The Best Hyaluronic Acid Serums For Microneedling
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If you're game to try any at-home skin trend, chances are microneedling is on your list. The tool that’s used (called a derma roller) is covered in teeny, tiny needles, and can help with everything from unwanted acne scarring to increasing collagen production to encouraging better product absorption. But dermatologist Karan Lal tells Elite Daily that the products you use after microneedling really matter, with a hyaluronic acid serum being key. The best hyaluronic acid serums for microneedling are gentle formulas made with pure hyaluronic acid (sometimes also called sodium hyaluronate), and don’t contain other active ingredients that pose the risk of irritation. "Avoid vitamin C and retinol for 48 hours, as these can cause burning, redness, irritation, and peeling," Dr. Lal cautions.
Dr. Karan Lal, M.D., is a board-certified dermatologist practicing with Schweiger Dermatology Group. He specializes in pediatric and adult dermatology, laser surgery, and soft tissue filler augmentation, among other things. He is a member of the DEI work group for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery.
How Does Microneedling Work?
For a quick refresher on microneedling, Dr. Lal explains that it works by creating microscopic wounds in the skin, which stimulates collagen production as it triggers the body's natural healing process. "Most at-home devices penetrate only the superficial layers of your skin, and these can be used three to five times a week," he says, adding that he recommends you start by using the derma-roller once a week and working your way up to three times weekly.
"Make sure you clean your microneedling device, and let it dry for a whole day before using it again," he stresses of the importance of using an antiseptic product like rubbing alcohol after every use. And don't forget to replace your microneedling device, either. "If you notice the needles are becoming worn out — usually around one month — replace your roller."
How Should I Take Care Of My Skin After Microneedling?
"Serums should be used after microneedling," Dr. Lal advises. "After you create the channels with the microneedling device, you allow the skin to absorb your serum much more effectively." For two days after microneedling, you'll want to stick with your hyaluronic acid serum, as well as other gentle skin care products (steer clear of any serums or lotions that contain vitamin C, retinol, AHAs, or BHAs). "The channels you created stay open for about 48 hours," Dr. Lal explains of why simpler is better post-microneedling. "You want to be as gentle as possible. Do not exfoliate for at least one week after microneedling, and make sure you use bland moisturizers," he says, adding, "Do not over-cleanse your face — you created a wound, and it has to heal appropriately."
Shop The Best Hyaluronic Acid Serums For Microneedling
In a hurry? Here are the best hyaluronic acid serums for microneedling:
1. Best Soothing Hyaluronic Acid Serum: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
2. Best Hyaluronic Acid Gel-Serum: Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum
3. Best Drugstore Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum
4. Best Hyaluronic Acid Serum With Ceramides: Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster
5. Honorable Mention: Caudalie Vinosource-Hydra S.O.S. Intense Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum
1. Derm's Pick: Best Soothing Hyaluronic Acid Serum
If you're looking for a hyaluronic acid serum with a few extra soothing ingredients, Dr. Lal loves this La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. To help calm inflammation, you'll find vitamin B5 and madecassoside (an ingredient derived from the centella asiatica plant) in here, as well as the brand's thermal spring water, which is naturally rich in soothing minerals and selenium. Though this serum does contain fragrance, it has been allergy-tested and is both oil-free and noncomedogenic.
Key Ingredients: Madecassoside, Glycerin, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water Size: 1 oz. Fragrance-Free: No
2. Derm's Pick: Best Hyaluronic Acid Gel-Serum
Another recommendation from Dr. Lal, Vichy Minéral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum is a fragrance-free option with a slightly thicker, gel-like texture. While hyaluronic acid is the star ingredient, the brand's proprietary water, which is sourced from volcanoes in France, is also rich in minerals that help to rebalance and moisturize skin as it soothes. The serum has been given the National Eczema Association seal of approval, and because it's so lightweight and gentle, you can use it in the morning and at night for a hydrating boost.
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Vichy Volcanic Water Size: 1.69 oz. Fragrance-Free: Yes
3. Best Hyaluronic Acid Serum Under $20
If you're looking to spend less than $20, Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Serum is a solid choice. The formula pairs hyaluronic acid with soothing vitamin B5, and it's a hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic option for those with sensitive and/or acne-prone skin. The formula contains both high and low molecular weights of hyaluronic acid so that it provides both immediate and long-term hydration benefits to the skin.
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Vitamin B5 Size: 1 oz. Fragrance-Free: Yes
4. Best Hyaluronic Acid Serum With Ceramides
Ceramides in skin care products are helpful because they're not only hydrating, but they also help strengthen your skin's protective barrier to prevent moisture loss in the future. Paula's Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster includes three ceramides in its formula, as well as vitamin B5. This multi-purpose booster can be used on its own or mixed in with your favorite moisturizer or serum. It even comes in a tiny, 0.17-ounce tube that’s great for traveling (or testing before you decide to buy the bigger bottle).
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Vitamin B5, Ceramides Size: 0.5 oz. Fragrance-Free: Yes
5. Best Splurge-Worthy Hyaluronic Acid Serum
For maximum moisture, this Caudalie Hyaluronic Acid Serum combines two super-hydrators: hyaluronic acid and squalane. You'll also find a few other multi-tasking ingredients in here, like organic grape water and antioxidant-rich grape seed extract, which work to soothe signs of inflammation while delivering even more moisture to your skin. Though the serum has a light fragrance, it’s another noncomedogenic option for anyone that's acne-prone. It’s also a particularly luxurious choice, as it hails from one of the most iconic prestige skin care brands in France.
Key Ingredients: Glycerin, Squalane, Grape Water, Grape Seed Extract Size: 1 oz. Fragrance-Free: No
Dr. Karan Lal, M.D., board-certified dermatologist practicing with Schweiger Dermatology Group