Hyaluronic acid is the wunderkind of skincare. Even though it’s only recently received the praise and attention it deserves (somewhere circa 2016), it remains one of the most popular skincare ingredients of our age—sitting right up there with retinol and charcoal. It’s all thanks to its immense hydrating potential. “Hyaluronic acid is a powerful and safe humectant,” says Carrington Snyder, Founder of PWDR and Clean Beauty Expert. “It can hold up to 500x its weight is water. Any time you bring hydration to the skin it’s a very good thing. Most visible signs of aging are attributed—in part–to skin being dehydrated, so when you have hydrated plump skin, these signs of aging are less visible and skin looks healthier. Hyaluronic acid plays a great role in this.”

Hyaluronic acid is found in a great number of skincare products, but the most notable is serum—probably because the ingredient is so lightweight and fast-absorbing. As such, these serums have proliferated across retailer’s shelves, each boasting a unique formulation and concentration. They’re purchased without a second thought, but a second thought is definitely in order, because not all hyaluronic acid serums are created equal. In fact, some so-called ‘hyaluronic acid serums’ don’t list the ingredient until the very end…sometimes it’s even placed below preservatives (keep in mind that ingredients are listed in order of concentration). In order to avoid shelling out money on expensive, yet potentially ineffective, serums we asked the experts to identify the ideal concentration (and products) to turn to. Scroll to find out whether or not your pricey hyaluronic acid serum is worth it.

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