Looking to turn back the clock? Hyaluronic acid supplements make the lofty promise to do just that—when it comes to the effects of aging on the skin, that is. Studies show that ingesting this substance can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and moisturize the skin, which is why many supplement companies now use hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in products intended to provide a glowing, hydrated complexion.
But not all supplements live up to the hype. Here’s the rundown on ones to try.
The Best Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
Pure Encapsulations Hyaluronic Acid
- 70 mg of hyaluronic acid per serving
- 4.6-star rating with 400+ reviews on Amazon
The Evidence Test Score: Healthy-ish
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- High-quality vegan ingredients
- Easy-to-swallow pills
- Very transparent about testing and manufacturing standards
- More expensive than competitors
- Each serving contains less than half the amount of hyaluronic acid than the range used in some trials
Pure Encapsulations’ hyaluronic acid supplements came out as the most trustworthy option over the course of research and testing. The product is a straight shooter that only contains the most essential ingredients. The brand isn’t afraid to share the nitty-gritty details of its manufacturing process, either.
At first glance, Pure Encapsulation’s bottle is yawn-inducing compared to its flashier, yassified competitors. Its simple blue-and-white label looks more like a store brand pain reliever than something that’s supposed to plump up the skin—indeed, it seems to market its benefits as a hyaluronic acid joint supplement more than anything else. But once we took a closer look at the company, we began to appreciate Pure Encapsulations’ no-nonsense approach to creating and branding its supplements. Its simple label listed just two ingredients after hyaluronic acid (plant fiber and vegetarian capsule). This made us feel confident that it wasn’t filled with any extra junk.
Capsules are scentless, flavorless, and about as long as a staple. In testing, they went down easily with a sip of water, leaving no aftertaste. A single capsule (which is considered one serving) contains only 70 mg of hyaluronic acid—less than the 120 mg to 240 mg used in research trials. But you could easily take two to hit that range, so the lower concentration isn’t a dealbreaker for us. (Just check in with your doctor to make sure that works for you.)
Pure Encapsulations earned our respect when we started researching its ingredients, standards, manufacturing process, and commitment to quality. Its product information sheet clearly lists that it gets its hyaluronic acid through fermentation, rather than animal sources, and explains the benefits of its particular source of hyaluronic acid. (HyaMax, which is also used in cosmetic fillers.) The decades-old brand also offers transparency into its production process on its website.
We loved seeing exactly what the brand tests for (potency, contaminants, pesticides, and allergens, to name a few), how frequently capsules are inspected during production (every 15 to 20 minutes), and the fact that it exceeds the supplement manufacturing standards set by the USP “What is the U.S. Pharmacopeia?” View Source , a well-respected non-profit that offers a verification mark to supplements that pass its strict standards. Pure Encapsulation also lists some of the third-party independent labs it works with in its FAQs. We only wish the company shared more of these details on its product packaging or included a verification seal from the USP to further boost customer confidence.
Considering the brand’s transparency and its easy-to-swallow capsules, we’re not surprised that Pure Encapsulations’ hyaluronic acid supplements have a 4.6-star rating out of more than 400 reviews on Amazon. Even though this product is the priciest of those we tested on a per-serving basis, we think it’s the best option if you’re looking for a supplement that offers transparency into its manufacturing process and standards.
Other Hyaluronic Acid Supplements To Consider
Olly Glowing Skin
- 120 mg of hyaluronic acid per serving (60 mg per gummy)
- Also contains collagen and sea buckthorn
- One serving contains an amount of hyaluronic acid shown to provide skin benefits in trials
- Fun to eat
- Pretty packaging
- Class-action lawsuit recently filed against the company
- Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans
I was genuinely excited when Olly’s Glowing Skin gummies arrived in my mailbox. I had seen the brand promoted by several wellness influencers I follow. Plus, the square-shaped bottle with an eye-catching blue label made it feel like a new, fresh take on supplements. But our research found some red flags with this product and the brand behind it, proving once again that you should never judge a book by its cover.
