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Best Night Creams for Every Skin Concern, Recommended by Experts

Best Night Creams
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Updated January 18, 2024

Yes, beauty sleep is a real thing. While you snooze, your skin is busy repairing itself and reversing damage from pollutants, UV rays, breakouts, and dehydration. Night creams are the sleeper hits of your skincare routine, and the best ones on the market do their part by encouraging cell turnover and protecting the dermal barrier from moisture loss. This process levels up overnight when your skin is most permeable—and most absorbent. That means bedtime is the best time to slather on those nourishing ingredients.

How to choose the best night creams

First, make sure you’re slathering on a night cream versus a moisturizer. Why? A regular moisturizer might fall short in offering the necessary nutrients and hydration for these repair activities, says Christina DiFerdinando, a nurse and skincare expert. “Opting for a night cream tailored for evening use ensures your skin receives the support it needs to enhance its repair mechanisms.” 

This isn’t to say a moisturizer can’t work wonders on your skin, but if you’re in the market specifically for a night cream to support cellular repair while you sleep, there are some things to consider and questions to ask yourself:

Do I need a night cream?

Night creams, like anti-aging eye creams, are an integral part of most skin care routines and provide an opportunity to either introduce active ingredients that can help a person address their skincare needs or provide hydration to those who have dry skin,” says Dr. Justine Park, a board-certified dermatologist. 

“However, not everyone needs to use night cream, and the regimen can and should be individually tailored,” she says. For instance, someone who suffers from eczema or allergic rashes may use night creams to hydrate and protect the skin. (If you’re looking for specific eczema formulas, read our round-up of the best creams for eczema.) In contrast, someone with mature skin may seek a night cream that can hydrate, exfoliate, and stimulate collagen production, she shares. Younger skin types may not even need to use night cream, according to Park. 

What’s my skin type?

As with any skincare product, you should consider your skin type and, in some cases) your age, before you choose a product. For example, Park suggests mature skin types look for ingredients such as argan oil or retinol. 

“Night creams vary immensely in formulation, active ingredients, uses, and price points. In general, patients interested in anti-aging skincare, or who seek correction of certain concerns such as dark spots or wrinkles, should use night creams to address their specific needs,” she suggests. 

“If you have se­nsitive skin, it's important to choose a night cream that is fragrance­-free and hypoallerge­nic,” says Sarah Roberts, licensed skincare expert and founder of the online beauty publication, A Beauty Edit. These types of products are­ less likely to cause any irritation, allowing your skin to stay calm and comfortable while you sleep,” she adds. “Additionally, look for cre­ams that contain antioxidants such as vitamin E or C. These ingredie­nts help fight against free radicals and can promote­ a more radiant complexion.”

What are the main ingredients in my night cream? 

The functions of night creams and moisturizers come down to their ingredient compositions, explains DiFerdinando. She explains that common ingredients in night creams include hyaluronic acid for hydration, retinol for anti-aging, peptides for skin repair, and ceramides to reinforce the skin barrier. 

Ingredients to look for include antioxidants like vitamin C or niacinamide. “These ingredients help neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from environmental damage, such as pollution or UV rays,” shares Andrei Gherghina, a Florida-based board-certified dermatologist. 

Some of the other key ingredients to look for in the best night creams include humectants to lock in moisture, emollients to soften, acids to accelerate cell renewal, and antioxidants to brighten and exfoliate.

What season is it? 

If you live in a place with seasons or enjoy traveling, your skincare routine may need adjustments when you’re in a different climate. For example during the winte­r months, it's crucial to choose a night cream that provides hydration, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. When the weather is cold, use a night cream with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which help prevent moisture loss and keep skin hydrated. 

“For this se­ason, I highly recommend opting for a night cream that contains hyaluronic acid and ce­ramides,” says Roberts. “Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient known for its excellent moisturizing properties, helping to keep the skin hydrated and plump.” She explains that ce­ramides work by strengthening the natural barrier of our skin, preventing moisture­ loss, and protecting against harsh winter conditions.

