night creams

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It is never a bad time to start using night cream for your skin care regimen.

Not only do day creams and night creams differ in their appearance, texture, and ingredients, but they also serve different purposes. While a day cream combines a lightweight moisturizer with the powers of SPF to protect your skin from the sun, a night cream is usually heavier and is meant to repair and brighten your skin while you sleep.

Many night creams also include ingredients for graceful aging, such as retinol and retinoids. These ingredients help with cell turnover and are best used at night since they typically cause sun sensitivity.

Are you ready for some serious skin repair? Read on for our top night cream picks. Learn how to choose the best option for your needs.

Sleep tight

While these creams can brighten your skin and make it look healthier, they’re best paired with a good night’s sleep.

“The lack of sleep affects the entire body. Not getting enough sleep is usually caused by several stress factors,” says Dr. Stuart Kaplan, a Beverly Hills-based celebrity dermatologist. “For skin, this period of uninterrupted rest allows for maximum cell renewal, repair, and regeneration. This is the main reason why a nighttime skin care regimen is so crucial.”

It can be difficult to find the right night cream. Buying a product and testing it out on your skin is part of the journey.

But if you need a place to start, Dr. Anna Guanche, board certified dermatologist, author, and celebrity beauty expert based in Calabasas, California, recommends considering your skin type and goals when looking for a night cream.

Find your skin type

One of the easiest ways to find your skin type is through a wash test, where you wash your face and see how it reacts the rest of the day.

Your skin is likely, according to Guanche.

  • dry, if your skin feels tight after washing and you feel the need to use a moisturizer or hydrating serums throughout the day
  • oily, if your pores dilate with oil throughout the day, and there’s shine on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin (T-zone)
  • combination skin, if you have dry cheeks and an oily T-zone; combination skin is very common

Look for key ingredients

“It is important to review ingredients and know what you are applying on your skin,” Guanche says. “Hyaluronic acid and ceramides are great ingredients for moisture. Retinol is a great ingredient for anti-aging, as it increases cell turnover, builds collagen, and reduces pore size.”

Guanche adds that “vitamin C is great for building collagen and for brightening — reducing excess pigmentation. And glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), is a great exfoliant to smooth out dead skin cells and, again, brighten the skin.”

Do your research

It is good to know that cosmetics are regulated by the FDA, but they are not approved.

This means the FDA will monitor some ingredients like color additives and prohibit the marketing of adulterated or misbranded cosmetics under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). But cosmetics don’t need FDA premarket approval.

Because of that, it’s a good idea to research the ingredients in a product before buying it. You can use online tools like INCI Decoder, which breaks down ingredients and what they do for your skin in an approachable way. You can also look at Environmental Working Group (EWG) ratings.

When you do find a product you like, you likely won’t see immediate results. With most skin care products, it’ll take time — about 6 to 8 weeks to start seeing a noticeable difference in the skin, as long as the product doesn’t cause an allergic reaction.

How to do a patch test

If you want to use a product more widely, you should do a patch test on a small patch of skin.

Before you go to bed, apply a small amount of cream to a small patch of skin. If there are any signs of an allergic reaction in the morning, you should see 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476. Stop using the product if you see any of the signs.

Based on Guanche’s tips, we looked for moisturizers that support hydration and overall skin health for different skin types, like sensitive, oily, dry, and combination. We included recommendations at several price points based on skin type, customer reviews, and key ingredients.

Each of the products on our list has been carefully vetted by our content integrity team to make sure it adheres to our medical and business standards. Learn more here.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $20
  • $$ = $20–$50
  • $$$ = over $50

Best overall night cream

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream

  • Price: $
  • Pro: CeraVe is a dermatologist-recommended brand.
  • Con: Some reviewers say it’s too thick.
  • Key ingredients: peptides, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide
  • Best for: all skin types

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream works to reduce the appearance of fine lines, soften, and retain moisture with the use of hyaluronic acid. It has essential ceramides to maintain the skin’s natural barrier.

Customers say it is affordable and provides great coverage.

A fragrance-free option, it may be a good choice for people with fragrance sensitivities. Some reviewers with rosacea and eczema report that it works well for them.

Best night cream for dry skin

Lancôme Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: may help with skin tightening
  • Con: Some reviewers say it’s greasy.
  • Key ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid
  • Best for: dry skin

Looking for a luxurious cream that’s made to hydrate dry skin? Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream from Lancôme is made with glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter. It helps promote glowing skin, according to the company.

Many customers find this product to be good for them, but it has a heavy scent.

Lancôme products overall have positive reviews that attest to the brand’s strong and loyal customer base. It’s a luxury brand, so it’s a bit pricey.