When we peeled off the seal on the bottle, we were hit with an overwhelmingly medicinal smell, similar to nasty cough syrup for kids. Fortunately, the brownish-purple gummies, which are about the size of a stack of five nickels, didn’t taste half bad. The juicy gummies bursted with blueberry flavor and had a pleasant tartness.
The product counts two gummies in each serving, which delivers 120 mg of hyaluronic acid in total. Each serving contains 50 mg of sea buckthorn juice powder, an ingredient Olly says has “been used for centuries to nourish and revitalize the skin.” A serving also contains 120 mg of collagen peptides, which may improve skin elasticity and reduce visible wrinkles, but Cedars Sinai “Collagen for Your Skin: Healthy or Hype?” View Source are skeptical due to a lack of studies. Plus, collagen is almost always animal-sourced. Tucked within Olly’s FAQs, the brand reveals that the collagen in these gummies comes from bovines—in other words, these gummies are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
Our confidence in these hyaluronic acid supplements dissolved over the course of research, though. Our bottle contained 53 gummies—three more than listed on the label. Normally, we don’t mind a little extra product, but accuracy is important in the supplement space, and this discrepancy made us skeptical of other claims on the label. We were let down when we couldn’t find the source of the hyaluronic acid used in these gummies on Olly’s website. The label of Olly’s Glowing Skin gummies didn’t display a certification or seal from a third-party testing group, nor did the product appear on the NSF “NSF Product and Service Listings” View Source , even though several others did.
It’s worth noting that Olly says that all of its products are “rigorously tested for quality by third-party laboratories in the USA,” but we would need to see more details about this process before feeling confident taking these gummies. Furthermore, in the middle of testing, we got word that a class action lawsuit had just been filed against Olly, alleging that some of its sleep supplements contained significantly more melatonin than was listed on the label. This suit doesn’t mention Olly’s hyaluronic acid supplements, but still—it doesn’t paint the most, ahem, glowing picture of the brand’s production process.
That said, they have earned 4.5 stars on Amazon from a whopping 23,000+ ratings. Clearly, they’re doing something right.
HUM Glow Sweet Glow
- 120 mg of hyaluronic acid per serving (60 mg per gummy)
- Also contains vitamins C and E
- One serving contains an amount of hyaluronic acid shown to provide skin benefits in trials
- Tasty tangerine flavor
- No certification or verification seal on label
- Less transparent about its ingredients than some competitors
- Company has received some complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
HUM’s Glow Sweet Glow tangerine-flavored gummies come with several advantages offset by serious drawbacks. On the plus side, the bright orange, heart-shaped gummies are vegan, tangy, and adorable. Each serving (two gummies) contains 120 mg of hyaluronic acid, plus a daily dose of vitamin E and C, which Nutrients “Bioactive Compounds for Skin Health: A Review” View Source . They’ve also earned a respectable 4.4 stars from nearly 1,500 ratings on Amazon.
However, we found that there wasn’t enough information about Hum’s production process to make us feel confident taking it—and the details that did exist online gave us pause. HUM says its products are “tested by a third party for purity, strength, composition, and contaminants,” but doesn’t reveal which organization it uses for testing or other important points about the process. The label of the Glow Sweet Glow gummies bottle doesn’t feature a verification seal from a third-party testing organization, and we couldn’t find the source of its hyaluronic acid on the bottle or on HUM’s website. Finally, we found several complaints against HUM, filed with the BBB, from customers who found it difficult to cancel their monthly subscription (or didn’t realize they signed up for a subscription).
Even though we liked the taste of HUM’s Glow Sweet Glow gummies, we’d need to see more transparency about the testing process and ingredients sourcing on the company’s website before we could recommend them.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Let’s start with the basics. For one thing, you technically don’t have to take a supplement to get hyaluronic acid. It’s a Cleveland Clinic “Hyaluronic Acid” View Source our bodies produce naturally. Almost half of it is found in the skin. High water content makes skin appear youthful by providing a look of fullness, tension, firmness, and the ability to “bounce back,” and hyaluronic acid has the unique ability to bind to water molecules and keep skin and joints moisturized and lubricated.
