If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
If you feel like you’ve been seeing a lot more skincare related content on your social media feeds within the last couple of years, this isn’t by mistake. The skincare industry, currently valued at a staggering $17.5 billion, has undergone a renaissance in recent years as social media has become more of a fixture in our culture.
More brands are turning to bloggers and influencers to test out and review their products as a form of advertising, while celebrities, such as Rihanna and Ariana Grande, are throwing their hats into the ring in an effort to appeal to consumers; every day it feels like there’s a new makeup or skincare line that’s launching with an array of products all promising to improve your overall skin’s health, and give it that coveted natural sheen.
With so much saturation, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start in developing your own skincare routine. And while the options seem endless, there are items you can live without and then some that are staples of any successful skincare routine. One of those essential items is night cream.
What Is Night Cream Exactly, and What Does it Do?
You might hear night creams commonly discussed in the same breath as moisturizers. The truth is that they serve the essentially the same purpose. The best night creams help to hydrate your skin, and in doing so, they allow your skin to retain more moisture and keep it from looking dull, while also helping to create a barrier between your skin and the air to keep it from drying out. Both night creams and moisturizers should be applied as the final step of your nighttime routine.
They key difference between the two is that night creams are developed specifically for your skin’s nighttime rhythm as it recovers from the events of the day, assisting in the turnover of your skin’s cells and clearing up dry patches. Night creams also contain retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A which is essential to producing collagen as well as smoothing out any fine lines or winkles.
All of that aside, a moisturizer is perfectly acceptable to use at night, especially if you’re in a pinch; it’s important to ensure your skin gets that additional hydration before you fall asleep to ensure it can recover. Retinol creams can be used as part of your nighttime skin care routine to ensure you’re still reaping those benefits as well; apply your retinol after any serums, eye cream and spot treatments and before your moisturizer.
What Are the Best Night Creams?
We’ve rounded up the best night creams for men and women that you can buy online right now.
1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizer
You really can’t go wrong with any of the products from Neutrogena’s award-winning Hydro Boost line, however their water gel moisturizer is a top tier option that I swear by and use both during the day and at night; light and easy to apply for an uncomplicated daytime routine but still nourishing and hydrating enough to ensure optimal recovery while you sleep. This is also noticeably cheaper than a lot of other night creams on the market (and works a lot better in my opinion). In an attempt to save a little money, I made the switch from the cream I had been using prior to this, and I haven’t looked back since.
2. CeraVe Renewing Night Cream
CeraVe is another brand you can’t go wrong with; their body lotion and eye cream were mainstays in my arsenal for a long time, and their night cream is just as excellent. This fragrance-free cream is chock full of key ingredients to help preserve your skin’s natural elasticity, including three essential ceramides — ingredients that help fill the gaps in between your skin cells so they can retain moisture. And like Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost, this comes at an attractive price point if you find yourself needing to stick to a budget.
3. Dream Bio-Retinol & Shea Butter Night Cream
The aptly-named “Dream Night Cream” from Three Ships Beauty will leave your skin feeling smoother than before thanks to a secret ingredient: Picão Preto. This plant-based retinol is a medicinal herb that hails from Brazil, and works in tandem with the vegan squalane and seed butters to give it a nice, creamy texture that locks in necessary moisture for your skin while you count sheep.
4. Tula Hydrating Day & Night Cream
Tula’s night cream promises to do it all; its lightweight composition makes it perfect to use during the day, though packed with both watermelon and apple extracts that help with hydrating your skin while also smoothing out any creases or wrinkles. The proof is really in the results though, with 96% of users reporting that their skin felt hydrated throughout the entire day and 93% of those users noting their skin looked firmer as well.
5. Glytone Hydrating Cream
If you’re someone with particularly dry skin, you’re gonna need some additional reinforcements to help your skin retain moisture. Lucky for you, Glytone’s Hydrating Cream was designed specifically for those of us with this affliction, thanks to key ingredients glycerin and sorbitol. Together they strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier, keeping it safe from potential irritants and moisture loss.
6. Overnight Glow Sleeping Cream
Dark spots are unwelcome visitors on our skin that don’t need an invitation; they can appear due to a number of reasons, from acne scars to excessive sun exposure. Investing in a good night cream can help fight against them, but even then they can sometimes be particularly aggressive and difficult to make go away. Red Skincare’s Overnight Glow Sleeping Cream was formulated specifically to target those pesky spots, promising improvement in just a week. In addition to giving them the boot, you’ll also notice your skin looks more radiant and hydrated than it did before; simply apply a hazelnut-sized amount across your face, working it in until fully absorbed. Many users who left rave reviews noticed that their skin also had a nicer texture as well.