The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analysis

Finding the perfect cream is an almost impossible task. Not only because a lot of them out there don’t contain many effective skin nourishing ingredients but also because even the ones that do, it’s very difficult to formulate everything our skin needs in just one product. But despair not as serums can be the answer to this problem.

There are plenty of serums out there these days, some of which are actually quite good. By picking the right one, ingredient and concentration-wise, you can add all the missing ingredients in your skincare routine and keep your skin not just healthy but also younger looking.

One of those ingredient must haves is hyaluronic acid. The fountain of youth, as it is referred to in scientific documents, is an amazing moisturiser that can also help keep a younger looking appearance. It’s so good that even some medical bandages contain it to help wounds and burns heal faster. For all scientific info check out: “Hyaluronic acid – the fountain of youth?”

It’s worth to note that while there’s a general increase in cosmetics containing hyaluronic acid these days, many of them contain a very small amount of it, so even if your routine does contain the stuff, it might still be worth adding!

So, let’s have a look at a very affordable hyaluronic acid serum, the Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. Is it worth your money and time? Let’s find out.

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This serum comes with outer packaging which is very minimally designed. The Ordinary brand products in general look very simple and perhaps a little plain (just black and white), but at the same time they also have an almost medical look.

The serum comes in a frosted glass bottle with a dropper. It might not be the most good looking product on your dresser but it looks the part, like a serum.


Colour and Texture

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum is a colourless, gel-like liquid. The slight thickness of it comes from hyaluronic acid which is a large molecule with a high molecular mass. In simple terms, it basically means there’s a good amount of it in the serum, that’s why it’s thicker. So, while it might be a little annoying to handle the gel-like liquid, it is better for your skincare.

This serum doesn’t contain dyes.



This serum doesn’t smell of anything and it is fragrance free. This is another added advantage as fragrance doesn’t add anything skincare wise, in fact it can increase sensitisation and irritation to some.



A full size, 30mL, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum retails for £5.90. This is a great serum even for the lowest of budgets and there are really 0 excuses left for not utilising this amazing ingredient in your skincare routine!


Skin compatibility

This serum is compatible with all skin types, even the sensitive ones. All skin types need this amazing ingredient and the minimal formulation and lack of fragrance will make it very tolerable for the sensitive skin too.

Do not use cosmetics on broken skin. If you have very sensitive skin you can try a little of the product at the back of your hand first.


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Practicality of use – user experience

As mentioned above, this serum is slightly harder to use than other ones because of its slightly thicker nature, but it’s not bad enough to be annoying or truly practically hard to use.

All you need to do is apply it on your fingers or directly on to dry clean skin and always follow with a moisturiser after.

This serum is absorbed by the skin quickly, doesn’t leave any residues behind and gives the skin deep moisturisation, when combined with a good moisturiser.



I haven’t seen any results from using this specific serum but that’s probably because I’ve already been using hyaluronic acid in my skincare routine for a long time now. Since I added hyaluronic acid in my routine my pores got a little smaller, my skin felt thicker, more healthy and youthful.

I always have a serum with hyaluronic acid around and never allow myself to run out. They can also come handy on cooking burns, to help the skin heal faster. Hyaluronic acid is almost like medicine for the skin and there is a lot of science to back these claims.

I love The Ordinary Hyaluronic acid 2% +B5 serum because it’s very simple formulation wise meaning that you can use it for things like shallow skin burns or rashes without adding unnecessary ingredients to the skin that will make the situation worse. Also, when incorporated in your skincare routine, it means that you are only adding the ingredient you want and not a cocktail of a lot of other things too. That’s how addon serums should be!



The Ordinary Hyaluronic acid 2% +B5 serum lasts for 12M which is more than enough time to use it up. This product has a pH of 6.5-7.5, is alcohol, silicone, oil and nut free. It is also vegan, gluten free and cruelty free.

Here’s what the brand says about this product:

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. The molecular size of HA determines its depth of delivery in the skin. This formulation combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration. This system is supported with the addition of Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration. A more advanced HA formulation with 15 forms of HA, including precursors of HA, is offered by our brand NIOD in Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex.

Note: Hyaluronic Acid is found in the skin naturally but its natural function within the skin is not hydration. Many products have used HA to claim hydration benefits, but HA is too large of a molecule to penetrate the skin and instead sits on the surface and can draw moisture out of the skin making the surface feel soft and hydrated temporarily, while making you feel like you need more HA after the product is rinsed. This formula uses three forms of HA with varying molecular weights, as well as an HA crosspolymer, to offer multi-depth hydration and visible plumping without drawing water out of the skin solely to improve temporary surface hydration.


Apply a few drops to face AM and PM before creams. If irritation occurs, cease use and consult a physician. Use only as directed on unbroken skin. Patch testing prior to use is advised. Refer to our in-depth guide to patch testing. Keep out of reach of children.


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The Ordinary Hyaluronic acid 2% + B5 serum contains 17 ingredients of which 14 will offer you some skincare benefit (some more than others), 0 negatives and 6 potential irritants.

It’s a very simple formulation and while there are 14 ingredients that could offer some benefit, it is mainly about the hyaluronic acid and B5 content. Those are the ones that will make a real difference to your skin and the ones that this serum will be adding to your skincare.

To keep this article short, I am only listing the ingredients that are skin nourishing or skin positive/negative, while ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.


Ingredient positives:

  1. Aqua (Water) based formulation.
  2. Sodium Hyaluronate – A hero compound, known as the “fountain of youth”  Plays a major role in anti-ageing processes and is found in embryos in high concentrations. Can hold onto water 1000 times of its weight meaning that it is an amazing moisturiser by locking moisture in. Helps wounds and burns heal and it’s linked to increased collagen generation Also used as a temporary cosmetic filler.
  3. Pentylene Glycol– A humectant (=locks water in).
  4. Propanediol– Can hydrate the skin but is also used to increase the absorption of other ingredients.
  5. Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer– A non-animal derived version of hyaluronic acid which stays within the skin’s uppermost layers for longer. In general, hyaluronic acid is known in the science community as the “fountain of youth”. It can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, so it is a king moisturiser. Helps wounds heal faster and increases collagen production leading to younger looking skin. Check out:  “Hyaluronic acid – the fountain of youth?”
  6. Panthenol– Form of vitamin B5. A moisturiser and potential acne treatment.
  7. Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract – A skin protecting agent and anti-oxidant.
  8. Glycerin– Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  9. Citric Acid – A natural preservative, can be used to even out skin tone.
  10. Ethoxydiglycol – Primarily a solvent but can also act as a humectant.
  11. Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
  12. Hexylene Glycol– Skin conditioner.
  13. 1,2-Hexanediol– Preservative and moisture binding agent.
  14. Caprylyl Glycol– Skin conditioner and anti-microbial agent.


Ingredient negatives:



Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:

This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned. Never use cosmetics on irritated or broken skin.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in this serum have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Pentylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Ethoxydiglycol, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol.


Full list of ingredients:

Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Glycerin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.


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Hyaluronic acid is a skincare must have. If your skincare routine doesn’t contain it then this serum might be the perfect addon for you. And if it does this might still be a great addon to get a decent amount of the stuff.

I really like The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum not only because it delivers a good amount of a must have ingredient, but also because it has a simple formulation and is fragrance free. It’s super affordable price also leaves very little room for excuses, include hyaluronic acid in your skincare now!


I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

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