As we age, hyaluronic acid decreases Dermato Endocrinology “Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging” View Source (the top layer of skin). This starts in your 20s, and by the time you’re 50, your Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology “Immediate and long-term effects of a topical serum with five forms of hyaluronic acid on facial wrinkles and intrinsic skin moisture content” View Source . What’s more, the Dermato Endocrinology “Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging” View Source in the skin shrinks as we get older. Those factors, combined with other changes in our bodies and sun damage, pollution, smoking, and diet, are among the reasons why aging skin appears dryer, thinner, and more wrinkly.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the way skin naturally ages. (Getting to see yourself get older is a privilege!) But conventional beauty standards can leave people feeling insecure about changes their skin goes through as the years go on—and that, presumably, is where the popularity of hyaluronic acid (and other at-home facial interventions) comes from.
Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Benefits
The hyaluronic acid found in topical serums and creams, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery—Global Open “Perpendicular Strut Injection of Hyaluronic Acid Filler for Deep Wrinkles” View Source , and Nutrition Journal “Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin” View Source is often made through the fermentation of bacteria. (It can also be made from Journal of Separation Science “Extraction of hyaluronic acid (HA) from rooster comb and characterization using flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF) coupled with multiangle light scattering (MALS)” View Source , though this is much less common.) Each delivery method has been shown to provide benefits like reduced appearance of wrinkles and improved moisture content in the skin, with varying levels of efficacy. Topicals can deliver moisture all over the skin, injectables can help target deep wrinkles, and ingesting it helps deliver it all over the body. However you want to use it, it’s important to note that all effects are temporary. To see consistent results, hyaluronic acid must be continually applied or ingested.
Are Hyaluronic Acid Supplements Healthy?
Based on our research and review, hyaluronic acid supplements can be healthy-ish—in theory. In reality, though, sketchiness in the supplements industry as a whole makes us wary of giving these products a full-blown recommendation, even though hyaluronic acid itself has shown promising results in clinical trials.
One huge problem with hyaluronic acid supplements—and the supplements industry at large—is a lack of regulation. The FDA “FDA 101: Dietary Supplements” View Source does not approve the safety or effectiveness of dietary supplements or their labels before they become available for sale. That forces everyday consumers to rely on the integrity of a brand when searching for a supplement. Unfortunately, some brands just aren’t trustworthy, despite how professional their bottles may look on a drugstore shelf. A JAMA Network Open “Unapproved Pharmaceutical Ingredients Included in Dietary Supplements Associated With US Food and Drug Administration Warnings” View Source of over-the-counter supplements (not specific to hyaluronic acid or other skin-directed products) found that hundreds of over-the-counter supplements contained unapproved pharmaceutical ingredients, which could cause serious health problems.
To boost customer confidence, some supplement companies send their products to independent labs to test for contaminants and make sure they contain the amount of active ingredients listed on the label. However, this is by no means a requirement, and even brands that claim to undergo lab testing often aren’t transparent about which lab they used or the results they received. Very few brands reveal the source of their ingredients, so if you’re a vegan who’s wondering if the hyaluronic acid in a supplement comes from rooster comb, or you have another concern about what’s in those capsules or gummies you’re thinking of trying, those answers might not be easy (or even possible) to hunt down.
What’s the Right Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Dosage?
In a Nutrition Journal “Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin” View Source , as well as a Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dermatology “Oral hyaluronan relieves wrinkles: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study over a 12-week period” View Source , people with dry skin experienced increased moisture when they ingested 120 mg or 240 mg of hyaluronic acid per day for 3-6 weeks or 8-12 weeks. (The 2017 study only evaluated Japanese men and women between the ages of 22 to 59, so results may not apply to everyone.)
Despite the benefits found in studies, oral hyaluronic acid supplements might not live up to all the claims made by the brands that tout them. Most serving sizes for hyaluronic acid supplements (including our favorite one) contain less than the amount proven to deliver benefits, so you won’t be getting the amount participants received in clinical trials. Either way, your skin turns over Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences “Making an epidermis” View Source , so the impacts of ingesting hyaluronic acid will last only a few weeks after you stop taking it.
Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Side Effects
All forms of oral hyaluronic acid may be unsafe for some people, particularly those with Clinical Drug Investigation “Caution should be used in long-term treatment with oral compounds of hyaluronic acid in patients with a history of cancer” View Source or a history of Wounds “Hyaluronic Acid-based Products are Strictly Contraindicated in Scleroderma-related Skin Ulcers” View Source (a condition that affects connective tissue, internal organs, and skin). So even though ingesting hyaluronic acid has shown promising results for skin in clinical trials, and is generally considered safe for daily consumption, a lack of transparency among supplement brands (including some that we tested) makes us hesitant to say they’re actually “healthy.” We recommend looking into any supplement you’re thinking of trying and talking it over with a doctor or dietitian before giving it a whirl.
The Nessie Rating: Healthy-ish
Do Hyaluronic Acid Supplements Work?
Hyaluronic acid can help fight some of the effects of aging on the skin, including dryness. Whether or not a hyaluronic acid supplement is worth it for any individual depends on your comfort level with the brand behind it. Remember: The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements the same way it does medications—it requires that the manufacturers themselves evaluate their products’ safety and ensure their labels don’t make health claims that lack evidence. The FDA will, however, “ FDA “Dietary Supplements” View Source ” against a product that’s found to be tainted or labeled in a way that doesn’t align with FDA “Label Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements” View Source , but that process might not start until well after you’ve got a bottle of that supplement in your medicine cabinet. That’s why it’s so important to research supplement brands and make sure you feel good about the manufacturer before taking one of its products.
If you’re looking for a product that might provide benefits to your skin—and you’re comfortable with a potential lack of transparency about the origins of its ingredients and not knowing whether the label on the bottle accurately reflects what’s inside—a hyaluronic acid supplement could be worth a try. As always, chat with a medical expert before adding any supplement to your daily regimen.
How We Found the Best Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Joni Sweet. I’ve been covering health and wellness as a writer and editor for major publications for more than 10 years. My work is in SELF, Health, Prevention, Forbes, Healthline, mindbodygreen, Greatist, and dozens of other publications. I love debunking health myths and teaching people about research-backed ways to feel their best and live well. I first reported on the shady side of the supplements industry in 2018 and I’ve been keeping a close eye on this industry ever since.
Our Testing Process
We considered a mix of factors to build our list of hyaluronic acid supplements to test, starting with Amazon reviews and each brand’s reputation. After eliminating those that weren’t focused on skin benefits and waved red flags at us during research (one brand only accepted payment via PayPal—hard pass!), we came up with a list of two kinds of gummies and two kinds of capsules to test. The Nessie then purchased these for testing.
Sure, we gave each one a try. For gummies, we awarded points for taste, texture, and overall enjoyment. Capsules, on the other hand, scored well when they had a neutral flavor and were easy to swallow.
But because we couldn’t accurately test for wrinkle reduction and joint lubrication in the time allotted (and besides, it’d be based on exactly one person’s results), far more of our testing involved carefully reading the labels on the bottles and scrutinizing the products and brands online. We gave the most points when a product’s label said a serving of the supplements contained a quantity of hyaluronic acid within the range that has shown results for skin in studies (120 mg to 240 mg per day).
Then, we checked their websites to try to learn more about where a supplement’s ingredients came from and whether they were safe for different diets, such as gluten-free or vegan. We looked into whether each supplement had been tested by a third-party lab and, if so, how transparent the companies were about that process. We also looked into the brands themselves: how long they’ve been in business, how well they’re regarded among experts, and whether they’ve received customer complaints through the Better Business Bureau “Start With Trust®” View Source (BBB) and similar organizations.
You can learn more about how we found the best hyaluronic acid supplements by reading our test notes.
The Hyaluronic Acid Supplement Buying Guide
What Qualities Should You Look For in a Hyaluronic Acid Supplement?
If you’re shopping for hyaluronic acid supplements, you’ll want to look for one that contains between 120 mg to 240 mg of hyaluronic acid per serving. While more research is needed on how much hyaluronic acid is safe and effective for someone to take each day, this is the range used in several studies on the effect of the substance on skin. Keep in mind that a “serving” may actually be two gummies or tablets, so read the supplements facts label carefully.
