For National Hydration Day, the Best Skin Hydrators

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday June 24, 2022

In a recent article celebrating National Sunscreen Day, I wrote that there seems to be a national day for just about everything these days. Well, here we are again, but this time in honor of National Hydration Day.

Like sunscreen, hydration is important, and as such there's nothing wrong with giving it its own day. Surely the holiday has more to do with drinking water than slathering product all over your face, but I much prefer the latter interpretation.

Making sure that your skin is adequately hydrated is imperative. But remember: hydration and moisture are two different things. If your skin is dehydrated, that means it lacks water content, and you need a hydrator to infuse your skin's cells with water; if your skin is dry, that means that your skin does not have enough oil needed to lock in the hydration, and you need a moisturizer to create a barrier on your skin to trap the water in your skin cells and stop it from escaping. That's why people with oily skin can still have dehydrated skin. If dehydration is what ails you, be sure to drink plenty of water, and slather on a product that contains plenty of hyaluronic acid, a hero hydrator that can hold up to 10,000 times its weight in water. Here are my favorites.

SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvinating Hydrator

Made by Allergan, the company behind Botox, this top-shelf hydrator contains five different forms of hyaluronic acid, which work together to plump the skin up and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Incredibly, SkinMedica also claims that this is the only product on the market that actually helps the skin replenish its natural supply of hyaluronic acid. This stuff is as luxurious as it gets. $124-$184,

Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Hydrating Modeling Mask

For those in need of an extra infusion of hydration, this fun (and Instagrammable) mask feels like heaven going on, and it's a hell of a lot of fun to peel off. This professional-grade product—straight from Dr. Gross' office—seals in hydration while medical grade marine algae, harvested from arctic Norwegian seas, draws heat to cool and calm the skin, leaving it plump and hydrated. Think of it as a soothing, hydrating, cushiony wrap that delivers a luxe skincare experience. $48,

Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum

The 89 in the title of this product comes from the fact that it contains 89% volcanic water sourced from volcanoes in France, which means that it contains 15 essential minerals that work to strengthen the skin barrier and boost your skin's resistance to the elements, pollution, stress, and fatigue. It's also so gentle that you can put it everywhere, even your eyes and lips, and it feels like a heaven-sent infusion of water for the skin. $30-$40,

Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate: The Mist

My favorite face mist that I've ever used, this miracle mist boasts not only hyaluronic acid, but also hydrating antioxidant red seaweed, soothing cucumber, and hydration powerhouse glycerin. Mist this on your face in between each step in your skincare and you will see plumper, healthier, more hydrated skin instantly. It's also perfect for helping maintain your hydration throughout the day, especially at the beach or on a plane. Don't sleep on this one. $29,

PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum

I may have shed a few years when I finally got to the bottom of this product. So much more than just hyaluronic acid, this well-researched formulation packs a mighty, hydrating punch. In addition to the smoothing and hydrating hyaluronic acid, it also contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid which penetrates the skin at a deeper level and plumps fine lines below the surface. There's also a HA pro-complex, which stimulates the skin's own production of hyaluronic acid, which has long-term anti-aging benefits for the skin. Finally, there are ceramides, which protect against moisture loss, and niacinamide, which also reduces moisture loss while helping with redness and skin tone. $120-$300,

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

Any item from PTR's Water Drench line works wonders for hydration, but this moisturizer is excellent because it addresses both dehydration and dryness. Sound heavy? It's not — that's why it's so awesome; my oily skin loves this stuff, and one tiny dollop will spread across your face and neck with serum-like ease. It's so effective because it contains a concentrated dose of 30% hyaluronic acid which transforms vapor in the air into water for your skin. Moreover, ceramides will lock it all in while elderberry provides antioxidant goodness. $23-$54,

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum with Hyaluronic Acid

One pump of this flawless formulation is all you'll need to hydrate your skin all day long. It uses sodium hyaluronate, a type of hyaluronic acid with a smaller molecular weight so that it can penetrate the skin at a deeper level, helping to promote firmness and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. There's also provitamin B5, a humectant that essentially grabs and traps hydration, and pineapple ceramide, which imparts a healthy glow. $48,

Lancer 3D Hyaluronic Eye Serum with Vitamin C Brightening Complex

If your undereye area appears stressed or dehydrated, this all-purpose eye cream from Beverly Hills dermatologist to the stars, Dr. Lancer, will fix you right up. Not only does this combine three different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid to maximize hydration, but it also brightens with vitamin c, evens skin tone with vitamin e, and locks it all in with niacinamide. There's also healthy doses of aloe and caffeine, which soothe and depuff the eyes. Keep this one in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. $95,

Nécessaire Body Serum

Most people use body lotion, but did you know that there's also such a thing as a body serum? This luxurious, highly effective body serum is perfect for those who take too-hot showers, beach bums, or anyone looking to level up the plumpness and suppleness of their skin. It contains a lot of the same ingredients we've already covered: hyaluronic acid for hydration, niacinamide for strengthening the skin, and ceramides to seal it all in. Don't just stop at just the serum, though: this works best when you slather a moisturizer on top of it. $45,

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel SPF 50+

This is a beloved, cult-favorite sunscreen from Korea that is chock full of hydrating hyaluronic acid. The fact that this is a hydrator and a powerful sunscreen in one makes it an easy choice for an unfussy summer skincare routine. Be careful buying Korean sunscreens online, though: tons of sites sell counterfeit or expired product, so it's best to always order it from an authorized retailer, like Stylevana. $26.40,

Christopher Ehlers can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter or Instagram at @_ChrisEhlers.