Best night cream for men

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

  • Price: $
  • Pro: light, water-gel formula
  • Con: The formula may not be moisturizing enough for extremely dry skin.
  • Key ingredient: hyaluronic acid
  • Best for: all skin types

This product can help you get into the world of skin care if you are looking for a simple night cream. It is oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free.

Some reviewers say their skin texture improved after use, but others say it made their skin break out. Those with sensitive skin may want to avoid it.

drugstores and grocery stores have Neutrogena products.

Best night cream for oily skin

Dermalogica Sound Sleep Cocoon Transformative Night Gel-Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: good for targeting dark circles
  • Con: Some reviewers say it doesn’t have a good smell.
  • Key ingredients: vitamin C, sandalwood, french lavender
  • Best for: oily skin

In this versatile product, vitamin C works to brighten and tamarind seed extract is meant to hydrate. Reviewers love that it doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy.

As a bonus, it’s scented with sandalwood and lavender, which are meant to promote relaxation before bed. However, some reviewers report it has a strong smell that’s a little hard to get past.

The products of dyneologica are vegan and cruelty-free.

Best night cream for wrinkles

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Overnight Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: may help with deep lines and wrinkles
  • Con: Some reviewers say the formula is too thick.
  • Key ingredients: vitamin C, resveratrol, squalane
  • Best for: all skin types

This cream from Juice Beauty is designed for people who want to fade wrinkles naturally. It’s vegan, cruelty-free, and rated a 2 on the EWG’s Skin Deep database.

Key ingredients include primrose oil, ceramides, and olive-derived squalane. Customers say the thick cream is luscious and hydrating, and that their skin looks healthy after use. One reviewer notes that if you have acne-prone skin, this cream may not be the best fit.

Juice Beauty uses many plant-based and certified organic ingredients.

Best night cream for acne-prone skin

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Night Infusion Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: clean beauty product, vegan
  • Con: Some reviewers say they didn’t see fast results.
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, resveratrol
  • Best for: acne-prone skin

This cream has herbal and floral notes of chamomile, lavender, mint, and more.

“It makes your skin look well rested, but it doesn’t break you out. Some reviews suggest that it helps reduce the effects ofAcne.”

Bordeaux is where the beginning of the story of Caudalie began. The brand uses vines and grapes from its own private vineyard as a key ingredient.

Best night cream for combination skin

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream

  • Price: $
  • Pro: oil-free, lightweight formula
  • Con: Thin formula may not be best for extremely dry skin.
  • Key ingredients: glycerin, vitamin E
  • Best for: combination skin

Packed with vitamin E, Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream can make skin look more supple. It’s not sticky and dries fairly quickly.

Customers find that this product is long- lasting and odorless. Some reviewers say it can cause skin problems.

The budget pick is Garnier creams.

Best night cream for sensitive skin

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Soothing Repair Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested, and good for sensitive skin
  • Con: Some reviewers say it’s not so great for mature-looking, dry skin.
  • Key ingredients: vitamin E, thermal spring water, neurosensine dipeptide
  • Best for: sensitive skin

This cream is preservative-free, fragrance-free, and paraben-free. It works to hydrate and soften with glycerin, squalane, shea butter, and niacinamide.

“Reviewers say this product is best for people who don’t need a lot of moisturizers. Some reviewers say this product isn’t enough for mature-looking skin.”

Best night cream for mature skin

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Moisturizer

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: may help visibly reduce wrinkles
  • Con: Some reviewers say the formula is thin.
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, pro-retinol
  • Best for: mature-looking skin

This fragrance-free night cream by L’Oréal Paris is packed with all the hydrating ingredients necessary to help keep your skin healthy over time. It’s made with retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, brighten, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Reviewers say this cream makes their skin soft, and noticed a reduction in hyperpigmentation.

The thinner side of the cream may not be enough for dry skin.

Best oil-free night cream

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: has an instant, cooling effect
  • Con: Some reviewers say their skin was shiny after using this product.
  • Key ingredients: glacial glycoprotein, micronized amino acid
  • Best for: oily and normal skin

The shine-free gel cream is for oily and normal skin. It is made with imperata cylindrica root extract and glycoprotein and it provides hydration without being heavy.

Reviewers with oily skin say it works. Reviewers say that it works well under makeup, and that it can be used at night before bed.

Best organic night cream

Honey Girl Organics Face & Eye Creme

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: 2-in-1, natural product
  • Con: no visible results for graceful aging support
  • Key ingredients: honey, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen
  • Best for: sensitive or dry skin

Want an organic night cream? Then Honey Girl Organics is a great choice. It has the USDA organic seal, and the ingredients are simple: honey, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly, and organic extra virgin olive oil.

Rated a 2 by the EWG, this product is a big hit with customers. Many say it’s the best cream they’ve ever used. A few note that it smells “strange,” and one reviewer likens it to patchouli.

