There is a difference between skin that glows and makeup that creates the illusion of a glow. A subtly dewy complexion, even on makeup-free days, is the calling card of good skin, but we don't always think to compliment it the same way we'd compliment someone's flashy highlight or shimmering cheekbones. After all, it might be kind of awkward to say, "Hey, I dig your... face?"
In spite of its subtlety, we all still want that difficult-to-describe glow, especially in the summer, when the sun's out and our hair finally gets the hint of highlight we wait all year for. Bright, plump, hydrated, baby-soft, whichever adjective you want to throw at it: There are dozens of creams, gels, and serums that'll help to get you there, and not all require loads of research and the equivalent of a week's salary.
Some of the best, most glow-enhancing moisturizers for summer can be found stocked at the drugstore — not that price really matters, because we're all just here for straight-up good skin. So whether you're looking for a lightweight gel that delivers the most luminous non-oily shine, or a bronzy glow that fakes a natural tan, you'll find your moisturizer, cheap and accessible, ahead.
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From the second you feel the water-gel texture of this formula, you know it's going to be the perfect lightweight hydrator for summer's most oppressive heat. Even better, because it's packed with hyaluronic acid, it'll quench even the driest skin to leave it glowing and bouncy — much like the moisturizer itself.
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With a similar refreshing gel-cream consistency, this even more wallet-friendly Garnier pick locks in the moisture your skin already has, plus restores what you're missing.
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Any moisturizer can hydrate, but not just any moisturizer can deliver non-greasy SPF 30 sun protection and an amino-peptide complex for anti-aging benefits in one go. Deep hydration, SPF coverage, and diminished fine lines are a pump away, and while it's not the cheapest of drugstore finds, it's definitely money well-spent.
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We've long been loyal to this daily moisturizer because it brightens and lifts dark spots for a truly radiant complexion, as the name would imply — not to mention it offers sun protection with a formidable SPF 30.
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The pink tinge of this cream isn't just for show: Imperial peony and lipohydroxy acid work to gently exfoliate dull skin, stimulating surface cell renewal to revive skin’s natural rosy tone.
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If you want your glow to come with a side of bronze, Jergens Natural Glow is a solid under-$10 pick, both hydrating and "tanning" in one dime-sized squeeze.
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While buzzwords like collagen and elastin might lead you to expect a luxe anti-aging cream, this option packs both hero ingredients and come with a cheap price tag. Not only does the skin-plumping formula work for wrinkle reduction, but the safflower seed oil and glycerin boost skin's hydration for a soft-focus glow.