The 11 Best Serums For Brightening Dull Skin

Given the current trend for healthy, glowing skin, it comes as no surprise that Google searches for ‘the best brightening serums’ have significantly increased in the past few months. After all, who doesn’t want radiant skin without the need for layers of makeup and strategically placed highlighter? Thanks to hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin (which give skin an instantly dewy finish) and skin-brightening ingredients like vitamin C and azelaic acid, adding a brightening serum to your skincare routine is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to pep up your complexion.

If your skin is looking dull and depleted, or if you’re on a mission to brighten areas of unwanted hyperpigmentation, then you’ve come to the right place. Scroll down to discover the brightening serums for every skin type.

1. By BEAUTY BAY 5% Squalane + Grapeseed Oil Serum Hybrid

If you have dry skin, then this is the brightening serum for you. It delivers an instant glow (thanks to vitamin C-rich kakadu oil) while boosting skin’s moisture levels via a nourishing blend of squalane and grapeseed oil. Skin looks immediately brighter and healthier.

2. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

This classic brightening serum is perfect for mature skin types, since as well as targeting dullness and hyperpigmentation, it also helps to address signs of skin aging like fine lines, loose skin, and wrinkles. Apply generously to skin before you go to bed and you’ll wake up to a noticeable glow.

3. Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

When you think of skin-brightening ingredients, vitamin C is probably the first to spring to mind. The ingredient works by inhibiting melanin production (melanin is the pigment that gives skin colour), so it helps to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation – but don’t worry, it does so without affecting normal skin pigmentation. This serum contains a concentrated blend – use it consistently and you’ll soon notice a more even skin tone.

4. By BEAUTY BAY SkinHit Brightening Serum

Ideal for sensitive skin types or those who are new to using vitamin C, this serum contains a very stable and gentle form of the ingredient. The light, silky formula quickly absorbs and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin, making this a great option for oily skin types, too.

5. Origins Ginzing Into The Glow Brightening Serum

Origins’ Ginzing collection is a favourite of ours since it allows you to achieve glowing skin through every step in your skincare routine. If you’re new to the range, start off with this serum, which utilises a combination of vitamin C and exfoliating acids to brighten skin. Vitamin C helps to address areas of hyperpigmentation while citric and salicylic acids remove the dead skin cells that clog pores and create the appearance of dullness.

6. Herbivore Nova 15% Vitamin C + Turmeric Brightening Serum

For an instantly glowing complexion no matter what your skin type, this brightening serum promises an immediate radiance boost. 15% vitamin C and turmeric address everything from overall dullness and uneven skin tone to dark spots and hyperpigmentation. 

7. Revolution Skincare x Sali Hughes Must-C Daily Serum

Proving that brightening serums don’t need to cost the earth, this affordable option is one of our go-tos when we’re on a tight budget. It combines a particularly strong concentration of vitamin C with niacinamide, which helps to fade stubborn hyperpigmentation and dark spots. In addition, the silky solution is packed with hydrating ingredients, like glycerin and hyaluronic acid, so it gives skin an instant dewy glow.

8. Allies of Skin 20% Vitamin C Brighten + Firm Serum

You can always rely on Allies of SKin to produce thoughtful and purposeful formulas which always do exactly what they say they will. This brightening serum is no exception – it draws upon a form of vitamin C that is particularly well known for its skin-brightening properties. What’s more, it contains a particularly high concentration of this vitamin C, so you’ll see even the long-term benefits very quickly.

9. Sand & Sky Pro Youth Dark Spot Serum

Specifically formulated to target dark spots, this serum relies upon glycolic acid (to remove dead skin cells and fade patches of hyperpigmentation) and an antioxidant superfruit known as lilly pilly, which promotes overall skin rejuventation. User traisl shows an impressive 60% improvement in hyperpigmentation and dark spots in just 12 weeks.

10. Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum

On the lookout for a brightening serum that works well for oily and acne-prone skin? Beauty of Joseon’s iconic Glow Serum will tick all of your boxes. It helps to boost radiance while also soothing breakouts, minimising the appearance of pores, and reducing inflammation.

11. Laneige Glowy Makeup Serum

For skin that glows instantly, this K-beauty staple wins every time. The thick serum texture is designed to prime skin for makeup, but can also be worn alone for a fresh-faced, natural glow. It conbines the hydrating benefits of betaine, ceramides, and vitamin E along with diamond mineral powder to give skin an immediate dewy finish.