Published on January 9, 2019

serum_GIF Pin It
Illustration by Aaron Bengochea

People are thirsty for solutions to aid winter-prone skin. Searches for hyaluronic acid on Google are the highest they’ve ever been—it’s currently at “peak popularity.” But what is hyaluronic acid, and why are searches trending right now?

The friendly sounding abbreviation, HA, hints at the wholesome goodness of hyaluronic acid. The “acid” in the name makes it seem harsher or more sinister than it is, but all HA wants to do is shower you in moisture. You actually have hyaluronic acid in your own skin cells, which is why it’s frequently found in many skincare products because skin absorbs and accepts it so easily.

The hydrating molecule can famously hold 1,000 times its weight in moisture, and that translates to magic on your skin—it’s nothing short of a miracle worker. When used regularly, it provides immediate moisture to skin, absorbs quickly, and can prevent the formation of fine lines and wrinkles caused by dehydration.

It’s super simple to use too. It can be used morning and/or night and is probably about to become your new best friend. It comes in many forms within skincare, but let’s focus on it’s purest, most potent version today (because #winter), which is serums. Use it after washing and toning and before a moisturizer and oil—think of it as the hearty meat in your skincare sandwich. Here are the hyaluronic acid serums that will make your moisturized skin glow.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, $300

imagePin It
Courtesy of Dr. Barbara Sturm

Leave it to the queen of skincare to make the purest professional-grade HA. This version has short- and long-chain hyaluronic, which means it can penetrate even deeper into skin and create somewhat of a “moisture reservoir” for long-term hydration.

Renée Rouleau Skin Drink Concentrate, $44.50

imagePin It
Courtesy of Renee Rouleau

This drink of tall skin water is all about nourishing and brightening—it’s mixed with Vitamin C and salicylic acid to brighten and clean pores, as the HA plumps and hydrates skin.

Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Skin-Hydrating Serum, $60

imagePin It
Courtesy of Darphin

Enjoy a few drops of this gentle, French-approved version. This classic version is all about quenching dryness, thanks to water-rich pomegranate extract and hyaluronic acid.

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum, $65

imagePin It
Courtesy of Peter Thomas Roth

This has 75 percent hyaluronic acid complex, which that brand describes as “intense” hydration. This is a great option even for the driest of dry skin, extreme weather, or excessive airplane travel situations.

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate, $29.50

imagePin It
Courtesy of La Roche-Posay

This duo is here to replenish parched skin at a cost-conscious price. As we’ve learned today, hyaluronic hydrates and locks in moisture, and its friend Vitamin B5 is the perfect match for HA, as it supports a healthy skin barrier. It’s perfect for dry, dull, winter-burned skin.

Pai Back to Life Hydration Serum, $78

imagePin It
Courtesy of Pai

CAP Beauty describes this product as “a hydrating hug,” and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. The brand was created for the most sensitive of sensitive skin, so everyone can benefit from this deeply moisturizing product. A trio of Australian berries (pepperberry, riberry, and muntries) boosts skin’s moisture retention and natural moisture levels, while HA absorbs deeply into the skin’s surface for a soothing, happy glow.

SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier, $98

imagePin It
Courtesy of SkinCeuticals

This form of HA has got some food-related friends, including licorice root and purple rice extract. Together they are focused on not only hydrating but helping to visibly improve the appearance of skin’s smoothness, plumpness, and firmness.

Dr. Roebuck’s Ultimate Hydrating Serum, $60

imagePin It
Courtesy of Dr. Roebucks

Leave it to the Aussies to give the gift of fresh, hydrated, and even skin in one small bottle. This HA is also infused with gentle hydrators, aloe vera, and natural CoQ10 to make it a powerhouse plumping and soothing moisturizing serum.