Of course, don’t neglect your night creams in the summer or hotter months too, along with sunscreen. “A night cream is used to help repair the skin from damage sustained during the day,” shares Dr. Margarita Lolis, New Jersey-based dermatologist. “They also have collagen-building ingredients such as retinol and antioxidants such as resveratrol which protect the skin and also repairs it.” It helps with cell repair, increases cellular energy, and regenerates the skin. 

Top night creams picks

Night creams are a saturated market—and ingredients lists are long—so we got our hands dirty to find the best, most effective formulation for every type of skin and budget.

Best lightweight moisturizing night cream: Farmacy Honey Halo Ceramide Face Moisturizer Cream

Farmacy Honey Halo Ceramide Face Moisturizer Cream

This cult-favorite cream has generated so much buzz among skincare enthusiasts and beauty editors in recent years that it’s become the must-have moisturizer, dethroning some of the biggest names in skincare. Honey Halo is one of those little-goes-a-long-way products, beneficial to every skin type including mature skin. The ceramide- and antioxidant-packed product is also free of harsh chemicals, so it appeals to clean beauty enthusiasts and those with sensitive skin.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Buckwheat honey with propolis and royal jelly blend; ceramides; shea butter; vitamin E, fig fruit extract
  • Texture: Extra thick
  • Benefits: Protects the moisture barrier; moisturizes; hydrates; plumps; reduces fine lines.
  • Fragrance-free? No added fragrances
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price at publish: $48

Pros: 

  • Its star ingredient, buckwheat honey, comes from the Echinacea GreenEnvy plant, which contains the highest levels of chicoric acid—an antioxidant source—of any plant on record.
  • Indie brand that earned its solid reputation in the skincare community
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Comes with a mini spatula

Cons:

  • Small amount for the price
  • While there are no additional fragrances, the honey ingredients contribute a faint scent

The bottom line:

This reputable and popular brand’s night cream is beneficial to every skin type, including mature and sensitive skin. The ceramide- and antioxidant-packed product is also free of harsh chemicals, and its main ingredient is buckwheat honey from the Echinacea GreenEnvy plant, which contains the highest levels of chicoric acid—an antioxidant source—of any plant on record.

Best lightweight
Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer 0.8 oz/ 25 mL

Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer 0.8 oz/ 25 mL



Best antioxidant night cream: Peach and Lily Overnight Star Night Cream

This lightweight night cream is an antioxidant powerhouse, thanks to superfood ingredients like acai berry and black ginseng; that’s why it’s so great at brightening any kind of skin while being non-irritating and non-comedogenic. Celebrity esthetician Alicia Yoon founded the Korean skincare brand Peach and Lily to provide gentle, clean skincare solutions after struggling with her own severe eczema. 

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Acai berry extract; black ginseng extract; Centella Asiatica Extract; niacinamide; peptide complex; jojoba seed oil; squalene; hyaluronic acid
  • Texture: Gel-like
  • Benefits: Firms, brightens, hydrates, treats hyperpigmentation, boosts collagen, reduces fine lines; anti-inflammatory, calming
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 2.7 ounces
  • Price: $45

Pros: 

  • Formulated by a skincare expert
  • Cult following among skincare enthusiasts
  • Korean skincare company that follows strict protocols for producing clean, gentle products
  • Free of more than 1,550 ingredients that may be considered irritating or controversial, entirely vegan, and cruelty-free
  • Lightweight 
  • Great value

Cons:

  • The gel formula may be considered too light for those who prefer a richer night cream.
  • Antioxidant moisturizers tend to oxidize quicker than traditional moisturizers and can lose their effectiveness within one to nine months—especially when packaged in a jar that allows more air exposure.

The bottom line:

This night cream isn’t heavy like some creams, and its lightweight gel formula is affordable, entirely vegan, and cruelty-free. 

