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Our top pick overall is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for its hydrating ingredients, rich consistency, and versatility.
The best night creams replenish your skin as you sleep, providing ample hydration and powerhouse ingredients for supple skin in the morning. Whether you want to combat fine lines or soothe irritated, acne-prone skin, a good night cream can give your skin the TLC it needs to properly rest and repair.
To find the best night creams, we researched numerous brands and formulas, picking options for various skin concerns and purposes. We also spoke with Jessica Wu, M.D., Los Angeles dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face, for her expert insight into selecting the best night creams.
“Night cream is typically a heavier product that is meant to nourish your skin while you’re sleeping,” explains Dr. Wu. “At night, you can apply the cream and leave it on for the entire time you’re sleeping, without worrying about how makeup will sit on top of it. You can also use a heavier product without worrying about looking shiny.”
Our top pick for the best night cream is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream for its powerful formula, reliable effectiveness, and soft feel.
Read on for all of our best night cream picks you can buy right now, including options for all different skin types, price ranges, and needs.
CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
Best Overall Night Cream
Who it’s for: People who want an effective, hydrating, and affordable night cream.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a lightweight night cream in a large container.
This bestselling night cream from CeraVe easily earned the top place on our list for its affordable, tried-and-true formula that works to soften and hydrate skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and lock in moisture as you sleep. The formula includes peptides, ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, which freshens tired-looking skin and reduces redness. Ultimately, this is a rich, fragrance-free formula that won’t irritate your skin.
For best use, the manufacturer recommends applying the cream in small dots around your face and smooth until totally absorbed. It won’t leave your face feeling greasy or dry, and you’ll wake up with refreshed, hydrated skin. It’s not the largest container, so you may need to repurchase it semi-frequently, but the price point makes it affordable enough to do so.
Price at time of publish: $18
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, peptides, niacinamide
Size: 1.7 ounces
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream Rich
Best Splurge Night Cream
Who it’s for: People who want a luxury night cream formulated for anti-aging and dry skin.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a lightweight, affordable night cream.
If you’re willing to splurge on a night cream, we recommend this popular option from Dr. Barbara Sturm. Its rich, cruelty-free, and antioxidant-heavy formula can double up as a day cream or a night cream. It’s made with purslane, vitamin E, grapeseed oil, and avocado oil, which reduce irritation and inflammation while smoothing and tightening the skin.
This cream is ideal for those with dry or irritated skin, but is suitable for anyone who wants some extra hydration and smoothing. The manufacturer also claims this cream stimulates collagen production for plump, youthful skin. Keep in mind that it can leave your skin slightly greasy after use, so we recommend using a small to medium amount of product to avoid any heaviness.
Price at time of publish: $240
Key Ingredients: Purslane, vitamin E, avocado oil, shea butter, glycerin
Size: 1.7 ounces
Burt's Bees Sensitive Solutions Calming Night Cream
Best Natural Night Cream
Who it’s for: People looking for soothing, fragrance-free ingredients in their skincare.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a super hydrating night cream.
Night creams with majority natural ingredients are ideal for those with sensitive skin, and this option from Burt’s Bees is a top-notch pick. Its formula features aloe vera and rice extract, which work together to smooth and refresh all skin types, including those who struggle with sensitivity. It was even awarded a SkinSAFE Trusted Choice badge for sensitive skin.
This night cream hydrates and moisturizes, leaving your skin dewy without irritation or redness. The aloe vera soothes skin and helps with texture, while the rice water promotes skin elasticity. Overall, this is a gentle, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic formula for daily use. Although the container is fairly small, it comes at an affordable price, so you can easily stock up on a few.
Price at time of publish: $10
Key Ingredients: Aloe vera, rice extract
Size: 1.8 ounces
Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Night Firming Cream
Best Firming Night Cream
Who it’s for: People who want a night cream specifically for anti-aging that has a glowy finish.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a more versatile night cream.
If you want a night cream that firms the skin while promoting a hydrated, radiant finish, opt for the Olay Total Effects Night Firming Cream. It moisturizes and brightens skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles for a fresh, rejuvenated look.
