12 Best Dermatologist-Approved Brightening Serums Of 2024

Rejuvenate and hydrate the skin cells to improve your skin texture for a youthful glow.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Enrizza Factor, MD
Written by Oyendrila Kanjilal, MA, Certified Skin Care Coach
Edited by Shiboli Chakraborti, MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach
Fact-checked by Anjali Sayee, BTech  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Dry, dull, uneven, and pigmented skin tone undoubtedly needs the best brightening serum for improved skin texture. Serums contain beneficial ingredients like acids, antioxidants, and vitamins that hydrate the skin, reduce fine lines, and correct color. After cleansing your skin, apply this concoction to rejuvenate and make it glow from within. Don’t forget to moisturize after! If you’re confused about which serum to buy, check out the list of our favorites, and take your pick for healthy, nourished skin.

Dr. Enrizza Factor, a certified dermatologist, says, “If you have drier or sensitive skin, look for gentler exfoliating ingredients, like lactic acid.”

Top Picks
CHECK PRICE
Best Overall: TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Acne Marks:CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Hyperpigmentation: OZNaturals Vitamin C Facial Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For Dull Skin:LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum
Price on Amazon
Best Non-Sticky:Amara Beauty Vitamin C Serum
Price on Amazon
Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum
Price on Amazon
Best For All Skin Types:Acure Brightening Glowing Serum
Price on Amazon
Best Anti-Aging:ZONE 365 CE Ferulic Acid Brightening Serum
Price on Amazon
Best Vegan: ANAIRUI Vitamin C SerumPrice on Amazon
Best For Mature Skin:Burt's Bees Dark Spot Corrector
Price on Amazon

12 Best Brightening Serums For Healthy & Radiant Skin – 2024

1. Best Overall:TruSkin Vitamin C Serum

4.2
TruSkin Vitamin C Facial Serum Image: Tru Skin

Vitamin C is an essential ingredient for brightening and reducing dark spots and uneven skin tone. The TruSkin Vitamin C Serum is formulated with active ingredients vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid.

The antioxidant property of vitamin C promotes glowy skin. Vitamin C also lends anti-aging properties by improving collagen turnover. Hyaluronic acid hydrates the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin E nourishes the skin and protects it from oxidative damage and premature aging.

This clinically tested lightweight serum helps with skin tone balancing and improves skin clarity by reducing the appearance of pores, breakouts, fine lines, and dark spots. It is free of synthetic color additives, stabilizers, and fragrances. It is made in the USA and is cruelty-free. To get a better understanding of the product, you can check out this video review on YouTube.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Vitamins C & E and Hyaluronic acid

Pros

  • Reduces large pores
  • Promotes healthy glow
  • Does not cause breakouts
  • Cruelty-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Free of color additives
  • Free of stabilizers
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use the brightening serum after applying a mild toner. Take only one or two drops of the serumand spread it across your face, or apply it topically to tackle discolored spots.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 23,589 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

2. Best For Acne Marks:CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum

4.5
CeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks and Skin Texture Image: Cerave

If you have acne marks and want to lighten those spots, try the CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum. It is formulated with encapsulated retinol, ceramides, licorice root extract, and niacinamide to make the skin look brighter, smoother, and even-toned.

It also reduces acne breakouts, refines skin texture, and improves acne scars and enlarged pores. However, avoid applying this serum on active acne breakouts. This non-comedogenic face serum is paraben-free and fragrance-free. Check out the review of this dermatologist-recommended product for more information.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Sensitive, Dry | Product Dimensions: 1.18 x 1.18 x 4.33 inches | Weight: 1.06 Ounces.

Key Ingredients: Encapsulated retinol, Ceramides, Licorice root extract, and Niacinamide

Pros

  • Improves skin texture
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Promotes brighter complexion
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Allergy tested
  • Developed with dermatologists

Cons

  • May irritate the skin

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 1,970 great reviews on Amazon.

3. Best For Hyperpigmentation:OZNaturals Vitamin C Facial Serum

4.2
OZNaturals Vitamin C Serum For Face with Hyaluronic Acid Image: Oz Naturals

Can a skin-brightening serum also be anti-aging? Of course, yes! The OZNaturals Vitamin C Facial Serum is a firming topical serum that brightens the skin tone and encourages collagen production. This effective antioxidant serum helps prevent and fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone.

