Found naturally in our skin, hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide that helps retain moisture and keep skin plump and hydrated.
It’s a powerful humectant, meaning it attracts water molecules to the skin’s surface, making it an ideal ingredient for adding hydration to an otherwise dry complexion.
If you’re looking for an affordable serum that packs a powerful punch of hydration, treat yourself to one of the best drugstore hyaluronic acid serums in this post.
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The Best Drugstore Hyaluronic Acid Serums
My Top Picks:
- Most Affordable: Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Most Lightweight (It’s A Tie): The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid / L’Oreal 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Best For Sensitive Skin: CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Best Multi-Benefit: e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Triple Bounce Serum
- Drugstore Splurge: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Best For Dry Skin: Naturium Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum 5%
- Best For Mature Skin: Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Serum
1. Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a gel-cream serum formulated with hyaluronic acid in its salt form of sodium hyaluronate.
Sodium hyaluronate has a smaller molecular weight than hyaluronic acid, so it can provide deep long-lasting hydration.
This serum also contains three essential ceramides, which are moisturizing lipids that CeraVe includes in most of their products to support a healthy skin barrier and protect sensitive skin.
Ceramides are a type of lipid molecule that exists naturally in the skin and play an important role in keeping your skin hydrated and healthy.
Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) soothes and calms the skin and helps it retain moisture, while glycerin acts as a humectant to attract moisture from the environment.
The serum also uses CeraVe’s proprietary MVE Technology, which helps release the ingredients slowly for extended hydration.
The serum is non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and is fragrance-free and paraben-free.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: The thing that stands out to me the most with this hyaluronic acid serum is its rich texture. It is the thickest serum in this post and almost feels like a lotion. It sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling soft and super hydrated.
2. The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid
The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid is a best-selling 2% hyaluronic acid serum that works on multiple levels of your skin’s surface.
The formula contains hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate, the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.
It creates bouncy cushiony soft skin with its lightweight, non-sticky, and non-tacky formula.
But this face serum doesn’t stop there.
It also contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide complex that helps stimulate collagen production and reduces wrinkle density, depth, and surface area while improving skin elasticity, tone, and roughness.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: I call The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid an anti-aging hyaluronic acid serum because it contains a peptide duo that targets the signs of aging in a lightweight HA serum.
I almost can’t believe that the low price is correct, but it is! This is one of my all-time favorite HA serums!
3. La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains pure hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin and replenish lost moisture.
It’s ideal for fine lines and loss of skin elasticity and volume.
The hyaluronic serum contains two forms of hyaluronic acid: sodium hyaluronate, the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, which has been broken down into smaller molecules for better absorption.
Madecassoside, a naturally derived ingredient from the Centella asiatica plant, helps to reduce redness and irritation. It has wound healing and antioxidant benefits.
The formula also includes pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol) to help reduce inflammation and boost hydration levels. Glycerin is another humectant in the serum that helps keep your skin soft and smooth.
This lightweight serum absorbs quickly, has a pleasant fragrance, and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Please note that the serum is not a blue shade, as you can see in the image above. It’s only the bottle that’s blue.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: This hydrating serum has an extra level of soothing ingredients in the form of not only panthenol but also madecassoside from Centella asiastica, which is helpful for irritated, itchy, dry skin.
Related Post: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Serum Review
4. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a hydrating serum that plumps your skin and smoothes the look of fine lines.
The HA serum consists of low-, medium- and high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid plus a next-generation HA crosspolymer that creates a mesh on the skin so that skin is hydrated at multiple levels for an extended period.
This The Ordinary hyaluronic acid serum also contains pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol), which hydrates the outer layer of your skin while soothing irritation.
Ideal for all skin types, The Ordinary notes that it increases skin hydration after a week and after a month, strengthens the skin barrier, and reduces the look of wrinkles and fine lines. See my complete review here.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: This HA serum contains a high 2% concentration of multiple weights of hyaluronic acid to improve effectiveness at a very affordable price.
5. L’Oreal 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
L’Oreal 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is L’Oreal’s most potent hyaluronic acid product, with a 1.5% concentration of both low- and high-molecular-weight pure hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate).
L’Oreal Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains 1% low molecular weight pure hyaluronic acid for better absorption and skin plumping.
A 0.5% concentration of high molecular weight pure hyaluronic acid hydrates your skin’s outer surface, locking in moisture for dewy fresh skin.
The serum also contains HEPES, a patented ingredient that enhances the efficacy of hyaluronic acid by acting like a biological peeling agent to support desquamation, which is the process of naturally shedding the outer layer of skin.
