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17 Best Night Creams for Every Skin Type

These face moisturizers turn dry skin into glowing skin overnight.

best night cream

Adding a night cream to your before-bed routine and letting it work its magic while you snooze could really be the key to beauty sleep. "Whereas regular moisturizers focus on improving the natural moisture barrier of the skin only, night creams contain active ingredients that assist with improving the skin beyond adding moisture," explains Tonya McLeod, M.D., a dermatologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Night creams are made with skincare ingredients and powerful anti-agers that aim to address skin concerns like lines and wrinkles and dark spots, leading to a more hydrated, youthful-looking complexion over time.

Night creams are essential to see skincare results, since "night is the best time to treat the skin and repair concerns such as water loss, skin aging and fatigue, and dark spots," says Howard Sobel, M.D., attending dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and founder of Sobel Skin. "This uninterrupted state is the optimum time for ‘rest and repair’ since you don’t have to protect the skin against daily assaults such as UV damage, blue light exposure and pollutants with SPF, and skin is free of makeup and pore clogging residue that disrupts skin repair."

Our top night cream picks

    How do I find the best night cream for my skin?

    When shopping for a night cream, consider both your skin type and goals or needs. Look for ingredients tailored to your complexion like the below, recommended by Dr. Sobel and Dr. McLeod:

    • For dry skin, seek out a richer formula like a cream or balm and look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalane, aloe and plant butters (i.e. shea) and oils (i.e. coconut) to replenish moisture.
    • For oily, combination or acne-prone skin, look for a lighter formula such as a lotion or gel in an oil-free formula that contains balancing and oil-reducing acids like salicylic, glycolic, azelaic and lactic; retinol can also help minimize breakouts.
    • For sensitive skin, look for calming ingredients allantoin, glycerin, bisabolol and cucumber extract, which calm and soothe skin without irritating. Be sure to avoid fragrance, hydroxy acids, alcohol and petrolatum, which can irritate reactive skin.
    • For aging skin, shop for night creams with proven anti-agers like peptides, retinol, epidermal growth factors and hydroxy acids (like glycolic) to help smooth wrinkles. Also look for protective antioxidants (such as vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 and niacinamide).
    • For hyperpigmentation, look for products with brightening vitamin C, retinol, niacinamide, licorice root extract or glycolic, kojic, lactic, azelaic and ferulic acids to help brighten and even skin tone.
    • To get glowing skin, a brightening acid (like glycolic, lactic and azelaic), retinol, vitamin C and niacinamide will help stimulate skin cell turnover, promoting radiance

      How we test night creams

      The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab regularly tests moisturizers, including day creams, anti-aging treatments and body lotions to find the most effective ones on the market. The Lab evaluates night creams on how well they hydrate skin short- and long-term using the Corneometer device, which gauges skin moisture levels. Lab scientists also measure changes in testers' skin over four weeks or more of daily use at home, including firmness with the Cutometer machine and reduction in wrinkles and dark spots via digital imaging with the Visia Complexion Analyzer.

      In addition, consumer testers rate the night cream formulas on factors such as texture, scent, absorption and irritation. In the GH Beauty Lab's most recent test, Lab experts sent night creams to almost 200 consumer testers for their feedback and recorded over 11,200 data points to find the best night creams on the market:

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      Best Overall Night Cream
      Regenerist Retinol24 Night Moisturizer

      • Top performer in Lab tests
      • Firmed skin by 27%
      • Packed with anti-agers and smoothers like retinol, niacinamide and peptides

      The winner of the GH Beauty Lab's most recent night cream test, Olay's light formula with the gold-standard anti-aging ingredients retinol, niacinamide and peptides outperformed the rest at making skin look brighter and more lifted and feel softer. Backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, it also increased skin firmness by 27% according to measurements with the Lab’s Cutometer device, which measures skin laxity. 100% of testers agreed it made skin feel softer. “This seemed to work as well as my prescription retinoid,” a tester marveled. “My face was firmer and smoother when I woke up each morning,” a second said.

      Best Value Night Cream
      Revitalift Volume Filler Night Cream
      L'Oreal Paris
      L’Oréal Paris

      • Budget-friendly
      • Topped Lab tests for increasing moisturization by 40%
      • Measurably firms skin

      • Opening/cap of product may become messy

      This lightweight gel cream from L’Oréal Paris, containing plumping hyaluronic acid, is a heavy hitter and past GH Beauty Lab night cream test top performer. Ranked among the highest tested for firming and hydrating, it offers good bang for your buck. In Lab testing, it boosted skin’s firmness 36% and hydration levels 40%. “I could see a real difference in my skin after just a few uses,” one said. “My husband even commented on how good my skin looks!” a second revealed. Most appreciated the tube’s convenience; one noted that the opening seemed big and the cap became messy.

