What Is Hyaluronic Acid? And What Are the Best HA Serums Under $50?

Skincare junkies listen-up: If you're not using a serum with hyaluronic acid in it, you're going to want to buy one from stat.

Hyaluronic acid might sound scary, but unlike salicylic acid or glycolic acid (which exfoliate the skin), hyaluronic acid does the exact opposite. Hyaluronic acid is something that our bodies naturally produce—it's a gel-like, water-holding molecule that attracts moisture and helps keep skin plump and hydrated. This miracle substance, also referred to as HA, works as a humectant (ie: moisture magnet), helping your skin cells retain as much water as possible so that your skin feels and appears hydrated, plump and healthy.

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Now that you know what hyaluronic acid is, here's how you use it in your skincare routine. Most hyaluronic acids tend to be serums because the ingredient itself is water soluble and should be applied after toner and before moisturizer and face oil. How do you know if you should be using this ingredient? Everyone can benefit from adding hyaluronic acids to their skincare routine to improve dryness and early onset aging.

Below are a few of our favorite hyaluronic acid serums under $50 that you need to try.

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum: $20

If you're looking for something you can pick up easily, Neutrogena is your best bet. This formula contains hyaluronic acid, a hydrating compound that is found naturally in skin and can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water and leaves you with soft and supple skin.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Serum

(via Amazon)


The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: $6.80

This is hands-down one of the most popular hyaluronic acid formulas on the market, and you really can't beat the price, because it's under $10! It's an uber-hydrating formula with ultra pure, vegan hyaluronic acid with an addition of B5 for enhanced hydration. What sets this formula apart (besides the price) is that it combines low, medium, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of two percent for multi-depth hydration.

The Ordinary

(via Sephora)


Tarte Mermaid Skin Hyaluronic H20 Serum: $42

If you dream of Mermaid Skin, then this water-light Tarte hydration serum delivers an instant, super-concentrated burst of moisture to parched skin. This formula contains hyaluronic acid, B5, and a medley of marine extracts to plump and hydrate for 12-hour long moisture.

TARTE Mermaid Skin

(via Sephora)


Glossier Super Bounce: $28

Skin first, makeup second—that's the mantra of Glossier, so you betcha we love their hyaluronic serum with B5. Aptly named "Super Bounce" this serum will give your skin that bounce and glow you crave.

Glossier Super Bounce

(via Glossier)


Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum: $39

Korean Beauty brand Peach and Lily created this super juice serum that delivers everything you need for flawless skin. This product has a really unique formula with hyaluronic acid, a peptide complex, madecassoside, niacinamide, and peach extract–a powerful roster of superstar ingredients that pack a major punch.

peach and lily

(via Ulta)


And while we're talking skin, HERE's everything you need to know about Superfood Cosmetics!