Acids are an excellent chemical exfoliant that can help to fade dark spots, soften the appearance of lines, combat texture, and the list goes on and on. While technically classified as an acid, Hyaluronic Acid doesn’t actually exfoliate, but it does help your skin retain moisture and plumpness, which can help address excess dryness and reduce the look of fine lines. It’s a great ingredient to use in conjunction with harsher exfoliants and retinoids as well because its moisturizing properties help counteract irritation, redness, and excessive dryness we expect to deal with when using retinol, AHA’s and BHA’s (Salicylic Acid).

But while HA skincare doesn’t pose a risk for irritation and peeling like some of its harsher peers do, that doesn’t mean that it’s not an effective anti-ager. In fact, hyaluronic acid was one of the first injectables used in dermal fillers (i.e. face and lip injections) and still remains one of the most commonly used. Of course, applying the gentle acid topically is certainly not going to give you the result of an in-office appointment, but it will help your skin retain a taught plump and hydrated appearance.

Frankly, it’s one of the rate active ingredients that works its complexion-boosting magic on just about every skin type without causing side effects, and even super sensitive and reactive skin types. Is HA missing from your current skincare lineup? Scroll through to check out some of our favorite effective and affordable formulas to try for yourself.