The serum is super lightweight without any stickiness and doesn’t feel tacky after it absorbs either.
It’s non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested, and suitable for all skin types.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: Multiple molecular weights of HA offer extended hydration to the skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth. L’Oreal’s patented ingredient HEPES creates an environment that allows the HA to work more effectively. It’s also incredibly lightweight and very comfortable on the skin.
6. e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Triple Bounce Serum
E.l.f. Holy Hydration! Triple Bounce Serum contains 1.7% hyaluronic acid in three molecular weights for extended hydration.
Ultra-low, low, and high molecular weight HA (hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate and sodium hyaluronate) are included to hydrate the skin at different levels for a plump, bouncy complexion and rich, hydrating nourishment.
The formula is enriched with niacinamide (vitamin B3), which supports a healthy skin barrier, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and balances sebum production in the skin.
Squalane and glycerin are also included to lock in moisture, leaving the skin looking soft and supple. Panthenol soothes the skin.
This hydrating hyaluronic acid serum feels so lightweight on my skin and isn’t the least bit sticky or greasy.
I think this would be a great choice if you have combination or oily skin and avoid hyaluronic acid since it can feel heavy on the skin. Not this serum.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: E.l.f. Triple Bounce Bounce serum is formulated with multiple actives, not just hyaluronic acid, to nourish your skin. Niacinamide and squalane support HA and help promote a healthy skin barrier.
7. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum replenishes moisture with a 17% hydration complex.
The face serum contains blue beads that are seaweed-derived capsules containing hyaluronic acid that are released upon application to your skin.
While the amount of hyaluronic acid (in the salt form of sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid) is not disclosed, it contains low- and high-weight hyaluronic acid that binds water to the skin’s surface and holds it there.
The serum is enriched with trehalose, a natural sugar that helps the skin by trapping moisture, and glycerin, which penetrates the skin’s surface by nine layers for deep and extended hydration.
Panthenol soothes and moisturizes.
Also, it is fragrance-free, which might be the norm for many drugstore products, but Neutrogena products can be heavily fragranced, so it’s great to see no fragrance in this serum.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: While hydrating blue beads may be the visual focus of this serum, it’s the lightweight feel and deeply nourishing formula that makes it a great drugstore HA serum.
Also, I love the dispenser that releases serum from a button on the top. Great job, Neutrogena!
Related Post: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel vs Gel Cream
8. Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Serum
Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Serum is a creamy fragrance-free serum that contains hyaluronic acid in the form of sodium hyaluronate plus additional actives to hydrate, moisturize and strengthen your dehydrated, dull skin.
In addition to hyaluronic acid, the serum contains Olay’s favorite ingredient: niacinamide. Niacinamide (also one of my favorite ingredients) is a true multi-tasker.
It strengthens your skin barrier, stimulates collagen production to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves tone, texture, and dullness, and brightens your skin.
Niacinamide is a favorite of those with combination and oily skin since it helps to regulate sebum production.
Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Serum also contains Olay’s amino peptide (palmitoyl pentapeptide-4), which helps reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.
Panthenol, also known as pro-vitamin B5, helps to lock in moisture while calming irritated skin.
The only white/shaded serum of the bunch, it has a silky texture thanks to dimethicone (silicone).
STAND-OUT QUALITY: The anti-aging ingredients in this serum make it more than just a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum. It targets the visible signs of aging, too.
Related Post: Olay Hyaluronic + Peptide 24 Review
9. Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a water-like 1% hyaluronic acid serum formulated to soften and smooth your skin after just one use.
The serum contains hyaluronic acid in the salt form of sodium hyaluronate.
The fragrance-free serum draws moisture to the skin and keeps it there with help from 3% glycerin, a gentle, non-irritating humectant that improves skin hydration and skin barrier function.
It’s non-sticky, lightweight, and sinks into your skin quickly without leaving a greasy feeling. The hyaluronic acid penetrates the top layers of your skin to maintain optimal hydration levels.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: First, the price. The serum is so incredibly affordable that I’ll just call it cheap!!!
Next, is ingredient transparency. Good Molecules provides the exact concentration of every single ingredient in the serum. No other brand in this list provides this much transparency in their products.
10. Skincare Revolution 2% Hyaluronic Acid Plumping and Hydrating Serum
Skincare Revolution 2% Hyaluronic Acid Plumping and Hydrating Serum contains 2% hyaluronic acid to smooth the skin’s surface while getting rid of the dehydrated and tight feeling.
The oil-free serum plumps the skin with a blend of sodium hyaluronate and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer.
Sodium hyaluronate is more stable and has a lower molecular weight than hyaluronic acid.
Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is cross-linked and forms a mesh on the surface of your skin to hold more moisture than traditional HA and provides extended hydration.
The fragrance-free serum also contains glycerin for added moisture.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: While this is a no-frills serum, it hydrates and plumps, just as the name suggests, at a super affordable price. It provides immediate relief for tight, dehydrated, and dry skin.
It’s very gentle with minimum ingredients, making it ideal for sensitive skin. Plus, you can’t beat the look of the beautiful gold packaging on your vanity.
11. Naturium Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum 5%
Formulated with very low, low, medium, and high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, Naturium Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum 5% is a highly concentrated hyaluronic acid serum that provides intense hydration for all skin types.
In addition to providing moisture, the serum also helps improve skin texture and fine lines due to its multiplw weights of hyaluronic acid.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: This Naturium serum has four different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, making it a powerhouse for hydration at a very affordable price.
12. Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum contains pure hyaluronic acid and Vichy Volcanic Water, a nourishing water rich in 15 minerals, to hydrate and fortify your skin’s barrier.
The serum contains a minimal ingredient list of only 12 ingredients. It has a lightweight, non-greasy feel and is suitable for all skin types.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum combines hyaluronic acid with Vichy Volcanic Water for extra hydration and nourishment. It’s also accepted by the National Eczema Association.
13. COSRX Hydrium Triple Hyaluronic Moisture Ampoule
COSRX Hydrium Triple Hyaluronic Moisture Ampoule provides intense hydration to dry, dehydrated, and flaky skin.
Tripe Hyaluronic Acid (low, medium, and high-molecular weight hyaluronic acid ) hydrates and plumps, while D-Panthenol (vitamin B5) moisturizes and supports healing.
The liquid texture softens without leaving your skin feeling greasy.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: COSRX Hydrium Triple Hyaluronic Moisture Ampoule uses three different types of hyaluronic acid to provide deep hydration and support skin healing, making it the perfect choice for dry, dehydrated skin types.
14. Bliss Drench and Quench Serum
Bliss Drench and Quench Serum contains a blend of four types of hyaluronic acid, along with 7 moisturizing amino acids, to provide intense moisture and soften and plump your skin.
Amino acids are found naturally in your skin and help to support skin elasticity, resulting in plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
The serum has a lightweight gel-like texture that absorbs quickly into the skin.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: In addition to hyaluronic acid, Bliss Drench and Quench Serum includes amino acids for added hydration benefits, making it perfect for improving skin elasticity and providing lasting hydration.
15. COSRX The Hyaluronic Acid 3 Serum with Amino Acids + Ceramide NP
COSRX The Hyaluronic Acid 3 Serum with Amino Acids + Ceramide NP contains 3% hyaluronic acid to increase internal and external skin moisture.
An amino acid complex strengthens the skin barrier and protects against dryness. Ceramide NP (also known as ceramide 3) further supports the skin barrier, keeping moisture locked in.
Suitable for sensitive skin, this lightweight Korean hyaluronic acid serum absorbs quickly and leaves your skin feeling plump and hydrated.
STAND-OUT QUALITY: The high combination of 3% hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and ceramide NP makes this serum a powerhouse for locking in moisture and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier.
Different Forms of Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF) and a component of our skin’s outermost layer that helps maintain hydration and suppleness.
The good news is HA can be supplemented topically when our skin needs a boost of hydration.
Hyaluronic acid comes in different forms, all of which are usually referred to as “hyaluronic acid.” Some forms of HA include:
- Sodium Hyaluronate (lower molecular weight, more stable and cost-effective than HA)
- Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid (lower molecular weight broken down version of HA)
- Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer ( a cross-linked polymer form ha HA)
- Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate (better bioavailability and stability than HA)
Sodium hyaluronate is one of the most popular forms of hyaluronic acid in skincare products.
This salt form of hyaluronic acid tends to be more stable, easier to formulate, and more cost-effective than hyaluronic acid, so it’s often used in skincare products.
If you are new to hyaluronic acid, don’t be scared off by the word acid.
In fact, it plumps fine lines and is an excellent ingredient for all skin types, especially those with a dry skin type.
Best Drugstore Hyaluronic Acid Serums: The Bottom Line
Which is the best drugstore hyaluronic acid serum?
All of these drugstore hyaluronic acid serums are effective and affordable. The one that you’ll consistently use will be the best serum for you.
Look at the stand-out qualities listed above and choose one that will work for your skin concerns.
Don’t forget to pair one of these serums with a nourishing moisturizer to lock in all that HA goodness!
Thanks for reading!
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