Best antioxidant night cream
PEACH & LILY Overnight Star Night Cream

PEACH & LILY Overnight Star Night Cream

Best brightening night cream: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

Skincare veteran Sunday Riley makes a night cream so rich in vitamin C—one of the most effective brightening ingredients out there—that applying it to your face feels as refreshing as drinking a tall glass of orange juice. C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream is formulated to repair damage from environmental pollutants, which can contribute to premature aging. Because it’s decadently thick, it’s ideal for overnight.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Vitamin C (5% THD ascorbate), hyaluronic acid, jojoba seed oil, vitamin E, shea butter, lime pearl extract, bisabolol, exopolysaccharides, turmeric
  • Texture: Thick and creamy
  • Benefits: Brightens, firms, repairs free radical damage, suitable for all skin types
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price at publish: $65

Pros:

  • Packed with interesting, dermatologist-recommended ingredients like lime pearl extract, an alpha hydroxy acid that gently exfoliates, and exopolysaccharides, which counteract the effects of the microscopic pollutants found in smog
  • Packaging is partly recyclable
  • Gluten-free
  • Smells great

Cons:

  • Small amount for the price
  • Vitamin C be irritating to those with sensitive skin
  • Antioxidant moisturizers (includes vitamin C) tend to oxidize quicker than traditional moisturizers, and can lose their effectiveness within one to nine months—especially when packaged in a jar that allows more air exposure.

The bottom line:

A vitamin C-rich thick night cream that brightens, repairs free radical damage, and is suitable for most skin types that don’t mind a higher price tag.

Best brightening
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream (1.7 oz)

Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream (1.7 oz)



Best night cream to improve texture: SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight

Dermatologists constantly recommend SkinCeuticals (many of the ones interviewed for this story mentioned it), which gives this night cream an edge at the outset. The ingredients list contains two of the deepest penetrating alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), known for their unparalleled exfoliant abilities and renowned for their ability to improve skin texture. Glycolic 10 Renew overnight combines it with another naturally occurring AHA, phytic acid, plus soothing jojoba oil and sunflower seed oil, to a powerful effect.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Glycolic acid, phytic acid, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil
  • Texture: Medium weight and creamy
  • Benefits: Anti-aging; improves texture and clarity; treats hyperpigmentation; treats sun damage; minimizes pores; can be used on acne-prone skin
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? No
  • Cruelty-Free? No
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price: $90

Pros:

  • Dermatologist-loved brand
  • Can be used nightly despite its active ingredients
  • Can be used instead of aggressive exfoliants
  • Encourages cell turnover, which reduces fine lines and other signs of aging

Cons:

  • Contains salicylic acid, which can irritate sensitive or dry skin
  • Best used in conjunction with a thicker, more hydrating night cream
  • Cannot be used with retinol products
  • Small amount for the price

The bottom line: 

This dermatologist-recommended cream is excellent for reducing fine lines and other signs of aging, but it does contain salicylic acid that can irritate sensitive or dry skin. Note: It’s $20 for less than 2 ounces, so it may not be the best bet for folks on a budget. 

Best night cream to improve texture
SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight (1.7 fl. oz.)

SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight (1.7 fl. oz.)

Best budget night cream: CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

Recommended by dermatologists and beauty skincare specialists, like Gherghina, this is one of the most popular drugstore brands among skincare experts and beauty junkies combined is CeraVe.“[This] is a brand known for its products enriche­d with ceramides. Their Skin Re­newing Night Cream is specifically de­signed to provide hydration and restore­ the skin's protective barrie­r,” she says. She recommends it because it contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide, making it suitable for different skin types. And its affordability makes it a great option for people on a budget looking for a high-quality night cream.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Ceramides; peptides; niacinamide; hyaluronic acid; shea butter
  • Texture: Thick and creamy
  • Benefits: Hydrates; moisturizes; protects skin barrier; soothes; boasts anti-aging properties
  • Fragrance-free? Yes 
  • Clean? No
  • Cruelty-Free? No
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price at publish: $24

Pros:

Has a patented feature called MVE Technology, which provides an extended release of its moisturizing ingredients

  • Developed with dermatologists
  • Feels “luxurious” for its budget-friendly price
  • Non-comedogenic

Cons:

  • While it’s non-comedogenic, the thick texture may be too much for breakout-prone or oily skintypes
  • Chance of bacteria contamination if you’re using your fingers to apply product straight from the jar. 