Best firming night cream

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: good for dark circles
  • Con: Some reviewers say the formula has changed and broke them out.
  • Key ingredients: colloidal oatmeal, sodium hyaluronate, niacinamide
  • Best for: combination, normal, or dry skin

Described as “buttery,” First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream combines a peptide blend to smooth skin, niacinamide to make skin bouncy, and conditioning butters and waxes to make your skin dewy.

Customers overwhelmingly love this product. A few people say it helped remove blemishes and acne scars. However, some with sensitive skin found it irritating.

Best lightweight night cream

Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Dream Face Cream

  • Price: $$–$$$
  • Pro: may help visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Con: pricey for the amount of cream
  • Key ingredients: super lotus, peach leaf extract
  • Best for: all skin types

This whipped antioxidant night cream works to support and moisturize stressed-out skin. With cucumber fruit extract and glycerin, it’s a lightweight cream that may work for many skin types.

“Reviewers love the smell and feel good in the morning. Some feel that it doesn’t tighten the skin as much as they wanted.”

Best intense hydration night cream

Burt’s Bees Truly Glowing Night Cream

  • Price: $
  • Pro: dermatologist-tested
  • Con: Some reviewers say it doesn’t have a good scent.
  • Key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, beeswax, squalane
  • Best for: dry skin

Want to retain moisture while you sleep and wake up hydrated? Burt’s Bees has you covered with its intense hydration night cream, thanks to ingredients like jojoba seed oil and squalane.

“Customers with dry skin say it makes sense to use it at night. Some say it is too heavy and doesn’t mix well with other products.”

Burt’s Bees prides itself on responsible ingredient sourcing. Their products are free from phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, and sodium lauryl sulfate.

Best fragrance-free night cream

Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream

  • Price: $–$$$
  • Pros: fragrance-free, clean beauty product
  • Con: Some reviewers say the formula isn’t rich enough.
  • Key ingredients: squalane, ashwagandha, fermented reishi
  • Best for: all skin types

This night cream is more expensive than others, but it is still a good night cream thanks to the ingredients.

“Reviewers with all skin types give it high praise, saying it doesn’t leave skin dry or oily. It is a favorite of Healthline editor, who says that it works great under SPF and absorbs quickly.”

This product is free of harmful substances. It is also in a jar.

Best brightening night cream

Mad Hippie Triple C Night Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Pro: may help brighten skin
  • Con: Some reviewers say the smell is too strong.
  • Key ingredients: vitamin C, reishi, turmeric extract
  • Best for: all skin types

Mad Hippie claims that 97 percent of participants in an 8-week study saw a reduction in lines and wrinkling using their Triple C Night Cream. The night cream uses three forms of vitamins C to help the skin look better and protect it from pollutants.

Other star ingredients include reishi and chaga mushrooms, turmeric extract, shea butter, and ceramides.

The product is also green.

Some reviewers say the scent is strong and one said it was like flowers past their prime. If you are sensitive to smells, you might want to steer clear.

Best night cream for irritated skin

Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: may prevent and reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Con: pricier than most other options
  • Key ingredients: purslane, shea butter, skullcap
  • Best for: oily or combination skin

The doctor who created this face cream studied anti- inflammatory medicine.

The main ingredients include purslane, skullcap, and shea butter. It’s designed to aid in skin regeneration, firmness, and elasticity. It should also help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and revive dull, uneven skin.

This cream is free of all harmful substances.

Best night cream for all skin types

ROSE Ingleton MD Signature Moisturizer

  • Price: $$$
  • Pro: formulated by a dermatologist
  • Con: Reviewers say it’s a small jar.
  • Key ingredients: peptides, vitamin B3, ceramides
  • Best for: all skin types

Reviewers say this is worth the extra cost for any skin type.

Vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free and arriving in a recyclable package, this cream uses the company’s signature nutrient-dense mix of ingredients: hyaluronic acid, sugar cane, lemon, orange, bilberry, and sugar maple extracts.

Other star ingredients include peptides (which help collagen production), vitamin B3, and ceramides.

Is a night cream necessary?

No beauty product is necessary. A night cream is a great way to keep your face hydrated and prevent fine lines.

“Your skin’s blood flow increases during sleep. The organ repairs damage from the sun and the UV rays. As you sleep, a night cream or oil can help your skin.”

Should I use a night cream with vitamin C in it?

It depends on what your skin care goals are. It is a good option for brighter skin. You can use it during the day or at night.

You can use a cream with vitamins C and C and also use a night cream with ingredients that support aging.

Adding night creams to your routine is a great way to get more hydration. It is important to know your skin type and research the ingredients you are buying before you make a purchase. It is well worth it when you find what works for you.

Robin Mosley is a Chicago-based writer. Her work has appeared in multiple publications, including Food and Wine and The Kitchn. Her work deals with food, gaming, or business connected to intersectional identities. You can keep up with her on Twitter or on her website