When we think of skincare acids, we often think of harsher chemical exfoliants that work like magic to reduce texture, boost cell turnover, and fade dark spots, blemish scars, and dullness, but are susceptible to causing irritation in the process. Common acids like BHA (Salicylic Acid) and AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids including Glycolic and Lactic acids) can also be excellent solutions for those looking to soften the appearance of fine lines, combat dull tone, and the list goes on and on. However, there’s one member of the acid family that doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the exfoliating members.
So yes, while Hyaluronic Acid is technically an acid, it doesn’t actually exfoliate (and therefore, doesn’t generally cause irritation), but it does help your skin retain moisture and plumpness, which can help address excess dryness and reduce the look of fine lines. It’s a great ingredient to use in conjunction with harsher exfoliants and retinoids as well because its moisturizing properties help counteract irritation, redness, and excessive dryness we expect to deal with when using retinol, AHA, and BHA skincare products.
The best part? Just because HA-infused skincare doesn’t pose a risk for irritation, dryness, and peeling like some of its harsher peers do, that doesn’t mean that it’s not an effective skin-changing ingredient. In fact, hyaluronic acid was one of the first injectables used in dermal fillers, and it still remains one of the most commonly used today. With that being said, applying the gentle acid topically is certainly not going to give you the result of an in-office appointment, but it will help your skin retain a taught plump and hydrated glow. Ahead, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite budget-friendly hyaluronic acid serums to add to your current skincare lineup.
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1. CeraVe Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Formulated with a concentration of ingredients to help your skin retain balanced moisture levels, including both Hyaluronic Acid and B-vitamins, this patented delivery system offers sustained hydration throughout the day.
2. L'Oreal Revitalift Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Formulated with 1.5 percent pure Hyaluronic Acid, this skin-smoothing serum helps your skin seal in moisture for all-day hydration without feeling greasy or leaving behind an oily residue.
3. NxN Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid Anti Aging Serum Set
Not only does this effective yet gentle HA serum helps to seal in moisture for soft and supple skin, but this twofer also includes a brightening and dark spot-fading vitamin C serum to amplify its benefits.