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If you want to wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day, get a full eight hours of sleep. If you want to wake up looking like you got a full eight hours of sleep even though you barely eeked out six, get a good night cream.
What’s the difference between a daytime cream and a night cream? Glad you asked. While most daytime creams contain SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, many night creams contain anti-aging ingredients like retinol to smooth wrinkles and slow down the aging process. At night, your body is in repair mode, and your skin cells are rapidly regenerating while you sleep. It just makes sense to take advantage of this already occurring process with a good night cream, which gives your skin everything it needs to improve texture, reduce fine lines, and moisturize at the cellular level.
With continued use, a night cream helps restore and repair your skin overnight so it looks more even and clear during the day, when you’re using fewer and more lightweight skincare products. Night creams work the graveyard shift so you can work your 9-to-5 without worrying about your skin.
If you’re ready to add a night cream to your evening routine, check out our top picks below to find the one that’s right for your skin type and preferences.
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Luminizing Facial Moisturizer
Hate the feeling of a sticky moisturizer? This cream from Alo is lightweight and mega-hydrating without leaving any oily or tacky residue behind. Vitamin C-rich amla, aloe, avocado oil, marula oil and other plant-based ingredients help with brightening and evening out skin tone.
Soak Rich Moisture Cream
Acne or oily-prone skin, meet the night cream you’ve been searching for. This affordable option contains nourishing algae extract and vitamin E alongside squalane, which is a deeply hydrating ingredient that locks moisture into your skin, helps prevent fine lines, and eases dry patches. The brand specifically states that this is a night cream best suited for oilier skin types, and we totally agree.
Relax And Repair Ultimate Anti Aging Moisturizer
If you’re still on the fence about using a night cream, this anti-aging moisturizer from Jaxon Lane will convince you. Enriched with moisturizing ingredients like niacinamide, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, this cream sinks into the skin in no time. Non-greasy, fragrance-free, and safe for sensitive skin, Jaxon Lane Relax and Repair takes all the ick out of a night cream while keeping all the benefits.
.05% Retinol Night Cream
When it comes to anti-aging ingredients, retinol is the GOAT. It’s one of the most well-studied skincare ingredients and has been found to be both safe and wildly effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This night cream from Geologie contains .05 percent retinol, which is just strong enough to repair the surface of the skin without causing any irritation, which can happen with a stronger percentage. After a few weeks, you’ll notice your skin is smoother and softer when you wake up, and wrinkles are less visible. All hail the power of retinol.
Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer
If wrinkles are your main concern, this night cream from Dr. Dennis Gross is worth the investment. While all the products on this list have anti-aging benefits, none are quite as sophisticated as this one. The brand combines two types of retinol with bakuchiol, rambutan, and ferulic acid to support your natural collagen production and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. 85% of users saw firmer skin and improved elasticity in as little as two weeks, which just goes to show how quickly this one product can improve your complexion. For those with mature skin who are looking for results from their skincare routine, this product is the real deal.
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Acne Remedy Overnight Repair Moisturizer
Yes, even if you have acne-prone skin, you can still benefit from using a night cream. Take this one from Jack Black, which features a blend of AHA, BHA, and plant-based acids to gently exfoliate, balance, and refine skin texture while you sleep. One percent salicylic acid works overnight to clear acne blemishes and blackheads.
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Multi-Active Night Cream
This night cream boasts encapsulated teasel, which is a natural skin care ingredient found to target fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with Clarins’ Anti Pollution Complex to help fight the effects of skin-damaging free radicals, anyone with dry or dehydrated skin will love the soothing, nourishing texture of his cream.
Skin Renewing Night Cream
CeraVe is our go-to budget-friendly brand for skincare because the products are simple, effective, and dermatologist-approved. This night cream helps refresh the look of tired skin overnight with moisturizing ceramides, anti-aging peptides, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and skin-smoothing niacinamide. It’s also specially designed to continually release moisturizing ingredients throughout the night for lasting hydration.
Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème
Formulated with a blend of texture-smoothing AHAs and bakuchiol, a plant-based alternative to retinol, this night cream fights all major signs of aging without any of the sting that occasionally results from using retinol. It targets fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and firms for smoother, more youthful, and deeply hydrated skin whenever you wake up.
Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer
If you’re looking for a night cream that feels more like a gel, look no further. This concentrated, 30 percent hyaluronic acid cream locks in a layer of intense hydration for healthier-looking skin. It plumps fine lines and wrinkles and contains a hefty dose of antioxidants to help defy the look of aging.
Cristina Montemayor is a freelance writer and journalist living in Austin, Texas, covering beauty, grooming, style, and culture.
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