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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Review

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a skincare active that has become very popular in the past few years for its hydrating and plumping benefits. Although it has been present in skincare formulations for many years (it was first discovered in 1934), skincare brands are increasingly formulating products around this exceptional hydrator to quench dry, dehydrated skin.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum handheld in front of a pale blue background.

If you’re looking for an affordable and effective hyaluronic acid product, The Ordinary has an HA serum available at drugstore prices. It is also one of their most popular products. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is formulated to hydrate the skin with multiple types of HA. In this The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 review, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients and how they perform.

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a vegan hyaluronic acid serum that contains a mix of low, medium, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid along with a hyaluronic acid crosspolymer at a 2% concentration to hydrate the skin at multiple levels.

This serum also contains vitamin B5, also known as panthenol, to help soothe and hydrate the skin.

The water-based serum is formulated at a pH of 6.5-7.5 and is fragrance-free, alcohol-free, silicone-free, oil-free, nut-free, gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free.

This The Ordinary product is available in a 30 ml bottle and a 60 ml value size bottle. Both size bottles have a glass dropper with which to apply the serum.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum on a pale blue background.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Key Ingredients

Sodium Hyaluronate: Sodium hyaluronate is the salt form (sodium salt) of hyaluronic acid that helps skin retain moisture by binding water to the skin. Sodium hyaluronate works like a sponge, and absorbs moisture to keep skin hydrated.

This sugar molecule helps plump the skin and reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines. It is a natural moisturizing factor (NMF), which is a substance found naturally in the skin that helps the skin retain moisture.

Multiple weights of hyaluronic acid work to hydrate the skin at different levels. Low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (LMWHA) penetrates the skin to deliver moisture deeper into the skin’s surface. This clinical study found that low-weight hyaluronic acid effectively treated seborrheic dermatitis.

High molecular weight hyaluronic acid (HMWHA) provides surface hydration and helps lock in moisture by forming a protective barrier on the skin.

Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspoylmer: This cross-linked form of hyaluronic acid creates a mesh film on the skin and is said to bind five times more water than regular hyaluronic acid for extended skin hydration.

Panthenol: Also known as pro-vitamin B-5, this ingredient is a humectant that attracts water to the skin and helps it retain moisture. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the skin.

Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract: This red marine algae extract helps stimulate circulation, allowing hyaluronic acid to better penetrate the skin. It also thickens products to improve product texture.

Glycerin: Glycerin is a sugar alcohol that is naturally derived from fats and oils. It is a humectant, meaning it attracts water to the skin and helps it retain moisture while supporting a healthy skin barrier.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Review

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum opened with dropper on a pale blue background.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum is a clear, lightweight gel that has a slightly sticky consistency. It has no scent and absorbs into the skin without leaving behind any residue. It takes a few minutes to thoroughly dry.

I found that this serum does leave my combination skin feeling plump and hydrated, but I’m not a huge fan of the sticky texture and having to wait for it to absorb. Hyaluronic acid products naturally tend to be a bit sticky, but there are other HA serums (see below) that don’t have such a sticky texture.

As long as I am patient and let the serum dry, it doesn’t interfere with other skin care products or my makeup application. This HA serum is gentle on my skin and doesn’t cause any skin irritation.

If you have dehydrated or dry skin type and are looking for a budget-friendly hyaluronic acid serum, then The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 could be a good option for you. Just keep in mind that with the incredibly low price, you are giving up a more elegant texture that comes along with some other hyaluronic acid serums.

For sample skincare routines that use The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum, please see my post: How to Build A Skincare Routine with The Ordinary Products.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Conflicts

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 does not conflict with any other products. Although the word acid makes it seem like it might be harsh on the skin, this acid is all about hydration and is very gentle on the skin, which makes it a great choice to use in a multi-product skincare routine.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum flatlay on a pale blue background.

How To Use The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

After cleansing and toning your skin, apply a few drops of the serum to damp skin (for better absorption) on your face and neck. Follow with any other skincare treatments, moisturizers, and don’t forget sunscreen your morning skincare routine.

Some people complain of the serum pilling (becoming small balled-up pieces) when using it with other products. Deciem notes that you only need 2-3 drops and should always let it dry before applying your moisturizer to avoid pilling.

The serum is gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, but be sure to patch test before using it for the first time to avoid an unwanted reaction.

Where To Buy The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

You can purchase The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 at Ulta, Sephora, and on The Ordinary’s website.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Alternatives

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum, Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics Serum on a pale blue background.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid

Like The Ordinary, The Inkey List is a budget-friendly skincare brand known for its simple, straightforward formulations.

The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid serum contains 2% hyaluronic acid (both sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid) in the form of a clear, lightweight gel. However, it absorbs into the skin much faster than The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum and the texture isn’t as sticky.

It also contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide that provides anti-aging benefits and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and skin roughness.

I find that The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid serum is just as hydrating as The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum, but it has a more comfortable feel on the skin and has the added anti-aging benefits from Matrixyl 3000.

Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum is another affordable hyaluronic acid serum. It contains 1% sodium hyaluronate for hydration and visible plumping. This serum isn’t as sticky as The Ordinary, possibly due to the lower HA concentration.

The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics

If you have combination or oily skin, The Ordinary Marine Hyaluronics may be a nice alternative, as it has a super lightweight texture and contains multiple moisturizing actives, including Pseudoalteromonas ferment extract, which can help regulate sebum (oil) production and pore size in oily skin.

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex on blue background

NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex contains 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds, and uses advanced technolgies to hydrate and replenish the skin. This is an outstanding hyaluronic acid serum, but much more expensive than The Ordinary. See my complete review here.

Final Thoughts

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum is a budget-friendly option for those looking to add a hydrating serum to their skincare routine. While this skincare product is effective, it does have a somewhat sticky texture. Just give it a few minutes to dry to avoid it interfering with your other skincare products.

For the low price, it’s a great option for beginners and for budget-friendly hydration.

Have you tried The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum? What are your thoughts?

As always, thank you for reading!

More The Ordinary Review Posts:

The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Review

The Ordinary Matrixyl 10% + HA Review

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion Review