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You know the drill: You're supposed to wear a moisturizer during the day (either paired with an SPF or one that offers sun protection), but did you know it’s important to use a night cream, too? Your skin actually goes into repair mode as you sleep and night creams are meant to link up with your circadian rhythm to treat and heal damage from the day.
When looking for a night cream, keep an eye out for reparative and nourishing ingredients like ceramides and collagen boosters. According to the Cleveland Clinic, nights are also best reserved for more aggressive exfoliants like retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids. If you’re using one of those heavy hitters, be sure to hydrate and moisturize both at night and during the day.
Below, the best night creams on the market.
Best Overall: Origins High-Potency Night-a-Mins
Your skin naturally repairs overnight, so it’s always good to have a moisturizer to keep skin hydrated, but you can speed up the process with ingredients like alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs), which this option packs. AHAs help to slough off dead skin cells and prepares your complexion to look brighter in the morning.
The addition of vitamins B, C, E, H, and calcium makes the perfect complement to the resurfacing element of this formula and helps to nourish the skin. Arguably the best part: The dreamy cream is scented with neroli, valerian, and vanilla essential oils, which help ease your mind to drift you off to sleep.
Best Budget: Olay Total Effects Night Firming Treatment
If you’re just starting out with using a night cream, this is a good one to try. It provides all the moisture your skin needs without feeling greasy. In addition to leaving skin feeling hydrated and smooth, it helps to brighten and restore firmness thanks to its vitamin-rich formula. Smooth it on after cleansing skin either on top of serum for extra benefits or on its own. Rinse it off in the morning to reveal a visibly more youthful complexion.
Best Anti-Aging: Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Overnight Cream
One of the major concerns that come along with aging skin other than fine lines and wrinkles is discoloration or dark spots, both caused by sun damage and hormonal changes. Glycolic acid aids in resurfacing the skin and targeting those areas of discoloration, and Viniferine (sourced from grapevine sap) acts as a potent anti-ager. To maintain skin’s plumpness and hydration, there is hyaluronic acid paired with Vegetal Butylene Glycol, which helps trap water and hydration in the skin. An added bonus: It’s free of ingredients like sulfates and parabens.
Check out other reviews of the best anti-wrinkle creams on the market.
Best for Acne Prone Skin: Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer
This formula is packed with the tried-and-true blemish-busting ingredient, salicylic acid, which keeps pores from becoming clogged—preventing blackheads and other breakouts. While some acne treatments will dry and strip the skin, the Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer hydrates instead. The pomegranate water and extract are loaded with antioxidants that protect the skin and hyaluronic acid rounds out this gel formula to offer a moisture boost. Long story short: If you are prone to breakouts, use this nightly to prevent spots.
Best for Oily Skin: Eve Lom Time Retreat Intensive Night Cream
This rich cream houses liposome-encapsulated retinol, a powerful anti-aging ingredient. Because the retinol is encapsulated, it's time-released, so it won't overpower your skin all at once. It also helps speed up cell turnover which is a bonus for oily skin.
Interested in reading more reviews? We rounded up the best oil-free moisturizers for oily skin.
Best for Dry Skin: CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Face Cream
When it comes to hydrating dry skin, this triple ceramide formula gets the job done. Ceramides are high in fatty acids, which act as a highly nourishing reparative layer that maintains a healthy skin barrier. Niacinamide also makes an appearance on this cream’s ingredient list, a derivative of Vitamin B known for its brightening abilities along with its anti-inflammatory and elasticity boosting power.
If you’re using any acids or retinol products at night and are disappointed with any dryness or irritation you’re seeing, this is the perfect cream to pair them with to avoid pesky flakes and peeling.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best drugstore night creams that work overnight.