11 of the Best Hydrating Serums (That Aren’t All Hyaluronic Acid)

By Tara | Updated: 07/01/2024

As someone with dry skin, I am always looking for a skincare product that will help me achieve a healthy-looking, hydrated glow. A serum is one of the best ways to deliver nourishing and hydrating ingredients to the skin and is one of my favourite steps to apply in my routine.

While Hyaluronic Acid often takes the limelight, there’s a multitude of ingredients and formulations that can also deliver a hit of hydration and sought-after ‘glowy skin’.

With that in mind, I have rounded up 11 of the best hydrating serums to buy in Australia. These are cult faves and proven hydration heroes.

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11 Best Hydrating Serums to Buy in Australia

Mecca Max Watercooler Serum

MECCA MAX WATERCOOLER Calming Hydration Serum
$25.00

30ml

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The Watercooler Serum from Mecca Max is a vitamin-rich elixir that’s the facial equivalent of a refreshing kombucha.

Formulated with fermented birch juice, green algae extract, and vitamin B-5, this serum promises bouncy brightness and lasting hydration. Its lightweight, water-like texture feels cool and soothing upon application, immediately quenching thirsty skin. It wears flawlessly under makeup without any pilling.

It leaves your skin plump, and hydrated and can be used morning and night. Best of all this hydrating serum is really affordable at $25 for 30ml.

esmi Probiotic Skin Mylck

esmi Probiotic Skin Mylck
$65.00
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Probiotic Skin Mylck by esmi is a close dupe to Hailey Bieber’s famed Rhode Glazing Fluid, renowned for its lightweight, ‘milky’ texture and imparting the coveted ‘glazed doughnut glow’.

Uniquely crafted with 100% Australian-made probiotics, this formulation is specifically designed to hydrate, restore, and nourish the skin barrier.

It’s an ideal solution for those with ultra-sensitive skin, offering a powerful anti-inflammatory blend. The product is enriched with Jojoba oil to reduce redness, alongside vitamin E and B-complex vitamins, ensuring deep nourishment.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

100ml

Google Review Rating:
4.8
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Okay, it’s not technically a serum but this K-beauty cult fave is regarded as one of the most effective products for hydration and creating the coveted ‘glass skin’ look.

This is thanks to a peculiar hero ingredient, snail mucin. Snail secretion is a popular ingredient in most Korean skincare products due to its ability to soothe and protect stressed skin and keep it hydrated for longer. Whether you’re tackling scarring or seeking calming care for sensitive skin, this lightweight gel-textured essence is your go-to.

Being an essence, it can be applied post-toner and before or mixed in with a serum.

Drunk Elephant B-Hydraâ„¢ Intensive Hydration Serum

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum
$78.00
Google Review Rating:
4.5
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Think of the B Hydra as water that quenches your parched throat, but this time, it satisfies your dry skin’s need for hydration.

It helps brighten your complexion while evening out your skin tone and improving texture too, all while keeping your face nourished and hydrated.

Its key ingredients include pineapple ceramide and provitamin B5, which help attract more moisture into your skin to give that natural glow.

ALPHA-H Hyaluronic 8

Alpha-H Hyaluronic 8 Serum
$94.95

25ml

Google Review Rating:
4.7
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The Hyaluronic 8 Serum from Australian skincare brand, ALPHA-H works to hydrate, target signs of ageing and protect your skin from free radicals.

With eight anti-ageing ingredients, this smart blend of actives features multiple weights of hyaluronic for multi-level hydration, giving your skin the firmness and plumpness it needs to look more youthful. This serum is ideal for mature, tired, dehydrated and sensitive skin and a perfect choice for anyone who wants to not just hydrate their skin but transform it.

Frank Body Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Frank Body Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum
$25.00

30ml

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Frank Body’s Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a powerhouse Hyaluronic Acid serum that leaves skin looking plump, dewy, and radiantly youthful. Alongside HA, it’s formulated with vitamins and botanicals like Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Ginseng and Vitamin E for additional nourishment, hydration and skin protection.

In true Frank Body style, the serum has a light texture that sinks in swiftly, with a refreshing scent that makes each application a true delight. This potent concoction helps your skin retain moisture, combating dryness and providing a velvety-soft touch and subtle glow.

Where Frank Body really stands out is its commitment to affordability without skimping on quality. This serum delivers the effectiveness of high-end brands but without the daunting price tag.

Body Blendz Recovery Face Serum

BodyBlendz Recovery Face Serum
$29.99
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Body Blendz Recovery Face Serum is a luxurious and deeply healing facial serum designed to soothe and nourish skin in need of some serious TLC.

It contains a patented L22 Blend that replenishes the skin’s protective barrier and moisture, which can diminish over time. This blend contains naturally derived Esters, Squalene, Triglycerides, and Sterols essential for maintaining a healthy balance of skin lipids (your skin’s natural fats).

This serum is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, including Vitamins C & E, Rosemary Extract, and Argan Oil, to encourage faster rejuvenation and increase collagen production.

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum

La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum
$71.95
Google Review Rating:
4.6
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The La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Ageing Serum is your new best friend in the fight against dry skin! This powerful hydrating serum is formulated with two types of Hyaluronic Acid as well as Vitamin B5 to help recover bounce and suppleness in the skin. The fresh water-gel texture absorbs into the skin quickly and easily, making it a pleasure to use for all skin types, especially those prone to dehydration.

Repair and replenish your skin’s natural moisture barrier with this innovative serum, and see a noticeable improvement in skin texture, suppleness and plumpness.

Aesop Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum

Aesop Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum
$80.00

100ml

Google Review Rating:
4.4
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Aesop Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum is the perfect choice for those who want to enjoy the benefits of a water-based serum without feeling weighed down by heavy cream.

The lightweight serum is quickly absorbed by the skin, delivering serious hydration without leaving behind any greasy residue.

Aloe vera helps to soothe and calm the skin, while the clean, fresh scent of floral herbs creates a calming and relaxing atmosphere. The soft matte finish gives your skin a healthy and natural glow.

Avene Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum

Avene Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum
$18.50

30ml

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Avene is a cult French pharmacy brand with targeted formulations for sensitive skin. Like with most French skincare, hydration is at the forefront of their range.

The Intense Rehydrating Serum is a hydration powerhouse, specially crafted for dehydrated and sensitive skin. Infused with a rich concentration of Avene Thermal Spring Water and the innovative Cohederm Complex, it offers restorative lipids that replenish and protect.

Be aware the consistency of this serum is closer to a moisturiser and it does have a fragrance that may be off-putting for some.

innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum

innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
$42.00

80ml

Google Review Rating:
4.8
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The Green Tea Seed Serum is another K-Beauty gem for glowing skin.
Harnessing the pristine potency of Juju green tea extracts, amino acids, and catechins, this serum ensures luminous, youthful skin.

Its Dual Moisture-Rising Technology coupled with a high concentration of green tea extract guarantees intense hydration and fortified defense against moisture loss. This cult classic, ideal for dry and sensitive skin types, provides a radiant, clearer complexion while enhancing the skin’s natural healing. However, be aware, it is fragranced.

Hydrating Ingredients – What To Look For

Hyaluronic acid is the most common ingredient associated with hydration and is generally a go-to for dry and dehydrated skin types. HA is able to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water and deeply hydrates by drawing moisture into the skin, leading to a plump and youthful complexion.

While it tends to have a low irritation and can be used on most skin types, it doesn’t mean that it will suit or be a preference for everyone.

There are a number of other hydrating ingredients you can look for when it comes to skincare products:

  1. Glycerin: A natural humectant, it attracts water to the skin and helps maintain its moisture balance.
  2. Ceramides: Lipids that strengthen the skin’s barrier, locking in moisture and preventing dryness and irritation.
  3. Squalane: Derived from olives or sharks, it mimics the skin’s natural oils, offering moisturising properties without a greasy feel.
  4. Aloe Vera: Renowned for its soothing qualities, it provides hydration while calming inflammation and redness.
  5. Panthenol (Vitamin B5): Offers deep hydration and moisturisation, and can help with skin barrier repair.
  6. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): While known for evening out skin tone and reducing inflammation, it also boosts the skin’s hydration levels.
  7. Lactic Acid: An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that gently exfoliates, but also increases skin’s moisture levels.
  8. Urea: Helps to retain water in the skin’s outermost layer, providing hydration and relief to dry skin.
  9. Snail Mucin: Popular in K-beauty, it aids in skin repair, and hydration, and promotes a glowing complexion.

These ingredients are powerhouses in retaining moisture, enhancing the skin’s hydration levels, and ensuring a soft, supple, and youthful appearance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re looking to tackle winter skin or have naturally dry skin, here are some tips to help rehydrate your face:

For more tips and tricks, check out our other article on How to Hydrate Your Skin.

What is the best way to use a hydrating serum?

Use a mist or essence to add a layer of hydration prior to applying your serum. This also creates damp skin which can help with the serum absorption.

Make sure to finish your routine with a moisturiser or face oil to seal in the hydration.

What is your favourite hydrating serum? Let me know in the comments.

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Tara Lusk is the founder and creator of Beauty Space
Tara Lusk is a Sydney-based beauty enthusiast and the founder of Beauty Space. She launched the blog in 2018 to showcase the best beauty and skincare brands emerging from Australia, while also providing insider tips and tricks for hair and skincare. With a focus on tried-and-true products, Tara puts the latest cult products to the test to separate hype from substance.

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