Amazingly the 20 Best Face Serums 2021

Until a few years ago, I didn’t really see the point in using a serum. I thought my moisturizer could do everything my skin needed and it was just a ploy by skincare companies to steal all my money. Obviously, I was gravely mistaken. Those telltale late-20s fine lines (they were faint, but they were there) started to crop up, and I realized I hadn’t been taking care of my skin as meticulously as I thought. It became very clear that serums are not only helpful but also vital in a skincare regimen that boasts the complexities mine did. For results, I had to start doing some research in the anti-aging sector of things, and I had to do it fast. 

Over the course of those few years, I became a serum aficionado. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I tested hundreds of serums and noted which ones worked and which to move on from. I noticed differences in the brightness of my skin, the tone and texture, evenness, elasticity, plumpness, and, yes, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. Below, find the face serums I think are worth their salt. Because really, there’s no need to waste your money on skincare that won’t suit your needs (and will cost a pretty penny at that).

Keep scrolling for the best of the best when it comes to serums.

Best Overall: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

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Here it is, the GOAT: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic is the love of my life and the only serum I could never live without. It has changed my skin completely over the last few years, offering a glowing, bright mug where tired, sallow skin used to be. It uses a synergistic antioxidant combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E to enhance your skin’s protection against environmental damage caused by free radicals (so it’s especially perfect if you live in an urban area) and improves signs of aging and photodamage all in one shot. Read our full review!

Best Anti-Aging: BioEffect EGF Serum

BioEffect EGF Serum

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This one is a doozy. See, it’s known for (and won awards for) replenishing your body’s own natural supply of EGF (epidermal growth factor) and rejuvenates your skin cells, so it very literally helps to slow down the aging process. EGF is really important for your skin, as it helps skin cells boost production of collagen and elastin to increase your body’s capacity to retain water to maintain healthy, youthful skin. Another amazing thing to note? It’s so potent you don’t even need to apply moisturizer on top of it. Just cleanse, tone, apply, and go. 

Best Budget: Rosen Skincare Paloma Serum

Rosen

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Without breaking the bank, this all natural serum tackles texture, fades dark marks, and prevents future breakouts. The formula uses glycolic acid (AHA) and white willow bark (BHA), so that you get the best of both worlds of exfoliating acids. Grapefruit extract is also a hero ingredient with major healing properties, Vitamin C, and a natural fruity scent.

Best Brightening: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

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KEY INGREDIENTS

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body, including the skin, but we cannot produce it on our own. For the skin, it helps to boost collagen, lighten discoloration, and fight free radicals.

A pioneer in vitamin C–infused skincare, Ole Henriksen formulated this powerful brightening, anti-aging serum years ago, and it’s still one of his most iconic offerings. The mix of orange and green tea extracts, vitamin C, and collagen works to brighten, visibly firm, and deliver all-day hydration whenever you apply it. It’s a really solid, inexpensive option that proves its place in your arsenal.These Vitamin C Serums Will Give You Glowy Skin, Instantly

Best Calming: Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum

Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum

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I’ve sung the praises of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Calming Serum about a million times before, but really, there’s no end in sight. It’s just a perfect formula. The serum incorporates an active, plant-based complex of cardiospermum, echium, and sunflower to rebalance and calm irritated skin and help to reduce redness and burning. Plus, it’s chock-full of the brand’s hero ingredient, purslane, to hydrate and protect sensitive cell membranes against free radical attack. I use it after a peel, any abundant sun exposure, a late night, and when I’m experiencing jet lag, too much air conditioning, or exposure to pollution. It’s even helpful for when you’re just generally stressed out (because that can, in fact, show up on your face). Fun fact: Hailey Baldwin uses it each time she travels.

Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum

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KEY INGREDIENTS

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.

For just-as-effective results (and far less money), try Neutrogena’s well-reviewed option. It’s a blend of accelerated retinol SA, an ingredient that works to fade crow’s-feet and forehead and cheek wrinkles, as well as brighten your skin’s tone and enhance its texture. Plus, it incorporates hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate, replenishing moisture in your skin and soothing any irritation from the actives. Yes, Affordable Facial Serums Do Exist—These 16 All-Stars Are Under $30

Best Exfoliating: Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

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Tata Harper’s newest serum contains nine acids (incredible) made to create an instant glow on your skin. It’s made with tomato carotenoids, an Israel-grown tomato which acts as a natural color corrector. It absorbs UVA and UVB, and when exposed to sunlight, it emits a green light (which neutralizes redness) to make your skin look brighter. The serum also includes squalane derived from olives, which conditions skin to restore softness and smoothness and helps keep your skin hydrated without leaving an oily residue.