It has a blend of essential vitamins that combat free radicals and visibly diminish age spots and reduce the signs of aging. This non-GMO, lightweight formula with Biopreserve Complex is free of harmful preservatives, and the ingredients are cold-processed to retain their potency.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 3 x 1.7 x 7.2 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, Astaxanthin, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, Rose hip, and Green tea extracts

Pros

  • Provides antioxidant protection
  • Prevents UV damage
  • Lightens dark spots and hyperpigmentation
  • Non-GMO proprietary Bio Preserve Complex
  • No harmful preservatives
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Lightweight
  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny Certified)
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • Contains fragrance

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

A whopping 4,621 reviews on Amazon make it obvious that users genuinely love this product.

TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
Best Overall
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
Best For Acne Marks
OZNaturals Vitamin C Facial Serum
Best For Hyperpigmentation
Skin Type Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal All, Oily, Sensitive, Dry All
Dimensions 1.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches 1.18 x 1.18 x 4.33 inches 3 x 1.7 x 7.2 inches
Weight 1 Ounces 1.06 Ounces. 1 Ounces
Rating
Reviews23,5891,9704,621
Price$21.97$14.95$15.97

4. Best For Dull Skin:LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum

4.2
LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum for Face Image: Lilyana Naturals

The LilyAna Naturals Vitamin C Serum contains 20% vitamin C that visibly rejuvenates dull and tired skin. This potent serum also encourages healthy collagen production and improves skin elasticity. This vitamin C brightening serum hydrates due to the potent antioxidants present in the formula that make the skin radiant and glowing.

It contains vitamin E, aloe vera juice, wild geranium, horsetail, dandelion extract, jojoba oil, and botanical hyaluronic acid that help hydrate and smoothen rough texture. It is gentle on sensitive skin and is suitable for all skin types, including mature skin. If you want to know more about the benefits of this product, check out this quick review on YouTube.

Skin Type: All, Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Normal | Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 5.98 x 3.46 inches | Weight: 1 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C ester, Vitamin E, Jojoba oil, Wild geranium extract, and Aloe leaf juice

Pros

  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • SLS/SLES-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Color-free

Cons

  • May cause redness

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 11,859 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

5. Best Non-Sticky:Amara Beauty Vitamin C Serum

4.2

If you want a radiant complexion and flawless skin, Amara Beauty Vitamin C Serum is one of the best brightening serums to try. It is formulated with aloe vera juice, a stable form of vitamin C, witch hazel, and botanical hyaluronic acid.

With regular application, the innovative serum reduces pigmentation, dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles and leaves the skin firmer, brighter, and smoother. It gets absorbed quickly, penetrating the deepest layers. It is paraben-free, free of dyes and fragrances, cruelty-free, and vegan. The serum comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. Reviewers on Amazon love this product for its ability to reduce dark spots and make your skin look youthful.

Skin Type: All, Sensitive, Dry

Key Ingredients: Vitamins C & E and Hyaluronic acid

Pros

  • Gets absorbed quickly
    Promotes healthy glow
  • Non-sticky
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dye-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

protip_icon Pro Tip
Use this lightweight, water-based serum loaded with vitamin C every morning. Follow the cleanser-toner-moisturizer method for best results.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has made it to our top favorite list with more than 7,568 rave reviews on Amazon.

6. Best Drugstore:Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum

4.3
Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum Image: Neutrogena

This serum is one of the best drugstore brightening serums. The Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum contains turmeric extract and neoglucosamine that gently exfoliate and reduce the appearance of dark spots and uneven pigmentation. The unique formula promotes cell turnover, improves skin texture and clarity, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Neoglucosamine, a building block of hyaluronic acid, plumps the skin and makes it look youthful. This hydrating and brightening face serum works on all skin tones and reduces redness. The illuminating serum can provide the boost needed to revitalize dull skin and is clinically proven to work on all skin types.

Skin Type: Sensitive | Product Dimensions: 1.63 x 3 x 3.88 inches | Weight: 3.52 Ounces.

Key Ingredients: Turmeric extract and Neoglucosamine

Pros

  • Reduces acne scars and hyperpigmentation
  • Reduces redness
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Oil-free
  • Alcohol-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

7. Best For All Skin Types:Acure Brightening Glowing Serum

4.3
Acure Brightening Glowing Serum Image: Acure
Now 10% Off

The Acure Brightening Glowing Serum is formulated with argan oil, kale, Cica, chlorella, niacinamide, and pomegranate. The antioxidants in the ingredients and vitamins A, E, and C prevent free radical damage and protect the skin’s natural barrier.

