Best Brightening Serum: Revive Your Glow With These 12 Products

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If you feel you have a dull almost ashy look, then you need a brightening serum. These serums work to improve skin color and tone. The serums are essential if you need targeted treatments, therefore, they should be your go-to for skin brightening or lightening.

After all, it’s not always you want to improve your skin’s essence with makeup. Moreover, you need to improve your skin’s color to be evened out, if you want natural glowing makeup with little to no imperfections.

Brightening serums helps in achieving that natural glow. With active ingredients tested and trusted to improve your skin’s tone, the popularity of the product in the beauty market is astounding. However, getting the right product for you could become a herculean task.

As a result, I have collated the best brightening serums you can get, both at a physical store and at an online store. These products are gathered through sales data metrics and engagement on social media.  

1. Best Overall Brightening Serum

TruSkin Vitamin C Facial Serum

TruSkin stands out as a wonder serum to help brighten your skin, giving it the glow and rejuvenation you need. The serum is packed with enough ingredients that hydrate, moisturize, and brighten your skin.

With natural vitamin C, the serum helps to even your skin tone, bringing out your natural complexion. Additionally, it has hyaluronic acid to plump and boosts your skin, clearing fine lines, wrinkles, and spots from your face.

The serum stands out for being all-around good and non-irritating on the skin. it does not contain parabens, fragrances, colors, sulfates, or PEGs. The serum is suitable for all skin types and can be applied to your face twice a day.

2. Best Brightening Serum for Dark Spots

PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

If you have difficult dark spots or acne scars that are hard to get rid of, use this serum. The serum contains niacinamide and helps to smoothen your skin, closing up your pores. Meanwhile, with glycerin, your skin stays soft and moisturized.

The serum helps to gradually remove discolorations and spots in your skin, making it pop as good as new. You can use the night serum to focus on the spots on your face and even out your tone.

3. Best Brightening Serum for Hyperpigmentation

Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Serum

This product comes with a hyper brightening serum with turmeric and neoglucosamine ingredients to help clear hyperpigmentation and discoloration on the skin. The formula is highly concentrated and naturally exfoliating, revealing new glowing skin.

The formula is also handy for reducing aging signs like fine lines and age spots. Using the serum would improve your skin tone in no time. Keep your skin bright and luminous with the oil-free non-comedogenic formula with regular use.

4. Best Brightening Serum for Malesma

Arbutin 5% Serum by Cos De Baha

Melasma is a common skin discoloration that needs a potent component to treat. This is why this product stands out. The serum for the face not only clears your face of discoloration but also prevents it from increasing.

With a concentrated 5% arbutin and niacinamide, the serum glows up the skin and smoothens it. It also soothes the skin of any possible irritation, controlling the activities at the surface level of your skin.

Additionally, the serum removes blotches and signs of aging like age spots. You need the serum to control the rate of dark patches like melasma, sports, and hyperpigmentation surfaces on your skin. The serum has been tested and is safe to use to protect you against sun damage.

5. Best Brightening Serum for Dark Circles

Neoprosone Vitamin C Serum

This serum will help brighten your eye area, especially the dark circles and spots around the eye area caused by sun damage. The serum is also potent to remove or reduce signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.

Furthermore, it enriches your skin with antioxidant properties that protect your skin from free agents. The serum’s vitamin C formula is fast-acting, helping to promote collagen production in the deeper dermis level of the skin.

You can improve your eye area’s depth and color and give it a good boost with this serum for treating dark circles.

6. Best Brightening Serum for Oily Skin

Sunday Riley C.E.O 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

This is what you need to keep your skin controlled and safe. The serum naturally contains Vitamin C to improve your skin tone and texture. It, therefore, eases the discolorations and spots on your face to an evened glowing tone.

Furthermore, it plumps the skin, making it firmer and luminous. It can also be layered; it is light enough to take moisturizer and sunscreen. Keep your skin in a healthy glow with the serum.

7. Best Brightening Serum for Dry Skin

CeraVe Vitamin C Serum

With hyaluronic acid and glycerin, this vitamin C serum gives your skin a hydrating boost with its natural brightening effect. The skin gets a touch-up glow that is different and improved.

Furthermore, the serum helps to protect your skin with its antioxidant properties. It also moisturizes the skin with its essential ceramides 1,3,6 II properties, boosting your youthful skin back. You also manage oxidative stress with this serum. It protects your skin from free radicals and sun damage.

You can apply the non-comedogenic serum every day to hydrate and firm your dry skin.

8. Best Brightening Serum for Sensitive Skin

Acure Brightening Serum

This serum provides a safe and healthy formula to brighten and elevate skin tone. The serum also soothes and moisturizes your skin with pumpkin and sesame seeds, which are known for their antioxidant properties.

Asides from this, the serum regulates your skin, providing the needed nutrient to improve the skin tone. The serum’s formula is the perfect combination of soothing and antioxidant properties and a fast-acting product to get you the color you need.

9. Best Brightening Serum for Acne-Prone Skin

InstaSkincare Brightening Serum

This serum for the face is suitable for acne-prone skin types due to its niacinamide component that treats and reduces acne with its hydrating effect. The serum effectively diminishes the appearance of oil (sebum) on your skin’s surface.

It also minimizes the sight of fine lines and wrinkles firming the skin at the surface level. You can use the formula to gradually reduce the sight of hyperpigmentation and acne scars on your face, paving the way to a newer and healthier skin tone.

Additionally, the serum is effective in reducing pores and inflammation on the skin. Use the hydrating and soothing serum to even out your skin tone while easing and controlling the sebum in your pores.