      Best Night Cream for Glowing Skin
      Overnight Restorative Cream

      • Top Lab performer for fading dark spots
      • Effectively increased skin moisturization

      Wake up glowing with Algenist’s rich formula, which uses the regenerating properties of microalgae: It received high scores in GH Beauty Lab night cream testing for diminishing UV spots, evening and brightening skin tone. The cream reduced the appearance of hyperpigmentation by 11% and raised skin hydration 33% in Lab measurements. Shining tester comments included, “People said I was glowing!”; “It’s really removing my dark spots”; and “I could go to work without wearing makeup.

      Best Anti-Aging Night Cream
      Genius Sleeping Collagen

      • Top Lab performer for firming skin and evening skin tone
      • Increased skin firmness by 33% and hydration by 28%
      • Formulated with collagen, ceramides and fatty acids

      • May be too rich for oily or combination skin

      Tighten sagging skin with Algenist’s dense balm-esque formulation, made with fortifying collagen, ceramides and fatty acids. It was the strongest of all night creams evaluated at firming skin and evening out skin tone over four weeks of use, according to Lab assessment. Cutometer calculations showed that it boosted skin elasticity and firmness by 33% over four weeks, andhydration increased by 28% in six hours in Corneometer readings. Two testers reported that it faded their dark spots. “I could really tell a difference in my skin — it was more firm and moist 24/7,” another raved.

      Best Night Cream for Sensitive Skin
      Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Face Mask
      Kiehl's Since 1851

      • Forms a barrier to lock moisture in skin
      • Deeply nourishes
      • Gentle formula

      • May be too rich for those without dry skin

      Not your average night cream, this fragrance-free Kiehl's overnight mask gives compromised skin an extra nourishing boost thanks to a high 10.5% level of hydrating squalane. GH's beauty director uses the solid, butter-like formula as a last step to seal in her night moisturizer on evenings when her eczema-prone skin is extra dry or irritated. "I have no dehydrated or flaky patches on my face when I wake up," she reports. "It's truly amazing."

      Best Night Cream for Dry Skin
      Anti-Wrinkle Miracle Worker+ Line-Correcting Overnight Cream

      • Deeply hydrates and effectively firms skin
      • Non-irritating formula great for sensitive skin

      This Philosophy formula, packed with skin-softening, nourishing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and squalane, was the hero hydrator of all the GH Beauty Lab test winners. It raised hydration by 34% over six hours, and it upped firmness by 29% in four weeks. The cream rated best for smoothing texture, being gentle on skin and its subtle scent, and it earned high marks for firming. Almost 100% of testers said it didn’t irritate or cause redness. “My skin looked better after the first night,” one remarked.

      Best Night Cream for Oily Skin
      TimeWise Age Minimize 3D Night Cream - Combination/Oily
      Mary Kay

      • Won't clog pores
      • Oil-free formula
      • Delivers anti-aging benefits

      Mary Kay's night cream, a GH Steal star, was formulated specially for oily and combination skin types. Made with anti-aging vitamin B3 and peptides, it's oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog pores. The formula also absorbs quickly and feels non-greasy, GH Beauty Lab evaluation found. After five weeks of use, 85% of women found it enhanced skin's youthful glow, Lab data analysis confirmed.

      Best Night Cream for Mature Skin
      Age Reverse Night Lift

      • Top performer in Lab tests for firming skin and reducing wrinkles
      • Formulated with glycolic acid, peptides and retinol
      • Lightweight gel texture

      Despite its featherweight, gel-like formula, Exuviance was a heavy hitter in GH Beauty Lab testing, winning for minimizing the look of lines on aging skin. The treatment, loaded with actives like glycolic acid, peptides and retinol, gave faces a “lift” too, rating at the top both in Lab evaluations and with testers for making skin look and feel firmer. According to digital imaging with the Lab’s Visia Complexion Analyzer device, it improved the look of wrinkles by an impressive 10% in four weeks and raised skin’s firmness 31% in Cutometer measurements. Several testers reported that they noticed fewer lines too.

      Best Night Cream for Acne-Prone Skin
      HydraLuminous Overnight Recovery Cream

      • Oil-free, lightweight and non-sticky
      • Soaks in immediately
      • Refreshes skin

      Skin that suffers from breakouts still needs hydration: Enter this oil-free gel night cream from No7, a GH Seal star. GH Beauty Lab data analysis confirmed that 86% of users found it had a weightless texture, 90% that it instantly absorbed into skin, and 93% that it didn't leave skin feeling sticky after use. In the morning after the first application of the glycerin and vitamin E formula, 76% of testers said their skin looked refreshed.

