Plus, it gives an instantaneous plumping effect.

By Braelyn Wood
April 02, 2020
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A lot of things have changed in the past month due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), but in a time filled with unknowns and inconsistencies, the one thing that’s stayed the same is my obsession with skincare. Social distancing has turned into the perfect excuse for experimenting with different products without fear of bad reactions like unexpected breakouts.

One skincare item that’s quickly turned into a holy grail during my month-long isolation is The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($7, sephora.com). As someone with mostly oily skin, I’ve always resisted incorporating excess hydration beyond my moisturizer—until the combination of ditching makeup and spending more time indoors started drying out my skin in patches. Eager for an affordable solution, I turned to Sephora’s vast base of equally skincare-obsessed shoppers; they’re infatuated with the serum, giving it nearly 190,000 “loves.”

Created by The Ordinary—the company behind that viral TikTok exfoliating mask—the serum prioritizes streamlined ingredients to give you high-quality skincare at a fraction of the price. In this case, that means pure hyaluronic acid from a vegan source that’s free of parabens, alcohol, or oil. 

And despite the brand name, this isn’t an ~ordinary~ hyaluronic acid. While all hyaluronic acids work to improve surface hydration (they’re powerful humectants that attract water) this specific formula uses a combination of hyaluronic acids at 3 molecular weights, a cross-polymer hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5 to give the skin multi-depth hydration. As a result, it doesn’t draw water out of the skin like other hyaluronic acids. 

By restoring hydration to the skin barrier, the serum gives your skin an instantly plumper look. But its anti-aging benefits don’t stop there: As Ted Lain, MD, a dermatologist from Austin, Texas explained previously to Health, it can also “delay skin thinning, itching, and the overall aging process.” 

Sephora.com

It’s not hard to see why this budget-friendly pick has become my new obsession. I slather it on every morning after applying my Versed Daily Brightening Solution, and it leaves my skin looking instantly plumped and feeling baby soft. I’ll admit the formula is a little thick and tacky at first, but it quickly dries down, so you won’t feel it on your skin after. A slightly sticky application is a small price to pay for skin that looks better after just a few weeks of daily application. 

Of course, I’m not the first person to see quick results. One Sephora shopper revealed they noticed a “difference right away,” while another deemed it a “miracle worker” from the first use. Better yet, it’s a top pick for a wide range of skin types, including dry, dehydrated, normal, and even oily skin. (Yes, oily skin can get dehydrated, too.).

While I could rave on and on about this serum, I’ll hand it off to another equally hooked reviewer: “This stuff took my skin to a whole new level. I’ve always had problem skin, and I use prescription topical treatments, which have helped tremendously. It tends to dry out your face and my face was very dull and lacked that ‘inner glow.’ This product is amazing, it absolutely changed my skin for the better, and for far less than a lot of other products. My skin looks awesome without makeup. I use it on my neck and chest too, and I’ve seen a difference there as well with only a few uses. It truly is amazing.”

This affordable find proves that skincare doesn’t have to be a splurge. At just $7, it’s cheaper than some of my most complex Starbuck concoctions—and it lasts a lot longer, too. I don’t feel guilty splurging on a few bottles at once, especially if it’s accompanied by another one of The Ordinary's beloved products. But if your willpower is stronger than mine, you’ll be happy to know that Sephora’s offering free shipping on any size order right now—even just one bottle of this game-changing serum.

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