Best for Breakouts: IS Clinical Active Serum

IS Clinical Active Serum

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Another anti-aging, anti-acne goodie, IS Clinical’s Active Serum also adds brightening to the equation—making it pretty much a one-stop-shop for all skincare woes. Over time, it buffs away fine lines, reduces redness and breakouts, and even works on stubborn scars. Lindsey Metrus, our senior editor, is also a fan. She gushes, “Using a serum that’s a one-two punch in terms of hydration and skin clarification is just about all I could want in a formula, and this cult-loved variation from IS Clinical delivers just that. Not only does my skin look dewy and fresh after repeated use, but it also keeps my breakouts at bay, especially when my cycle rolls around.”

Best for Discoloration: SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

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As someone who suffers from sun damage and discoloration, I’ve found this SkinCeuticals offering to be a godsend. It uses 3% tranexamic acid to minimize the recurrence of discoloration, 1% kojic acid to boost your skin’s brightness, 5% niacinamide (which is vitamin B3) to further reduce skin discoloration, and 5% hepes, which activates natural enzymes in your skin to help break the bonds that bind dead skin cells to the surface for a thorough, even exfoliation. In fact, in a 12-week clinical study, participants noticed an average improvement of 60% in the appearance of their stubborn brown patches. I use it each night before retinol and notice a real difference by morning. 9 Brightening Serums That Are So Good, You Can Toss Your Concealer

Best for Large Pores: Renée Rouleau Pore + Wrinkle Perfecting Serum

Perfecting Serum

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One of Byrdie’s most beloved estheticians, Renée Rouleau knows her stuff. So there was no doubt her Pore + Wrinkle Perfecting Serum was going to impress me. It’s an exfoliating anti-aging serum, so it balances the needs of breakout-prone yet aging skin types, which is a sector of skincare that is surprisingly rare. Usually, you have to choose one or the other. Our contributor Erin agrees. “Even though it’s pretty potent, it’s one of the only serums I’ve tried in which I notice an actual difference in the brightness, clarity, and tone of my skin. I use it for three nights straight and then swap in another one for three nights, but this one always keeps my skin glowy while keeping my small (easily clogged pores) in check,” she says.Experts Agree: These Anti-Aging Serums Work Wonders on Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Best for Rough Texture: Shani Darden Texture Reform

Shani Darden Texture Reform Gentle Resurfacing Serum

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Shani Darden, a facialist to stars including Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba, created this beloved product. Texture Reform is a gentler retinol serum, formulated with retinyl palmitate, which doesn’t cause all that peeling, dryness, and irritation you may have experienced with other, more intense retinol products. It also has sodium PCA to help your skin hold on to moisture, lactic acid to gently exfoliate, and aloe to soothe. When I use it, I wake up with brighter, more glowing, more luminous-looking skin.

Best for Scars: Biologique Recherche Serum Placenta

Biologique Recherche Serum Placenta

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Meant to heal and repair, Biologique Recherche’s unique serum addresses stubborn skincare concerns like post–acne scarring, dark circles, and pigment spots. What’s more, it actually works. I’d never noticed a difference in my dark circles (they’re genetic) until I started using this serum. It reconstructs your skin, expediting its natural healing process and restoring suppleness and tone where it once was. 15 Treatments That Help Fade Even the Most Stubborn Acne Scars

Best for Oily Skin: Plant Apothecary Superfacial Organic, Superlight Oil Moisturizer for Oily Skin

Plant Apothecary Superfacial Organic, Superlight Oil Moisturizer

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You may think that adding oil to oily skin would be counterproductive, but the right oil can actually help your skin stay hydrated and blemish-free without appearing greasy. This formula features antibacterial, soothing, and antioxidant-rich ingredients that discourage the over-production of natural oils, but don’t skimp on hydration.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1%

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Both of the namesake ingredients in this blemish buster help to keep skin clear in their own way. Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3) is a top pick for helping to reduce redness and inflammation (both of which often come with a pimple), and also brightens skin tone, too.

Meanwhile, zinc is a mineral that helps balance out oil production, always a good thing if you’re acne-prone. Use a few drops all over, though it’s worth noting that if you’re using any other skin products with vitamin C, it’s best to alternate, since niacinamide can affect the integrity of vitamin C. Reviewers comment on not only how it keeps their skin clear, but also how much it tamps down oil and minimizes the look of their pores.

