This week it’s The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% & Vitamin B5 review! Find out if I stick with it or spin and try a new hyaluronic acid product! ✨
If you first want to find out a bit more about hyaluronic acid in general, then you can see my last blog on ‘Everything You Need To Know About Hyaluronic Acid’.
BRAND: The Ordinary (an affordable range that is part of the larger group, Deciem).
PRODUCT: Hyaluronic Acid 2% & Vitamin B5 serum.
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate (salt form of hyaluronic acid – best), Pentylene Glycol (texture enhancer – good), Propanediol (can enhance absorption of products – good), Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer (modified from of hyaluronic acid – best), Panthenol (alcohol form of vitamin B5 – good), Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract (antioxidant/texture enhancer – good), Glycerin (skin replenshing & restoring – best), Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate (water softening/chelating agent – good), Citric Acid (adjusts the pH of a product – good), Isoceteth-20 (emulsifier – good), Ethoxydiglycol (solvent – good), Ethylhexylglycerin (preservative – good), Hexylene Glycol (slip agent – good), 1,2-Hexanediol (preservative – good), Phenoxyethanol (preservative – good), Caprylyl Glycol (preservative – good).
- Contains 2% of hyaluronic acid
- Combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight forms of sodium hyaluronate and a next-generation hyaluronic acid crosspolymer
- Contains vitamin B5
- Water-based formula
- Alcohol & silicone-free
- Cruelty-free, vegan formulation
- pH 6.5-7.5 (very slightly acidic to neutral pH)
I’ve Got *Insert Skin Type Here* Skin, Can I Use It?
To preface this, hyaluronic acid itself is suitable for ALL skin types. But as always, a patch test is essential.
To patch test, I personally pop a bit of the new product on my neck and wrist after I have showered in the evening and I leave it on all night. Then if all is good the next day, I will use it on my face but only on my chin. Then if all is good again, I will use it as normal. Perhaps a bit OTT but it’s what I prefer to do from experience!
This product itself is suitable for all skin types.
The first thing I look at before picking a product are the ingredients and the irritation/comedogenicity (ability to clog the pores) rating. This doesn’t always determine whether I pick a product, some of my favourite products contain ingredients that apparently have a high irritation/comedogenicity rating etc. So I do this with a pinch of salt!
I tend to use a couple of sites to help me decipher the ingredients lists of different products. My 2 favourites are Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary and Incidecoder. Using the PC ingredient dictionary, all the ingredients in this hyaluronic acid serum are rated as ‘Best’ or ‘Good’ (as you can see in the ingredients list above). On Incidecoder, the ingredients that are rated are rated as ‘Goodie’ or ‘Superstar’.
So for me, that’s a big thumbs up on this product, along with the fact that it contains no fragrances which can irritate the skin.
A Combination Of Molecular Sizes
Next, this serum contains a combination of different sizes of sodium hyaluronate molecules (the salt derived from hyaluronic acid – if unsure about this, refer back to my last blog!). There are low-, medium– and high-molecular weight forms contained within this serum.
This combination is beneficial as the high molecular weight form contains molecules which are large and cannot cross through the skin’s barrier. So the large molecules bond with water and form a gel sheet on top of the skin’s surface. This helps to ‘seal‘ moisture where you want it to be – within the deeper layers of the skin.
In contrast, the medium and low-molecular weight molecules of sodium hyaluronate are smaller in size. So, they can, to varying degrees, cross the barrier and penetrate deeper into the uppermost layer of the skin (the epidermis).
The sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer according to Paula’s Choice is “a modified form of skin-replenishing hyaluronic acid attached to a polymer structure that keeps it within skin’s uppermost layers longer, allowing for enhanced hydration”.
The theory is that by using a combination of different molecular weight molecules, you will achieve a multi-depth hydration and visible plumping effects. As opposed to a serum that uses only a high molecular weight form, which can only function by forming a protective gel on the surface of the skin.
Contained in this serum is also Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Vitamin B5 can help to keep the skin quenched by absorbing moisture from the air. The sodium hyaluronate molecules can then use this moisture to hydrate the skin. This enhances surface hydration.
Vitamin B5 has also been shown to increase the healing process of wounds.
First of all, it’s tacky. No beating around the bush here. I mist my face and use 2 good drops and it glides on beautifully but it doesn’t soak in. You touch your face and your hands stick ever so slightly. However, considering that hyaluronic acid always needs to be ‘sealed in’ with an oil/moisturiser on top, I don’t find it a deal-breaker to be honest.
