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  5. 10 Best Serums for Skin Brightening in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist
  • 10 Best Serums for Skin Brightening in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist 1
  • 10 Best Serums for Skin Brightening in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist 2
  • 10 Best Serums for Skin Brightening in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist 3
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10 Best Serums for Skin Brightening in the Philippines 2023 | Buying Guide Reviewed by Dermatologist

Applying a serum for skin brightening is one of the most effective ways to fade dark spots, even out skin tone, and light up your complexion. While serums generally target specific skin concerns, they also have other effects that your skin can benefit from!


However, picking one that would best suit your skin is not an easy task to accomplish. In this article, we will give you a list of ten of the best skin brightening serums on the market, as well as a detailed buying guide, with insights and tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz, to walk you through choosing the right one.

Last updated 09/27/2022
Expert
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Profile
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mybest
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Buying guides reviewed by featured experts.
Products or services listed have been independently ranked by the mybest Editorial Team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide as of 01-16-2023. Experts featured in this article did not participate in the selection and ranking process.

How to Choose Serums for Skin Brightening - Buying Guide

Here are some key points to consider:


  1. Pick a formula that suits your skin type.
  2. Look for skin brightening ingredients that will address your skin concerns.
  3. Select serums with other benefits for additional value.

For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.

① Pick a Formula That Suits Your Skin Type

Although the "one size fits all" approach to skincare may be effective for some individuals, it is best to select a brightening serum that is tailored to your skin type, especially if you do not have normal skin. This will not only help your skin look more radiant but also address issues particular to your skin type.

For Sensitive Skin, Choose Serums Without Harsh Ingredients

For Sensitive Skin, Choose Serums Without Harsh Ingredients

Serums without harsh formula are recommended if you are prone to rashes and skin irritation. This indicates that they are devoid of any components that usually cause allergic reactions or other adverse effects. Examples of ingredients to avoid are artificial fragrances, parabens, preservatives, and essential oils

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

When it comes to predicting a reaction or irritation, there's no 100% foolproof way! Your best bet is still doing a patch test and observing over the next 48 to 72 hours if the coast is clear for you to add that product into your routine.

For Oily and Combination Skin, Opt for Lightweight Formulas

For Oily and Combination Skin, Opt for Lightweight Formulas

If left unsolved, excess oil or sebum on your skin can be problematic. Oily skin can also lead to acne breakouts along with a greasy feeling. Thus, consider looking for a lightweight formula serum that will not strip your skin’s vital moisture.


Moreover, if you’re looking for serums that contain vitamin C, it’s best to go for those that use the L-ascorbic acid form rather than the oil-soluble ascorbyl palmitate. This is because L-ascorbic acid is not only lightweight but also water-soluble.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

One of the challenges for those with oily skin is to choose products that don't aggravate the oiliness of their skin and also don't consequently clog their pores. In general, lightweight, water-based formulations are a good fit.

For Dry Skin, Pick Hydrating Serums

For Dry Skin, Pick Hydrating Serums

Your skin may be dry and in need of sufficient moisture and hydration if it is tight, itchy, and scales frequently. To counter this, it is advised that you select serums with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides.


In addition to providing the skin with the ideal quantity of moisture, hyaluronic acid also prevents fine lines and wrinkles. On the other hand, glycerin draws moisture to the skin while enabling it to absorb and retain water. Meanwhile, ceramides hydrate and safeguard the skin's protective layer.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

How to incorporate that hydrating serum? You can opt to apply it on damp skin, mix it in with other actives, or even use it before the moisturizer. Take your pick and do what works for you!

② Look for Skin Brightening Ingredients That Will Address Your Skin Concerns

Whether you want your dark spots to disappear or treat skin pigmentation, there are specific ingredients that are just right for these concerns. Below are some of the skin brightening ingredients you should look for in your serum.

