Searching for the best night cream to add to your evening skincare routine? Look no further
The best night cream is the all-important last step you slather onto your skin before you go to sleep. But have you questioned why it’s important to change up your moisturiser at night before you hit the sack?
The truth is that your skin behaves quite differently while you sleep compared to the daytime, and so your skincare should change accordingly.
But where to start? Fear not, as we grilled a couple of skin experts in order to help you choose the best night cream for your skin type. Keep reading for everything you need to know, plus the best buys.
How does our skin change at night time?
‘A number of physiological changes occur in the skin overnight,’ consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk tells us. ‘The skin blood flow rate has been shown to be affected by the circadian rhythm, increasing in the late afternoon and evening.
‘Higher melatonin levels at night are associated with hair growth, suppression of ultraviolet (UV) damage in skin cells and better wound healing. In fact, the repair of skin cells with DNA damage from the sun appears to peaks at night. Skin permeability is higher in the evening than in the morning, leading to increased moisture loss.
‘By understanding the basic principles of the circadian rhythm, including skin changes throughout the day, we can better organise our routines by applying skin care products at optimal times of the day,’ she continues. ‘For example, sunscreen during the day to reduce UV damage, retinol at night for optimised DNA repair and richer moisturisers at night to ameliorate increased transepidermal moisture loss.’
It’s for these reasons that our night time mosituriser needs to be different to that which you slather on in the morning. Which leads us to…
What’s the difference between day and night cream?
So, how different does my night cream need to be, we hear you ask? It’s all about consistency and ingredient type.
‘At night is when cells need nutrients the most and when their anti-aging benefits have maximum impact,’ explains facial aesthetics specialist Dr Pamela Benito. ‘Skin sebum production is less at night and when you don’t have a protective layer of natural oils on your skin, you lose more water.
‘A night time moisturiser will help to maintain your skin healthy and reduce the signs of ageing,’ she continues. ‘With a thicker and richer consistency, night moisturisers tend to include a larger concentration of ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol and peptides.
‘Due to their slow-absorbing nature, night creams can gradually penetrate the skin throughout the night – moisturising, repairing and rebalancing the skin for a clear and healthy complexion.’
What makes the best night cream?
There are a couple of things you can keep an eye out for when night cream shopping. ‘Increased skin temperature and permeability at night suggest that there may be a benefit in applying richer moisturisers at night to keep skin hydrated and comfortable until the following morning,’ Dr Kluk explains. ‘Night creams often contain added retinol or related ingredients, such as retinyl palmitate, to capitalise on DNA repair.’
Without further ado, let’s dive in to the Marie Claire approved list of the best night cream buys on the beauty market…
Banish dullness, drench skin in moisture and restore its bounce with Tilbury's balmy blend of retinol, peptides and botanicals.
This being Clarins, expect technology powered by plant extracts. In this case, Golden Poppy has been found to revive skin's radiance even if you didn't get much shut-eye.
Yes, the price point is high but so is the efficacy. Glycolic acid and 2 per cent phytic acid work in tandem to encourage the clarity of fatigued skin.
Overnight is when you want to use the powerhouse ingredient retinol. Murad's version releases three different vitamin A derivatives into the skin at different rates to tackle lines, pigmentation and slackness. Algae extracts act like a buffer against dryness and irritation.
Yes, yes, we know – 'technically' it's a serum, but seeing as this wonder night time product sells 10 per minute around the world, it's deserving of a mention. Enriched with super hydrator hyaluronic acid and non pore-clogging, you'll wake to smoother fine lines and plumper skin.
If you think of your skin as bricks and mortar, ceramides are the mortar that seal in moisture. You'll find plenty of these in there - plus marula oil, which is like a tall drink for thirsty, sensitive skin.
If you've got skin that's on the dry or dehydrated side, think of this overnight mask as the ultimate thirst-quencher. It seals in hydrating actives for softer and plumper skin come dawn. Be warned: It's got a seriously addictive smell, too.
If skin is eternally parched, there are three key ingredients that can reverse the situation: glycerin plus omegas 3 and 6. You'll find them all in this non-greasy gel/cream.
There's not much this cream doesn't do (except maybe pour your morning cup of coffee). Vitamin C restores skin's glow. Hyaluronic acid plumps up fine lines and the brand's Nordic spring water base, cools and comforts.
Origins' famous night cream also comes in an oil-free version, meaning that those who suffer with excess oil can enjoy it too. Fortified with vitamins C, E and H, skin will feel replenished and moisture rich in no time at all, while the relaxing scent of neroli, vanilla and valerian will help you get straight to sleep.
Bit of a hybrid this one. The two chambers work simultaneously to make your skin feel softer and look more plump. It's got two types of hyaluronic acid in it that gives skin its bounce back AND it has a slight peel quality to it so it exfoliates whilst you sleep.