The bottom line:

Affordable and effective, this night cream, developed with dermatologists, is high quality without a high price tag.

Best budget
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for All Skin Types

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for All Skin Types



Best luxury night cream: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

Augustinus Bader is a German biomedical scientist specializing in stem cell biology and restorative medicine who applied this background when creating The Cream, an anti-aging night cream. It was quickly followed by a thicker formulation, The Rich Cream. Both creams became skincare industry darlings overnight with celebrity fans, including Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow. The Rich Cream also came recommended by one of our sources, Dr. Linda Lee, an assistant professor of facial plastic surgery at Harvard Medical School and the associate chief of plastic surgery at Atrius Health. 

“The most important factor is consistency, so it may take some trial and error to find the cream that works best for your skin,” she says, “this is my favorite in its price category.” This deeply moisturizing night cream has visible anti-aging benefits and does everything you want a night cream to do without using harsh chemicals—which is why it outshines a few of its luxury peers.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: TFC8; evening primrose oil; squalene; vitamin E
  • Texture: Thick and creamy
  • Fragrance-free: None
  • Size: 1 ounces / 1.7 ounces
  • Benefits: Reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation; supports cell renewal; hydrates; plumps; protects skin barrier; improves skin texture; firms; reverses damage from environmental pollutants
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Price at publish: $180

Pros: 

  • Augustinus Bader products contain the scientist’s patented holy-grail ingredient, TFC8, or Trigger Factor Complex, a kind of smart ingredient that supports cell renewal and adapts to your skin’s individual needs, from reversing environmental damage to reducing the signs of aging.
  • Effective at evening out tone and texture.
  • Unique feel due to formulation—the water-based ingredients are suspended in oils, for a light yet rich texture.

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Bottle is not recyclable
  • Oils may not react well with certain skin types

The bottom line: 

It may be extremely expensive, but this night cream evens out tone and texture and contains ingredients designed to support cell renewal while adapting to your skin’s individual needs. This includes reducing fine lines and wrinkles to reversing environmental damage to your skin. 

Best luxury
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream with TFC8 Face Moisturizer 1.7 oz/ 50 mL

Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream with TFC8 Face Moisturizer 1.7 oz/ 50 mL



Best retinol alternative night cream: OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Bakuchiol Sleeping Creme

OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Bakuchiol Sleeping Crème

Get ready to hear a lot about bakuchiol, a plant-based, dermatologist-recommend ingredient that mimics retinol in its ability to boost collagen production, reduce fine lines, and treat other signs of aging, but is more gentle than retinol, especially if you have sensitive skin. The vegan OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Bakuchiol Sleeping Crème combines bakuchiol with alpha hydroxy acids to form a deeply penetrating night cream for all skin types.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Bakuchiol; Edelweiss stem cell; glycolic acid; lactic acid; hibiscus flower extract; red algae extract; licorice root; chamomile extract
  • Texture: Gel-like and creamy 
  • Benefits: Reduces fine lines and wrinkles; treats hyperpigmentation; firms; improves skin texture; moisturizes
  • Fragrance-free? Contains less than one percent
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price at publish: $60

Pros:

  • Bakuchiol is gentler than retinol but provides almost identical benefits
  • Smells like lavender
  • Good for all skin types

Cons:

  • Could be irritating
  • Could be comodogenic
  • Small amount for the price

The bottom line: 

The vegan OLEHENRIKSEN Goodnight Glow Bakuchiol Sleeping Crème combines bakuchiol with alpha hydroxy acids to create a penetrating night cream for all skin types that is less harsh than retinol.