Niacinamide and Arbutin Reduce Dark Spots

Niacinamide and Arbutin Reduce Dark Spots

Your skin might acquire dark spots for a variety of reasons, including acne scarring, UV damage, and hormone problems. Fortunately, you can pick serums with niacinamide or arbutin to reduce their appearance.


Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, offers many advantages for the skin. This includes brightening the skin tone, hydrating it, and fading dark spots. On the other hand, arbutin alleviates acne scars by removing unwanted pigments that darken the skin.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

Fun fact! Arbutin is a naturally occurring compound derived from plants such as bearberry. It has been shown to fade hyperpigmentation. Warning, though! It is a derivative of hydroquinone, hence, it can cause rebound hyperpigmentation if used improperly. Thus, use it with guidance from your dermatologist.

Niacinamide, on the other hand, is the "jack of all trades." Aside from targeting dark spots, it strengthens the skin barrier and acts as an antioxidant too.

Vitamin C, Glutathione, and Red Algae Inhibit Melanin Production

Vitamin C, Glutathione, and Red Algae Inhibit Melanin Production

Ingredients like red algae extracts, glutathione, and vitamin C will assist you in achieving brighter skin as they prevent the pigment cells in your skin from producing melanin. This will make your skin appear lighter and less likely to have dark spots.

Vitamin C is known as a skincare superstar because it has numerous advantages. This includes enhancing skin texture, providing hydration, and defense against free radicals and sun damage. On the other hand, glutathione is known for promoting skin elasticity, while red algae extract helps clarify and cleanse the skin.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

Vitamin C is a great ingredient for brightening. But mind you, it comes in many different forms. L-ascorbic acid is a good choice in terms of its antioxidant and brightening effects. However, it can be irritating to some. A less irritating alternative is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate.

③ Select Serums With Other Benefits for Additional Value

Select Serums With Other Benefits for Additional Value

In addition to skin brightening, you might also want to address other skin issues that you might be experiencing. If so, you should look for brightening serums that also have extra advantages for the skin, like relaxing, nourishing, or protecting it from external stressors.


Aloe vera, blackberry extracts, and green tea extracts, among others, typically provide these benefits. Ingredients like zinc also have oil control properties, while sea buckthorn water and Centella Asiatica extract can hydrate and soothe the skin. You do not only gain extra advantages, but you are also confident that you are receiving your money's worth.

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

With so many serums available in the market, it's easy to find a multifunctional one suitable to one or more of your skin concerns. Choose one based on your identified skin concerns, and don't hesitate to check in with your dermatologist.

10 Best Serums for Skin Brightening to Buy Online

The products we introduce below were carefully curated by the mybest team, from the best-sellers of E-commerce sites like Lazada, and using the points mentioned in our detailed and thoroughly researched buying guide.
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Points
1