10. Best Drugstore Brightening Serum

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum

This is a brightening serum containing not only arbutin but hyaluronic acid to soothe the skin while the former component treats discoloration on the skin.

The serum is effective and inexpensive. It also works to improve the skin tone, fading patches until the skin is clear. The ordinary also comes highly recommended by experts because its components do what they are designed to do. You will get naturally glowing skin in no time with this serum.

11. Best Korean Beauty Brightening Serum

Mizon Real Vitamin C Ampule

Korean beauty is ahead of the cosmetic game which is no surprise why people seek their products to improve their skincare routine.

You can use Mizon Real Vitamin C Ampule to get the tone correction you need. The serum is fortified with 19% pure vitamin C serum with 0% of water, therefore, it is highly concentrated.

Nonetheless, the serum is stabilized and effectively treats signs of discoloration on the skin. In addition, it is fast-absorbing, improving the skin’s color in no time. It is also safe to use. Even with its potent formula, the serum does not clog the pores or irritate the skin.

Use this serum to improve your overall skin color and shade. Furthermore, use the serum if you want a sufficient product that brightens your skin and nourishes it too.

12. Best Glow-up Brightening Serum

Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

This is a radiance-restoring serum you need if you want a glow-up. The serum delivers a packed formula on the skin that improves your glow day after day. Furthermore, it smoothens the skin, filling your pores with hydrating and restorative formula.

The serum is also antioxidant-rich and protects the skin from toxic particles and properties. There are no artificial components in the serum, so any skin type can use the serum to improve their overall skin tone. You will go from dull to glowing skin in 2 weeks after using this serum.

13. Best Brightening Serum for Dark Skin

SkinCeuticals C+E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment

This serum product reduces skin irritation and balances the skin’s pH level, giving your skin the right and even skin color.

The serum contains L-ascorbic acid and ferulic acid to brighten your hyperpigmentation and patches while protecting your skin from sun damage. The serum also evens your skin tone, giving you the clear skin you desire.

Dark should use this serum to improve their rich melanin complexion and prevent the overproduction of melanin from sun exposure.

What to Look for in Your Brightening Serum

Skin type

Your brightening serums have to be just right if you want to improve your skin color. Furthermore, use serums with the right formula. Oily skin should use water- or gel-based formulas to seep deep and not clog its pores.

Meanwhile, dry and sensitive skins should use serums with hydrating and antioxidant properties. Moreover, the serums should be non-comedogenic. Avoid serums that would clog your pores.


What you want to achieve with the serum should be a contributing factor to what serum you pick. For instance, use serums with high-concentrating formulas to treat hyperpigmentation or melasma. Meanwhile, a natural glow-up serum would have less concentration.

Moreover, picking a serum that fits your skincare goal would get you the expected results in no time.


Active ingredients to look out for in a brightening serum includes arbutin, vitamin C, retinol, kojic acid, vitamin B5, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), ferulic acid, and glycolic acid. Some of the ingredients brighten skin tone, while others soothe the skin.

However, ingredients like hydroquinone are dangerous because they kill the melanin-producing cells (melanocytes), which stops melanin production.

Using scientifically tested and approved ingredients increase your chances of brightening your skin. Therefore, read the ingredient list and composition.

In addition, patch testing is a precautionary step in avoiding skin irritations, inflammation, and redness.

Why Do You Need a Brightening Serum?

Brightens skin complexion

This is the primary function of a skin brightening serum. It illuminates your skin, giving it a natural glow. The serums promote skin cell turnover, which strips old cells to reveal new and brighter skin cells.

Even skin tone

Asides from brightening your skin, the serum improves your skin tone and overall skin health. Rather than have a dark and light tone your tone is renewed and uninformed when using a serum.

Remove hyperpigmentation

You can clear your problem areas and hyperpigmentation with brightening serums. Their formula is highly concentrated and would clear skin blemishes and patches.

Reduce aging signs

Signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots are controlled and reduced with the help of brightening serums. Anyone of any age can use the serums to improve their youthful and firm skin.


Can you use brightening serum and brightening moisturizers?

Yes, you can. You can layer your skin brightening products. The serum is targeted and works faster. Meanwhile, moisturizers hydrate the skin. Moreover, using products with the same active ingredient helps to improve your skin’s imperfections.

However, use sunscreen if you are using the serum in your morning routine. It’s there to protect your skin from UV radiation.

Do brightening serums bleach?

No, they do not. Brightening serums no longer contain bleaching components like hydroquinone therefore they will not bleach your skin.

Stay within the approved ingredients when picking a serum. If the serum contains questionable components discontinue or rather, do not buy.

Will a brightening serum thin your skin?

No, it wouldn’t. Brightening serums would not thin your skin layers. If the serum contains safe ingredients, it would improve skin cell turnover, which, in turn, improves your overall skin tone.

This is why you need to avoid brightening serums with unidentifiable or unreliable ingredients.


While being exposed to the sun, your skin becomes darker, and it’s not the natural tan effect you want. That is why you need the best brightening serum to prevent, clean, and protect your skin from overexposure.

Some of these serums also exfoliate our skin and improve collagen production to give way to new glowing skin cells. There are serums for your peculiar needs, however, I would recommend TruSkin Vitamin C Serum because it is packed with the right products to improve your skin tone.

You can opt for the Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum or Cos De Baha Arbutin Serum to improve hyperpigmentation and discoloration. And simple products like SkinCeuticals C+E Ferulic Combination Treatment would keep your skin brightened and even-toned.

In all, you need to pick the best product to keep your skin protected to preserve your youthful glow all the time.

Thanks for reading.

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