As modern medical tech speeds along, discoveries by scientists and doctors filters down to the beauty industry. Take “nanotechnology” and “microspheres” (microparticles) which, for beauty applications, just mean that something is so small it can penetrate your skin.

 HA serum.

Or our favorite, the hot new Hyaluronic Acid, a natural lubricant found in our own bodies which medical science harnassed as a surgical lubricant. Now, it’s being used for skin serums and moisturizers.

Not the author.

How does it work? While the HA molecule is too big to penetrate the skin, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water so it holds in moisture and ‘grabs’ — not to get all science-y — moisture from the air which hydrates the skin, improves the texture and firms up the epidermis. (As we age our skin doesn’t hold moisture as it used to.)

Just for our readers (we’re givers, what can we say?) we tested some of the best HA’s on the market. Editor’s Tip: Make sure whichever HA you pick has at least 1% hyaluronic acid. Anything less than that and you may not get the best efficacy.

SLMD Hyaluronic Acid

From Dr. Sanda Lee, yes, ‘Dr. Pimple Popper,’ comes this anti-aging miracle in a bottle. The Hyaluronic Acid serum takes dehydrated spheres of HA and combines them with ‘Squalane’, a moisturizing ingredient that the company claims ‘helps it penetrate deeply into the skin.’ We noticed a difference immediately — plumper skin with a fresh-looking glow, and over time it’s definitely helped diminish the fine lines around our eyes. At $50, it’s a steal.


Another favorite is G.M. Collins, a professional skin line, which blends advanced technology with the powers of natural ingredients. While the HA’s help the skin’s ability to restore and maintain hydration which in turn regenerates its moisture barrier, a mystery ingredient called ‘NMF’ complex’ prolongs the effect. Available for $60 at fine spas and skin1. 

We love the luxurious feel of the serum and also noticed immediate improvement, along with long-term benefits.


By far the priciest of the bunch ($178) the SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator contains 5 different types of Hyaluronic Acids, plus a Peptide complex and Vitamin E.

The company claims the moisturizing facial serum ‘provides eight continuous hours of deep hydration’ and that certainly seemed to be the case for us. Even sleeping in a heated room didn’t dry out our skin. The Peptides worked quickly on our crow’s feet and the Vitamin E protected our skin from those nasty free radicals. Available at dermatologists and Dermstore.