Dear, Klairs

Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop 1枚目

An Award-Winning Serum That Rejuvenates the Skin

2

OLE HENRIKSEN

Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

OLE HENRIKSEN Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum 1枚目

An Age-Defying Serum That Exfoliates the Skin

3

POND'S

Bright Triple Glow Facial Serum

POND'S Bright Triple Glow Facial Serum 1枚目

A 3-in-1 Serum With Multiple Benefits for Dry Skin

4

Good Molecules

Daily Brightening Serum

Good Molecules Daily Brightening Serum 1枚目

A Daily Serum That Gently Evens Out Skin Tone

5

Strokes

Niacinamide Cocktail

Strokes Niacinamide Cocktail 1枚目

Vegan-Friendly Formula for Sensitive Skin

6

The Ordinary

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum 1枚目

A High-Strength Niacinamide Serum That Reduces Oil Production and Blemishes

7

Garnier

Bright Complete Vitamin C Serum

Garnier Bright Complete Vitamin C Serum 1枚目

Vitamin C-Rich Serum That Quickly Fades Dark Spots

8

By Wishtrend

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum

By Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum 1枚目

Highly Concentrated Vitamin C Serum for a Radiant Complexion

9

The Body Shop

Drops of Light Brightening Serum

The Body Shop Drops of Light Brightening Serum 1枚目

A Lightweight Serum That Brightens and Cleanses the Skin

10

Cos de BAHA

Arbutin + Niacinamide Serum

Cos de BAHA Arbutin + Niacinamide Serum 1枚目

Organic Serum for Dark Spot Correction

Product details
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No.1

Dear, KlairsFreshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

From ₱1,200

An Award-Winning Serum That Rejuvenates the Skin

Notable for its numerous awards, this highly regarded and best-selling serum will definitely give you rejuvenated and brighter skin! This product earned the Best Skincare Product in the 2019 BeautyMNL awards and the Best Brightening Serum title in the 2019 HER Beauty Awards, among many others.


Formulated with a mild concentration of vitamin C with the help of Centella Asiatica extracts, this serum tightens the pores, fades stubborn spots, prevents hyperpigmentation, and even protects it from UV damage! It is also suitable for all skin types, especially for sensitive and oily skin, since it has a lightweight, non-sticky formula and has the right water-to-oil balance. 

No.2

OLE HENRIKSENBanana Bright Vitamin C Serum

From ₱3,752

An Age-Defying Serum That Exfoliates the Skin

Do you have dull and aging skin? Say goodbye to these issues with this age-defying serum! This serum is a vegan and gluten-free product that contains 15% vitamin C, 5% polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), and pigments inspired by banana powder to rapidly brighten, firm, and minimize the appearance of dark spots, pores, and wrinkles while exfoliating it.


Moreover, it has vitamin E that boosts vitamin C and protects the skin against pollution. Additionally, this serum has hyaluronic acid that strengthens the skin's moisture barrier. This serum also does not contain parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, plus it's clinically tested for safety. This product might be on the expensive side, but it's definitely worth the splurge!

No.3

POND'SBright Triple Glow Facial Serum

From ₱490

A 3-in-1 Serum With Multiple Benefits for Dry Skin

Your face cream might not be enough to brighten and hydrate your skin, but this serum might be! Containing three powerful skincare ingredients, this serum promises to transform your skin from dry and dull to dewy and bright. Its key ingredient, niacinamide, not only brightens dark spots but also helps minimize pores.


Moreover, it contains GlutaBoost+, made up of glutathione. This antioxidant helps fade dark spots, as well as brighten up the skin. It also has hyaluronic acid, which deeply hydrates the skin, giving it a dewy look. Not only that, but this serum is also notable for bagging the Best Brightening Serum award at Cosmopolitan Philippines Beauty Awards in 2021.

No.4

Good MoleculesDaily Brightening Serum

From ₱499

A Daily Serum That Gently Evens Out Skin Tone

If you're having a problem with uneven skin tone and would like to solve this without irritating your skin, Good Molecule's serum has got you covered! This serum has beta arbutin, which inhibits the production of excess melanin to give you clear and even skin.


Moreover, it has hyaluronic acid that binds and draws moisture to the skin. With its minimal list of ingredients, you can also be sure that this serum can be used daily without irritating your skin while brightening it. And since it has a pH level of 5.32 or the right water-to-oil balance, it is an ideal option for those with oily skin. 

No.5

StrokesNiacinamide Cocktail

From ₱590

Vegan-Friendly Formula for Sensitive Skin

If you're looking for a lightweight yet powerful serum, this might be it! This serum contains highly potent niacinamide, which gives multiple benefits to the skin, such as minimizing your skin's pores, brightening dark spots, as well as reducing signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.


Furthermore, it has a vegan-friendly formula loaded with blackberry extracts, which are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Together with zinc, it can help calm and soothe your skin while evening out your skin tone. It does not contain harsh chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, BPA, and artificial fragrances, too, so it's suitable even for those with sensitive skin. 

