Like vitamin C and retinol, hyaluronic acid is one of those staple ingredients nearly every dermatologist recommends using for a well-rounded skin-care regimen. But, like everything, not all hyaluronic acid serums are created equal. PCA SKIN’s best-selling Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum stands out from the bunch for its formulation, texture and efficacy. One of our editors is on her fourth bottle and did a great job convincing me to give it a go. These are my honest thoughts.
My Skin Type:
Combination. I’m drier in the cold-weather months and oilier in the warm-weather ones thanks to the high humidity on the East Coast. Occasionally when I try a new product or use a formula with a high concentration of acids, I experience a little sensitivity (mainly redness, but sometimes tingling).
PCA SKIN upped the ante with three types of hyaluronic acid to bring dehydrated skin back to a happy, comfortable state, while also combatting signs of aging like fine lines. After all, we know that dehydrated skin exacerbates lines, as well as things like uneven skin tone. When skin is smooth and replenished with moisture, these stubborn issues are better concealed. Speaking of concealed, this jelly-like serum also makes my makeup go on so much smoother, which is an added perk I wasn’t expecting.
Now let’s talk about the ingredient lineup. The star is the brand’s proprietary HA-Pro Complex, which blends sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid (these sit on the surface of the skin) with hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid (this penetrates deeper), to encourage the skin to create its own hyaluronic acid. The result is long-term hydration and anti-aging benefits. In clinical testing, it boosted skin’s moisture content by 225 percent after just one use (in fact, it occurred within 15 minutes of application).
Ceramides are included for skin barrier support, as they help protect against moisture loss, and niacinamide is a skin-care multitasker that also improves barrier function, while also calming and reducing redness. Dimethicone is pretty high on the ingredient list, but the serum doesn’t have a heavy slip to it. Instead, it just gives my skin a really nice smoothing effect, like I’d get from a lightweight primer. With continued use, it creates a plumper, healthier look. And, for those concerned about fragrance, the serum doesn’t contain synthetic fragrances, but it does have a natural scent (though it seems to dissipate shortly after it’s applied).
Hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, HA-Pro Complex, ceramides, and niacinamide
What It’s Free From:
Synthetic dyes and fragrances, mineral oil, lanolin, and phthalates
How to Use It:
After cleansing in the morning and at night, apply the serum to your entire face and neck. If your skin is dry (remember, dry and dehydrated aren’t the same), you may need to follow with a moisturizer and then an SPF for daytime use. At night, a layer of night cream on top works best for me, but everyone’s skin is different.
Price/Where to Buy: