These Products Will Keep Your Skin Lit All Summer Long

It used to be that we mostly sought a glowing complexion in winter, when the cold weather and shorter, darker days invariably led to dull, tired skin. But why limit the pursuit of radiance to the biggest bummer of a season when we can shine 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? (Well, maybe not quite 24 — sleeping in makeup is a cardinal sin.)
Fortunately, our favorite brands are on the very same page, creating innovative products that make it possible for our skin to stay lit year-round. In fact, they're making it easy by cranking up the brightness on every step in our routines, from acid-based cleansers and illuminating moisturizers to body shimmer and facial serums that'll keep you glowing from head to toe... and what better time than the summer to really put them to the test?
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From the uncontested king of the at-home acid peel, this alpha hydroxy-driven cleanser goes turns from gel to foam when water is added, sloughing away dead skin while tackling grit and grime. It also pays major respect to the skin's microbiome, which means no stripping or redness — just soft, glowing skin.
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If you're shopping skin care with brightening in mind, there's no better ingredient to look for than vitamin C — and this formula packs 20% of the stuff, paired with vitamin E and ferulic acid for an antioxidant one-two punch. It's moisturizing but lightweight, perfect for layering under your go-to oil or cream, and is safe for even sensitive skin.
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— PAID —

For a lit-from-within look without the wait, try St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Water Gel, a fast-acting formula that gives you a natural glow in just three hours and fully develops into a tan in eight. Simply apply the clear gel-to-water formula with St. Tropez's Applicator Mitt, and go — no need to rinse off.
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This cream is expensive. Like, a month's rent expensive. (Or half a month, depending where you live.) But if you're a beauty obsessive on the hunt for eternal youth, this 15-years-in-the-making formula is a damn good place to start. The Swiss company screened 50,000 different ingredients before coming up with Lumidose, a powerful illuminating molecule that targets dark spots by supporting the inhibition of melanin. We won't tell your landlord if you won't.
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This cult classic is every bit as good as its bestseller status, using both physical and enzymatic exfoliating properties to leave skin squeaky clean without stripping. In just two minutes, it leaves skin noticeably clearer and brighter, and helps makeup glide on more smoothly, too.
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The bottle says "skin hydrator," but we've been loving this product for its off-label use as an illuminating primer. Two pumps kickstart a glow without any unnecessary glitter or shimmer, without pilling or drawing attention to your pores — just pure radiance, served straight up.
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This primer-highlighter hybrid can be worked three ways: mixed with moisturizer to create a lit-from-within canvas; added to your foundation for extra iridescence; or patted onto the high points of your face for a natural-looking highlight.
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Rihanna's Body Lava is back for another summer. This gel-based body highlighter leaves skin fresh and dewy, thanks to its cooling texture, and delivers a healthy bronzed glow without a disco-ball effect. Smooth onto bare legs now as the weather starts to improve, and arms, shoulders, and décolletage come summer.
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appearance by Mi-Anne Chan.
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