Night creams can help in eliminating skin-damaging free radicals and promoting skin recovery while you sleep. Beauty sleep is no myth, as getting seven to nine hours of sleep boosts collagen production (as in, fewer wrinkles) and promotes a more glowing complexion. Hence, using the right night cream can really help in accelerating the recovery process.
The right night cream should penetrate deep into your skin in order for the cream's active ingredients like hydraulic acid (for softer, smoother skin) or vitamin C (for better hydration) to reach more of your skin cells. Melatonin-based night creams are handy too — especially in the summer — since they minimize the harmful effects of environmental stressors like UV light.
If you need help finding the right night cream, we're bringing you the best night creams to kickstart your nighttime skincare routine this 2023. For optimal use, you should apply night cream following a face wash and an exfoliating face scrub. From there, apply the recommended amount of night cream on your face and neck, and you're on your way to better skin!
Kora Organics Turmeric Glow Moisturizer
Best overall cream
Supermodel, holistic wellness advocate, and skincare entrepreneur Miranda Kerr launched Kora Organics in 2009 to provide products made with the purest organic ingredients that actually work well in our skin. Fast forward to now, and Kora's Turmeric Glow Moisturizer may be their best offering yet!
With an active botanical blend of Turmeric, Noni, and Licorice extract, this cream will make your skin feel better immediately. And over time with sustained use, it can help minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles while smoothing and plumping your skin. Even better, Kora Organics' commitment to sustainability means you get a reusable jar that you can refill with more cream whenever you ready to order a new pod.
Ourself Daily Renewal Cream
Best for dry skin
If you're looking for an extra burst of moisture that will finally take care of dry facial skin, look no further than Ourself. This cream provides a burst of refreshing hydration while also strengthening the skin's moisture barrier and helping to improve the skin's natural elasticity. Ourself is backed by actual clinical trial results where 85 percent of users reported "significant clinical improvement in dryness", and 100 percent of users reported "improvement in their skin's overall appearance".
Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore
Best for sensitive skin
Skinceuticals, the premium skincare line designed by dermatologists, specializes in creating effective creams and serums that are gentle enough for sensitive skin, and this product is no exception. The Triple Lipid Restore contains a 2:4:2 ratio of lipids, which are fatty acids that help retain the skin’s natural moisture barrier, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and pores.
Pure for Men Facial Cream
Pure for Men is a queer and minority-owned company that's dedicated to providing the best-quality wellness products to everyone who wants to look and feel better. Their facial cream is part of their daring yet accessible skincare line, and we love how it's made with eco-friendly and non-toxic ingredients, exceptionally easy to use, and made by their team of scientists to deliver effective results.
Bynacht Nocturnal Signature Anti-age Cream
Best luxury cream
Have you ever wanted to sleep with gold? Now's your chance with Bynacht's incredible Nocturnal Signature Anti-age Cream! Bynacht's signature cream is actually infused with pure gold — plus it's made with Euglena gracilis algae, botanical Astaxanthin, Swiss garden cress sprouts, low and high molecular hyaluronic acids, Marine Collagen, and Persian Silk Tree extract — for an exceptionally luxurious cream that loves your skin as much as you'll love its look and feel.
If you're wondering whether this is simply some ridiculously overpriced gimmick, fear not — Bynacht utilizes the highest caliber of scientific research and data to guarantee the efficacy and safety of their products.
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Cream
Best for acne-prone skin
Specifically designed to help retain your skin’s natural moisture, this nourishing lightweight cream helps protect your skin from the season’s dryness throughout the night while gently soothing skin for refreshed younger-looking skin. It's clinically tested to be gentler on dry, sensitive skin, and it's made to moisturize skin without clogging pores or triggering acne breakouts.
Alder New York Nourishing Cream
Best indie brand cream
If you haven't yet heard of Alder New York, please listen up: They're a queer and woman-owned independent company that's dedicated to delivering clean, vegan skincare without any gimmicks or bad attitude. This cream is made with bakuchiol, vegan squalane, and jojoba oil, and it's designed to hydrate your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We love how easy it is to use, and thus far we've appreciated the results.
Jackfir Classic Daily Facial Moisturizer
Best clean beauty cream
Upon beating leukemia, Charlie Razook became concerned about the pervasive presence of environmental toxins and industrial pollution in so many consumer products, and he embarked on a mission to develop his own skincare brand that utilizes clean, non-toxic ingredients while delivering great results. This is how Jackfir was born.
Jackfir now has a line of clean, vegan, eco-conscious skincare products, including this moisturizing cream that's specially formulated with squalane, snow mushroom, and moringa seed oil to hydrate skin and protect the skin's natural moisture barrier from environmental stress. Not only does it work quite well, but its proprietary scent is pleasantly woodsy without feeling too perfume-y.
Skinbetter Science Intensive AlphaRet Overnight Cream
Best retinol-based formula
This cream’s main ingredient is retinol, a go-to chemical that’s supposed to increase collagen production and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. While retinols have been shown to be super effective, they can also be irritating and cause flakiness and redness. Skinbetter Science’s proprietary formula is less irritating than other popular retinol-based products, and some users have reported a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles in as little as four weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, not always. Just because a cream has a triple-digit price tag and sells at luxury department stores doesn't mean it's "the best". It really pays to do some homework, see if the brand has any actual clinical trial results to back up their claims, and look past the fancy packaging to check the brand's track record in delivering solid skincare.
As we learned when we consulted some beauty insiders on the true meaning behind the "clean beauty" label, you may not want to overanalyze products' ingredient lists if you don't have a ton of working knowledge on how skincare products work. But if you need a quick cheat sheet, we've thus far had good luck with creams that use hyaluronic acid, retinol, squalene, and/or Vitamin C.
Check the directions on the packaging before you go too wild and crazy with your skincare experiments! Some creams — including some that we feature above — are designed to be used any time of day or night. But since other creams have special ingredients like retinoids and exfoliating acids that are photosensitive, it's best to keep them strictly in your nighttime skincare regimen.
We're so glad you came to see us to figure out which night cream is best for you, and we hope this guide helps you find the perfect cream to help you feel your very best. For more helpful hints and top tips on skincare, check out these best lotions for dry skin, our comprehensive guide for great skincare at any age, and ten tips to rid yourself of razor burn ASAP. Whatever you decide to try next, we hope you find what you need to truly feel better inside and out.
The cover photo was provided by August de Richelieu and made available by Pexels.
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