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11 Hydrating Serums To Quench Dry Skin Instantly

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Best Hydrating Serums For Dry Skin

Dry skin absorbs a hydrating face serum the way a dry sponge absorbs water. Combining the penetrating abilities of a face serum with the skin-plumping effects of a hydrating formula, you can achieve instant and visible hydration. That’s why hydrating serums and dry skin are like a match made in heaven.

But to make things crystal clear, here’s what a hydrating face serum actually does for dry skin. A hydrating serum increases the water content of the skin. It does not moisturize! It hydrates the skin that is dehydrated. So it’s not a cure-all skincare product. You still need your face cream or moisturizer.

And while dry skin types can benefit a lot from hydrating serums, they’re not the only ones to do so. Because dryness and dehydration are also issues all skin types occasionally suffer from. It can be seasonal, due to over-exfoliation, the use of retinoids, and several other reasons.

So by utilizing face serums, no matter your skin type, you can reduce dryness and all skin concerns associated with it significantly! With that being said, not all hydrating serums deliver the same amount of hydration. So before anything else, let’s see what really makes a face serum hydrating and how to choose the best ones to hydrate dry skin.

In a hurry? Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra S.O.S. Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is my top pick.

Caudalie’s Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is packed with humectants and even has antioxidants. It absorbs easily and works instantly. It’s non-comedogenic, light, and even suitable for sensitive skin.

How To Choose a Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin

Look for humectants

The most important ingredients to look for in a hydrating face serum for dry skin are humectants. Because humectants are some of the most hydrating skincare ingredients.

Common humectants found in serums are hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, panthenol (vitamin B5), lactic acid or sodium lactate, and glycerin. What humectants do is attract water from the environment and bind it to the skin. If your serums contain humectants, that means it draws water in and binds it to your skin.

Look for supporting ingredients

Humectants make up the majority of a hydrating face serum. But when you have dry skin, you can look for other ingredients that are meant to treat dry skin. For example, vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, helps improve the skin barrier function and actually helps treat dry skin.

There are also lightly emollient ingredients that double as humectants. Some of them are ceramides, squalane, and cholesterol. Additionally, amino acids and collagen can also reduce dryness. Having these types of ingredients add to the quality of your serum and prevent future dryness.

Pay attention to the texture

This is something most people overlook. But the texture of your serum actually tells a lot about what it can do for your skin. A hydrating serum can be as thin as water, goopy, or even gel-like. The lightest, runny, water-like serums are prominently hydrating because they tend to absorb very fast and disappear into the skin.

Thicker, goopy, or lotion-like face serums usually contain very, very light emollients. They have the additional benefit of retaining water. So overall, the texture of your serum plays some role in how hydrating it’s going to be or how noticeable of a feel it’s going to leave on your skin. This is all about preference.

Avoid irritants

Even if you have dry skin, you may still deal with skin concerns like acne or blackheads. You may also be dealing with sensitivity or redness too. For that reason, it’s best to pay attention to the formulation of your hydrating serum.

For example, check if it’s alcohol-free as alcohol can cause further dryness. See if it’s comedogenic or oil-based, as these can worsen acne. See if it contains fragrance as it can irritate sensitive skin.

The Best Hydrating Serums For Dry Skin

Whether you have dry skin or you’re currently dealing with dryness, find below the best serums for hydrating dry skin.

Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra S.O.S. Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Best Overall Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin - Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra S.O.S. Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Pros
Instantly hydrating
Absorbs fast
Layers well with other products
Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons
Some might not like fragrance

This is my current favorite hydrating serum. It literally is the foundation of my skincare routine because it’s the first thing I put on my skin AM and PM before anything else. This is a water-based hyaluronic acid serum that also contains antioxidants. While antioxidants aren’t for hydrating, they help repair skin damage. In the long run, they make the skin healthier. The texture of it looks like lotion but it actually turns into this water-like consistency and just disappears into the skin. Whether you have dry skin or you just want an overall hydrating serum, this is simply amazing. It’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive ones. And it smells absolutely amazing!