This oil-free cream features vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as VitaNiacin Complex II, which work to refresh and nourish your skin as you sleep. In addition to firming and hydrating the skin, it reduces the look of pores and doesn’t leave them clogged. The formula is also quick-absorbing and won't leave you feeling greasy.
Price at time of publish: $22
Key Ingredients: VitaNiacin complex, vitamin C, vitamin E
Size: 1.7 ounces
CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask
Best Night Cream for Oily Skin
Who it’s for: People who want a nourishing, calming night cream that isn't greasy and is made with acne-prone skin in mind.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a night cream that contains retinol.
For those with oily skin, you’ll want to look for a lightweight night cream that nourishes your skin without clogging pores or leaving behind a greasy residue. The Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask is a great option—the majority of the formula is comprised of rice extract, which can absorb oil as well as reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Another great thing about this product is that it provides decent bang for your buck. It’s a bit larger than most night creams, and comes at one of the most affordable price points on our list. Use it as the final step in your nighttime skincare routine, and you should see fast-acting results in terms of brightening, smoothing, and oil-absorption.
Price at time of publish: $23
Key Ingredients: Rice extract, niacinamide
Size: 2.02 ounces
The Inkey List C-50 Blemish Night Treatment
Best Night Cream for Acne-Prone Skin
Who it’s for: People who want an overnight cream that specifically targets breakouts.
Who it isn’t for: People who have super sensitive skin.
If you’re more concerned about acne than aging, look for a night cream that specifically targets blemishes and clogged pores. The Inkey List’s C-50 Blemish Night Treatment is a great overnight treatment that works to eliminate breakouts, enlarged pores, excess oil, and redness without drying out your skin.
It’s formulated with powerhouse ingredients like salicylic acid for exfoliation, vitamins C and E, and lotus extract, which helps balance oil production. You can apply it to all your problem areas, including your face, back, and chest, for ultimate versatility. Plus, it’s one of the least expensive options on our list.
Price at time of publish: $15
Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, vitamins C & E, lotus extract
Size: 1 ounce
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream
Best Night Cream for Dry Skin
Who it’s for: People with very dry skin who need an ultra-nourishing cream.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a very thick night cream.
If you suffer from extra dry skin, it can be challenging to find an effective night cream that actually locks in hydration without causing breakouts or having a greasy feel. This classic option from Cetaphil is known for its gentle, nourishing formula that is ideal for those with dry, sensitive skin.
The night cream can be used on dry and normal skin types, as it hydrates and moisturizes the skin using a mix of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C (but no parabens or phthalates). The fragrance-free and hypoallergenic formula works quickly once applied and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy afterward.
Price at time of publish: $18
Key Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin C
Size: 1.7 ounces
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Night Cream
Best Night Cream for Sensitive Skin
Who it’s for: People who have allergy-prone or easily-irritated skin.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a thicker night cream with extra-strong ingredients.
For those with sensitive skin, opt for a gentle night cream that hydrates without irritating, like this bestselling pick from La Roche-Posay. This night cream soothes, smoothes, and hydrates sensitive skin and allergy-prone skin. It has a light, gel-cream texture that targets dry, itchy, and irritated skin throughout the night.
This allergy-tested night cream is fragrance-free, oil-free, and paraben-free, and the packaging ensures that no outside contaminants get in. The formula doesn't include any preservatives or alcohol, which can cause irritation. Instead, it features soothing ingredients like thermal spring water, shea butter, and antioxidants (like vitamin E).
Price at time of publish: $31
Key Ingredients: Prebiotic thermal water, neurosensine, vitamin E, shea butter
Size: 1.35 ounces
Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Glycolic Night Cream
Best Brightening Night Cream
Who it’s for: People who want to reduce dark spots and dullness.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a lightweight and inexpensive night cream.
Looking for a night cream that can reduce the look of dark spots and brighten your skin? Take a peek at this option from Caudalie, which targets dark spots, dullness, and uneven texture, among other skincare concerns. Its gentle formula exfoliates with papaya enzymes, while glycolic acid (AHA) refines texture, and the vine sap-derived viniferine lightens dark areas for an even skin tone.
This gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan night cream is ideal for people with skin issues like sunspots, melasma, or acne scars. Take note that it is a heavier cream, so if you prefer a lighter feel you may want to opt for another option.
Price at time of publish: $62
Key Ingredients: AHA/glycolic acid, vine sap viniferine, papaya enzymes
Size: 1.6 ounces
RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
Best Night Cream with Retinol
Who it’s for: People who want a powerful anti-aging night cream.
Who it isn’t for: People with very dry skin.
Retinol is a go-to skincare ingredient for many people dealing with pesky anti-aging concerns like wrinkles, crow’s feet, or fine lines. This product from RoC contains retinol and a mineral complex to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and firm skin overnight.
In addition to reducing the appearance of fine wrinkles and dark circles, this night cream hydrates the skin, leading to a brighter and glowing look in users after just a few weeks of regular use. Its smooth, soft, and non-greasy formula is easy to apply and can be used daily without redness or irritation. While it's a reasonably-priced product, it's not in the biggest tube, so you may need to restock it semi-frequently. Just be careful if you have sensitive skin or are new to retinol—as with all retinol products, this cream could irritate your face if used too frequently.
Price at time of publish: $30
Key Ingredients: Retinol, glycerin
Size: 1 ounce
Garnier Green Labs Retinol-Berry Super Smoothing Night Serum Cream
Best Night Cream Serum
Who it’s for: People who want a multipurpose night cream.
Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want retinol in their skincare products.
This 3-in-1 product from Garnier Green Labs works as a night cream, a serum, and even as an eye cream. Its fast-absorbing and powerful formula moisturizes, smoothes lines, and reduces dark circles. The inclusion of retinol smoothes skin texture and reduces redness, while the niacinamide calms inflammation and reduces the appearance of fine lines. It doesn’t over dry the skin since it contains ingredients key to hydration, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
This formula is also vegan, cruelty-free, and allergy-tested, so it's safe even if you have sensitive skin. And because it has so many uses, the cream can replace other items in your skincare routine and save you time and money. Be careful how often you use it, though, as with any retinol-based formula, it can leave you a little red and dry if applied too often, especially at the beginning.
Price at time of publish: $22
Key Ingredients: Retinol, niacinamide
Size: 1.7 ounces
Our top night cream recommendation is the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream, for its strong, fast-acting, and majorly hydrating formula. Plus, it’s a drugstore product that’s relatively inexpensive, so you can easily find it and stock up as needed.
How to Shop for Night Creams Like a Pro
If you have dry skin, “look for a rich, emollient cream, possibly one that contains oils,” says Dr. Wu, and “avoid gel formulas that may contain alcohol.” Those with oily or acne-prone skin should skip oil-based creams and instead “look for water-based night creams that contain hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which hold water in your skin without making you more oily.”
The ingredients to consider in a night cream depend on your specific skin concerns, but as a rule, formulas featuring hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good for hydrating skin, while retinol is best for anti-aging. Anyone with sensitive skin should look for natural-based ingredients like shea butter and thermal water.
If you have oily skin, look for more lightweight night creams, as thicker ones might create more oil. People with regular or dry skin can go for night creams with moderate to heavy consistency since they add more moisture and hydration.
Questions You Might Ask
What are the benefits of using a night cream?
“Your skin loses more water during the night, so those with dry skin should definitely use a night cream,” says Dr. Wu. “Also, skin repairs itself at night, so those with sun damage should use an antioxidant cream, such as a retinoid (either over-the-counter retinol or prescription tretinoin which your dermatologist can prescribe).”
Can you use night cream during the day?
Yes, says Dr. Wu. She adds, however, that “most night creams do not contain sunscreen, so you will need to apply sunscreen over it.”
Does night cream expire?
“Most skin creams will have an expiration date, but a good rule of thumb is that it should stay fresh for at least 6-12 months after purchase,” says Dr. Wu. “If your cream changes color or consistency, or develops an odor, it’s time to get a fresh jar.”
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, The New York Times, and many other publications. She frequently covers beauty products and researched a variety of night creams for this story, including speaking with Jessica Wu, M.D., Los Angeles dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face.
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Read the original article on Real Simple.