You’ve surely heard the term hyaluronic acid at least once in the past week. It could’ve been in an Instagram ad, on a Neutrogena commercial, or even from your BFF. This is a highly trendy and highly coveted skincare ingredient. But, why? What is it? What does it do?

First of all, forget the meaning of the word acid as you know it. Many people hear that term and go running in the opposite direction. Acid sounds harsh, damaging, and too intense for sensitive skin. But, hyaluronic acid is not that type of acid. It does not exfoliate or cause your skin to peel. It is something your body creates on its own. It balances our moisture levels throughout the body, but just like collagen, with time and exposure to the elements, this natural production dwindles.

Hyaluronic acid can treat osteoarthritis, eye injuries, signs of aging, and more. Most often, though, it makes a wonderful hydrator. Hydrated skin balances oiliness, lessens wrinkles, helps even skin tone and texture and helps with breakouts. But, there are tons of amazing moisturizing ingredients out there. What makes hyaluronic acid so different?

Hyaluronic acid is to moisture as you are to your favorite snack. It grabs onto it and doesn’t let go. It is so effective at giving the skin such a healthy and plump appearance because it can hold up to one thousand times its weight in water. It takes the moisture from the air and binds it in your skin, giving it a fuller and more youthful appearance.

Hyaluronic acid is often used as lip filler to give this exact look. And there have been studies done recently that claim hyaluronic acid contains antioxidants that aid in protecting your skin from things like pollution. It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

The fact that hyaluronic acid is a champion at hydration may make oily skin folk run as far away as possible, but do not avoid it if you have oily skin. Hyaluronic acid is not a thick or greasy substance. It is lightweight and absorbs into the skin to balance it. It is ideal for all skin types, and it has little to no side effects.

Now that you know what hyaluronic acid is and how it works, you are probably keen on adding some into your skincare routine. But, how? What hyaluronic acid products are the best for you? What should you look for? Well, first off, read the ingredients list. If a product claims to have hyaluronic acid in it, it should be near the top of the list of ingredients. If not, there is likely only a minimal amount of it, and its benefits won’t impress you.

There are hundreds if not thousands of products that claim hyaluronic acid as their main ingredient. And tons are actually just as spectacular as they say they are, and here they are.

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream (Shop here)

If you have dry under eyes, this eye cream will save you from cakey concealer. This is a thicker formula and takes a few minutes to absorb fully, but the benefits are instant. It cancels out even the smallest traces of flakes.

Paula’s Choice Hyaluronic Acid Booster (Shop here)

If your skin is craving moisture like the Sahara craves rain, a serum is what you want. This is going to be the most effective form of hydration. The texture of this serum is gel-like and absorbs into the skin to plump it immediately. It is also a very versatile product as it can be used on its own or mixed with another serum or moisturizer. If you are hesitant about adding something new to your routine, this is a great place to start.

Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion (Shop here)

Dr. Dennis Gross is another skincare genius. With this moisturizer, you can get all the benefits of hyaluronic acid along with a gel texture that gives you a dewy appearance on contact. It is ideal for balancing and hydrating the skin and is more lightweight than your average moisturizer. This vegan and the cruelty-free formula is ideal for all skin types.

Cerave Moisturizing Cream (Shop here)

Our faces aren’t the only place that needs intense hydration, especially now that the weather is heating up. A body cream that provides your skin with all the lush benefits of hyaluronic acid is ideal for this time of year. And you do not have to look far to find this. The dermatologist-recommended brand, Cerave, provides your skin with a soft layer of moisture that absorbs quickly and serves as a protective barrier to your skin. This is also gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, as the National Eczema Association accepts it.