Are They Dupes?: Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Vs The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

by Gio
a dupe for skinceuticals hydrating b5 gel

You’d think the higher the price, the better a product works, right?

Not necessarily. Take The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. It’s only £5.90 but it works better than – and is a great dupe for – Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel (£65.00).

Yes, really. Here’s why:

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a moisture magnet. It attracts water from the air into the skin and binds it there. It’s so powerful, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water!

Problem is, hyaluronic acid is too big to penetrate the skin. That’s why, usually, it hydrates only its surface.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 uses different forms of hyaluronic acid with low-, medium- and high- molecular weight to reach every level of the skin and ensure every layer gets the hydration it needs.

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel uses only one. It’s just not as hydrating.

Related: Why You Should Add Hyaluronic Acid To Your Skincare Routine


B5 stands for pro-vitamin B5. A.K.A. pantothenic acid. In skincare, it goes by different names.

Skinceuticals uses calcium pantothenate, the salt form of vitamin B5. The Ordinary uses panthenol, the alcohol form of the vitamin (don’t let the world alcohol scare you; in this case, alcohol’s good).

Either way, both forms do the same thing. Like hyaluronic acid, they’re moisture magnets that attract moisture from the air into the skin and keep it there. 

What Else Do You Need To Know?

Not much else. Both Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 are basic hydrating serums. Apart from moisture magnets, there’s not much else here.

The main difference? The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 has way more moisture magnets so it’s more hydrating.

Which Of The Two Should You Go For?

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, hands down. You’re getting way more hydration at a fraction of the cost.

Now, that’s what I call a bargain!


Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel (£65.00): available at Blue Mercury, Dermstore and Skinstore

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (£5.90): available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique

Shop The Post

Want more dupes? Subscribe to the newsletter below and receive the “Skincare Dupes” cheatsheet with all my fave dupes:

Is The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 A Dupe For Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel?

I’m not sure if I would call The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 an exact dupe for Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, just because  its ingredient list is much longer.

But, it does the same thing – just better. That’s enough for me to call it a dupe and choose it over Skinceuticals.

Do you think The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 is a dupe for Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel and which one is your fave? Let me know in the comments below.

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel Ingredients: aqua / water / eau, phenoxyethanol, calcium pantothenate, sodium hyaluronate

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 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



Melly November 9, 2018 - 1:09 pm

I have just recently discovered your blog and I’m so glad I did! I have learned so much already, so I would like to thank you for that. I was wondering which product you would recommend out of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex?

Gio November 9, 2018 - 7:44 pm

Melly, thank you for your support. So glad the blog is helping you.

Definitely NIOD. With 10+ forms of hyaluronic acid, it’s the most hydrating serum I’ve ever tried.

Melly November 12, 2018 - 9:40 am

Thank you for your reply!

Gio November 23, 2018 - 1:14 pm

My pleasure, Melly!

Maribel Ruiz February 21, 2019 - 7:58 am

Great blog, thank you! Is the texture of the The Ordinary HA simiilar to the Skinceuticals H B5? I really enjoy the thin texture on the Skinceuticals H B5.

Gio February 28, 2019 - 5:53 pm

Maribel, I think it’s a little thicker.

Isiwat February 25, 2019 - 3:23 pm

I have an extreme oily skin. Is it suitable for my skin to use this serum?

Gio February 28, 2019 - 6:22 pm

Isiwat, yes it is.

Karen January 19, 2020 - 4:44 pm

What are your thoughts on The Ordinary hyaluronic acid 2%+B5 vs the updated Cosmetic Skin Solutions Supreme hydra B5 gel vs Cosmedica Skincare’s pure hyaluronic acid?
I use them all interchangeably, and I find them all equally as hydrating. As I have very sensitive skin, I try to use products with minimal ingredients that can do the work effectively. I do find The Ordinary a little sticky after application and have to wait for thorough absorption before applying the next serum, and have no such problem for the other 2 brands. Though I haven’t tried the updated CSS hydra B5 gel yet.

Gio February 9, 2020 - 7:08 am

Karen, I haven’t tried the updated CSS yet, but I agree with you on everything. CSS and Cosmedica are just as hydrating as The Ordinary but have a much better texture. Plus, I like how simple Cosmedica’s formula is. If an ingredient doesn’t do anything, why add it anyway?

Gina G. June 19, 2020 - 12:23 pm


Renata Kutsyk June 29, 2020 - 1:10 pm

Do you know what MW HA is used in the Skinceuticals version?
My skin is too sensitive for the low weight

Comments are closed.