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The 10 Best Brightening Serums for Glowing Skin


No disrespect to our favorite makeup, but skincare products are the real glow getters when it comes to getting that natural, lit-from-within glow.

No matter your skin type or how effortlessly dewy you can get, aestheticians and dermatologists agree that good skincare products are the key to illuminating your skin and addressing common concerns, like uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. And perhaps no skincare product does this better than a good brightening serum. 

Brightening serums are packed with the good stuff: hyaluronic acid and vitamins, retinol and microscopic molecules, to deliver a cocktail of powerful active ingredients into the deeper layers of your skin. The result? Bright, illuminated skin, naturally.

So give your skin some love, and continue reading below for the best brightening serums to add to your skincare routine or include in an at-home facial. Even better? Some of our picks are based on high-rated products from Ipster reviews, so you know these serums below will actually make your skin will feel as good as it looks.

P.S. Want to learn more about how to get your most gorgeous, glowiest skin yet? Check out our guide for 8 other ways to get glowing skin.

111SKIN Vitamin C Brightening Booster

1. 111SKIN Vitamin C Brightening Booster


“I loved it and used every drop.”


This concentrated Vitamin C treatment is perfect for addressing hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, and it’s designed to not only reduce discoloration, but to unleash your natural glow, too. The lightweight antioxidant serum also adds moisture back to thirsty skin to make it look brighter—and it’s great for all skin types. Ipster @gail73 gushes, “THIS IS THE BEST! I loved it and used every drop!” And Ipster @steph_0094 swears that it “makes my face baby soft.”

SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

2. SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

This seriously-potent serum, formulated for all skin types, has 15% advanced Vitamin C to thank for its effectiveness in combating dullness, dark spots, and discoloration. If you’re looking for a gentle anti-aging brightener, this one is it. It helps diminish fine lines and bring bounce and firmness back to even the most tired skin. What's more, the vitamin C in this serum is THD Ascorbate, which is stable and oil-soluble and effortlessly sinks into your skin—hydrating without leaving you feeling greasy. Saccharide isomerate also shrinks your pores and protects your delicate skin barrier, so you can nourish your skin safely.

RED EARTH Brighten Concentrate Oil with Kakadu Plum

3. RED EARTH Brighten Concentrate Oil with Kakadu Plum


“Love the smell, the effect, everything!”


This gorgeous face oil is packed with natural skin-brightening ingredients that will hydrate dull skin and leave you with a baby-soft complexion. Macadamia and coconut oils moisturize, while Kakadu plum, which is full of vitamin C, brightens and firms. A blend of licorice root extract, orange peel oil, and lemongrass extract perk up tired skin and ensure that you’ll look forward to your skincare routine. Ipster @amy_cupcake raves, “YES YES YES YES YES!!!! Love the smell, the effect, everything!” And @jjzehob notes, “Someone actually commented that something looked different about me (in a good way). It was the first day I had used the serum. Has a healthy glow!”

WAY OF WILL Brightening Face Serum

4. WAY OF WILL Brightening Face Serum

This silky, lightweight face serum is filled with Vitamin A and Vitamin C, meaning it’ll brighten, tone, and revitalize your skin while it reduces dark spots and repairs sun damage and acne scars. As potent as it is, it isn’t loaded with harsh parabens, synthetic oils, or alcohol, which means it's perfect for sensitive skin types.

MURAD Multi-Vitamin Infusion Oil

5. MURAD Multi-Vitamin Infusion Oil


Block Quote: “This stuff is great.”


For brighter skin, look no further. This vitamin-packed oil was formulated to restore a natural glow to compromised skin barriers everywhere. It’s powered by vitamins A and F to help target signs of aging, moisturize and brighten skin, and protect you from damaging free radicals. It’s also non-comedogenic, meaning it’s perfect for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin. Ipster @Kbellair wrote, “I don't normally like face oils on my combination skin but LOVED this one. Lightweight, absorbed quickly, didn't make me break out and also great under makeup," while Ipster @stephlee03 wrote "Murad never disappoints. This stuff is great. It doesn't leave my face feeling greasy and seems to really brighten my skin, especially my undereye."

BOBBI BROWN Skin Brightener No. 42

6. BOBBI BROWN Skin Brightener No. 42

This anti-inflammatory lightening serum brings your radiance back full force by stimulating cell turnover to get rid of dead skin cells, revealing a brighter, healthier complexion. It gently exfoliates dull skin and targets age spots, helping them fade over time. It’s gentle enough to be used by anyone, but it’s especially suited to those with dry skin or uneven skin tones.

SKYN ICELAND Icelandic Youth Serum

7. SKYN ICELAND Icelandic Youth Serum


“People, it’s totally worthy of the hype.”


Live up to your best skin potential with this fast-absorbing brightening serum, which can easily double as a lightweight moisturizer. It’s formulated with astaxanthin, an enormously powerful antioxidant harvested from Icelandic micro-algae. Combined with Icelandic glacial water, this moisturizing powerhouse nourishes, protects, and strengthens your skin against environmental stressors and premature aging. Ipster @PicklesFeatherbottom says, “I have heard about this brand for years but never had the opportunity to try it. People, it's totally worthy of the hype. This serum instantly makes your skin feel like velvet. No funny smells or consistency. My skin always looks plumper and more even the next day. I am a fan.”

VASANTI COSMETICS Brighten Up! Glow Boosting Serum

8. VASANTI COSMETICS Brighten Up! Glow Boosting Serum

This brightening Vitamin C serum is your fast track to an instant glow-up. It gives your skin a natural, dewy finish and also contains skin-brightening arbutin to moisturize away dullness. It’s gentle enough for all skin types, and the healing effects of vitamin E, aloe, and Abyssinian oil will leave your skin soft, smooth, and super-supple.

MURAD Technoceuticals Brightening Boost Professional Concentrate

 9. MURAD Technoceuticals Brightening Boost Professional Concentrate

Normal to dry skin will love this concentrated, dermatologist-formulated treatment, which visibly minimizes pigmentation, dark spots, and dull or uneven skin texture. The product’s proprietary ReactivCell Technology replenishes skin and adds bounce and luminosity for visibly brighter skin.

GOLDFADEN MD Brightening Elixir

10. GOLDFADEN MD Brightening Elixir

Protect and hydrate your beautiful skin with this special antioxidant elixir, which zaps free-radical damage and calms damaged skin, minimizes fine lines, and boosts radiance. It’s one of our favorite brightening serums because of its all-star ingredient lineup, headlined by Vitamin C, ferulic acid, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E. All of these skincare boosters work to deliver visible brightening results, without harsh, irritating synthetic ingredients. Not only is it cruelty-free, but it's gentle enough for all skin types, including the most sensitive, so everyone can get their glow on.

Want to receive serums like these every month? Subscribe to a Glam Bag today for 5 beauty products picked just for you, all for only $12.

Already an Ipster? Let us know how you enjoyed these skin care products by posting a photo on Instagram or Twitter @IPSY. We’d love to see what you use to boost your skin’s brightness!


About the author
Nirmala Nataraj
Ipster, theater buff, red lipstick wearer 4 life
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Article Last Updated March 19, 2020 12:00 AM