It’s hard not to be swayed by marketing that’s like, “this product will make you glow and perfect and ageless like an AI influencer that literally can’t age because they don’t have flesh! AND it tastes like a tangerine gummy bear!”
The supplement industry is famously scammy and oversaturated, and it’s hard to really know what’s legit in the absence of ingredient and product testing transparency. That’s why, after our editors reviewed a bunch of popular hyaluronic acid supplements, there was only one they could confidently recommend.
So first, what the heck is hyaluronic acid? I see the term thrown around a lot in the wellness space (have you also seen the Revitalift ad with Eva Longoria?), but if it was the final Jeopardy question, I wouldn’t bet much. It’s a “gooey, slippery substance” found naturally in our bodies, and almost half of it is in the skin. It’s hella viscous, meaning it's high in water content, so it gives skin that glowing, bouncy look. Thing is, as we get older, we start to see a decrease in the amount of hyaluronic acid in the top layer of our skin. By age 50, it’s halved, and the molecules themselves get smaller. That means your skin might get dryer, thinner, and wrinklier.
That isn’t unhealthy. A wrinkle won’t kill you. But the beauty industry, popular culture, influencers, Eva Longoria, etc. want to convince you otherwise. And, hey, if you want to maintain that glow a little longer, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Enter, hyaluronic acid. It’s often utilized in injectables, topical creams and serums, and oral supplements.
We tested four top-rated supplements, and the only one we trust enough to recommend is Pure Encapsulations capsules. Aesthetically, it’s not what you’re expecting. It happens to have the blandest packaging and come in stapler-sized capsules rather than fruity little gummies. But it is, indeed, pure: It contains just hyaluronic acid, plant fiber, wrapped up in a vegetarian capsule. (And unlike some of its trendier competitors, it has not received complaints on the Better Business Bureau.)
Upon further thought, I am actually very into its antiseptic packaging and tasteless pill. It’s not trying to lure you in with maximalist labels and candy-like flavors. The Pure Encapsulations bottle is giving us nothing but rigorous third-party lab testing. It’s there should you be interested, and its ingredients are healthy-ish and easy to find. What you see is what you get, and the supplement industry could use more of that approach. Give us more normcore on the pharmacy shelf.
Melanie, editor at The Nessie