Hyaluronic acid, also referred to as sodium hyaluronate, is perhaps the single most important natural molecule for moisturised skin.
This natural carbohydrate is now a wildly popular skincare ingredient, but occurs naturally in the human body, as well as root tubers like sweet potatoes and satoimo.
What is hyaluronic acid? It’s a natural water container, the most important substance for naturally retaining water and moisture. Hyaluronic acid is just as vital for firm, youthful and glowing skin as collagen. While collagen forms the cells and structure of your skin itself, hyaluronic acid provides the moisture content.
Interestingly, there’s also evidence that hyaluronic acid traps and destroys free radicals in the skin, removing their acne-causing influence. Currently, the most popular source is topical treatments, a cream which you rub onto your face, or even an injection into the skin…
…but the evidence suggests that oral supplements are much more effective. This study found that a daily hyaluronic acid supplement decreased wrinkles and fines lines after 3 months, while successfully moisturising the skin. This study was nearly identical.
Supplements are the way forward, and it doesn’t end there; hyaluronic acid is highly concentrated in eye and joint tissues, allowing supplements to improve dry eyes and knee pain.
But which is the best brand? That’s what we’re going to discuss today.
A quick warning: while side effects are extremely rare, oral hyaluronic acid is still fairly unresearched. Over a dozen studies have confirmed its safety, but discontinue supplementation if you notice any side effects. For a shortcut, Pure Encapsulations is the greatest brand here.
Let’s get started:
One – Pure Encapsulations
Firstly, Pure Encapsulations is free from any harsh additives and fillers. The only extra ingredients are hypoallergenic plant fiber (cellulose) and the vegetable capsule (cellulose, water). The cellulose itself is sourced from pesticide-free southern pine trees.
Secondly, Pure Encapsulations contains sodium hyaluronate, a well-absorbed form of hyaluronic acid. It even contains low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, in the patented HyaMax form, which is particularly well absorbed in the gut.
Pure Encapsulations contains a dosage of 70mg, supplying 60 capsules for a proper experimentation supply. The supplement is free from corn, soy and magnesium stearate.
Then there’s the company’s overall quality assurances. Pure Encapsulations tests each batch of raw materials for toxic heavy metals, including mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium. They test for over 70 pesticides and 30 solvents, while each finished product is rigorously inspected by a third party laboratory for purity and potency, with their hyaluronic acid being no exception.
Pure Encapsulations is a perfect hyaluronic acid in every single way.
Amazon link: Pure Encapsulations Hyaluronic Acid.
Two – NusaPure
The hyaluronic acid is in the well absorbed sodium hyaluronate form. The dosage is a strong 100mg per capsule, actually beating Pure Encapsulations. NusaPure is manufactured in the USA, in a GMP-compliant facility, with no Chinese influence whatsoever.
NusaPure also contains a huge 180 capsules per bottle, which is easily high enough to experiment with the supplement. Hyaluronic acid is believed to have a turnover of 28 days in human skin, being removed and replaced more rapidly than other skin molecules. Meanwhile, one study on skin quality found that wrinkles faded away after 8 weeks, while skin luster and suppleness improved significantly after 12 weeks.
That’s why you should always take hyaluronic acid for at least 1 month, and that’s why NusaPure succeeds. It also succeeds with its purity; NusaPure contains only gelatin and rice powder as its additives, with no magnesium stearate or corn flour included.
NusaPure is a hidden, but massively effective hyaluronic acid supplement.
Amazon link: NusaPure Best Hyaluronic Acid.
Three – Mental Refreshment Nutrition
From the company behind some excellent DIM and alpha lipoic acid supplements comes a pure and effective hyaluronic acid.
Mental Refreshment Nutrition contains only rice flour and gelatin as its additives, with no magnesium stearate, corn flour, or maltodextrin to be found. The dosage is a powerful 100mg per capsule, while there’s 180 capsules per bottle, giving you particularly excellent value for money.
Like Pure Encapsulations, Mental Refreshment Nutrition contains the sodium hyaluronate form. The difference to normal hyaluronic acid is that sodium hyaluronate is bound to sodium molecules. It’s actually better absorbed than normal hyaluronic acid, with a lower molecular size.
Many of the greatest studies on oral hyaluronic acid, for knee pain or skincare, tested Hyabest, which is a patented form of sodium hyaluronate made by a Japanese company. Therefore, most of the brands here consist of sodium hyaluronate.
