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No matter your age or current skin care habits, it’s never the wrong time to start incorporating night cream into your evening routine.

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.

Ready for some serious nighttime skin repair? Read on for 18 of our top night cream picks for every skin type and budget. And 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.”

Finding the right night cream can take some trial and error. Part of the journey is buying a product and testing it out on your skin to see if it works for you.

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.

According to Guanche, your skin is likely:

  • 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’s good to keep in mind that cosmetics are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but they’re regulated.

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

Once you’ve decided on a product, it’s best to do a patch test on a small patch of your skin to see how it’ll react to the ingredients before using it more widely.

To do this, apply a small amount of cream to a small patch of skin, such as your forearm, before going to bed. In the morning, check to see if there are any signs of an allergic reaction, such as a rash, redness, or irritation. If you notice any of these signs, stop using the product.

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’s affordable and provides great coverage with its thick consistency.

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 that this product moisturizes well, but it does have a heavy fragrance.

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

If you’re looking for a simple night cream to ease you into the world of skin care, then this product can help. It’s oil-free, dye-free, and fragrance-free, providing moisture through hyaluronic acid.

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

Neutrogena products are also easy to find at most drugstores or grocery stores.

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.

Dermalogica products are cruelty-free and vegan.

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 in their products.

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.

Reviews say it doesn’t break you out, but it does make your skin look well rested. Other reviews suggest that it helps reduce dryness attributed to acne.

Caudalie started in Bordeaux, France. It uses vines and grapes from the brand’s own private vineyard as a key ingredient in its products.

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 there’s no noticeable fragrance. However, some reviewers with sensitive skin say it can cause breakouts.

Another budget pick, Garnier creams are easy to find in stores or online.

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 heavy moisturizers and those who have extremely sensitive skin. However, some reviewers with mature-looking, dry skin say this lightweight product isn’t moisturizing enough.

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.

This cream is on the thinner side, so it may not be hydrating enough for those with 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

This shine-free gel cream is designed for oily and normal skin. Made with glycoprotein and imperata cylindrica root extract, it provides long-lasting hydration without clogging pores or feeling heavy.

Reviewers with oily skin say it works great. While you can use it at night before bed, some reviewers also comment that it works well during the day under makeup.

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.

Many reviewers love the smell and the way their skin feels in the morning. But some feel like it doesn’t tighten the skin as much as they hoped.

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 the creamy consistency makes it great for nighttime use. Still, some say it’s a little too heavy and that it 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

Although this night cream falls on the more expensive side, a little goes a long way thanks to moisturizing squalane, jojoba oil, and shea butter.

Reviewers with all skin types (including sensitive) give it high praise, saying it doesn’t leave skin too oily or too dry. It’s also a favorite of Healthline editor Chelsea Logan, who comments that it absorbs quickly, layers well with serums and oils, and even works great under SPF during the day.

This product is vegan, cruelty-free, and fragrance-free. It also comes in a recyclable glass 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 wrinkles using their Triple C Night Cream. By using three forms of vitamin C, the night cream hydrates and brightens the skin while protecting it from daily stressors and pollutants.

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

With all glass and aluminum packaging, the product is also environmentally friendly.

While most online reviews for this cream are positive, some reviewers say the fragrance is pretty strong, with one person comparing it to “flowers past their prime.” You might want to steer clear if you’re sensitive to smells.

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

Although this face cream might be expensive, it’s created by a doctor who 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 fragrance-, gluten-, and cruelty-free.

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

This is another more expensive night cream, but reviewers say it’s worth it — 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 truly “necessary.” But if you’re trying to keep your face moisturized and prevent or reduce fine lines and wrinkles, a night cream is a great addition to your beauty routine.

During sleep, your skin’s blood flow increases. The organ rebuilds its collagen and repairs damage from UV exposure, reducing wrinkles and spots. A night cream or oil can help your skin even further in this process as you sleep.

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

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

You may also choose to use a cream with vitamin C during the day, and alternate with a night cream with retinol or other ingredients that support graceful aging.

Night creams are a great way to add moisture to your daily routine. Since everyone’s skin is different, it’s important to know your skin type and research ingredients before you make a purchase. Finding what works for you may take some time, but it’s well worth it when you do.


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 Robinmosley.com.