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Top 10 Illuminating Moisturizers

For Skin That Truly Glows, Try One Of These Illuminating Moisturizers

Image credits: koraorganics

We’re certain that one of the best compliments you can receive is a simple: “You’re glowing!” Hearing those words gives us an instant confidence boost, but let’s be honest—it’s not that often that they come around, because everything from the weather and stress to our diets and Father Time can contribute to a dry and dull complexion.

Even still, we won’t give up on achieving a radiant complexion, because today’s skincare brands are constantly coming up with new formulas designed to give us our glow back—just see the star-studded lineup of illuminating moisturizers below for proof.

Illuminating Moisturizers 101

Achieving radiant, glowing skin is a key goal for many people when it comes to skincare. While a consistent skincare routine is important, using the right moisturizer can take your skin's appearance to the next level. Illuminating moisturizers are a prime example of this. These face creams contain the perfect blend of hydration and luminosity, resulting in a youthful and healthy glow. However, just because a product claims to give you glowing skin, it doesn't mean it will. The term "illuminating" suggests the ability to reflect light, creating a radiant complexion. The best illuminating moisturizers contain light-reflecting particles or ingredients that create a subtle luminosity, diffusing light and softening the appearance of imperfections and fine lines. Ingredients like mica or pearl extract are known for their light-scattering properties, so when it comes to illuminating moisturizers, formulas that include these ingredients will give the best results.

Choosing An Illuminating Moistuzier

One of the fundamental roles of a moisturizer is to provide hydration to the skin. However, a quality illuminating moisturizer goes beyond this basic function and offers intense hydration that nourishes the skin from within. They contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and natural oils such as jojoba or argan, which are known to have excellent moisturizing properties. These ingredients help to retain moisture, keeping your skin plump, supple, and radiant. Lucky for you, we've put together a list of our top 10 illuminating moisturizers, taking into consideration these ingredients, as well as your skin type and concerns. Our list highlights the unique benefits of each moisturizer, making it easy for you to find the perfect option for your specific needs. Whether you have dry and sensitive skin, fine lines, or need sun protection, we have options available that address your concerns.

How We Found The Best Illuminating Moisturizers

Our team has a secret method for discovering the best illuminating moisturizers that meet our high standards for quality and effectiveness. Want to know how we do it? We rely on our algorithm, which is powered by data and considers user reviews, best-seller lists, and editorial mentions to determine the top products in a given category. Today, we're highlighting the 10 glow-inducing moisturizers that came out on top. These creams are loaded with brightening agents like vitamin C and are specifically formulated to exfoliate and renew skin. But don't just take our word for it—thousands of user reviews attest to their effectiveness. So, if you're looking for a moisturizer that will truly illuminate your complexion, these are the products to try.

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May 16, 2023

Written By:Sierra Rogers

Product Expert:Georgia Jones

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


10
Image credits: ulta
Rank & Style Approved

ulta

Fresh Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.5

10

Fresh Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer

4.5

1040 User Reviews

3.1

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

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Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Tired Skin

NOTEWORTHY INGREDIENTS
There’s a good chance you’ve seen Fresh’s Vitamin C Glow Moisturizer before, because its simple combination of vitamins C, E, and B5 from lemon and orange extracts makes it a fan favorite amongst skincare enthusiasts.

WHO IT’S FOR
Those with normal, oily, combination, or sensitive skin will see the best results from this product. In addition, if you're looking for a moisturizer to use in the mornings, this product is designed to awaken dull, tired skin with its energizing formula.

Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty


M-61 PowerGlow Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.5

09

M-61 PowerGlow Moisturizer

4.34

60 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Large Pores

WHAT IT DOES
What sets this moisturizer apart is its unique formula that combines potent antioxidants, hydrating agents, and innovative pore-minimizing technology. The result is a lit-from-within radiance that instantly enhances your complexion, giving it a youthful and healthy-looking appearance.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
This moisturizer is not only effective in minimizing pores and adding radiance to your complexion, but it also provides remarkable hydration benefits. It does an excellent job of replenishing lost moisture in your skin, leaving you with a plump and supple feel that lasts all day long. With this product, you can rest assured that your skin will remain nourished and moisturized, promoting overall health and vitality. 


Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser

Overall Score

4.55

08

Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser

4.29

1731 User Reviews

3.2

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Under Makeup

WHAT IT DOES
Like every other product on this list, this moisturizer is meant to hydrate and illuminate your skin. But unlike all the rest, it doubles as a primer. 

WHO IT’S FOR
Because the Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser’s formula contains oil, those with dry or combination skin will see the best results.


Philosophy Hope In A Jar Water Cream Hyaluronic Glow Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.55

07

Philosophy Hope In A Jar Water Cream Hyaluronic Glow Moisturizer

4.7

1978 User Reviews

3.2

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Dry Skin

WHO'S IT FOR
If you're looking for a moisturizer that will provide the ultimate hydration experience for your dry skin, Philosophy's Hope In A Jar Water Cream Hyaluronic Glow Moisturizer is the perfect choice for you. This innovative moisturizer has been expertly formulated to deliver intense hydration while also promoting a radiant, glowing complexion. With its luxurious texture and powerful benefits, this skincare gem is specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of dry skin. So why wait? Give it a try. You really have nothing to lose.

NOTEWORTHY INGREDIENTS
This face cream is enriched with a powerhouse ingredient: hyaluronic acid. Known for its remarkable ability to attract and retain moisture, hyaluronic acid helps replenish the skin's hydration levels, providing immediate and long-lasting relief for dry, thirsty skin.


Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.65

06

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer

4.7

3547 User Reviews

3.3

Best Seller

5

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Cell Renewal

NOTEWORTHY INGREDIENTS
While the ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer is one of the pricier products on our list, its clinic-inspired formula makes it worth every penny. It includes a combo of glycolic and lactic acids (which help exfoliate away dead skin), in addition to pineapple, pumpkin, and papaya enzymes. 

WHO IT’S FOR
While it’s approved for all skin types, this moisturizer is heavy on the exfoliants, so it’s best for those who are looking to address fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.7

05

Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer

4.51

1420 User Reviews

3

Best Seller

5

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin

NOTEWORTHY INGREDIENTS
Turmeric is the powerhouse behind this moisturizer from Kora Organics. Known for being an antioxidant, turmeric helps to brighten, calm, and protect the skin. 

WHAT IT DOES
In addition to hydrating your skin, this brightening serum helps contribute to a calm and glowing complexion. Bonus: the jar is refillable—all you have to do is purchase a refill pod.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty


Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.75

04

Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer

4.76

485 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Mature Skin

NOTEWORTHY INGREDIENTS
We’ll just cut right to it: there is actual diamond dust in this moisturizer. That’s why it imparts a soft but noticeable all-over glow. 

WHO IT’S FOR
All skin types can benefit from the age-defying, illuminating properties of this moisturizer. However, the price is pretty steep, so unless you’re absolutely obsessed, this may be more of a treat-yourself product than a repeat purchase.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Dermalogica Biolumin-C Gel Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.75

03

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Gel Moisturizer

4.68

1610 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Uneven Texture

NOTEWORTHY INGREDIENTS
One of the top-billing ingredients in Dermalogica’s Biolumin-C Gel Moisturizer is hyaluronic acid. If you’re not familiar with this popular skincare ingredient, the thing to note is that it’s one of the best substances on earth at retaining moisture. 

WHO IT’S FOR
Because of its ultra-hydrating powers, this moisturizer is best for those concerned with fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and uneven skin texture.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.8

02

Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Oil-Free Moisturizer

4.55

8526 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

5

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer For Oily Skin

WHAT IT DOES
According to one user, this moisturizer helped their skin clear up and gave them a glowing complexion. They also mention it made their face “extremely soft like a baby’s butt.” You can’t ask for much more from a lightweight gel moisturizer.

WHO IT’S FOR
Oil-free with a long list of natural ingredients, this serum is approved for those with normal, dry, combination, and oily skin.

Eco Friendly

Eco Friendly

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty


GlamGlow GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer

Overall Score

4.8

01

GlamGlow GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer

4.67

4114 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Illuminating Moisturizer Overall

WHAT IT DOES
You probably guessed this from the name, but this is an ultra-illuminating moisturizer. It has hyaluronic acid, green tea, and highlighting pearl particles to leave you with an energized (and super moisturized) complexion. 

WHO IT’S FOR
While Sephora recommends this product for those with normal, dry, or combination skin, we did some digging through the reviews and found that even those with oily skin have seen success with the GlowStarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

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