dermatology Center in McLean, Virginia, propylene glycol is one of the worst ingredients to avoid in a hyaluronic acid serum. "It's a strong solvent that can disrupt the skin's moisture barrier and can also cause allergic reactions in some people," she warns. Parabens: These ingredients are old-fashioned preservatives. "They work, but they can irritate some people with more sensitive skin," explains Dr. Hayre. "Considering there are so many safer preservatives out there, it's best to just avoid parabens." Fragrance: Unless you know you are not sensitive to fragrance, Dr. Murphy-Rose recommends avoiding fragrances for most consumers. Look for labels that say "fragrance-free" as even products marked as "unscented" can include masking fragrances that are added to hide the smell of other ingredients. Your Questions, Answered When should you use hyaluronic acid serums? You can use hyaluronic acid serums day or night. "Applied during the day, a hyaluronic acid serum will give the skin a radiant sheen," explains Dr. Hayre. "Applied at night, especially under a rich cream, they can become a moisturizing mask." Serums, especially humectants like hyaluronic acid, should be applied to the skin after cleansing and before applying your moisturizer. What percentage of hyaluronic acid is best? According to Dr. Hayre, a 30 pecent concentration of what's called "high molecular weight" sodium hyaluronate gel is most effective. "The longer the sugar chain, the heavier it becomes and the more water it delivers," she says. On the other hand, Dr. Murphy-Rose suggests looking for products that contain 1-2 percent hyaluronic acid, and avoiding products with anything higher than that. "Be aware that higher percentages of hyaluronic acid can actually have a drying effect on skin." Who We Are Daley Quinn is a freelance journalist, content strategist, and beauty industry expert with over ten years of experience in the media industry. You can find more of her work on her website or read the latest from her beauty and lifestyle blog, The Daley Dose. Daley suffers from dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin and loves to research and test the best hydrating and gentle skincare products for everyday use. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. MHS KL MD, MD JN. The hype on hyaluronic acid. Harvard Health. Published January 23, 2020.