Can you create a DIY hyaluronic acid serum that is as sophisticated as those sold by top brands? You certainly can!

While other DIY hyaluronic acid serum recipes you may find online are in gel bases, this formulation is in an emulsion base instead, meaning you can pack your products with beautiful oils and oil-soluble botanical extracts and vitamins as well as including water soluble ones.

What is hyaluronic acid and why should I include it in my serum?

Sodium hyaluronate (often referred to as hyaluronic acid) is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in connective tissues such as cartilage as well as the skin. It presents itself in the body wherever moisture is stored or lubrication between layers of tissue is required to eliminate friction.

Present in very ample amounts from birth it unfortunately declines as we all age, and it declines at faster rate for some due to extrinsic aging factors.

It is possible to buy a botanically derived version of sodium hyaluronate (rather than the ones derived from rooster combs) which can come from yeast or yams via fermentation in the lab.

It can be bought in a powder form or a ready-mixed gel.

The benefits of using hyaluronic acid in serums

This high-end cosmeceutical is very effective for its moisturizing and skin-plumping qualities. It helps to attract and retain moisture in the upper layers of the epidermis.

It is a humectant which means it attracts water and binds it to the skin, helping to keep it hydrated and moisturized. It is the highest humectant we know of, absorbing between 600-1000 times its own weight.

It imparts these benefits:

  • Hydrating and moisturizing.
  • Smooths and softens the skin.
  • Gives skin a plumper look.
  • Improves the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Aids tissue regeneration and wound healing.

Uses of hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid in skincare products has two main uses; as an anti-aging ingredient and in wound healing.

There a lot of interest in using hyaluronic acid to prevent the effects and signs of aging. It is found in many moisturizers and serums and it has become a beauty buzz word and ingredient in recent years.

Hyaluronic acid is also used for tissue regeneration and healing wounds and many scientific studies have proven its effectiveness. For more information on its role in wound healing this article may be useful.

How to use hyaluronic acid in your formulations

Sodium hyaluronate is the INCI name and is usually presented in a fine white powder form that is water soluble (only works in water-based formulations).

You can use hyaluronic acid in many products for the face and body including creams and lotions, eye creams and serums.

DIY hyaluronic acid serum recipe: Youth Activating Serum

Oil phase

5% Xyliance emulsifier (cetearyl wheat straw glycosides, cetearyl alcohol)

6% buriti oil

5% shea butter

2% spilanthes acmella (electric daisy) extract

Water phase

75.5% frankincense hydrosol

4% Vitamin B3 (niacinamide)

Cooling phase

0.8% Vitamin E

1% Preservative Eco (benzyl alcohol, salicylic acid, glycerine, sorbic acid)

0.5% hyaluronic acid powder

0.2% frankincense essential oil


  1. Weigh your oil phase ingredients (the Xyliance emulsifier, buriti oil, shea butter and electric daisy extract) into a bowl or beaker.
  2. Weigh your water phase ingredients (the hydrosol and Vitamin B3 powder) into a second bowl or beaker.
  3. Create a bain-marie or water bath and heat both beakers until they reach 70 degrees C.
  4. Once both phases reach the same temperature remove them from the heat and slowly pour the water phase into the melted oil phase stirring at the same time with a manual hand whisk. Do this for about 3 minutes until the mix whitens and homogenizes as it cools.
  5. Whilst it is cooling add the hyaluronic acid powder (note this could also be added to the water phase).
  6. Once cool, add the preservative, Vitamin E, and essential oil and stir thoroughly.

Note: please check with your supplier the exact instructions for adding vitamins and extracts as this may vary.


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