It’s also important to suss out whether you trust a supplement brand you’re thinking of trying—but don’t expect this to be an easy process. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements the same way it does medications, it’s on consumers like you and me to look into each product and the brand behind it. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements “Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know” View Source recommends checking whether a supplement has been sent to an organization that offers high-quality testing, such as Consumer Lab “Consumerlab.com” View Source , NSF “Purchase NSF Standards” View Source , or USP “What is the U.S. Pharmacopeia?” View Source . Other things to look into include:
- Brand history and reputation: Has it been in business for many years? Is it often recommended by healthcare professionals and reputable organizations? Brands that have already built a stellar reputation may be more likely to have a vested interest in upholding that status by manufacturing high-quality products.
- Where it was made: In the U.S., supplements manufacturers are required to follow a set of “good manufacturing practices” set by the FDA. This helps ensure things like the product’s purity and strength, although you should still look for independent lab testing for an extra boost of confidence.
- Health claims: Be wary of any products that make lofty claims (think: “this will eliminate 90 percent of your fine lines and wrinkles in 4 weeks!”) unless they can prove it, such as with a clinical trial.
- Complaints: Check the online reviews for products to see other customers’ experiences. You might also look at whether the brand has received complaints through the BBB or is involved with any major lawsuits.
When Is the Best Time To Take Hyaluronic Acid Supplements?
Check the supplement’s label to see if it has any specific instructions—for example, if it’s best to take it at a certain time of day or with food. You may also want to avoid taking the supplement with coffee, as there’s some evidence that the Food Science and Quality Management “Effects of caffeine on health and nutrition: A Review” View Source may affect vitamin absorption. Other than that, it’s up to you!
Hyaluronic Acid Supplements You Can Skip
Forest Leaf Hyaluronic Acid Supplements
- Contains 100 mg of hyaluronic acid per each one-capsule serving
- Also contains vitamin C
- Capsules are flavorless and leave no aftertaste
- Least expensive hyaluronic acid supplement we tested
- Each serving contains less hyaluronic acid than the range used in some trials
- Not enough information about company and testing process available on its website
Forest Leaf’s hyaluronic acid supplements come at a fraction of the cost of our top pick from Pure Encapsulations—but that’s about it when it comes to the brand’s competitive advantages.
Forest Leaf’s capsules are around twice as large and more difficult to swallow than those from Pure Encapsulations. The product does not list a verification seal from an independent lab or organization on its packaging, so we went hunting for more information on Forest Leaf’s website, and ended up feeling left in the dark. The brand says it tests its products for heavy metals and microbiological components, but does not provide additional details on which labs it uses.
We also couldn’t find the details of where its hyaluronic acid is derived from, only that the company sources its “ingredients from the most reputable suppliers and then verif[ies] quality on our own.” But given that Forest Leaf’s “about us” page listed very little information about the company itself, such as when it was founded, who founded it, and which state it’s located in, we didn’t ultimately feel we had the background info we’d need to put our trust in this brand. For what it’s worth, the bottle says the product is “vegetarian-friendly” and free of dairy, gluten, egg, and nuts.
If you want a budget-friendly product and you’re comfortable not knowing much about the brand that created it, Forest Leaf’s hyaluronic acid supplements may work for you. But we don’t mind paying a little (or even a lot) more for a hyaluronic acid supplement from a brand with a longstanding reputation in the supplements industry and lots of transparency into its manufacturing process.
Our research and review process is intended for informational purposes only—never as a substitute for medical treatment, diagnosis, or advice. Recommendations or information found on this site do not infer a doctor-patient relationship. Always consult a healthcare provider if you have questions about how a product, service, or intervention may impact your individual physical or mental health. Our evaluations of products, services, and interventions have not been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. Information and research about health changes frequently. Therefore, some details or advice on this site may not be up-to-date with current recommendations. The Nessie is an independent publication and is not in any way affiliated with the production or creation of products, providers, services, or interventions featured in reviews or articles on the site.