Best Hydrating: SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

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So yes, I added another SkinCeuticals product. But I just can’t get enough of its serums. They are genuinely incredible and work so well together or separately. I use this one like a shot of moisture to my thirsty skin. It’s formulated with a rich dose of hyaluronic acid and tissue-repairing vitamin B5, and it’s so refreshing to apply. It works to restore and bind moisture to your skin, adding suppleness and bounce. I layer it on top of my vitamin C serum in the morning and post-retinol at night. These Hyaluronic Acid Serums Will Make Your Skin 10 Times Dewier

Best Organic: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum

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A cult-favorite serum in its own right, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum offers 22 active, organic, and wild-crafted botanicals to nourish your skin. It includes antioxidants to protect; brightening vitamins to stimulate cellular turnover; phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory benefits; and essential fatty acids and omega-3, -6, -7, and -9 to nourish, heal, and repair. It’s the real deal, folks. So much so the brand only makes two products. That’s how well it works.

Best Multitasker: Coola Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum

Coola Organic Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum

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What’s better than an anti-aging serum? An anti-aging serum that leaves you glowing, as if you’ve just come back from a week at the beach. This vegan and lightweight serum packs hyaluronic acid for hydration and plant cell cultures to smooth and add elasticity to the skin. An Eco-Cert approved natural tanning ingredient will provide a gradual tan and glow.

Best Splurge: La Prairie Skin Caviar Crystalline Concentré

Skin Caviar Crystalline Concentre

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At first glance, this serum literally shimmers. The formula is infused with plant extracts, vitamin C, and licorice to brighten; and diamonds (!), liquid quartz crystals (!!), and caviar extract (!!!) to reignite your skin’s luminosity. It strengthens the moisture barrier, firming and smoothing and lifting existing wrinkles, preventing new ones, and offering a subtle glow immediately after application. It’s luxury at its finest (which explains the price), and it really, really works. 

Runner-Up, Best Splurge: SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

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A favorite of more beauty editors than I can name in one sitting, SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum is shockingly effective. It’s practically mind-blowing. It has growth factors and antioxidants to help reduce inflammation and regenerate skin cells, as well as a protein- and amino acid–rich complex to anti-age, strengthen, and restore that ever-elusive glowy, youthful flush.

Best for Hyperpigmentation: Rose Ingleton MD Complexion Brightening Booster

Rose MD

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Dealing with acne-prone skin often creates a cycle of trying to prevent new breakouts while healing the scarring from past blemishes, and this serum tackles both concerns. The highly concentrated formula uses the collagen stimulating benefits of peptides to brighten and smooth discolored skin without ever clogging your pores. The results: a glow that you’re sure to notice.

Top 10 Absolute Best Face Moisturizers for Dry Skin

Despite your best efforts (humidifiers, masks, more water, less wine), maintaining a supple complexion can be a challenge. But finding the right moisturizer for your skin type makes a big difference. After much trial and error, here are the 17 best face moisturizers for all skin types.

The Best Value Moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream

Ideal for oily complexions, this moisturizer absorbs almost instantly so that your skin feels softer, nourished, and not at all greasy. The gel-cream consistency spreads evenly but feels more like a liquid once applied. It is also one of the least-expensive moisturizers on this list and has close to 5,000 five-star Amazon reviews.

The Simplest, Fragrance-Free Moisturizer

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Fragrance-Free

Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream Moisturizer

It’s not the flashiest of moisturizers, but this one has a long-standing reputation in the beauty world — it works really well and has zero scents. (It also has almost 4,000 four-star reviews on Amazon). One swipe of the hyaluronic acid and niacinamide-rich formula deeply moisturizes supersoft skin.

The Best Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream

Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream

Those with chronic eczema praise this cream for its ability to heal and soothe particularly stubborn patches. It is a French drugstore find that contains thermal spring water (known for its healing properties), but also has clinical results that back up its effectiveness at repairing the skin barrier. It’s so soothing that it’s even suitable to use on infants.

