This post will be comparing The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid with The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid serums.
Before brands began to overflog every single product with Hyaluronic Acid back in 2020, The Ordinary did it first. If I’m not mistaken, they introduced the very first affordable Hyaluronic Acid serum. At the moment, it is currently the cheapest on the market. Before venturing out to explore other Hyaluronic Acid based products, I enjoyed my time with The Ordinary. When layered correctly with The Natural Moisturizing Factors and Plant-Derived Squalane, this combo left my dry dehydrated skin plump and dewy. What’s not to love?!
But then as I began to try out other products, I discovered that there are so many better formulated Hyaluronic Acid serums. While I personally didn’t have a problem with The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid, I began to notice an increasing number of complaints from people. A lot of which I would discuss shortly.
Well, somewhere along the line, I guess The Inkey List was listening to all these complaints. You would agree that they also wanted a slice of The Ordinary’s popularity. So, they went back to their drawing board with a mission to create an improved version of The Ordinary products. In a way, they succeeded which is why I’m finally ready to compare both products and see how they match up against each other.
As with all of my comparison reviews, I’ll be comparing these products side by side with the aim of helping you make an informed decision before purchasing. My criteria for reviewing them will be based on the following;
- Ingredient List
- Texture, Consistency & Fragrance
- Availability, Price & Size
Review: The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid
If you have dry or dehydrated skin and you desire to hydrate and plump your skin, then you should be using Hyaluronic Acid in your routine.
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring substance that helps retain moisture in the skin. It binds to water molecules, which helps keep the skin hydrated and supple. The skin actually contains about half of the hyaluronic acid in the body. But just like anything that pertains to the skin, the levels of Hyaluronic Acid in our skin significantly decrease as we age. This is why it should be part of your daily skincare routine if you want to reduce early signs of ageing.
The Inkey List has 2% Hyaluronic Acid which is the industry standard and the highest you can probably get in any product. Unlike its counterpart, it has additional Matrixyl 3000 which is a peptide that helps boosts collagen production.
So, if you’re not using any peptide in your routine but still want to enjoy the hydrating benefits of Hyaluronic Acid, then you should get this one.
It is alcohol, fragrance, essential-oil and cruelty-free.
Texture & Consistency
One of the reasons why a lot of people prefer The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid over The Ordinary’s is the texture and consistency of the products. Just like The Inkey List Niacinamide, it is similarly lightweight with a watery consistency.
When layered on damp skin, it glides super smoothly without leaving a tacky finish. It is not sticky and doesn’t pill after application. It absorbs completely into the skin. It’s no surprise how popular it has become. This texture also makes it perfect for all skin types.
Availability, Price & Size
While The Inkey List might not be as globally available as The Ordinary, you can easily get it on popular online retail websites. As for the price and size ratio, the 30ml bottle is super tiny and finishes quickly. So, if it is a staple in your routine, make sure you always have backups.
What can I say? It does what it is supposed to do. While I have used way better Hyaluronic Acid based products, this is not bad at all. If I had to purchase it again, I would do so during the warmer months as it is a bit too lightweight for my dry dehydrated skin.
Review: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid
While this $7 serum seems to be saving a lot of people with severely dehydrated skin who haven’t discovered the world of Korean Skincare, some people absolutely hate it. And I can’t even blame them. But my issue is that most people do not use Hyaluronic Acid serums correctly.
You see, Hyaluronic Acid can hold up to 1000x of its weight in water. Just like Glycerin and Beta Glucan, It’s a humectant that draws in moisture from its surroundings into the layers of the skin. So, if your skin is dry and you live in a tropical climate, Hyaluronic Acid will dry out your skin. This is why regardless of what climate you reside in, always use your Hyaluronic Acid serum on damp skin.
Just like The Inkey Hyaluronic Acid, The Ordinary also has 2% Hyaluronic Acid. But instead of Matricyl 3000, this one has Panthenol. This has shown to have soothing, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is also alcohol, fragrance, essential-oil and cruelty-free.
Texture & Consistency
Everybody knows that The Ordinary’s formulations are not the most cosmetically elegant. There isn’t a lot of effort put into refining the products to have an enjoyable experience. The result is sticky, tacky products that pill if they are not layered correctly.
This has a watery texture with a slightly viscous consistency. It’s not the worst product but it’s not the best either. This is great for people with limited access to skincare products.
Like I always say, the best way to combat any potential piling from using The Ordinary products is to use them on damp skin. If possible, start and finish your entire routine on damp skin by misting your face in between layers.
Availability, Price & Size
You’ve got to give it to the DECIEM team. The Ordinary is so popular now that there are so many fakes in the market. For $7, you get a proper 30ml serum that lasts for about 3 – 4 weeks if used daily. Just make sure you’re buying directly from DECIEM or authorized retailers to prevent buying counterfeits.
Asides from its poor formulation, it gets the job done. If you run out of your favourite hydrating product, you can definitely use this in the interim. Just make sure you’re layering in on damp skin under an emollient moisturizer and an occlusive oil.
Alternative Hyaluronic Acid Serums
If you don’t care for either The Inkey List or the Ordinary Hytaluronic Acid serums and you want more cosmetically elegant options, here they are;
- L’Oreal Revitalift Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Cerave Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
- Neutrogena Hydroboost Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Vichy Mineral 89 Serum
The great thing about both brands is that they’re super affordable. At less than $10, you can get a decent Hyaluronic Acid serum that will instantly hydrate and plump your dry or dehydrated skin. I mean, you really can’t beat. Kudos to both brands making skincare even more accessible.