La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum Review

In case you didn’t know it already, my combo skin has played a trick on me and got all dried out in the past few months. And, when skin is dry, there’s only one thing to do: use a hyaluronic acid serum, like La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum.

Let me tell you why you need hyaluronic acid in your routine and whether this serum does the job well. After all, you won’t know until you try it, right? Well, I’ve tried it for you. Here’s all you need to know about it:

Key Ingredients In La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum: What Makes It Work?


Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that attracts, and binds to the skin, up to 1000 times its weight in water. It makes your skin practically drown in water. And, it works well both at high and low humidity conditions, so, now matter where you are, this WILL save your skin.

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum contains a form of hyaluronic acid called hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid. Don’t be scared. This simply means that hyaluronic acid is made small enough to allow you to penetrate deep into the skin.

Once there, research shows it can hydrate skin, reduce roughness, and restore softness and plumpness. And did you know that when skin is well plumped up, your wrinkles look smaller too?

Related: Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine, No Matter Your Skin Type


Alcohol Denat is one of the most misunderstood ingredients in skincare. Word on the street is that it’s terribly drying and irritating.

To an extent, that’s true. The reason you feel so bad after you gulp down one too many cocktails is that alcohol is drying out every cell in your body, giving you a bad case of dehydration.

Does the same thing apply to skin when you slather alcohol on it? It depends. If alcohol’s all you’re slathering on, then yes, it will dry out your skin.

But if you use alcohol together with moisturizing ingredients, they’ll counteract its drying effects. Science confirms this. Recent studies show that alcohol isn’t as drying as we once thought.

Having said this, everyone’s skin is different. If your skin is particularly sensitive to alcohol denat and doesn’t tolerate it well, this serum isn’t for you.

But what’s alcohol doing here, anyway? Alcohol in skincare enhances the penetration of actives ingredients. It’s the cheapest way to do the job.

Related: What Does Alcohol-Free In Skincare Really Mean?

Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients

NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.

  • Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
  • Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
  • Red: What is this doing here?!
  • Aqua: The main solvent in the product, it helps to dissolve other ingredients. It also hydrates skin.
  • Butylene Glycol: A humectant that attracts and binds water to the skin for extra hydration. It also enhances the penetration of active ingredients.
  • Glycerin: A humectant that attracts and binds water to the skin to make it softer and plumper.
  • BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane: A silicone that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Paraffinum Liquidum: Also known as mineral oil, it creates a protective barrier on the skin that keeps it safe from environmental aggressors. It’s also very moisturising. Contrary to popular opinion, it doesn’t cause cancer. It undergoes a strict purifying process to remove all toxins from it.
  • Carbomer: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: It’s used to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Arginine: An amino acid that hydrates skin.
  • PCA: A moisturiser that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Serine: An amino acid that helps skin retain moisture, giving it a softer and smoother appearance.
  • Ascorbyl Glucoside: A derivative of Vitamin C that fights free radicals.
  • Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide: It helps to stabilise cosmetics and control their thickness.
  • Xanthan Gum: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A preservative that keeps bacteria and other nasties from growing in your skincare products.
  • Parfum: The most irritating ingredient in skincare products. But it makes the serum smell lovely.


Its gel-like texture is very lightweight too, so it sinks quickly into my skin, without leaving a greasy residue behind.


Subtle and clean. I’d rather it weren’t here. I’m not sure why brands add a fragrance to products, especially those to sensitive skin. Yes, it makes them smell good. But if something irritates your skin, this is likely to be the culprit. But this is fairly inoffensive.

How To Use It

Morning and/or night, after cleansing/exfoliation and before moisturiser. If you’re using an antioxidant/retinol serum too, apply that first. Studies show that hyaluronic acid still works even when you apply it after a thick moisturiser. So put on all the anti-aging stuff that needs to be very close to skin to penetrate and work first.

Performance & Personal Opinion

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum is one of those satisfying skincare products that gives you quick results.

As soon I put it on, it deeply hydrates my skin, so that it feels softer to the touch, looks smoother and healthily plumped. And, these effects lasted till night, even on the coldest of days.

As it makes skin so smooth, it’s also the perfect base for makeup. And, it doesn’t cause breakouts.

I do have a small complaint, though. I wish the formula contained more antixodants. As it is, it only contains a sprinkle of them, and skin needs a lot more than that.

la roche posay hydraphase intense serum

How Does La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum Compare To La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum?

La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 is the brand’s most popular hyaluronic acid serum. How does it compare to this one? It has two forms of hyaluronic acid combined with centella asiatica to hydrate skin, plump up wrinkles, and soothe irritations. It’s more suitable for dehydrated and oily skin, although anyone can use it – unless you have sensitive skin. The high alcohol amount + fragrance may not agree with your skin. It’s $39.99 at Boots, Cult Beauty, La Roche Posay, Look Fantastic, Sephora, and Superdrug.

What I Like About La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum

  • Lightweight gel texture sinks in quickly
  • Hydrates skin
  • Plumps up fine lines and wrinkles
  • Makes skin softer and smoother
  • Makes a good base for makeup
  • Practical packaging

What I DON’T Like About La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum

  • Contains fragrance, which can irritate sensitive skin

Who Should Use This?

Everyone can use it, but it’s best suitable for dry and dehydrated skin.


The serum comes in a sleek and practical tube with a pump applicator for ease of use. It’s not too bulky, so you can easily take it with you as you travel.

Does La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum Live Up To Its Claims?

24 hour smoothing rehydrating serum. It doesn’t last 24 hours, but it lasts from morning till evening.
Skin looks smoothed, softer and more radiant. True.
Melt-in, fresh and non-greasy gel texture. True.
Tested on sensitive skin. The keyword here is tested. Just because something was tested on sensitive skin, doesn’t mean the result was positive.

Price & Availability

$36.99 at Boots, La Roche Posay, and Sephora

The Verdict: Should You Buy It?

If you’re looking for a Hyaluronic Acid serum, this is a good option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives

  • Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid (£25.00): The most hydrating and plumping serum I’ve tried, it has 13+ forms of Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate every layer of skin. Available at Beauty BayCult Beauty, and Niod
  • Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($34.00): A hyaluronic acid serum with ceramides to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and heal dry skin. Available at DermstoreNet-A-PorterPaula’s ChoiceSpaceNK.
  • The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90): A simple formula with Vitamin B5 to soothe and hydrate skin. It’s fragrant-free and suitable for sensitive skin too. Available at Beauty BayBootsCult BeautySephoraSpaceNKThe Ordinary, and Ulta.
  • Vichy 89 Mineral ($29.50): A lightweight formula with thermal water and Hyaluronic Acid to deeply hydrate every skin type. Available at Dermstore and Sephora.

609713 01, Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Paraffinum Liquidum, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Arginine PCA, Serine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum

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