We’re all about trying fun summer beauty trends (pastel hair, anyone?), but keeping our skin looking bright and clear is something we strive for all year ’round. So whether you’re looking for your next must-have brightening cleanser, a glowy scrub for your sensitive skin or just an instant pick-me-up before you head off to the pool, here are some products to help you keep that healthy glow all year long.
1. Burt’s Bees Brightening Dark Spot Corrector ($16): This lotion can help diminish pesky dark spots within eight weeks. It’s infused with daisy extract to naturally brighten skin, and in true Burt’s Bees fashion, it’s also 99% natural and free of parabens and phthalates.
2. 100% Pure Caffeine Eye Cream ($17): Coffee is our BFF and all, but there’s not much our morning latte can do to perk up those tired-looking undereye circles. This eye cream is like a cup of cold brew for your eyes: It works to de-puff and reduce swelling while increasing circulation to alleviate and brighten dark circles. Is there anything coffee can’t do?!
3. NARS The Multiple ($39): We couldn’t share our favorite brightening products and not include this on our list. The Multiple is a holy grail makeup product, and for good reason. This multi-purpose stick highlights, sculpts and warms the eyes, cheeks, lips and body for an instant glow.
4. Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin ($39): Peels and sensitive skin normally aren’t a good match, but this powerful little peel is gentle enough for everyone. Just a dose of this organic hydroxy acid and sugar cane concoction works to reduce breakouts and even out skin tone.
5. Sonia Kashuk Radiant Boost Restorative Facial Oil ($15): Sonia’s first facial oil definitely delivers. It’s rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and botanical extracts, and works to immediately hydrate and restore skin. It also contains a blend of nine anti-aging oils to keep your skin looking fly this summer.
6. Korres Wild Rose Advanced Sleeping Facial ($48): Honestly, who wants to spend time working on skincare issues instead of attending a summer barbecue or spending QT at the pool? This overnight facial-in-a-jar gives new meaning to beauty sleep. After 14 days, you’ll notice brighter, even-toned skin.
7. Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller ($10): Have a little too much rosé last night? This eye concealer may not fix that headache, but it will hide your dark circles and reduce puffiness. We recommend stashing it in your fridge — the cooling sensation really works to de-puff those eyes.
8. Mario Badescu Brightening Kit ($38): This nifty kit contains alpha-hydroxy acids, vitamin C and other skin-brightening ingredients to help you tackle dark spots and acne scars. It’s also a great price for all the top-notch products you score — the kid includes a cleanser, cleansing lotion, mask, serum and repair cream.
9. Masque Bar by Look Beauty Brightening Sheet Masks (Set of 3) ($18): Pigmentation irregularities can be a drag, but they’re especially annoying during the summer. Rather than piling on the makeup, treat yourself to some Netflix time and this sheet mask. It contains orange extract, licorice root and vitamin C to help brighten dark spots and correct pigmentation issues.
10. Vasanti’s Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator ($34): If you’re experiencing problems finding a good exfoliator that doesn’t irritate your sensitive skin, we can’t recommend this one enough. It contains papaya enzymes that break down skin cells and even out your skin tone, microderm crystals to fade the appearance of fine lines and acne scars and aloe vera, coconut and vitamins E and B to nourish fresh skin. Trust, this is a must-have for glowing skin this summer.
11. Origins Never a Dull Moment Skin Brightening Face Polisher ($29): When this face polish won a Martha Stewart Wedding “Big-Day Beauty Award” last year, we started to pay attention. If your sensitive skin is looking for something gentle and super-effective, this is a must-try. It contains finely ground apricot and mango seeds to help dissolve lackluster skin cells, leaving skin smooth and radiant.
12. Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Rapid Blemish Rescue ($9): Nothing puts a damper on summer activities like a bright red blemish. And the pigmentation that those little dudes always seem to leave behind isn’t fun either. This spot treatment contains licorice root to soothe the skin and reduce redness, all in under two hours. Bonus: It can be used over makeup.
13. Ole Henriksen the Clean Truth Brightening Cleansing Cloths ($15): Summer can be a busy time with festivals, cookouts and family get-togethers, and these cleansing cloths were made for all of the above. The luxe, quilted cloths contain vitamin C and reparative Coq10, perfect for sweeping away dirt, oil and makeup.
14. Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam ($35): Your skin can probably use a good cleansing after a day of fun in the sun. This gentle foam gets the job done, along with a dose of micro white powder that helps remove dead surface cells for a luminous complexion. Yes, please!
15. Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand ($28): We’ve been obsessing over J. Maran’s Argan Oil since we can remember, so as soon as we found out about this illuminizer, it made its way to the top of our shopping list. This wand contains crystals infused with multi-colored luster pigments to capture and reflect light. Think of it as a magic wand for your makeup bag.
What are your summer brightening must-haves? Share your secrets in the comments!