Hyaluronic acid is overexcited: here are 7 equally hydrating ingredients


For as long as I can remember, hydration has been my top priority when it comes to skin care. I have combination skin that gets dry, especially in winter, which is why I’m known for serums that contain ingredients that provide a sparkling, thirst-quenching glow. As such, I am a recognized lover of hyaluronic acid.

For quite some time now, this water-attracting skin care ingredient has been one of my favorites for infusing oceanic levels of hydration into my skin. If I see the ingredient in a serum or moisturizer, I’m that much more likely to buy it. I love the stuff, so you can imagine my grief at having to face the fact that hyaluronic acid is not the only (or even the most effective) moisturizing ingredient on the market. “[Hyaluronic acid] has been used forever, but really made a splash last year, ”said Renée Rouleau, renowned esthetician and CEO of her skincare line of the same name. the online trend wave and won the popularity contest because of it. There are other comparable and better ingredients. “

Until one of you picks me up from my DMs (yes, it does happen), I don’t tell anyone to throw their HA serum in the trash. Actually no ! “Hyaluronic acid tends to be cheaper to use in formulations, so it’s much more publicized, but it has a great plumping effect because it carries 1000 times its weight in water,” says Celeste Hilling, CEO and Founder of Skin Authority. So it’s not like HA is unnecessary (it occurs naturally in our skin for a reason), but according to Rouleau and Hilling, it’s just not hydration that we’ve been led to believe. (Marketing at its best!)

Coming up, check out seven expert-approved ingredient substitutions to look for in serums that will leave your skin feeling happy and hydrated. Then, keep scrolling for even more of the best moisturizing serums, including some cult favorites that you’ll definitely want to try.

1. Tremella Fuciformis

Moon juice Plump Jelly Hydrating Serum ($ 58)

You may have seen this ingredient labeled as silver ear fungus or snow fungus, but these are all nicknames for the same hydrating polysaccharide extracted from Chinese silver ear fungus. “It provides five times the hydration of hyaluronic acid,” explains Rouleau. This Moon Juice Plump Jelly Serum contains the ingredient alongside Hyaluronic Acid and lives up to its name.

2. Trehalose

Renée Rouleau Skin correcting serum ($ 47)

Rouleau describes trehalose as an antioxidant found in resurrection plants native to desert climates. “When desert plants become dehydrated from lack of water, this molecule takes the place of moisture in the plant’s cells,” she says. “Once the water comes in contact with the dehydrated plant, trehalose absorbs the water, filling the plant’s dehydrated cells without damaging internal or membrane structures, even though the plant has been dormant for centuries. It helps. to repair dehydrated skin and protect against future moisture loss. ” This ultra-hydrating serum from its own line contains the nourishing ingredient alongside the aforementioned silver ear fungus and other vitamins and antioxidants.

3. Panthenol

Drunk elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum ($ 48)

This multipurpose ingredient has popped up in conversations about acne treatment, as some recent research has touted its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. But above all, it is known as a serious humectant. Rouleau explains that panthenol, a provitamin B5 (our body naturally converts it to vitamin B5), retains moisture in skin cells to bring the skin’s moisture level back to normal after dehydration or imbalance.

4. Sodium hyaluronate

Neutral Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum ($ 15)

If this ingredient sounds like hyaluronic acid to you, it’s because sodium hyaluronate is basically its little sister. “It’s a bioactive salt form of hyaluronic acid,” says Rouleau. It works just like HA in that it binds 1000 times its weight in water to the skin’s surface, but with a few very important distinctions.

“You will see sodium hyaluronate used more frequently in products than hyaluronic acid. This is because it has a smaller molecular size, which means it penetrates deeper into the skin, so that the skin can absorb it more efficiently, ”explains Rouleau. “Plus, because it’s in the salt form, sodium hyaluronate tends to be more stable and less likely to oxidize. This ingredient is excellent for repairing a damaged moisture barrier and preventing loss of moisture. transepidermal water caused by excessive exfoliation, dry weather or sun exposure. ”This famous serum from Neutrogena, known as one of the main HA serums, actually uses sodium hyaluronate.

5. PCA sodium

APC skin Hydrating serum ($ 92)

Speaking of the stability of the ingredients in the form of salt, PCA sodium is another, according to Rouleau, which is great for hydrating the skin. “Sodium PCA is the sodium salt form of pyroglutamic acid, also known as the amino acid proline. It is believed to be 1.5 times more effective at hydrating the skin than glycerin, which is also a great moisturizing ingredient, ”she explains. This moisturizing serum from PCA Skin (the PCA here and the PCA in the aforementioned ingredient don’t mean the same thing, by the way) is deeply hydrating due to its sodium PCA, HA and glycerin content and stimulates collagen and increases firmness with fructose and wheat germ extract.