      Best Retinol Night Cream
      TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Night Treatment
      Mary Kay
      Mary Kay

      • Gentler retinol formula
      • Reduces wrinkles and evens skin tone
      • Lasting moisturization

      A GH Seal star, Mary Kay's night cream hydrates and fights top signs of aging, like deep lines and uneven skin tone. And even though it’s formulated with powerful retinol, it’s still gentle enough if you have sensitive skin. Data revealed that when applied nightly, the overnight treatment effectively smooths wrinkles and improves skin tone, while leaving skin moisturized for up to 10 hours.

      Best Day and Night Cream
      Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Day/Night Cream
      L'Oréal Paris

      • Multi-use formula for day and night
      • 96% of women reported firmer, softer skin after use
      • Affordable

      Not only is L’Oréal’s formula a night cream, it also works well as a go-to day cream. It fortifies skin’s moisture barrier and helps firm with calcium and natural oils like passionfruit and apricot. One study of 52 women found that 96% saw firmer and more supple skin in just one month of use.

      Best Eye Night Cream
      Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Anti-Aging Crème

      • Reduces wrinkles, including on the eye area
      • Minimizes dark spots and boosts radiance

      This retinol-packed cream from Roc, a GH Beauty Award winner, is perfect for overnight use, even around the eye area. It made skin look 32% smoother and more radiant after just one week of use — after four weeks, users reported fewer fine lines and eye wrinkles, and after eight weeks, lessened deep wrinkles and dark spots. GH Beauty Lab pros suggest using every other night to start to mitigate any irritation.

      Best Smoothing Night Cream
      Resveratrol Lift Firming Night Moisturizer

      • Increased skin hydration by 43% in Lab tests
      • Smoothed texture
      • Not oily or irritating

      • Botanical scent can be polarizing

      A GH Beauty Lab test winner, Caudalie's cream delivered real moisturization results in evaluations — boosting skin hydration by 43% in just six hours and was best at smoothing texture. It’s formulated with moisturizing grapeseed oil and resveratrol, a free-radical fighting antioxidant. Six testers reported how “smooth” the cream felt as it went on and made their faces feel.“It moisturized my skin into the morning,” one raved. “I woke up looking refreshed,” another said. They also gave it perfect marks for not being greasy or irritating.

      Best Overnight Mask
      Blue Copper 5 Prime Sleep Tight Mask
      Osmotics Cosmeceuticals

      • Intensely hydrates skin
      • Tightening effect

      • May feel sticky upon application

      Packed with hyaluronic acid and peptides, Osmotics is a winner of the GH Beauty Lab's test of overnight masks, face masks that are created to be left on skin overnight in place of night cream for a more intensive treatment. The lavender-scented gel formula increased skin's hydration levels by an impressive 45% in Lab measurements with the Corneometer machine. Testers also liked its tightening and refreshing effects on the face.

      Best Multitasking Night Cream
      Lift & Luminate Triple Action Night Cream

      • Budget-friendly
      • Reduces wrinkles, lifts, and evens skin tone

      Packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and line-smoothing retinol, No7’s GH Seal star night cream is a top formula with multiple skin benefits at a great price. Thanks to the powerful ingredients, it helps smooth and firm skin, while also evening skin tone. After using the cream for four weeks, 83% of testers said their wrinkles were visibly reduced, 78% said their skin looked lifted, and 81% said their skin tone looked more even.

      Best Lightweight Night Cream
      Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream
      Sisley Paris
      Sisley Paris

      • Formulated with lightly hydrating rose water
      • Pampering formula and scent

      • Pricey

      This Sisley Paris cream has a lightweight gel-like texture infused with rose water that soaks into skin, so it's not too heavy or rich. The rose water's scent makes it a luxurious aromatherapy treatment, too — it really feels like a pampering indulgence at the end of a long day, GH's beauty director says.

      Best Night Cream for Wrinkles
      Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Night Cream

      • Smoothed wrinkles in Lab tests
      • Silky-soft, non-greasy finish on skin

      Formulated with retinyl palmitate, a powerful, proven anti-ager, No7’s night cream is highly effective in reducing wrinkles, according to GH Beauty Lab experts’ testing analysis. Testers liked the product's rich consistency and silk feel, saying it left skin soft, not tacky, and was gentle on their skin.

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