Best retinol alternative
Olehenriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme - Retinol-Alternative, Hydrating Face Night Cream, Anti-Aging, Reduce Fine Lines, Dark Spots

Olehenriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme - Retinol-Alternative, Hydrating Face Night Cream, Anti-Aging, Reduce Fine Lines, Dark Spots



Best night cream for combination skin: EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

​​Thanks to a combination of ingredients that treat acne-prone skin, dry skin, mature skin, and even eczema, the vegan EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer is a great night cream for people of all ages with finicky skin that’s oily in some places, dry in others, and perhaps sensitive, too. It contains what you’ll see in a lot of ingredient lists these days: niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B that helps build keratin, regulate oil, protect the skin barrier, minimize pores, treat dark spots, and a lot more.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Niacinamide; hyaluronic acid; hydrolyzed rice protein; thioctic acid (antioxidant); vitamin E, linoleic acid (ceramide)
  • Texture: Thin to medium-weight creamy
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Benefits: Protects from moisture loss; reduces signs of aging; regulates oil production; encourages cell turnover; promotes collagen; firms; reduces inflammation
  • Cruelty-free: No
  • Price: $41

Pros:

  • Non-comedogenic 
  • Oil-free
  • Great for all skin types
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Can be irritating to sensitive skin
  • Isn’t as “creamy” in texture as some night creams

The bottom line:

This night cream is good for those with finicky, combination skin seeking a lightweight, affordable cream to treat dark spots, minimize pores, and improve skin quality. 

Best for combination skin
EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer

EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer



Best night cream for dry skin: Laneige Water Sleeping Mask with Squalane

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask with Squalane

Hydration is this night cream’s middle name! When it comes to healing dry skin overnight, beauty experts swear by Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, a lightweight gel cream you apply after your everyday night cream and then wash off in the morning. It contains a naturally occurring lipid called squalene that locks in moisture and other super-hydrating ingredients. Because this Korean beauty product is so gentle, you won’t have to worry about further irritating your dry skin.

Specifications

  • Active ingredients: Squalene; hyaluronic acid; probiotics
  • Texture: Gel-like
  • Benefits: Hydrates, supports the skin barrier, softens, brightens 
  • Fragrance-free? Less than one percent
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 2.3 ounces
  • Price on publish: $32

Pros: 

  • Reef safe
  • Packaging updated to use less plastic
  • Lightweight
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Best used in conjunction with another night cream

The bottom line: 

This gentle Korean beauty product performs its best when applied with another night cream to help soften and brighten your skin. 

Best for dry skin
LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask with Squalane 2.3 oz/ 70 mL

LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask with Squalane 2.3 oz/ 70 mL



Best night cream for extremely dry skin: Barrier Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream

Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Face Cream

Extremely dry skin stands no chance against this heavy night cream that uses some of the best humectants and emollients on the market, like hero ingredient shea butter. The clean, gentle moisturizer contains a patented lipid complex which protects the dermal barrier by mimicking it. This night cream specializes in retaining moisture, treating flakiness, and soothing parched, irritated skin.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Lipids, shea butter, comfrey leaf, oat extract, panthenol, 
  • Texture: Extra thick
  • Benefits: Hydrates; moisturizes; brightens, treats fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price at publish: $54

Pros:

  • It contains hyaluronic acid particles that are tiny enough to penetrate.
  • Is dermatologist-tested
  • Has won many awards
  • pH balanced
  • Comes in refillable jar
  • Jar is recyclable
  • Packaging is made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified, 100 percent recycled paper using vegetable-based inks.

Cons:

  • Some find it smells funny
  • Could clog pores if you have acne-prone skin
  • Small amount of product for the price

The bottom line: 

This award-winning night cream is best if you have extremely dry skin and need a pH-balanced product to help you hydrate, moisturize, and soothe tired or irritated skin. 