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, grape juice
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Oil-free, non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, contains fragrance, silicone-free
Other Features: 97% natural origin ingredients, vegan, cruelty-free

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

Runner-Up

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum

Pros
Humectant-rich formula
Contains pineapple ceramide
Pleasant texture
Suitable for sensitive skin too

Cons
Some might not like the marula oil in it

I suggest this as my second-best recommendation because when you have dry skin, an oil-free hydrating serum may not always be enough. As mentioned, emollients can enhance your experience and actually improve your skin barrier. This one is packed with the most hydrating ingredients your skin will love! Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, ceramides, amino acids, and several nutrient-rich fruit extracts keep your skin plump and bouncy all day. It also has light oils in it, which makes it perfect for people who have chronically dry skin. That’s why this one is an overachiever. Though it looks a bit thick, it actually spreads and absorbs really nicely. Apply it on clean skin to reduce dryness, dehydration, and flakiness, and to revive dull-looking skin.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, sodium PCA, pineapple ceramides
Size: 1.69 oz
Formula: Fragrance-free, alcohol-free, silicone-free
Other Features: Vegan, cruelty-free

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Hydrating Serum

Best Affordable Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - Best Hydrating Serums For Dry Skin

Pros
Visibly hydrating
Sinks into skin
Suitable for all skin types

Cons
Does the bare minimum

In case you’re unfamiliar, transepidermal water loss refers to your skin’s water loss through environmental factors like humidity and weather. The water present in your skin evaporates. That’s when you want to replenish the skin regularly with humectants. This crazy affordable serum contains hyaluronic acid in different molecular weights to help with that. This ensures hyaluronic acid absorbs better into your skin. It also has vitamin B5 to double the effects. Vitamin B5 also soothes the skin and reduces irritation and redness. The affordable serum is deeply hydrating and a great one for achieving a healthier complexion.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin B5
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Oil-free, fragrance-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free
Other Features: Vegan, cruelty-free

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Liquid Gel Cloud Serum

Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Dehydrated Skin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Liquid Gel Cloud Serum

Pros
Incredibly replenishing
Has minerals
Has a pleasant after-effect on the skin

Cons
Pricey

This serum contains a staggering amount of humectants, making it one of the most hydrating face serums for dry, dehydrated skin. It packs hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sodium PCA, and honey, which are all great for attracting and binding water to the skin. Besides, the minerals in the serum infuse the skin with a powerhouse of nutrients to make it stronger and healthier against external aggressors. The gel-textured serum leaves the skin soft and velvety all thanks to silk proteins.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, glycerin
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Fragrance-free, alcohol-free

PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum

Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Textured Skin

Rating: 4 out of 5.
PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum - Best Hydrating Serums For Dry Skin

Pros
Feels moisturizing
Leaves skin glowing
Has a plumping effect

Cons
Expensive

This one takes things up a notch (or three) and packs an incredible bunch to help with skin barrier repair. It attracts water with glycerin and hyaluronic acid in different molecular weights. And it has niacinamide and ceramides to improve the skin barrier. That way, your skin can hold moisture in. And it becomes less prone to water loss and free radical damage. The creamy formula does contain silicones which have a slight smoothing effect on the skin. In that sense, it can give you hydrated, plump, and smoother skin if you have texture irregularities. It’s a splurge for sure but leaves dry skin glowing.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide, ceramides
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Alcohol-free, fragrance-free, contains silicones
Other Features: Cruelty-free

The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Hydrating Serum

Budget-Friendly Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The Inkey List Polyglutamic Acid Hydrating Serum - Best Hydrating Serums For Dry Skin

Pros
Affordable
Leaves skin smooth

Cons
Silicones can cause pilling
Doesn’t allow much layering

In case you haven’t heard, polyglutamic acid is the hot new skincare acid and is a major hydrator. It’s a humectant and it draws water into the skin. But it also helps the skin retain water for longer. This serum contains 3% polyglutamic acid to hydrate parched skin and plump it up. It has a slightly thicker consistency than a traditional serum but it forms a nice layer on the skin to keep the water in. With an affordable price tag, it’s one of the best serums for hydrating dry and dehydrated skin. On a side note, the serum contains silicones. That’s why they say this doubles as a makeup base, which is a good thing, especially in summer. But if you’re not going to use it as a base, the silicones can be too heavy for a hydrating serum.

