Today’s post features some of my favorite hydrating serums that are affordable and effective. Good skincare doesn’t have to be expensive—and while so many products on the market suggest otherwise, it’s the truth.
This post is proof, as I share my top picks for hydrating serums under $20. Every skin type needs hydration and these serums are great for all skin types, thanks to their lightweight formulas that absorb quickly without a sticky/tacky feel or finish, and provide long-lasting hydration without any heaviness.
Not to mention, all of these hydrating serums are great for sensitive skin as well because they have no irritating ingredients or fragrance. And they layer easily under a moisturizer and SPF in the morning or a night cream if you are applying before bedtime.
According to skincare experts, hyaluronic acid serum should be applied to damp skin to work most effectively. You need to apply it to moist skin — which is why you should use a face-mist first and then apply a hyaluronic acid treatment afterwards. Sometimes, I’ll cleanse my face, pat it gently with a towel so it’s not dripping wet, and then immediately apply HA serum. That way, I can skip the mist step. But do what works for you!
Hydrating Serums For Sensitive Skin (Under $20)
This is a highly moisturizing serum formulated with Oligo-Hyaluronic Acid technology that reduces the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid substantially and allows it to be absorbed and reach 10 layers deep into the skin.
Plus, it contains 6 natural ingredients including Centella Asiatica, Purslane and Madecassoside that soothe irritated skin, strengthen the skin barrier and reduce skin damage. If your skin is prone to irritations, this is a great option to add to your routine.
Texture-wise, it has a silky lightweight formula that absorbs quickly without a sticky or greasy finish. I love how it provides a healthy dose of hydration without a heavy feel. This fragrance-free serum is perfect for all skin types, especially dry and dehydrated skin. Also cruelty-free!
For intense hydration at an affordable price point, this hydrating serum is a great choice! It’s formulated with multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid (2%) plus a Matrxyl 3000 peptide that supports natural collagen production for an added plumping effect.
It has a super lightweight liquid texture that absorbs instantly without any tacky or sticky feel. Also, fragrance-free.
Specifically optimized with a blend of 5 Ceramides and lipids (fatty acids, cholesterol and squalane) that support skin’s natural barrier to help seal in moisture, this serum nourishes and replenishes for healthy skin. Plus, the formula also contains lactic acid that helps exfoliate gently while increasing natural ceramide production.
This serum has a milky texture with a lightweight and soothing feel on skin. It absorbs quickly without leaving any sticky film or residue on the skin. I’ve not experienced any pilling so the serum pairs well with all my moisturizers. Overall, it is a fantastic serum that offers light hydration and improves skin texture! Also available at Ulta Beauty
I know this is called an essence, but it works well as a super hydrating serum. This is a highly-concentrated essence with 96% snail mucin that helps to nourish, soothe and plump skin with moisture. Yes, it contains filtered snail mucin but the formula isn’t slimy or gooey. The texture is slightly sticky but the formula is lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy or tacky on the skin.
The formula is best for normal to dry skin (those with oily skin might not like the slight stickiness) and provides long-lasting hydration without leaving a greasy residue. Not only is it quite effective for dry, dehydrated skin but also works well to heal and soothe inflamed or irritated skin. Also available at YesStyle for $16.56
A powerful hydrator for the skin’s surface, Polygluatmic Acid locks in moisture and helps the skin appear instantly smoother while providing a perfect base for makeup.
3% Polyglutamic Acid Complex is a natural high molecular weight amino acid polymer that enhances skin moisturization.
2% Invisaskin maintains moisture levels in the skin.
Holding four times more moisture than hyaluronic acid, this super hydrator creates a thin breathable film on the surface of the skin, locking in the moisture below while plumping and reducing the appearance of fine lines.
With a silky lightweight texture, this hydrating serum can be used as the last step before makeup, or you can also mix a pea-sized amount with your foundation for smooth application. Also, fragrance-free and great for all skin types.
Yes, this one is way more than $20 but if budget is not a concern, it’s worth the extra $$. It is a well-formulated serum with a bunch of nourishing and anti-aging ingredients that revitalize dry, dehydrated skin while also helping to improve uneven skin tone/texture and fine lines.
The ultra-hydrating formula features 14 nourishing actives including hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide, squalane, sea buckthorn oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, prickly pear oil, aloe vera and vitamin vitamin B5 and E. It’s like a next-level hyaluronic acid serum!
This serum has a lightweight gel texture that absorbs easily and leaves skin feeling hydrated with a smooth matte finish. Even though the product name suggests it has a dewy finish, there’s no dewiness (at least on my dry skin!) Also, the formula has a slightly floral scent that fades away quickly after application. Vegan and cruelty-free, this serum is free of parabens, silicones, GMOs and artificial fragrances.
So, these are my recommendations for some of the best hydrating serums for sensitive skin that are affordably priced yet gentle and effective!
Some of the products mentioned above were provided for editorial consideration, but my love for these is real!