No.6

The OrdinaryNiacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum

From ₱499

A High-Strength Niacinamide Serum That Reduces Oil Production and Blemishes

Containing 10% niacinamide and 1% zinc pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), this serum is ideal if you want to rid your skin of pimples, lessen the visibility of blemishes, and control extra sebum. It also has a pH range of 5.50 to 6.50, which makes it perfect for those with oily skin.


Moreover, this serum is vegan and free of ingredients like alcohol, sulfates, and parabens that can dry out your skin or cause skin irritation. Thus, it is a decent choice for those with sensitivities to these ingredients. Its users also like how it doesn't feel sticky, especially in the hot weather. 

No.7

GarnierBright Complete Vitamin C Serum

From ₱462

Vitamin C-Rich Serum That Quickly Fades Dark Spots

Formulated with 30 times more vitamin C than other counterparts, this serum ensures lighter skin and faded dark spots in as early as three days! Its concentrated formula also aids in lightening sun spots, freckles, and acne marks because it helps the skin produce 85% less melanin.


Furthermore, this serum hydrates the skin with its glycerin content, leaving it smoother and healthier-looking. It is also all-natural and dermatologically tested to be safe and effective, even for people with sensitive skin.

No.8

By WishtrendPure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum

From ₱1,295

Highly Concentrated Vitamin C Serum for a Radiant Complexion

If your skin is suffering from acne scars and pigmentation, this highly concentrated serum might be for you! Containing 21.5% vitamin C, this serum evens your skin tone and improves its texture by removing dead skin cells. It also has sea buckthorn water, which is known for preventing acne because of its oil-control properties.


More than that, this serum only has ten ingredients in total, making it fast absorbing. It is also free from parabens and other harsh ingredients that may irritate your skin. Just note that this serum may oxidize and leak when exposed to heat because of its high concentration, so it should be stored in a cool and dry place.

No.9

The Body ShopDrops of Light Brightening Serum

From ₱1,595

A Lightweight Serum That Brightens and Cleanses the Skin

Made with vitamin C and red algae extracts from the North Atlantic, this lightweight and clinically tested serum ensures brighter skin with a reduced appearance of blemishes and acne spots. Its users also love how results are already visible within a week of continuous use!


Not only that, this product moisturizes the skin with glycerin, leaving it feeling plumper and smoother. With its red algae extracts, this serum will also help cleanse your skin to leave it looking luminous, clear, and healthier. 

No.10

Cos de BAHAArbutin + Niacinamide Serum

From ₱434

Organic Serum for Dark Spot Correction

Made with 74% organic ingredients, this serum ensures a brightening effect without the side effects. It contains 5% beta-arbutin and 5% niacinamide, which are ideal ingredients for correcting dark spots and balancing out complexion.


This serum is also recommended for dry skin, as it contains hyaluronic acid, which hydrates the skin and makes it plumper. It is a good option for people with sensitive skin, too, because it does not have harsh chemicals like alcohol, parabens, sulfates, and fragrances, among others. 

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Dr. Katrina Luz

Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Katrina.

How Many Drops of Serum Should I Use?

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

Two to three drops are enough to cover the whole face! Careful with the dropper so it doesn't touch your skin - this prevents contamination of the serum with the natural flora on your skin.

Will Skin Brighten Faster if Serum is Applied More Often?

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

Not necessarily. If you apply it too often, it's possible that you might develop irritation and make matters even worse.

Can You Use Different Serums at the Same Time?

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

It depends. It boils down to what ingredients are incorporated into the different serums and whether or not they can have a bad interaction with one another. Another consideration is your skin type and tolerance to different ingredients.

Pamper Your Skin With These Skincare Essentials

Author: Kate Basa

Editor: R. Victoriano

How We Chose and Ranked Our Product Recommendations

Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.

About Expert-Reviewed Articles

Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz
Dermatologist, Educator, and Digital Creator
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz's Comment

For expert-reviewed articles, we ask experts to check and review our buying guide to make sure there aren't any false, misleading, or outdated information. Our experts do not participate in choosing the recommendations, and they do not endorse any of the products we mention.

When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.

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