Best for extremely dry skin
Skinfix barrier+ Strengthening and Moisturizing Triple Lipid-Peptide Refillable Cream with B-L3 0.5 oz / 15 ml

Skinfix barrier+ Strengthening and Moisturizing Triple Lipid-Peptide Refillable Cream with B-L3 0.5 oz / 15 ml



Best firming night cream: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream

This ubiquitous night cream consistently makes the cut with beauty editors and beauty junkies alike for very good reason: It provides visibly firming results. The best seller fights other signs of aging, too, like fine lines, wrinkles and uneven texture. It has some pretty nourishing ingredients that do the trick, including soothing oatmeal.

Specifications: 

  • Active ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal; sodium hyaluronate; niacinamide 
  • Texture: Rich and buttery
  • Benefits: Firms; hydrates; moisturizes; treats fine lines and wrinkles; improves texture
  • Fragrance-free? None
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 1.7 ounces
  • Price at publish: $44

Pros: 

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Addresses dark circles
  • Contains coenzyme Q10

Cons:

  • Emollient ingredients could stain your pillows
  • Rich texture could trigger breakouts for oily skin types

The bottom line:

This popular night cream provides visibly firming results and fights other signs of aging, including dark circles. It may not be best for oily skin types due to its rich texture, but it is dermatologist-tested and safe for most sensitive skin. 

Best firming
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream 1.7 oz/ 50 mL

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream 1.7 oz/ 50 mL



Best for all skin types: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Refillable Moisturizer with Ceramides

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Refillable Moisturizer with Ceramides

This mega-popular clean skincare brand makes a rich, thick night cream that suits every skin type and has anti-aging properties. Lala Retro cream has the all-important ceramides—a triple blend—to protect against overnight water loss, as well as oils and plant-derived lipids to pack in the moisture and antioxidants to protect against free radicals.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Ceramides; African oils; phytosphingosine, glycerin; green tea extract
  • Texture: Rich and creamy
  • Benefits: Moisturizes; protects the moisture barrier; soothes; restores; combats fine lines; firms
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-Free? Yes
  • Size: 1.69 ounces
  • Price: $62

Pros:

  • Clean brand
  • Has won awards
  • Non-greasy
  • Refillable container
  • Potent blend of all the best night cream ingredients

Cons:

  • On the pricey side
  • Oils could trigger breakouts with certain skin types

The bottom line:

Drunk Elephant has the all-important ceramides—a triple blend—to protect against overnight water loss as well as oils and plant-derived lipids to pack in the moisture, plus antioxidants to protect against free radicals. 

Best for all skin types
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Refillable Moisturizer with Ceramides, Size: 1.69 FL Oz, Multicolor

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Refillable Moisturizer with Ceramides, Size: 1.69 FL Oz, Multicolor



est night cream for sensitive skin: COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream

COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream

This news might have been a little slow to get to you, but snail mucin—a.k.a. snail mucus—is one of the hottest ingredients in skincare right now. You’ll find the curious component in some Korean beauty products, like this top-performing COSRX night cream. Snail secretions happen to be incredibly soothing to irritated skin. So the question of snails remains, especially for escargot enthusiasts: to put them on your face or in your stomach?

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Snail mucin, hyaluronic acid
  • Texture: Thin and creamy
  • Benefits: Soothes; moisturizes; hydrates; plumps
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-Free? Yes
  • Size: 3.52 ounces
  • Price: $26

Pros: 

  • Excellent value
  • Non-greasy
  • Trendy
  • Can reduce the appearance of blemishes

Cons:

  • Can dry on some skin

The bottom line:

Trendsetters love this cream made from snail mucus (yup, it’s a thing) because when slathered on your skin, it soothes and softens, reducing the appearance of blemishes. 

