The 16 best hydrating serums for moisturised, plump and glowy skin
“Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty”
By Briar Clark
BEAUTYcrew Content Producer / April 26 2022
In the fight against dehydration, premature ageing and a lack of radiance, there is no greater tool for revitalising the complexion than a hydrating serum.
Formulated to penetrate deep where skin needs hydration the most, while also ensuring that skin stays moisturised in those upper layers of the dermis, these complexion-drenching skin care picks are mainstays in anyone's collection (or at least they should be).
If you’ve found yourself in the market for a new hyaluronic acid serum (or even vitamin B serum if that’s your thang) to refresh your visage for the season ahead, we’ve scoured the far corners of the beauty market to find the formulation for you.
Here are 16 of the best hydrating serums you need to add to cart STAT.
LANEIGE Water Bank Blue HA Serum
Laneige’s new water bank range utilises an impressive micro-molecular version of hyaluronic acid that’s two thousand times smaller than traditional HA molecules and allows for deeper penetration. Pairing said moisture source with peptides and probiotics, this serum boasts ultra-hydrating and barrier-strengthening properties which make it a no-brainer for the drying conditions synonymous with winter.
$63 at Adore Beauty
Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense
If you have a problem with transepidermal water loss, then you can’t go past a bottle of this stuff. Formulated with some seriously intelligent ingredients such as panthenol and saskatoon berry, this hydrating serum simultaneously optimises the skin’s absorption of hyaluronic acid and prevents the breakdown of the body’s natural hyaluronic acid stores.
$99 at Adore Beauty
La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum
Not only does this award-winning hydrating serum (our Review Crew® members are a big fan) contain trusty hyaluronic acid and panthenol (AKA vitamin B5) but La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum also contains madecassoside. What is madecassoside, you may be thinking? Well, it’s actually a nifty anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that helps to hydrate skin, as well as relieving the inflammation caused by acne. A great pick for sensitive skin and complexions that have been sensitised due to potent acne serums.
$60.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum
Forget your bog-standard hyaluronic acid because this plum-shaped pick boasts five different molecular weights of the stuff. A fruity cocktail of Kakadu, Illawarra, and burdekin plum help to nourish, hydrate and plump fine lines and wrinkles. Vegan collagen is also included to help further hydrate skin, and silk protein protects against pollution and maintains optimal skin barrier function.
$60 at MECCA
THE INKEY LIST Hyaluronic Acid
You’ve probably heard The Inkey List mentioned while you were mindlessly scrolling through TikTok. Beloved by Hyram Yarbro (AKA Skincare By Hyram) for it’s low price point and efficacious formulas, this hydrating serum from the cult brand is a winner in it’s own right. We’re talking about the kind of hyaluronic acid molecules that penetrate deep enough to actually do their job – hydrating skin, plumping fine lines and wrinkles and refining skin tone and texture too.
$12 at Sephora
Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrating Supercharged Concentrate Jumbo
Containing the same potent ingredients that we’ve all come to know and love from the Clinique Moisture Surge range, this jumbo-sized hydrating serum targets dehydration at the source. It defends against dryness and pollution damage in the skin for up to 72 hours after application, using Liquid-Sphere™ Technology, hyaluronic acid fragments and activated aloe water.
$110 at Adore Beauty
BOOST LAB 2D-Hyaluronic Hydro Boost Serum
BOOST LAB 2D Hyaluronic Acid Hydro Boost Serum is one of those hydrating serums that’s a bit of a no-brainer when it comes time to ‘add to cart’. Wallet-friendly price point aside, this booster serum really goes to town on skin, amping up hydration levels and plumping fine lines and wrinkles to minimise the loss of volume we all experience as we mature.
$29.95 at Adore Beauty
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel
Formulated specifically to aid in the absorption of your favourite vitamin C serum and moisturiser, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is a lightweight, gel-texture serum that smooths, softens and moisturises dehydrated and flaking dry skin. Hyaluronic acid and panthenol (otherwise known as vitamin B5) are the heroes of this skin hydrating formula, that work in unison to draw in moisture and encourage the skin’s natural repairing process.
$137 at Adore Beauty
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
When you started reading an article about hydrating serums, you probably didn’t think we’d be encouraging you to slather snail mucin on your face. But as far as hydrating skin care ingredients go, our slimy little invertebrate friends are really on to something. In fact, snail mucin (AKA that ooey-gooey stuff snails leave behind them on their travels) is wonderful for hydrating and repairing the skin. If you have particularly sensitive skin, this stuff is great for improving barrier function, soothing irritation, boosting collagen production and improving scarring (the beautiful glow it gives skin certainly doesn’t hurt either). If you’re going to step outside of your comfort zone when it comes to skin care, now would be the time.
$38 at Adore Beauty
Ultraceuticals Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum
As far as lightweight serums go, you can’t really be beat with the almost water-light consistency of the niacinamide and panthenol-infused Ultraceuticals Ultra B2 Hydrating Serum. Perfect for hydrating and repairing skin too, vitamin B5 and B3 are combined in one handy formula to help optimise the moisturisation of skin, while plumping in all the right places for a youthful-looking complexion that glows.
$108 at Ultraceuticals
asap super B complex
Want the kind of cult formula in your kit that hydrates and boosts radiance in equal measure? Then look no further than this Internet sensation. Lauded the world over for it’s cosmeceutical efficacy, this silver bullet of a bottle contains niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and skin resurfacing glycolic and lactic acid. Target hydration, premature ageing and refine skin to its former glory with this gently exfoliating pick.
was $105 now $78.75 at Adore Beauty
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
We can’t talk about hydrating serums without giving credit to the game-changing and affordable range over at The Ordinary. Hyaluronic acid takes centre stage in this formula, with vitamin B5 (otherwise known as panthenol) in the supporting role, playing together to amplify surface hydration and promoting hydration in the deeper layers of the skin.
$12.90 at Adore Beauty
PB SKN PUMP Face-Firmer Serum
Formulated to firm and plump skin by utilising a host of hydrating ingredients that enhance collagen production in the skin, PB SKN PUMP Face-Firmer addresses post-workout dehydration present in the complexion. Hyaluronic acid, plant collagen and Kakadu plum work in unison to quench especially thirsty skin, enhance radiance, and improve elasticity and suppleness.
$65 at PBSKN
FILLMED Laboratories HAB5-Hydra Serum
FILLMED Laboratories HAB5-Hydra Serum is a cosmeceutical grade hydrating serum that works to replenish moisture in the skin while enforcing the skin’s natural barrier, which helps to optimise moisture retention. Vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid also help to fill and plump fine lines and wrinkles for a more youthful-looking complexion.
$158 at The Skin Philosophy
Swisse Beauty Hyaluronic 2% Vitamin B5 Glow Booster Serum
Swisse Hyaluronic 2% Vitamin B5 Glow Booster Serum contains a combination of hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5 and ceramides to help effectively hydrate, plump and instill radiance. With continued use skin appears smoother, moisturised and (most importantly) glowy.
$14.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum
Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum is super hydrating but not heavy in the slightest, which makes it our very favourite kind of topical. Formulated with 3D3P Molecular Matrix technology (a fancy structure that draws moisture from the atmosphere right into your skin) it's a shortcut to a moisturised (but not congested) complexion.
$154 at Rodan + Fields
Briar is a Content Producer at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Girlfriend and Beauty Heaven.