Elsewhere, Mental Refreshment Nutrition is manufactured in the USA, for maximum trustworthiness, in a Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP) certified facility. The product even has a 30 day money back guarantee.
Mental Refreshment easily beats almost every other hyaluronic acid brand, including all of the topical treatments.
Amazon link: Mental Refreshment Hyaluronic Acid.
Four – Douglas Laboratories
Douglas Laboratories is a more expensive brand than NusaPure, but the quality is extreme. The dosage is identical to Pure Encapsulations with 70mg per capsule. The capsule count is 60, for a 2 month experiment, while the only additives are microcrystalline cellulose and the HPMC (cellulose) capsule. This supplement is free from magnesium stearate, corn flour, croscarmellose, and other nonsense.
The hyaluronic acid is the well-absorbed sodium hyaluronate again, in the patented HyaMax form. HyaMax is not to be confused with HyaBest, another patented form of hyaluronic acid, which is manufactured by a Japanese company, but they’re both equally well-absorbed with a low molecular weight.
Why is a low molecular weight so beneficial? Full hyaluronic acid molecules are hard for the gut to absorb because of their high molecular weight; a similar scenario is with topical hyaluronic acid, which barely penetrates your skin’s layers. In fact, the natural hyaluronic acid in your skin is so big that it sits on the outside of skin cells rather than inside them.
Low molecular weight hyaluronic acids like Douglas Laboratories bypass this problem, being well-absorbed into the gut. The HA itself is produced through a bacterial fermentation process. Finally, Douglas Laboratories explicitly states that its product is free from gluten, wheat, soy or corn.
Douglas Laboratories is almost unbeatable for its high quality hyaluronic acid.
Amazon link: Douglas Laboratories Hyaluronic Acid.
Five – Neocell
Another hyaluronic acid which is both pure and powerful. An advantage compared to Pure Encapsulations or Douglas Laboratories is Neocell’s potent dosage of 120mg per capsule, coming with a 60-strong capsule count to deliver 60 days of moisturising goodness.
Neocell only contains two additives: the vegetable capsule and rice bran. It’s also a relatively affordable brand. Magnesium stearate, soy and wheat are all far away with this hyaluronic acid.
The only small downside with Neocell is the lack of confirmation of whether it’s whole hyaluronic acid, or the optimal sodium hyaluronate form, but this is no disaster. In fact, it could make Neocell a particularly interesting supplement.
Recent studies have revealed that once eaten, gut bacteria actually ferment whole HA molecules to a certain extent, reducing them to the low molecular weight form. Scientists discovered this after being confused about high molecular weight hyaluronic acid still ending up in the skin when eaten, despite being only rarely absorbed when examined in isolated digestive models.
The precise form of Neocell is mysterious, but your skin will likely benefit in either case.
Amazon link: Neocell Hyaluronic Acid 100mg.
Six – LongLifeNutri
Our elite, first five brands were all free from magnesium stearate, but starting with LongLifeNutri, every brand contains it. Magnesium stearate is a controversial anti-caking ingredient, designed to prevent powders from sticking to factory machinery, but believed to reduce nutrient absorption by some. The effect is only small, but worth avoiding for maximum effectiveness.
So why is LongLifeNutri even included in this list? Because LongLifeNutri and the remaining 4 brands still beat most other hyaluronic acids resoundingly. LongLifeNutri is particularly powerful, with 180 capsules of 100mg, matching NusaPure. You get a 6 month supply with this supplement, a six month supply of moisturised skin.
The hyaluronic acid is also in the superbly absorbed sodium hyaluronate form. It’s also very cleanly produced, being manufactured in the USA in a Good Manufacturing Practises compliant facility, rather than the industrial wastelands of China.
LongLifeNutri is an above average hyaluronic acid supplement.
Amazon link: LongLifeNutri Hyaluronic Acid 100mg.
Seven – Best Naturals
The only ingredients are magnesium stearate, gelatin and silica. The hyaluronic acid is confirmed to be sodium hyaluronate, for guaranteed absorption and guaranteed accumulation in your skin where it can work its magic. Best Naturals is manufactured in the USA, in a GMP-compliant facility. It’s also an affordable product, perfect for if Pure Encapsulations is too expensive.