6. Glycerin

Vichy Laboratories Mineral serum 89 ($ 40)

As Rouleau mentioned a few moments ago and as many other skin care experts have noted along the way, glycerin is another very good humectant for sucking water into the skin. Hilling agrees with this, noting that the ingredient can also be used to soothe irritated skin. Glycerin and HA work in tandem to provide maximum hydration in this trusted drugstore option, which contains mineral-rich volcanic water from Vichy.

7. Antioxidants

SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($ 166)

You might not immediately think of antioxidants when considering hydrating, but according to Hilling, you should. “Dry skin is often the result of free radical damage caused by environmental exposure to light, pollution or the weather. Antioxidants are powerful fighters in combating free radical damage. and protect the skin’s water balance, ”she says. Some key antioxidants to watch out for are vitamin C, vitamin B3, pycnogenol, green tea extract, and grape extract. To the same end, Hilling recommends staying on top of your SPF protection, as UVA and UVB rays from the sun cause free radical damage that can manifest in dry skin. Try the Skin Authority SkinSuit ($ 59).

More top rated moisturizing serums

The ordinary Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5 ($ 7)

This beloved serum from The Ordinary contains Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5. Hilling calls the large size of HA molecules as one of the reasons why it is not actually the better moisturizer for the skin, but this formula contains a cross-linked form of hyaluronic acid which is believed to improve the delivery of the ingredient to the skin.

Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic serum ($ 300)

Like the cheaper equivalent we just talked about, this serum from Dr. Barbara Sturm uses some innovation to ensure that the hero ingredient, HA, works to its full potential. It contains both long chain and short chain HA to ensure its absorption into the deeper layers of the skin. In addition, purslane rich in antioxidants protects skin cells against free radicals.

Organic Mukti Hyaluronic marine serum ($ 91)

Here is a natural serum that leaves your skin plumped and soft. It is loaded with HA and lush plants such as seaweed and blue tansy. Not to mention, it smells like a spa day in a bottle.

Indie lee Stem cell serum ($ 135)

Hydration isn’t the primary goal this serum seeks to achieve, but it does a pretty good job of dealing with it. While it’s primarily intended to improve skin firmness, texture, and tone via Echinacea and Alpine Rose stem cells, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate also make it incredibly hydrating.

Innislibre Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Serum ($ 27)

This selection from South Korea’s sought-after line, Innisfree, delivers Jeju Green Tea and Panthenol to deeply hydrate skin and support the delicate moisture barrier.

Poured out Hydration Station Booster with HA ($ 20)

This versatile serum contains both hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate for intense hydration. It is very suitable on its own but can be mixed with other serums, creams and even makeup to increase the dew factor.

Skin care Ageless Pure Hyaluronic Filler ($ 70)

This serum helps fill in fine lines and wrinkles on the skin with six different forms of lower and higher molecular weight hyaluronic acids. The result is instantly smoothed and visibly plumped skin.

CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum ($ 14)

If you’re looking for a no-frills HA serum that your dermatologist would certainly approve of, look no further than this reliable (and inexpensive) serum from CeraVe.

SkinCeuticals B5 Moisturizing Gel ($ 83)

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serum shines a lot, but this hydrating gel serum is also pretty fantastic. HA is amplified by B5 (the alcohol analogue of pantothenic acid), and together the two hero ingredients plump the skin beyond belief. In addition, it is the perfect complement to the famous CE Ferulic serum.

Volition Snow mushroom water serum ($ 62)

The snow fungus extract (you know, the tremella fuciformis we talked about earlier) is the saving grace that holds moisture in this bottle. It also provides watermelon and apple extracts to visibly illuminate and plump the skin.

More shiny Super bounce ($ 28)

This panthenol hyaluronic acid serum makes your skin do exactly what it says on the bottle: bounce back.

La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Serum ($ 30)

French drugstore favorite, La Roche-Posay, hydrates better than most, and that’s especially true for this serum. It combines hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 for plumping skin hydration reinforced by soothing thermal water.

The list of keys Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum ($ 8)

The sodium hyaluronate and proprietary peptide complex in this formula provide seriously hydrated, plumped and collagen-rich skin.

Bioderm Hydrabio Serum ($ 25)

While Bioderma is best known for its iconic micellar water, this serum deserves a little shine as well. It helps maintain hydration and restore radiance to the skin thanks to hyaluronic acid, xylitol and glycerin.

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This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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