The Most Popular Moisturizer

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

Weleda Skin Food$19 now 21% off$15

This moisturizer has achieved cult status. It’s been mentioned many times on the Cut as a favorite of Julia RobertsVictoria Beckhammakeup artistsmodels, authors, and more. People laud its thickness and the dewy sheen it leaves behind (some people even use it instead of highlighter). It’s primarily meant for the face and body, but it can also be used on the hands, hair, and anyplace else.$15 AT AMAZON$19 AT DERMSTORE

The Most Soothing Moisturizer

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration$34

If your skin is flaky and irritated, you will love this rich, soothing moisturizer. It’s a little on the heavier side, so it’s a good pick for those going through the “Retinoid Uglies” (Sephora reviewers also note that it’s great for anyone using Accutane). It’s formulated with shea butter and colloidal oatmeal, which is known to relieve itching.$34 AT SEPHORA$34 AT DERMSTORE

The Best Seller

Tatcha Water Cream Moisturizer

TATCHA The Water Cream$68

Over the summer, this cream quickly became Sephora’s best-selling moisturizer and sold out twice. It has a gel texture that instantly becomes a rich, silky moisturizer on skin contact, and it moisturizes without getting greasy.$68 AT AMAZON$68 AT SEPHORA

The Best Moisturizer For Really Dry Skin

DR. JART+Ceramidin™ Cream

DR. JART+Ceramidin™ Cream$48

This moisturizer is chock-full of ceramides, the good “fat” for your skin that helps strengthen the moisture barrier and keeps hydration from leaking out of your pores. It contains five different kinds and has nearly 900 five-star reviews, calling it “intense” and a “must-try for dry skin types.”$48 AT SEPHORA

The ‘Natural’ One

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Whipped Moisturizer with Ceramides

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream$60 now 18% off$49

It looks like shaving cream, but this thick, fluffy moisturizer is a powerhouse of moisturizing ingredients. First off, it’s fragrance-free (meaning it won’t irritate sensitive skin), and it contains good-for-you plant oils and vegetable-derived fatty acids to drench dry faces — without silicones and waxes. Rated one of the top facial moisturizers by cosmetic cop Paula Begoun, it rubs into skin with ease and will restore moisture to a flaky face.$49 AT AMAZON$60 AT SEPHORA

The Moisturizer With SPF

Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer

Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer$38

It’s clever to combine sunscreen and moisturizer in one product. The bad news is that it often isn’t done well. That’s not the case with this moisturizer, which has an SPF of 40, but is supremely blendable, not greasy, and hydrating without giving any kind of white cast.$38 AT NORDSTROM$38 AT SUPERGOOP

The Next-Level Classic

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream$28

If you grew up with Clinique’s three-step system, but need something richer, consider this souped-up version of the cult classic. The silky cream glides over rough patches. Loaded with antioxidants and emollients like glycerin and petrolatum, it leaves skin feeling comfortable and soft all day.$28 AT NORDSTROM$28 AT MACY’S

The Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin

FARMACY Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya

FARMACY Daily Greens Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer with Moringa and Papaya$38

If the phrase “oil-free” is soothing to your heart, this moisturizer is for you. Despite not containing oil, it’s still extremely moisturizing, thanks to mix of four types of hyaluronic acid. It’s very positively reviewed on Sephora, with hundreds of people praising it as being the absolute best for oily skin.$38 AT SEPHORA

The Summertime Moisturizer

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream$52 now 50% off$26

This weighty cream houses high-tech ingredients, including a 30 percent hyaluronic acid concentration. From the moment it’s applied you will feel a cooling sensation, and it leaves behind a dewy finish. Three different-sized molecules of hyaluronic acid work to maintain hydration in skin.$26 AT AMAZON$52 AT SEPHORA

The Fashion Favorite Moisturizer

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Cream

Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte’s Magic Cream$100

This velvety cream feels great and absorbs quickly to replenish very dry skin. It contains hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants that purportedly boost collagen and smooth fine lines when your skin is looking less than great. Celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury says she’s used this cream for years at fashion shows and on photo shoots with her loyal clients like Amal Clooney and Kate Moss.$100 AT BLOOMINGDALES$100 AT NORDSTROM

The K-Beauty One

Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb

Belif The True Cream – Aqua Bomb$38

Hailing from the global hub of beauty innovation, this Korean cream feels like a gel but offers the same deep nourishment you’d find in a cream. It contains a blend of apothecary herbs that work to heal and hydrate for springy skin.$38 AT SEPHORA$38 AT ULTA BEAUTY

5 Surprising Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid

What is hyaluronic acid?

Hyaluronic Acid which is also known as hyaluronan is a clear substance or a gooey textured liquid that your body produces naturally. A larger amount of hyaluronic acid is found on your skin, eyes and connective tissues.

The main function of hyaluronic acid is to retain the water levels in your skin to make your skin well-hydrated moist and provide lubrication.

