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Which hyaluronic acid or vitamin C serum is best?

Both hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are naturally occurring and work to reduce signs of aging in the skin. When used together, the anti-aging benefits are amplified. Hyaluronic acid retains moisture, while vitamin C increases collagen production. Each substance keeps dryness at bay and promotes greater skin elasticity. The price points are similar depending on the brand and the amount of substance that you are purchasing. Including both items in your skin care routine can pose great skin benefits and is good for all skin types.  

Differences between hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serum provide similar benefits to the skin but leave different impacts. Hyaluronic acid works to leave the skin looking plump and keeps it hydrated and moisturized over time, while vitamin C specifically works to protect the skin from sun damage and fades discoloration in the skin due to acne. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that is already present in the skin to draw in moisture. Vitamin C is not as present in the body unless consumed through various whole foods or supplements. 

Hyaluronic acid: Is it worth it? 

Hyaluronic acid can be pricey due to how concentrated each product is, but there are affordable options that allow you to care for your skin on a budget. Hyaluronic acid ranges from $40-$300 depending on how concentrated the substance is, the other ingredients in the serum and the brand. 

Hyaluronic acid pros

Hyaluronic acid helps to bring the skin a plump look by encouraging the production of elastin in the skin to prevent lines and wrinkles and make the skin look glowing.

Hyaluronic acid helps to reduce the effects of stress on the skin. An increase in moisture allows for the skin to bounce back quicker after events where pollution and lack of sleep and hydration may be occurring. 

Hyaluronic acid allows your skin to retain water and can adjust properly to the amount of moisture that is desired in a specific situation. For example, if you are visiting an area where there is a dry climate and your skin is in good health, the formation of hyaluronic acid will naturally increase. If your skin is naturally dry you will want to use a serum to combat the lack of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid.  

Hyaluronic acid cons

One negative aspect regarding the use of hyaluronic acid is that it is not able to penetrate the skin for maximum absorption in some cases. If a product states that it has low molecular weight it will likely absorb into the skin better. You can find this in the product description when searching for the best hyaluronic acid serum. 

If you have extremely dry skin, avoid applying excessive amounts of hyaluronic acid, if any, right away. Doing so can cause adverse drying effects from the deeper levels of your skin. This can cause irreversible harm to the skin in the long run and leave it feeling tight and uncomfortable. If this is the case make sure the serum is diluted and your skin is retaining minimal moisture before use.

Best hyaluronic acid products

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

This item is formulated with biocompatible ingredients, like provitamin B5, pineapple ceramide and a lentil complex, and is lightweight. It has a neutral pH and visibly diminishes dryness and fine lines. The skin will appear healthier, brighter and more youthful with this oil-free and fragrance-free serum.

Sold by Sephora

Best Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Thanks to its affordable price, this is a great choice of hyaluronic acid serum for buyers on a budget. It effectively draws moisture into the skin for deep hydration. It has a vegan and cruelty-free formula. 

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Best Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer Hydrating Primer with Hyaluronic Acid

Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer+ Hydrating Primer with Hyaluronic Acid

With added hyaluronic acid, this primer packs a moisturizing punch. Apply it beneath foundation to help boost the condition of your skin, even when wearing makeup. 

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Vitamin C serum: Is it worth it?

A good vitamin C serum can be expensive due to the antioxidants and other acids that it may be paired with for maximum skin benefits. The less expensive serums will feature less vitamin C. These serums range from $20-$200 depending on how concentrated the substance is, the other ingredients in the serum and the brand. 

Vitamin C serum pros

Vitamin C is a natural moisturizer that brightens the skin and reduces signs of aging to leave the skin looking and feeling younger.  

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that can protect your skin from certain UV rays. This is not comparable to sunscreen and cannot be replaced by sunscreen, but will work similarly to ward off signs of aging due to the sun. 

Vitamin C reduces the appearance of age spots and spots where the sun or acne has left damage and redness. By reducing the effects that free radicals can have on the skin, this vitamin serum serves as a protector against daily factors that may be out of our control such as stress and pollution.  

These serums also work to regulate the synthesis of collagen, which prevents premature signs of aging in the skin. Those who naturally intake vitamin C have more hydrated skin due to the production of collagen that it causes. Vitamin C serum can help stimulate the epidermis and heal wounds and scarring.

Vitamin C serum cons

If you have extra dry skin, the prolonged use of vitamin C is not recommended unless the formula is diluted or paired with a moisturizer. In rare cases, a vitamin C serum can cause irritation, inflammation, collagen and elastin to break down and acne. 

Vitamin C is naturally acidic and should not be used in high concentrations on any skin type, especially those with sensitive skin. Those concerned about sensitivity should only use this serum every other day and discontinue use if they notice irritation. 

Best vitamin C serum

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

This serum contains powerful antioxidants that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. The other vitamins present in this product work to reduce the appearance of premature aging and sun damage as well as hydrate the skin and leave it looking brighter.

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Best Pacifica Glow Baby Vitamin C Booster Serum

Pacifica Glow Baby Vitamin C Booster Serum

This product moisturizes and reduces the appearance of dull skin for brighter skin and improved texture. It’s vegan and cruelty-free. 

Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Tula Brightening Treatment Drops Triple Vitamin C Serum

Tula Brightening Treatment Drops Triple Vitamin C Serum

Featuring probiotic extracts, this serum helps improve skin smoothness and maintains skin balance. This product works to brighten and help reduce the look of dark spots to even skin tone and boost skin radiance.

Sold by Ulta Beauty

Should you get hyaluronic acid or vitamin C serum?

The decision to purchase hyaluronic acid or vitamin C serum is as simple as purchasing both. Both products are better in their own ways but work best when purchased and used together. By purchasing both products and applying them simultaneously, you’ll make your skin look and feel more youthful while providing hydration through the increased production of collagen and elastin at the same time. If you are specifically trying to target dry skin, acne, signs of aging and sun damage, consider purchasing both a hyaluronic acid product and a vitamin C serum.

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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