Best for sensitive skin
COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream | SOKO GLAM

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream | SOKO GLAM



Best night cream for acne-prone skin: Paula's Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer

Paula's Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer

It’s important to choose a water-based night cream when treating acne-prone skin, and this oil-free one by trusted brand Paula’s Choice tops the list. The lightweight, antioxidant-rich gel moisturizer won’t clog pores or contribute to breakouts, but it’ll provide just the right amount of moisture to regulate your skin’s oil production. It uses a potent blend of popular ingredients.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Niacinamide, ceramides, licorice root, pumpkin, blueberry antioxidant
  • Texture: Gel-like
  • Fragrance-free: No
  • Clean? No
  • Benefits: Reduces breakouts; clears pores; minimizes redness
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Size: 2 ounces
  • Price: $29

Pros:

  • Uses natural antioxidants  
  • Has recyclable packaging
  • Lightweight texture

Cons:

  • For some, it may not be hydrating enough 

The bottom line:

This cream not only minimizes redness, it’ll also help protect against breakouts plus help keep pores clear. 

Best for acne-prone skin
Paula's Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer 2 oz/ 60 mL

Paula's Choice CLEAR Oil-Free Moisturizer 2 oz/ 60 mL



Best organic night cream: Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate Glow Dream Overnight Face Mask

Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Overnight Face Mask

One of the most buzzed-about night creams in organic skin care is this clean, vegan overnight face mask by Youth to the People. From beauty experts to skincare lovers, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t rave about the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Overnight Face Mask, which you wear over your regular night cream and wash off in the morning. The formulation uses antioxidants and deeply hydrating ingredients to infuse your skin with moisture all night long.

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Vitamin C, squalene, hyaluronic acid, superberries
  • Texture: Thick and creamy
  • Benefits: Plumps; hydrates; moisturizes; brightens; improves texture; fights free-radical damage
  • Fragrance-free? Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-free? Yes
  • Size: 2 ounces
  • Price at publish: $52

Pros: 

  • Has won beauty industry awards
  • Has a cult following
  • Recyclable packaging

Cons:

  • Best used in conjunction with a more traditional night cream

The bottom line: 

Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Overnight Face Mask is worn over your regular night cream,  and its antioxidants and hydrating ingredients infuse your skin with moisture while you sleep. 

Best organic
Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Night Cream + Mask with Vitamin C 2 oz / 59 ml

Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Night Cream + Mask with Vitamin C 2 oz / 59 ml



Best night cream for hyperpigmentation: Eight Saints Up The Anti Anti Aging Night Cream

Eight Saints Up The Anti Anti Aging Night Cream

Hyperpigmentation, also known as dark spots, is caused by sun damage, hormones, and age. If you’re seeing spots, invest in a night cream with  skin-lightening ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C. Eight Saints Up The Anti Anti Aging Cream uses a combination of lactic acid and niacinamide (vitamin B) plus other effective ingredients to do the hard work while you sleep.  

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients: Niacinamide, peptides, hyaluronic acid
  • Texture: Fluffy
  • Benefits: Fades dark spots; increases collagen production; plumps; firms; smooths; brightens
  • Fragrance-free: Yes
  • Clean? Yes
  • Cruelty-Free? Yes
  • Size: 2 ounces
  • Price at publish: $39.60

Pros:

  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • 30-day return policy if you don’t love it

Cons: 

  • Green tea scent could be off-putting to some

The bottom line:

This fluffy, made-in-the-USA cream increases collagen production and contains skin-lightening ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin C to help reduce hyperpigmentation. 

Best for hyperpigmentation
Eight Saints Up The Anti Anti Aging Night Cream

Eight Saints Up The Anti Anti Aging Night Cream



Best night cream for mature skin: No7 Menopause Skincare Nourishing Overnight Cream

Mature, menopausal skin is often dry skin and this night cream works best if you fall into that category because it helps combat the physical impact of reduced estrogen on your face. This cream was, according to the brand, “co-created with over 7,000 menopausal women seeking to revive dull, dry skin and help improve firmness, and dermotologist approved for all types of menopausal skin, including sensitive. 