The niacinamide rejuvenates the skin and restores skin radiance by fading pigmentation and dark spots, while chlorella provides anti-aging benefits by smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. This serum unclogs pores, and hydrates, and plumps up the skin to enhance its natural glow. It is suitable for all skin types and can also be used on the neck. Reviews on Amazon say that this serum is a great way to tackle dry skin conditions.

Skin Type: All | Product Dimensions: 6 x 4.59 x 4.8 inches | Weight: 3 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Argan oil, Chlorella, Cica, Kale, Niacinamide, and Pomegranate

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Petroleum-free
  • Mineral oil-free
  • Formaldehyde-free

Cons

  • Not suitable for people with active cystic acne

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 4,626 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.

8. Best Anti-Aging:ZONE 365 CE Ferulic Acid Brightening Serum

4
Zone - 365 Brightening Serum with Vitamins C and E Image: Zone - 365

The ZONE 365 CE Ferulic Acid Brightening Serum has an advanced anti-aging formula and is excellent for reducing skin imperfections. It is formulated with 0.5% ferulic acid that diminishes fine lines and prevents free radical damage. The serum also contains a blend of vitamins such as 15% vitamin C and 2% vitamin E to boost hydration and renew skin cells, and 12% hyaluronic acid for intense glow and hydration.

All the ingredients leave the skin rejuvenated and fresh with a hard-to-miss youthful glow. The serum stimulates collagen production, reduces acne breakouts, and improves acne scars. It has a normal pH level of 5.5 and is safe even on the most delicate skin types.

Skin Type: Sensitive

Key Ingredients: Ferulic acid, Vitamins C and E, and Hyaluronic acid 

Pros

  • pH 5.5
  • Plumping effect
  • Reduces acne breakouts
  • Fades acne scars
  • Suitable for most skin types
  • Eliminates dark spots under the eyes

Cons

  • Not suitable for sensitive skin

9. Best Vegan:ANAIRUI Vitamin C Serum

4.1
ANAIRUI Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Witch Hazel Reduce Dark Spots Image: Anairui

This Vitamin C Serum by ANAIRUI contains collagen, vitamin B5, witch hazel, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid. It targets aging signs such as dark spots and reduces sun damage, enlarged pores, acne, hyperpigmentation, breakouts, and blemishes, revealing bright and younger-looking skin.

Vitamin C protects your skin from dehydration and dark spots caused by UV rays. The 1% pure hyaluronic acid locks skin moisture, and witch hazel extract relieves puffiness, reduces inflammation, and detoxifies the skin. Aloe vera juice hydrates the skin, and collagen boosts skin elasticity. Vitamin B5 repairs damaged skin, making it smooth and firm.

Skin Type: Dry

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, Witch hazel, Aloe vera, Collagen, and Vitamin B5.

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Non-irritating
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • No synthetic colors and fragrances

Cons

  • None

10. Best For Mature Skin:Burt’s Bees Dark Spot Corrector

4.1
Burt's Bees Brightening Dark Spot Corrector Image: Burt's Bees

The Burt’s Bees Dark Spot Corrector is infused with vitamin C to brighten and refresh the skin. It contains daisy extract that is clinically shown to even out skin tone and diminish dark spots’ appearance.

The serum reduces fine lines, softens wrinkles, and makes the skin look younger, firmer, and radiant. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in this serum hydrate, nourish, exfoliate, protect, and rejuvenate the skin to give you a lit-from-within glow.

Skin Type: Combination | Product Dimensions: 1.48 x 1 x 4.63 inches | Weight: 0.01 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C and Daisy extract

Pros

  • 6% natural
  • Reduces dark spots
  • Rejuvenates dull and tired skin
  • Non-irritating
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons

  • Expensive

11. Best For Acne-Prone Skin:Ebanel Liposomal Vitamin C 20% Serum

4.1
Ebanel 20% Liposomal Vitamin C Serum for Face with Hyaluronic Acid Image: Ebanel Laboratories, Inc.
 

The Ebanel Liposomal Vitamin C 20% Serum is infused with L-ascorbic acid (A potent form of vitamin C) and vitamins E and B5 to refine and brighten uneven skin tone. This serum visibly fades dark spots, dullness, sunspots, and hyperpigmentation.

