Have you heard about the hardest-working hydrator in skin care?

By Erica Metzger and Allison Maze Vancura
Updated August 22, 2019

Its name is hyaluronic acid, and this magnet for moisture is in affordable creams and serums on your drugstore shelves. That’s great news because, even though it has an ouchysounding name, hyaluronic acid (aka HA) is “one of the most gentle, safe, and hydrating ingredients used in skin care,” says David E. Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mt. Kisco, NY.

What is hyaluronic acid? It’s a sugar molecule that can trap up to 1,000 times its weight in water. (Your body produces some.) Bonus: HA products tend to be lightweight and nongreasy, so nearly everyone (even oily-skinned individuals) can use them. Here are four of our favorites.

Image courtesy of Physicians Formula.

Physicians Formula Skin Booster Vitamin Shot

If you're not already on the serum bandwagon, get on board. Serums help to fend off aging's effects and reveal radiant skin. Although these tiny vials usually cost a pretty penny, more affordable brands like Physicians Formula are hitting drugstore shelves. This particular skin booster is like a multivitamin for your face, thanks to a thick-but-fast-absorbing consistency that's filled with tiny moisturizing beads.

Buy It: Physicians Formula Skin Booster Vitamin Shot - Hydrating, $13

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream

There are dozens of effective eye creams on the market, but here are two reasons to love this particular formula: it's deeply hydrating without feeling greasy, and it's gentle on sensitive complexions. To use, apply a pearl-sized amount of product to clean skin morning and night.

Buy It: Cetaphil Hydrating Eye Gel-Cream, $13.43

Image courtesy of Walmart.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Whipped Body Balm

Even if you've really slathered it on, ordinary lotion doesn't always have enough moisturizing power to quench your dry skin's thirst. Neutrogena's gel-like body balm lends head-to-toe moisture without the heft that accompanies many creams. Plus, it absorbs quickly.

Buy It: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Whipped Body Balm, $5.93

Image courtesy of Amazon.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Facial serums are packed with potent anti-aging ingredients to help turn back the clock (buh-bye, wrinkles)—and because our bodies naturally produce less hyaluronic acid as we age, extra moisture is needed to help plump up skin. This serum delivers a big, concentrated dose of it.

Buy It: L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum, $20.58