So you've already figured out that you need a serum in order to reach your skin's full potential. If a dewy, healthy glow is what you're after, you may be wondering — what are the best serums for glowing skin? The answer, it turns out, has more to do with what else you're hoping to achieve. Allow me to explain...
Serums are so potent because they typically host a powerhouse of ingredients that, because of their thin formula, are able to better penetrate your skin. Consider them a multivitamin for your face — they make your skin look and feel healthier. Therefore, most serums will give you some kind of "glow" — as in a healthy vibrancy — though the definition of "glow-y" can vary from person to person. For some, it might just mean skin that's plump and hydrated, while for others, it might mean clear and blemish-free. So, when shopping for serums, the secret is to figure out where you want that glow to come from. Are you looking for the glow of skin that's well-protected against environmental damage? Then try a serum with vitamin C. Or do you simply want an acne-free complexion? Then a serum with salicylic acid is likely what you'll need. Since much of that glow you're after comes from course-correcting other issues with your skin, you'll want to focus on its overall health.
Below, you'll find five great serums that tackle everything from dehydration and a lack of collagen to pollution damage and acne.
1. A Collagen-Boosted Serum For A Healthy-Looking Glow
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
Poll a room full of beauty editors on their favorite serums, and it's almost guaranteed that half of them will mention Ole Henriksen Truth Serum. Loaded with orange, grapefruit, and green tea extracts, plus rosehip and ester-C, this daily serum moisturizes skin and enhances its tone and texture with just one use. It's formulated with a five-source vitamin C complex that's proprietary to the brand, which helps boost collagen production, making skin appear more vibrant and plump. It also defends against environmental irritants and free radical damage, so with consistent use, your skin will be protected over time. Basically, this serum does it all, and what's more? It's great for most skin types, including oily and acne-prone, since it's oil-free and lightweight. Plus, if you love a good citrusy scent, it smells lightly of oranges — but keep in mind, if your skin generally reacts negatively to fragrance, you might want to keep scrolling.
2. A Green Beauty Serum For An All-Natural Glow
Acure Brilliantly Brightening Glowing Serum
If you're on a strict green beauty regimen, then Acure Brilliantly Brightening Glowing Serum is for you. Not only is it vegan, cruelty-free, and made of all natural ingredients, but it's also USDA-certified organic, which is super rare. Other potential irritants you won't find in this product? Sulfates, parabens, phthalates, DEA, mineral oil, petrolatum, and more. And as if the name didn't make it clear enough, this soothing and moisturizing serum is perfect for achieving a vibrant, all-over glow. The nutrient- and antioxidant-rich formula includes plant-based ingredients like stem cells, cranberry, and pumpkin seed oil, and though there's no synthetic fragrance, it still smells delicious. It's great for all skin types, especially those that are very dry, and because of its gentle, lightweight formula, it's an equally amazing option for more delicate complexions. Plus, it costs just $15 — what's not to love?
3. A Hyaluronic Acid Serum For A Dewy Glow
Vichy Minéral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serum
If plumpness and hydration is your main goal, you'll want a serum like Vichy Minéral 89 Daily Skin Booster Serum. The formula is chock-full of hyaluronic acid, which is one of the best moisturizing ingredients you could put on your skin. This holy grail substance holds 1,000 times its weight in water, making it one of the best hydrators on the market. Vichy's serum also contain the brand's signature mineral water, which adds even more hydration and also helps balance skin. The serum is lightweight, non-sticky, and non-shiny, making it perfect to wear with or without makeup. In addition to being cruelty-free and dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin, it doesn't contain any parabens, fragrance, oil, and alcohol, so it should be safe for even the most delicate and/or acne-prone skin types.
4. An Acne-Fighting Serum For A Clear-Skinned Glow
Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Blemish + Line Correcting Serum
Looking for a serum that'll help keep breakouts under control? Then try Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Blemish + Line Correcting Serum. It fights acne, hydrates skin, and improves tone and texture, so if a clear, healthy glow is what you're looking for — this is the stuff for you. Since it's oil-free, it doesn't clog pores, and because it doesn't contain any fragrance, it shouldn't irritate sensitive complexions, either. There's also no parabens or phthalates, so overall, it's a pretty gentle formula for finicky, blemish-prone skin.
5. A Self-Tanning Serum For A Post-Beach Glow
Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum
While "glow" may mean a lit-from-within sheen to some folks, others take "glow" to mean "the gorgeous hue that comes from a bit of time in the sun." If that's what you're looking for, you'll love Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum. This serum offers up both kinds of glow — one that comes from skin care, and one that appears to come from the sun. The formula contains a combination of hyaluronic acid and argan oil, which are both heavy-duty moisturizers that plump and hydrate your skin. There's also vitamin C and plant stem cells to protect against free radicals, so your skin stays protected in the long run. As for the tanner, it applies streak-free and is incredibly buildable. It doesn't transfer, and you'll have a gorgeous glow for up to three days.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.