There is a variety of uses of hyaluronic acid. Many people use it as a supplement and many use it in making topical serums , injections and other skin applicators like eye drops.

According to scientific researches and feedback provided by the customers who used hyaluronic acid, here are the primary benefits of hyaluronic acid serum.

1. Promotes a healthier and more supple skin.

Hyaluronic acid supplements can help your skin look and feel more supple. It can help you increase skin moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Topical treatments can soothe redness, while injections can make skin appear firmer.

best hyaluronic acid serum Pakistan

Nearly half of hyaluronic acid in your body is present in your skin where it bind and helps to retain water inside for a better moist look. However, the natural aging process and exposure to things like ultraviolet radiation from the sun, tobacco smoke and pollution can decrease its amounts in the skin Taking hyaluronic acid supplements may prevent this decline by giving your body extra amounts to incorporate into the skin.

Doses of 120–240 mg per day for at least one month have been shown to significantly increase skin moisture and reduce dry skin in adults.

Hydrated skin also helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, which may explain why several studies show that supplementing with it can make skin appear smoother.

2. Speeds up wound healing.

Hyaluronic acid also plays an important role in healing wounds. It is naturally present in your skin, but the concentration level increases when there is damage on your skin that is in need of repair.

Its helps wounds heal faster by regulating inflammation levels (Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal and defend itself from harm. and signaling your body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.

Applying it to skin wounds has shown a visible reduction in size of wounds and decreasing pain faster than a placebo or no treatment at all.

It also has some antibacterial properties that help reduce the risk of infection when applied directly to open wounds.

However, since oral supplements boost the levels of hyaluronic acid found in the skin, it’s reasonable to suspect they may provide some benefit.

3. Relieves Joint Pain and Keep Lubricated

Hyaluronic acid is also found in the joints, where it keeps the space between your bones well lubricated

When the joints are lubricated, the bones are less likely to grind against each other and cause uncomfortable pain.

Hyaluronic acid supplements are very helpful for people suffering from osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative joint disease caused by wear and tear on the joints over time.

Taking 80–200 mg daily for at least two months has been shown to significantly reduce knee pain in people with osteoarthritis, especially those between the ages of 40 and 70 years old (according to trusted medical researches).

It can also be injected directly into the joints for pain relief. However, an analysis of over 12,000 adults found only a modest reduction in pain and a greater risk of adverse effects.

Some research shows that pairing oral hyaluronic acid supplements with injections can help extend pain-relieving benefits and increase the amount of time between shots.

4. Relieves Dry Eyes Discomfort

Approximately 1 out of 7 older adults suffer from symptoms of dry eye due to reduced tear production or tears evaporating too quickly.

Since it is excellent at retaining moisture, it’s often used to treat dry eye.

Eye drops containing 0.2–0.4% hyaluronic acid have been shown to reduce dry eye symptoms. Contact lenses that contain slow-release hyaluronic acid are also being developed as a possible treatment for dry eyes.

In addition, hyaluronic acid eye drops are frequently used during eye surgery to reduce inflammation and speed wound healing. While applying them directly to the eyes has been shown to reduce dry eyes symptoms and improve overall eye health, it is unclear whether oral supplements have the same effects.

To date, no studies have examined the effects of hyaluronic acid supplements on dry eye, but it may be a future area of research.

5. Preserve Bone Strength

New animal research has begun to investigate the effects of hyaluronic acid supplements on bone health.

Two studies have found that hyaluronic acid supplements can help slow the rate of bone loss in rats with osteopenia, the beginning stage of bone loss that precedes osteoporosis .

Two studies have found that hyaluronic acid supplements can help slow the rate of bone loss in rats with osteopenia, the beginning stage of bone loss that precedes osteoporosis.

While its effects on human bone health have not yet been studied, early animal and test-tube studies are promising.

Side Effects and Precautions

Hyaluronic acid is generally very safe to use, with few reported side effects. Since the body naturally produces it, allergic reactions are very rare. One study in 60 people with osteoarthritis who took 200 mg daily for one year reported no negative side effects.

However, its effects during pregnancy or breastfeeding have not been thoroughly studied, so these groups should be cautious and avoid supplementing with it.

There is also some evidence that cancer cells are sensitive to hyaluronic acid and taking supplements could make them grow faster.

Hyaluronic acid injections into the skin or joints have a higher risk of side effects. However, negative reactions are mostly associated with the injection procedure, rather than hyaluronic acid itself.