Best Naturals features a strong dosage per capsule too, of 100mg. What’s the optimal dosage in general? One study reported fading wrinkles and suppler skin with 120mg daily, while another relieved patients of their knee pain by using 200mg daily. Interestingly, one study found that 120mg and 240mg had similarly beneficial effects on the skin.
50mg will have benefits and there’s no need to take over 200mg daily. Finally, Best Naturals’ capsule count is 120, for a lengthy supply.
Best Naturals is another high quality hyaluronic acid supplement.
Amazon link: Best Naturals Hyaluronic Acid.
Eight – Puritan’s Pride
Puritan’s Pride contains a standard dosage of 100mg, sufficient for your skin to become firmer and healthier before your very eyes. The ingredients list reads “gelatin, rice flour, silica, vegetable magnesium stearate”, which are all harmless apart from the slight flaw of the magnesium stearate. Puritan’s Pride is manufactured in the USA, rather than China or India.
Unlike Neocell, Puritan’s Pride is confirmed to be sodium hyaluronate, which isn’t vital, but is optimal for absorption. Regarding high molecular weight hyaluronic acid, the fermentation discovery opens up an interesting topic – could normal hyaluronic acid become more effective alongside a probtioc? A bacterial supplement would enhance your ability to reduce the high molecular weight form to an easily absorbed version.
This would apply to food sources of hyaluronic acid too, like root vegetables. Also important would be your overall state of gut bacteria, whether your healthy strains are crippled due to consuming too many antibiotics and sugary foods, or thriving thanks to eating sauerkraut, yogurt and numerous polyphenols. This could easily be a future discovery.
Anyway, the final advantage of Puritan’s Pride is its high capsule of 60, a 2 month supply which is easily high enough to test the supplement.
Can Puritan’s Pride be beaten for hyaluronic acid? Yes, but only just.
Amazon link: Puritan’s Pride Hyaluronic Acid.
Nine – NatureBell
The capsule count is enormous at 180, while still being excellent value for money, making NatureBell an optimal money-saving supplement. The dosage per capsule is also a standard 100mg. The only dodgy additive is the magnesium stearate, with the others being silicon dioxide, rice flour, and vegetable cellulose.
Importantly, NatureBell is a pure and dedicated hyaluronic acid supplement with no add-ons or extras. During your investigations, you may notice numerous hyaluronic acid supplements with glucosamine as a bonus ingredient. This is another structural molecule, with known benefits for joint health just like hyaluronic acid, but it’s such a different compound in its own right that none of the brands on this list contain any. It’s a topic for another day.
Finally, NatureBell is made in California, and even has a 1 year, unconditional money back guarantee. A small downside is that there’s no confirmation of the form, sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid, but NatureBell could still work wonders for your skin.
NatureBell is promising for an affordable yet powerful hyaluronic acid supplement.
Amazon link: NatureBell Hyaluronic Acid Plus.
Ten – Jarrow Formulas
Our final brand is Jarrow Formulas, which is confirmed to consist of sodium hyaluronate, in the patented Hyabest form. This comes in 120 capsules containing 50mg each, with Jarrow Formulas recommending a serving of 2 daily for 100mg.
The additives are magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, and cellulose, while the price is lower than Pure Encapsulations or Douglas Laboratories. Like NatureBell, it’s promising as a cheaper hyaluronic acid for all of your moisturising needs.
Another advantage of Jarrow Formulas is its confirmed freedom from any soy-derived ingredients. It’s a hyaluronic acid with low molecular weight, being optimally absorbed, and the sodium hyaluronate itself is derived from bacterial fermentation.
Overall, Jarrow Formulas succeeds wildly as an affordable hyaluronic acid brand.
Amazon link: Jarrow Formulas Hyaluronic Acid.
There you have it. Pure Encapsulations is the best hyaluronic acid supplement here, combining perfect specifications with an iron commitment to purity, but every product listed here will get the job done.
Overall, the market is quite weak right now, with a lack of oral supplements full-stop, but that’s because the market is young. In the early 20th century, hyaluronic acid was believed to be biologically inert, simply a structural molecule in the skin, while as recently as the 1990s, there were doubts over whether oral hyaluronic acid achieved anything. Now that real studies are flooding in, pure and well-formulated supplements should begin to flood in too.
Regardless, you now have several perfect hyaluronic acid supplements to choose from.
Thanks for reading!