Specifications:

  • Active ingredients:Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Steareth-21, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) seed oil, Silica
  • Texture: smooth
  • Benefits: Revives dry skin, improves firmness and elasticity, deeply hydrates
  • Fragrance: N/A
  • Cruelty-Free? N/A
  • Size: 1.67 oz
  • Price: $37.99

Pros:

  • Created specifically for menopausal skin
  • Tested on 7,000 menopausal women

Cons:

  • Expensive

The bottom line: 

This night cream is targeted to help hydrate, sooth and firm menopausal mature skin impact by diminishing estrogen. We love that it hydtrates for up to 72 hours and helps revive dull skin tones, as well. 

Best night cream for mature skin
No7 Menopause Skincare Nourishing Overnight Cream

No7 Menopause Skincare Nourishing Overnight Cream


How we selected the best night creams

Research started with a list of the most common skin issues, compiled from background research and direct interviews with skin experts and dermatologists, all of whom were consulted for their collective decades of experience in their field of skincare. We asked them to suggest products that not only did they recommend to their patients, but also used themselves in some cases.

Then, initial research was expanded upon by identifying key ingredients that address each concern effectively, along with the most reputable brands and formulations that align with the aforementioned skin concerns. These were also put to the test based on personal experience. Each pick was analyzed further by scouring through reviews and progress/customer photos.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which brand of night cream is best?

There are so many great brands , but we reached out to skin specialists and dermatologists, and here is what they had to say and find out what they are using on their faces. “The brands and the products you choose depend on your skin type, care, and concerns. What are your goals? 

“For hydration, I always reach for my Senté products. For growth factors, I love Skinmedica,” shares Dallas-based aesthetician Jessica Yaklin-Strubhart.  For corrective concerns, we often recommend Skinbetter.” Among others recommended by Gherghina were brands like SkinCeuticals, and most experts we spoke to were fans of the affordable CeraVe. The best brand for you might not be the best brand for another. You should always consider your own skin type and read the ingredient list before selecting a night cream.

Do night creams really work?

Night creams are essential for hydrating and nourishing the skin because they can offer protection and healing to your skin while you are sleeping, but the best products to use for aging skin vary, says Yaklin-Strubhart. “Night creams tend to be heavier so they can lock in your own lipids and nutrients while you sleep. In general, we think of daytime as protection and nighttime as regenerative.” 

 

How to use a night cream?

  1. Remove all of your makeup, then wash and dry your skin.
  2. Apply any toner or face serums containing active ingredients like Vitamin A derivatives or Vitamin C.
  3. Next, apply your night cream—don’t forget your decolletage. One expert suggested you put enough cream on for a “glazed donut” effect when you look in the mirror.  Others suggested only using what is recommended by the brand’s manufacturer. Some experts recommend dotting your face with the cream and then using sweeping upward motions to apply it. 

Overall, you want to start with a clean face, so the order is cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer, or cream. If you have additional steps in your routine, ask your skin specialist for more guidance, recommends Park.

Lee offered one last step, and it may impact your sheets and pillowcases. “One easy tip is to replace your current pillowcase with a silk alternative. Silk absorbs less moisture than cotton, so it keeps our night cream on our face rather than our bedding,” Lee shares. 

Why should I use a night cream?

“Nighttime is our best chance for the moisturizer to work in an uninterrupted way.  During the daytime, our skin is often layered with vitamin C serums, sunscreen, and makeup,” says Lee. “ In my opinion, if you are using a cream with the right ingredients consistently, you will see long-term benefits with more rejuvenated and hydrated skin.” 

And even if you are not a lotions and potions type, a night cream should be considered, says DiFerdinando. “For those who prefer a pared-down approach with just a cleanser and hydrating toner, introducing a night cream can be beneficial [because] nighttime sees our skin engage in vital functions, like cell renewal and damage repair.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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