The reformulated The Ordinary 2% Hyaluronic Acid + B5 Serum – improved? | Doctors Review



If a brand reformulates a crowd favorite, it isn’t always well perceived by their loyal fans. In case of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum  though it led to much applause even before it was out.


A bottle of the reformulated The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum standing in front of a dark background with white flowers
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum – the new version


I guess the main reason for that was that during their virtual launch event they made it absolutely clear that their incentive for reformulating was customer feedback, namely the complaints of it being too sticky. To prove my point, here is the “texture” part of my review of the original from 2018 reading “… this is definitely one of the stickier versions.

So did they manage to improve that? And what else has changed?



What The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum claims

A reformulation of our most-loved hydration serum that instantly hydrates and plumps, while smoothing texture and wrinkles.


Facts about The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum

Prize and size

One of the typical The Ordinary dropper bottles made from frosted glass contains 30 ml and is available for 9,90 € on the website here. The original back in 2018 was 6,80 € for the same amount. There is also 60 ml for those that already know they love it, available for 17,40 €.

The product is vegan and according to the website has a pH of 6 – 7.5.


Texture and smell

Just like the old version it is clear. It feels a little thicker than water, almost like a light gel – sadly I haven’t specifically written down if that was true for the old version as well and don’t have one around to compare, but I think that might have been a little more watery, but is easy to spread. There is no noticeable scent. (More info: Is fragrance in skincare bad for you?)


A closer look at The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (reformulated), which is clear and housed in a frosted glass dropper bottle
Just by looking at it, it doesn’t look much different than the old version


How to use The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum

Now for the most important question: Is it still sticky or did they manage to get rid of that completely as aimed? It still has some stickiness, but much less than before. When before I had grouped it is the category of “leaving the most tackiness” from the many serums I have tried, I would now put it into the mild to moderate stickiness category.

As I always follow up with something else, it doesn’t bother me. It could be used morning or night and never led to pilling for me. In the end I put it in my night time skincare routine as I didn’t feel it would absorb completely, but leave like a barely noticeable but still there film on my skin


Ingredients of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum

Hover the mouse over an ingredient for short explanation. Read more on INCIDecoder.
A possible explanation for that really very subtle film is the Panthenol, used for its skin protective abilities, and the ceramides. (More info: The benefits of Panthenol in skincare explained and The benefits of Ceramides in skincare explained) Now if you look at the ingredients list and don’t see any Ceramides, they are hidden behind the term Sphingolipids – we are not able to tell which Ceramides exactly are used. But while some brands will tell you about the ideal ratio of ceramides and list them individually, truth is we don’t know yet which ones are ideal and in which combination. Still they are a waxy substance and often add that film-like feeling to products they are used in.

Other than that you will find Hyaluronic Acid in different molecular weights and even, that is new compared to the old version, as hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid. (More info: The benefits of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare explained)

Other than that there is one algae extract and Glycerin as additional humectant, both of which were already present in the old formula as well.

More info: How to read the ingredient list in your skincare products


Does it live up to its claims?


It obviously helps that the claims are very down to earth.


How does it compare to…


The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5


The original The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5 Serum

The only new addition formula-wise are the Ceramides and the fact that you have more forms of Hyaluronic Acid, other than that it stayed pretty much teh same, proving once again that you can get different products with similar ingredients as they feel different in texture. If one works better than the other isn’t something I can say, both are hydrating and plumping, but I definitely prefer the reformulated version over the old one.

You can read my full review of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum here


THE INKEY LIST Hyaluronic Acid
THE INKEY LIST Hyaluronic Acid Serum


The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Another affordable Hyaluronic Acid Serum, this time from The Inkey List and not sticky at all. It doesn’t contain Ceramides or Panthenol though, but a peptide from the Matrixyl Complex, something I really appreciate for more mature skin. Which one is better depends on your main focus: Do you want some peptide to tackle signs of aging or do you need something to sooth and strengthen the skin barrier?

You can read my full review of The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid Serum here


Geek and Gorgeous HA 5 Rich and Light Serum
Geek and Gorgeous HA 5 Rich and HA 5 Light Serum


Geek and Gorgeous HA Rich and HA 5 Light Serum

And the third affordable option, this time from Geek and Gorgeous, and available in two variations, one called light and one called rich. The difference between the two in texture however is so minimal from my experience that you can use them interchangeably. Both contain different forms of Hyaluronic Acid and Panthenol, but no ceramides. They have minimal tackiness and spread easily. Which one you go for, The Oridnary or Geek and Gorgeous, is probably best decided by which one is easiest available to you.

You can read my full review of the Geek and Gorgeous HA 5 Rich and HA 5 Light Serum here.


Would I repurchase and which skin types do I recommend The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum to?

Yes, in my opinion The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum has definitely been improved with the reformulation. It is way less sticky than it used to be, even though there is still some tackiness to it, and has some soothing effect on top of being only hydrating. I still don’t know if it will become a staple in my routine, simply because I usually tend to get my hydration from other products and don’t use a separate Hyaluronic Acid Serum.


The new The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Serum Review
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