For a moment, forget about beauty shops like Ulta and Sephora. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you enter a department store, drugstore, or large-box stores like Walmart or Target. Many products on the shelves promise to address your most pressing skin issues, including the best night cream, anti-aging creams, and face creams. You’ll find everything you need, including a moisturizer for oily skin and moisturizer with SPF, as well as countless other products you must include in your skincare routine. Or do you?
When it comes to skincare, there is no one-size fits all approach. No matter how many products you use or whether you follow a three-step process like Proven Skincare, there are one product dermatologists recommend that you don’t forget: night cream. We contacted experts to understand better the differences between a night cream and everyday moisturizer, what it is essential for, and what you should look for when looking for the best night cream. The experts share top picks for all skin types, with options for every budget.
What’s the difference between every day and night cream?
Dr. Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist, explains that night creams typically contain more hydrating ingredients to increase skin moisture while you sleep. She says that night creams often have high levels of active ingredients like vitamin C or retinol, which makes them more nourishing than daytime moisturizers. Night creams are more beneficial than daytime moisturizers because they tend to be heavier than night creams.
Why not use them at night? Dr. Joshua Zeichner is an Associate Professor and Director of Cosmetic Research at Mount Sinai Hospital. He says that the skin follows natural circadian rhythms. This means certain activities occur in the morning while others happen in the evening. The evening is a time for rest and repair. Evenings are the best time to apply a thicker, moisturizing cream since the skin’s hydration levels drop in the afternoon.
What to look out for when shopping night cream
Dr. Jaliman suggests looking for creams with the following ingredients:
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that binds water molecules to the skin.
Glycerin is a humectant that moisturizes the skin by drawing moisture from the air and into the skin’s outer layers.
Shea butter can be used as an emollient. Shea butter is highly moisturizing because of its natural vitamins, fatty acids, and other nutrients.
Ceramides are protective layers that form on the skin’s surface and prevent moisture loss.
Retinol promotes faster skin cell renewal. The outer layer of the skin gets sloughed when someone uses a cream or retinol-vs-retinoids/. Retinol is also used to treat acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It can also fade dark spots and help with skin discoloration.