The additional antioxidant ferulic acid helps fight free radicals and minimizes the appearance of blemishes caused due to sun damage and acne breakouts. It promotes collagen and elastin production to make the skin firmer and youthful. This serum is infused with hyaluronic acid and retinol, which penetrate the skin’s deepest layer to deliver moisture, preventing it from drying, flaking, and breaking out. It is gentle enough to be used on the eye area and the skin around the lips. Conduct a patch test before use to avoid any irritation.

Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal | Product Dimensions: 4.06 x 1.26 x 1.26 inches | Weight: 2.88 Ounces

Key Ingredients: Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), Vitamins B5 and E 

Pros

  • Skin firming effect
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • cGMP certified
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for acne-prone skin

Cons

  • Sticky
  • Contains phenoxyethanol

12. Best Multifunctional:PCA SKIN Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

4.6
PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum Image: Pca Skin

The PCA SKIN Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum is a multifunctional formula that helps reduce all forms of skin discoloration. Niacinamide, mulberry extract, green tea extract, morus alba leaf extract, and other ingredients in the serum helps even out skin tone, reduce hyperpigmentation, hydrate, and leave the skin with a youthful glow. It can be applied during the day and at night. The serum reduces redness, acne scars, dark spots, sun spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Skin Type: Normal | Product Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.25 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 0.96 Ounces.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin B3

Pros

  • Reduces redness
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Reduces dark spots, sunspots
  • Improves skin texture

Cons

  • Expensive
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

These are the 12 best brightening serums of 2024 that you can buy to improve skin tone, texture, and health. But before you add them to your cart, here are a few points to keep in mind. 

What To Look For In A Good Brightening Serum

  • Ingredients: A good brightening and lightening serum contains acids and vitamins that help exfoliate the dead and dry upper layer and nourish the skin from within and reduce melanin production. Peptides also help firm the skin. Antioxidants like green tea extract and vitamin E protect the skin from free radical damage. Avoid harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, and SLS/SLES.
  • Texture: Most serums contain hyaluronic acid, which helps hydrate the skin and lock moisture. However, it may have a sticky feeling. Hence, do not worry if the texture feels a little thick and weird. If you need a non-greasy formula, opt for lightweight brightening serums without this ingredient.
  • Fragrance: A good serum will not have a strong fruity/citrusy or flowery smell. The artificial fragrance also tends to aggravate inflammation, which can trigger acne breakouts in sensitive skin types.
  • Price: This list includes serums from $10 to $120. Choose a serum in your budget. Give it at least two weeks to see if the product suits you or not.

Caution: If a serum is making you break out, immediately stop using it.

The Bottom Line

If you want that lit-from-within glow for your skin, the best brightening serums are what you need to try out. Incorporating a brightening serum in your skincare routine can change the entire look of your skin by improving its texture. These serums are enriched with beneficial ingredients like acids, antioxidants, and vitamins to give you naturally radiant skin. The CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum works great for acne marks, while the OZNaturals Vitamin C Facial Serum offers anti-aging benefits. If you have dark spots and uneven pigmentation, try the Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum for exfoliation and a boost of hydration. In addition, the reviewed products are free from synthetic additives, fragrances, and additives. Some formulas also prevent UV damage. Consider the ingredients, texture, fragrance, and price while choosing the best brightening serums for your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does vitamin C serum brighten skin?

Yes, vitamin C helps gently exfoliate dead skin, revealing the new skin underneath. This provides an instant glowing effect on the skin. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and protects the skin from sun damage.

Is vitamin C or E better for skin?

Both are equally good for your skin and give the best results when used together. Vitamin C brightens the skin while vitamin E nourishes and fights free radical damage to reduce aging signs.

When should I apply brightening serum?

You can apply it during the day and at night after cleansing and before moisturizing.

What ingredients brighten skin?

Vitamin C and retinol can brighten the skin.

How long does it take for brightening serum to work?

It will take at least two to four weeks for a brightening serum to show visible results.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Oyendrila Kanjilal, is a hair and skin care expert who stays aware of all the latest products on the market. She put in hours of research, perusing through umpteen user forums for feedback and reviews, to find you the best brightening serums to make your skin radiant. She selected these products on the criteria of ingredients added in, consistency, fragrance, and price.


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