How To Get Your Glowiest Skin Ever — No Makeup Required

Waking up (makeup-free — because we know you always wash your face before bed, right?) with utterly perfect, lit-from-within skin is on our list of #beautygoals — right up there with making our manicure last more than two days without a chip. Does it seem trivial in the grand scheme of things? Possibly, but boy, would it be satisfying to toss our foundation and concealer for good. (Not that we don't love the ones that work hard for us every morning.)
In order to get glowing skin — without the help of highlighter — great skin-care products are key. From resurfacing masks to illuminating moisturizers, a good lineup will get you there — but you've got to commit to a regimen. Hey, nothing worth having comes easy.
Ahead, we rounded up some of our favorite brighteners, but first, a quick, three-part cheat sheet. Dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, and Vanessa Hernandez, consulting celebrity esthetician for L’Oreal, both say to always be on the lookout for skin-care products that contain vitamins C and E, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides; get in the habit of throughly washing your face; and make exfoliation a top priority. Ready to glow? Let's go.
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Dr. Bowe swears by this Dr. Brandt serum to help prevent discoloration and repair uneven skin tone. The serum helps to prevent future spots from forming with the help of encapsulated vitamin C, an ingredient Dr. Bowe suggests you look for in all brightening products you invest in, as it simultaneously fades spots and lightens up your complexion.

Dr. Brandt Skincare Laser FX Bright Serum, $78, available at Sephora.
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Glossier’s new Super Glow serum is packed with vitamin C and magnesium, which helps to reduce dark spots and speed up the cell turnover process. Simply pat a few drops of the stuff (which feels like water) directly onto your face morning and night.

Glossier Super Glow, $28, available at Glossier.
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Hernandez recommends L’Oreal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Dual Overnight Moisturizer, which contains vitamin C, glycolic acid, retinol, peptides, and antioxidants all in one bottle. Senior beauty editor Alix Tunell also swears by it: "It's perfect for anyone who can't handle a multi-step routine," she says.

L’Oréal Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Dual Overnight Moisturizer, $19.99, available at Ulta.
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— PAID —

Sometimes your skin looks so tired/dull/fill-in-the-blank that your trusty products don't get the job done alone. Enter Clarins boosters. Add a few super-concentrated drops into your moisturizer, mask, serum, or foundation to perk up your skin and get some added glow. (We especially like using the drops after a long flight or restless night when our face feels particularly blah.)

Clarins Booster Energy, $39, available at Clarins.
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Packed with vitamin C to brighten and licorice extract to calm irritation, Skin Inc.’s mask leaves you with pores that look smaller and tighter, and texture that's baby-smooth.

Skin Inc. Get Glowin’ Brightening Mask, $65, available at Sephora.
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This mask is made with a concentrated blend of citrus and vitamin-rich fruit complexes that help to gently exfoliate the skin, softening and smoothing it while improving overall clarity and texture in the long run.

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy-Boosting Face Mask, $62, available at Fresh.
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If you favor sheet masks above all other skin-care categories, this Farmacy mask is for you. With purple broccoli extract to help reduce hyperpigmentation and coconut to add serious hydration, it's kind of like a superfood smoothie.

Farmacy Brightening Coconut Gel Mask, $24, available at Sephora.
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If you're looking for a gentle exfoliant you can use every day, Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder does the trick. It’s an exfoliator, cleanser, and toner all in one — designed specifically for those with dry skin. The water-activated powder uses Japanese rice bran and papaya extracts to help with fine lines, uneven tone, hyperpigmentation, and any breakouts.

Tatcha Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder, $65, available at Sephora.
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For an extra boost of brightening after cleansing, masking, and exfoliating, reach for Tata Harper’s Illuminating Moisturizer. Made with diamond powder and hyaluronic acid, it serves as both a subtle highlighter and a hydrating drink of water for skin.

Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer, $85, available at Tata Harper.
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