The Best Drugstore Serums For Glowing Skin


drugstore serums

If you’re looking to amp up your glow game, slotting a serum into your daily routine is a no brainer. Serums often have a higher concentration of powerful actives (the ingredients that make a real difference), which paired with a smaller molecular structure, allows them to penetrate the skin at a deeper level. Plus, depending on the active ingredient, they can help address a myriad of skin concerns, like hyperpigmentation and breakouts, and of course, skin texture and dullness.

However, due to the potency of ingredients in serums, they also typically come with a higher price tag. However, there are plenty of affordable drugstore serums that deliver insane results without breaking the bank. Here are six of our go-to formulas that’ll rejuvenate and brighten your skin giving you a gorgeous, healthy glow.

1. For Oily or Textured Skin: The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA, $8

drugstore serums

If pores and dull skin are skin concerns of yours, then this hydrating, gentle exfoliating serum is about to be your BFFL. Boasting 10% lactic acid,  this gentle AHA formula sloughs away dead skin cells for a brighter, more even complexion without drying out your skin. The addition of soothing Tasmanian pepperberry will also reduce signs of inflammation and sensitivity that can occur with exfoliation.

Top tip: Apply your serum after you’ve cleansed and toned your skin and before you apply your moisturizer.

2. For Uneven Skin Tone: The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Hyperpigmentation Treatment, $15

drugstore serums Source: The Inkey List

Tranexamic acid is the latest ingredient to cause a major buzz in the skincare world thanks to its brightening, anti-inflammatory properties. And this The Inkey List formula is the bomb! Not only does it feature tranexamic acid to reduce hyperpigmentation and fade dark spots and post-inflammatory scars, but it also contains glow-enhancing vitamin C and antioxidant-rich acai berry. This powerful ingredient combo works together to protect the skin from aging free radicals and promote glowing, toned skin.

3. For Mature Skin: TruSkin Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E, $20

drugstore serums

It’s no secret that if you’re looking to achieve glowing skin, you need a vitamin C serum. This serum combines the powers of anti-aging vitamin C, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and rejuvenating vitamin E to plump and soften the skin. The formula also boasts a blend of plant-based extracts to improve skin tone, texture, and clarity, all the while soothing inflammation.

4. For Dull Skin: Versed Stroke of Brilliance Brightening Serum, $20

drugstore serums

Dullness is a common skincare concern but the good news is there’s an easy fix, and it usually involves vitamin C, AKA one of the most impactful anti-aging, radiance-boosting ingredients you can find! Not only does this formula contain vitamin C, but it’s also enriched with licorice root and niacinamide, which work together to reduce the appearance of pigmentation, discoloration, and acne scars. The lightweight formula also leaves your skin feeling super soft and hydrated, but never greasy. We’re low-key obsessed.

5. For Dark Spots: Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot, $20

drugstore serums Source: Sweet Chef

If you haven’t heard of K-Beauty brand Sweet Chef, you may have heard of its popular older sister, Glow Recipe. In fact, this formula is very similar to the best-selling Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Brightening Serum, $59. The lightweight serum is packed with vitamin C to boost radiance and ginger to neutralize environmental aggressors and revive dull skin. For best absorption, gently pat the formula onto your skin – it may feel weird at first but the results are SO worth it!

6. For Acne-Prone Skin: Pixi Beauty Overnight Glow Serum, $24

drugstore serums Source: Pixi Beauty

This potent exfoliating gel is formulated with 10% glycolic acid to reveal brighter, more even skin tone by morning. The AHA is further balanced with calming and hydrating cucumber and aloe vera extract to prevent dryness and sensitivity. The addition of antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C, and E, nourishes and protects the skin from aging free radicals. It’s also a great option if you have post-inflammatory pigmentation or fine lines you want to minimize.

Do you use serums? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.