In the day, I smooth my moisturiser over the top of this serum. Then I’m good to go ahead and prime/apply makeup with no issues. It doesn’t pill either when I apply my moisturiser over the top of it!
It also doesn’t pill on the days when I use it over my vitamin C serum but I do distribute the hyaluronic acid serum between my hands and then use more of a patting motion to apply it. I only do this because my face is quite sensitive from the high percentage vitamin C serum I’ve used.
In the evening, I apply it after my niacinamide serum. I give my niacinamide serum a couple of minutes to sink in, then I mist water and smooth on 2 drops of hyaluronic acid serum. I then apply my moisturiser and then pat on rose hip oil over the top of it all. So again the tackiness doesn’t matter because then I’ve moisturised and oiled up so it’s gone! Even with applying my oil and moisturiser, I still don’t experience any pilling.
Use Less Than The Recommended Amount
One other thing to mention is that I find 2 drops is an ample amount to do my face and neck. When I used to use 3 drops, it appeared white and looked soapy on my face as I rubbed it in. That said to me that 3 drops was too much. This isn’t a problem in itself, it doesn’t cause any harm but it does waste product!
The ordinary do say to use a ‘few’ drops which I took as 3 but as I said, I found 2 to be ample! I do have a face the size of a small child so probably something to test yourself if you have a normal, adult sized face… 😂
How Do I Use It?
This serum is water-based so ideally you want to use this before your oil-based serums and before your moisturiser.
If you consider what this serum does, which is it creates a barrier to keep your skin hydrated, then I would use this last out of all of your water-based serums. Let the likes of your niacinamide/acids/retinols go first as you want those closest to your skin.
For example, after using my niacinamide serum and then my retinol at night, I would then mist water and apply my hyaluronic acid serum. Then I would use moisturiser on top of it all and finish off by patting on my facial oil. Doing it this way means there is moisturise above the hyaluronic acid layer, which it can then draw from to provide hydration for the deeper layers of the skin, throughout the day or night.
The Ordinary website only states to use it before your creams.
Gimme The Deets…
Price-wise, like many products in The Ordinary range, it is exceptionally reasonable.
There’s worldwide shipping on deciem.com but here, in the UK, you need to spend over £25 to qualify for free shipping. Otherwise it costs £4.99 for the privilege of having it dropped at your door stop! Considering the very reasonable prices of The Ordinary products, I don’t begrudge them of this… 🤷🏼♀️
In regards to the time you have to use the product in, once opened, it lasts 12 months. In terms of storage, it doesn’t require anything special so on your shelf with the rest of your stash is fine!
Stick Or Spin Again?
Stick… for now.
To be perfectly honest, I would be open to trying other HA serums when this bottle finishes. And that’s simply because I now have the bug to try EVERYTHING! If you’ve read my first blog on my skincare journey, then you will know that I used to be a scaredy-cat about trying anything new! Now I’ve gone the other way and have taken it upon myself to test every product out there (or at least try too…).
So in summary, I’m sticking for now as I haven’t experienced any breakouts, it helps to keep my skin hydrated and it fits seamlessly into my skincare routine. When the bottle’s empty, I’ll spin! So I’m sure you’ll see some more hyaluronic acid reviews in the not so distant future.
But as a starting point if you’re looking to begin using a hyaluronic acid for the first time, I think in terms of price and results, this product is a really great place to start!
Alternatives That I Would Consider Trying
Medik8 HYDR8 B5™ Liquid Rehydration Serum £40 for 30ml
Glossier Super Bounce (absolute sucker for Glossier, love so many of their products!), £24 for 30ml
Typology Hydrating Serum 3% Hyaluronic Acid + 2% B5 £19.80 for 30ml
Hyalogic Pure HA serum – £40 for 13.9ml
Pestle & Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum £21 for 15ml
VICHY Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Hydration Booster £25 for 50ml
Ghost Democracy Floodgate Hyaluronic Acid Serum $34 for 30ml – sadly for us in the UK, Ghost Democracy have stopped shipping to the UK at the moment. But I’ll be sure to check in & keep you updated because this serum looks a treat for the skin!
Next time I will be telling you everything you need to know about skin acids.
Look out for it and in the meantime leave me some comments below. Tell me what you think about The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum. What’s your experience been with it? Have you tried any other HA serums or products that you want to recommend? I’ll get back to you!
Love & Knowledge,
S A M A N T H A