Key Ingredients: Polyglutamic acid, glycerin
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Contains silicones, fragrance-free, alcohol-free
Other Features: Cruelty-free

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Acne-Prone Skin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

Pros
Thin consistency absorbs easily
Layers well with other serums
Can double as a moisturizer in summer
Great for dry, acne-prone skin

Cons
Expensive

This one is a simple yet effective hydrating serum formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. The two increase the water content in the skin and make it plump and bouncy. As a result of plump skin, fine lines, wrinkles, and pores appear smaller. It’s marketed as a moisturizer for oily and acne-prone skin as it’s basically a lightweight goopy gel. But for dry skin, you still want to top it off with a moisturizer. It’s oil-free and fragrance-free, which makes it a super hydrating serum for combination acne-prone skin.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Oil-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free

La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Best Drugstore Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Best Drugstore Hydrating Serum For Dry Skin - La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Pros
Visibly hydrates and plumps
Minimizes the appearance of fine lines
Leaves skin noticeably radiant
Non-comedogenic

Cons
Contains alcohol

This is one of the most effective hydrating serums for people with dry skin. The drugstore gem packs hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and vitamin B5. But it’s formulated so beautifully that it leaves your skin visibly radiant, healthy, and even-toned. And it’s not an effect that fades away. You see a noticeable difference in your complexion. Whether you have dry sensitive skin or dry acne-prone skin, this will work. It’s freshly scented and the gel formula absorbs easily. It also has Centella Asiatica extract to soothe the skin.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, glycerin, Centella Asiatica
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Oil-free, contains fragrance, alcohol, and silicone

First Aid Beauty Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Sensitive Skin

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Sensitive Skin - First Aid Beauty Hydrating Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

Pros
Anti-inflammatory
Hydrates and soothes
Creamy consistency

If you have redness and sensitivity besides dryness, you can try this hydrating & soothing serum. The soothing aspect’s going to help with irritation and redness. This one deeply hydrates with hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, collagen, squalane, and vitamin B5. And it calms sensitive skin with oatmeal and allantoin. If you generally have sensitive skin and want your hydrating serum to do something about that too, this can work great.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, vitamin B5, colloidal oatmeal, squalane
Size: 1.7 oz
Formula: Fragrance-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free
Other Features: Cruelty-free

Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum

Best Hydrating Treatment For Dry Skin

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum

Pros
Potent niacianmide serum
Very thin consistency
Leaves skin dewy

Cons
Feels a bit sticky
Unpleasant scent

This is a treatment serum where the results improve over time. So it won’t feel like an instant splash of water for dry skin. The potent serum is made with 5% niacinamide to improve the skin barrier and soften the appearance of pores too. And that helps with dryness, dehydration, and flakiness. Besides niacinamide, it has vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, and sodium PCA to boost hydration. And it has chia seeds, a superfood for your skin, to infuse the skin with nutrients. Plus, it has the antioxidant ferulic acid to brighten up the complexion. It also contains copper peptides to rejuvenate the skin. The formula increases elasticity and radiance, makes the skin stronger, and improves the skin’s protective barrier.

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, glycerin, sodium PCA, ferulic acid
Size: 0.85 oz
Formula: Alcohol-free, fragrance-free
Other Features: Vegan, cruelty-free

Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Best Hydrating Serum For Dry Flaky Skin

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum - Best Hydrating Serums For Dry Skin

Pros
Beautiful scent
Deeply hydrating formula
Instantly plumps skin

And lastly, this is hydrating as well as anti-aging. The face serum is formulated with different types of hyaluronic acid to replenish the skin. And it contains antioxidant-rich extracts like Kakadu plum, which is crazy rich in vitamin C. Additionally, collagen and silk proteins keep the skin firm, plump, soft, and bouncy. It’s a super light serum perfect for recharging your skin and tackling dryness. It delivers the utmost hydration and nutrition to freshen up dull and tired-looking skin.

Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, Kakadu plum extract, vitamin B5, collagen
Size: 1 oz
Formula: Contains fragrance, alcohol-free, oil-free, silicone-free
Other Features: Vegan, cruelty-free

So these are some of the most hydrating face serums to replenish dry skin. Keep reading to learn how to properly use one to get the most out of your product.

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