The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Review: Best Anti-Aging Serum?

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Review: Best Anti-Aging Serum?


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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid is a skincare serum used to improve smoothness of the skin and for anti-aging effects. The brand claims that this serum “targets the appearance of wrinkles and textural irregularities" and can “enhance hydration.”

But does The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid contain research-backed anti-aging ingredients? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe its effects? And which retailer sells this product for the best price?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not it’s likely to have an anti-aging effect on skin.

We'll also feature unsponsored customer reviews including before-and-after images, discuss the risk of side effects, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells this product for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum ingredients

The ingredients in The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum are shown above.

Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer and sodium hyaluronate are the ingredients from which this serum gets its name, and are shown to have anti-aging effects.

Sodium hyaluronate is shown in clinical research to have “remarkable anti-wrinkle effects.”

Panthenol is a type of vitamin B5 that was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science to significantly improve skin moisture content.

Glycerin is also an effective and non-toxic skin moisturizing ingredient according to a 2001 clinical trial.

While there are clearly some research-backed active ingredients, this serum also contains some inactive ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective.

Phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin are synthetic preservatives shown to be toxic to human cells in a clinical trial, as we documented in our review of The Ordinary lash serum.

Ethylhexylglycerin is another preservative that may have a synergistically toxic effect when used with phenoxyethanol, according to medical review published in the PLOS One journal.

Overall, we consider The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum likely to have an anti-aging effect.

However, we don't currently recommend this product due to the combined use of the three preservatives described above. This formulation has worsened from a health perspective since our initial review, because chlorphenesin is a new addition.

Real People Try Hyaluronic Acid 

A YouTube creator named “Pharmacy&Makeup” who's a pharmacist specialized in cosmetology has a review of this serum that includes a product demo:

A YouTube creator named Cici Do has a review that includes before-and-after images:

Will it Cause Side Effects?

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum doesn't appear to have been studied in any clinical trials, which makes it more challenging to assess the risk of side effects.

However, we can make an educated guess based on its ingredients.

We do not consider The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum likely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy adults.

All of the ingredients are relatively safe and well-studied, and while we recommend avoiding synthetic preservatives, there are no especially harsh chemical compounds like artificial dye or fragrance that may be likely to cause irritation or a sensitizing effect.

There is no mention of side effects on the product page of the brand's website at the time of updating this article.

Our Clean Skincare Picks

There are skincare products containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.

Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.

It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.

HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.

It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects."

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Real Customers Review The Ordinary

Amazon is a better resource for unbiased customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum has been reviewed over 13,000 times on Amazon at the time of updating this article, with an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

A top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Rina" who gave the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims it has a "glowy" effect on skin:

"...absorbs fairly quickly while leaving a smooth layer on top. I use it every night before bed, and I wake up every morning with my skin feeling super soft, hydrated, and plump."

A top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from an anonymous Amazon customer who gave the product a 1/5 star rating, and claims to have received a knock-off:

"Honestly smelling this might have been more toxic than mustard gas, this was definitely not the product at all! I already got it before so that rly disappointing."

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum currently has an average review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google.

The manufacturer of The Ordinary (a company called DECIEM) has failed to respond to all customer complaints related to The Ordinary on their Better Business Bureau (BBB) page at the time of updating this article, which is a red flag in our opinion.

Where to Get the Best Price

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid is sold at a variety of online retailers. 

Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of the 60 milliliter (mL) version at the time of updating this article:

Walmart: $20.56 (free shipping, link)

Brand website: $17.50 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $18.48 (free shipping, link to Amazon listing)

Amazon has the best price by around 20% when factoring in shipping fees, but the Amazon listing is from a third-party seller so it may be safer to purchase directly from the manufacturer.

The Ordinary Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Contains research-backed anti-aging ingredients
  • Should reduce visible wrinkles
  • Should hydrate skin
  • Highly affordable
  • Great branding
  • Mostly positive online customer reviews
  • Unlikely to cause side effects

Cons:

  • Doesn't appear to be clinically tested
  • Contains three synthetic preservatives
  • Brand's website charges for shipping
  • Manufacturer fails to respond to BBB customer complaints
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid is a well-formulated serum that’s likely to reduce visible signs of skin aging and improve skin hydration.

It’s quite affordably priced compared to most skincare products we've reviewed to date on Illuminate Health, especially considering that it contains multiple research-backed active ingredients.

We don't currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of three synthetic preservatives that may have synergistically negative health effects.

We do not consider this product likely to cause side effects in otherwise healthy individuals, although the preservatives may cause some irritation around the eyes in rare cases.

At the time of updating this article, Amazon has the best price on The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serum.